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Thread: Scanmate 2C49 worth saving?

  1. #1

    Scanmate 2C49 worth saving?

    Hello LFP forum, this will be my first post on here and dying to find any info out there on this scanner.

    I recently picked up this 2C49 drum out of a warehouse that was ready for the landfill, it does power on and have software to run it.



    Here are the specs I have found..

    2000dpi
    3.0 D Max
    12bit per channel via single PMT
    No auto focus

    I had a few who in their opinion thought it was junk, is this scanner capable of anything better than a modern flatbed?

    I would be using it to scan my 6x6 and 4x5 negatives.

  2. #2

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    Re: Scanmate 2C49 worth saving?

    For 4x5 and 6x6 it seems a little short of what the Epson 700 - 800 scanners will do in the hi_res region. But I have no direct experience with it so can't say for sure.

  3. #3

    Re: Scanmate 2C49 worth saving?

    Thanks Jim, resolution I would say is not really my main concern but I did hear drum scanners produce far better contrast and color.

  4. #4

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    Re: Scanmate 2C49 worth saving?

    Definitely is. Modern (epson) flatbeds are pure garbage, they are no usable for negative scanning at all. They are document scanners at best. The actual real optical 2000dpi you get from this machines is far superior than anything you can get from epsons.

    And you are correct about the contrast, as epsons have poor quality lenses & the scans lack microcontrast and the overall look is just mushy. This is why people use huge amount of sharpening.

    You also only need high dpi scanners for printing, as you only need to scan as big as the intended use of the image. You don't gain anything from scanning at million dpi and then downscaling the image to 1-2 megapixel web image. Actually, you are downgrading the image quality when downscaling, as downscaling will produce the same effect as sharpening.

  5. #5

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    Re: Scanmate 2C49 worth saving?

    Thousands of happy Epson users might disagree with you re "pure garbage".

    Personally I've upgraded from the 750 to an IQsmart, and it's definitely better, but I wouldn't say the Epson are useless. I've made a lot of quite nice prints from negatives scanned on the 750 and both I and my clients are more than happy with them. For the price and small footprint the Epson's are quite good.

  6. #6

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    Re: Scanmate 2C49 worth saving?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Andrada View Post
    Thousands of happy Epson users might disagree with you re "pure garbage".

    Personally I've upgraded from the 750 to an IQsmart, and it's definitely better, but I wouldn't say the Epson are useless. I've made a lot of quite nice prints from negatives scanned on the 750 and both I and my clients are more than happy with them. For the price and small footprint the Epson's are quite good.
    It mostly just proves that majority of people do not really understand anything about scanning or printing.

    Scanning with epsons is like using a soft focus lens in an enlarger, and then trying to correct it by using sharpening.

    People are always so obsessed about having the best camera and best lens, and then they scan the negs using a low quality plastic lens. Does not make any sense. As the scanning is the only phase you wish to have an absolute perfect lens and the ability to actually focus it, as it's just a form of repro photography.

    While shooting the picture, you can use a plastic holga lens if you like the look of it and it suits what you are trying to accomplish. But not while scanning that neg.

  7. #7

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    Re: Scanmate 2C49 worth saving?

    Sorry, you're wrong. Lots of great work being done on the Epson. Considering budget, workflow, quality it's not so bad. Are there better? Of course. A lot bigger, a lot more expensive, a lot harder to use. For most people the Epson is not a bad choice.

  8. #8

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    Re: Scanmate 2C49 worth saving?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Andrada View Post
    Sorry, you're wrong. Lots of great work being done on the Epson. Considering budget, workflow, quality it's not so bad. Are there better? Of course. A lot bigger, a lot more expensive, a lot harder to use. For most people the Epson is not a bad choice.
    Yeah, most people do not understand anything about scanning or printing. So they are happy to pay 750$ for a scanner that is rubbish. Simply as they do not understand what a scanner is, and what it should be able to do.

    For the price epson sells the scanners new, you should be getting a machine with actual real lenses that would be capable of focusing. But instead you get "magic dual lens system" or what ever it has nowadays.

    I tested the Epson 10000xl, that has focusing. It did nothing. It literally did not matter where you focused it, scans were soft no matter what. The software just inserts some sharpening to fool people.

    Sadly there are no real scanners manufactured anymore, as there are no professional users. So they just sell plastic fantastic crap. There has not been any new scanners made capable of doing the most s simplest essential thing of focusing.

  9. #9
    Pali K Pali K's Avatar
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    Re: Scanmate 2C49 worth saving?

    Jim is correct. This particular scanner will not out do an Epson. I do know a little bit about pro scanners and Epson flatbeds.

  10. #10

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    Re: Scanmate 2C49 worth saving?

    Shoot color? Another thing to find out about this particular ScanMate PMT is whether the analog-to-digital convertor is addressable by software. Though there may be a few older PMTs still supported by more modern software that can address the hardware to produce a true 16 bits and not just dither, most drum scanners used in the print pre-press industry were commonly used at only 8 bits back in the day. While that was a pretty good fit with E-6 transparencies scanned for color seps for 4-color printing press, it's a particularly bad fit with color negative films and 9-color inkset fine art prints. Problem being, although color negative films do have a much higher dynamic range for subject brightness ratio, it's contained in a narrower range of density on the negative itself compared transparency emulsions. (In other words, scans end up with less than a fully populated 8 bits, oftentimes). Even sticking to transparencies scanned at 8 bits, once curves and tonal corrections are applied it's all too easy to wind up with banding and posterization in prints. Personally, I wouldn't bother with any scanner that can't do native 16 bits.
    Epson flatbeds all do this, incidentally. They also are supported by modern computers with USB. Old PMT scanners often used SCSI as the interface, and some had dongles as security devices which may be hard to replace if missing

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