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Thread: "entry" level drum scanner?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Upper Bavaria, Germany
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    "entry" level drum scanner?

    Hello everybody,

    I know I've asked this forum two times before. Once about flatbed vs. drum scanners. And once about Imacon flextight scanners. I'd like to say thank you for your patience and all your answers

    Actually I decided to buy a used Imacon 343 or 646. But, the 343 seems currently not to be available on the market for used scanners.The used 646 onces are offered at about 6.000 $ (US). This amount makes me thinking if it wouldn't be better to buy a used "entry" level drum scanner if such kind of devices are really available. May be they are cheaper too.

    My requirements: Resolution of 3200 spi (or better) at 16 (or 14) bit color depth is enough and the D_max should be > 4.0. I've only 35mm and MF films, b/w and color negatives (more seldom) and slides (more often). Furthermore the device shouldn't be to big/heavy if possible. It should fit on my desk.

    How much work/experience does it take to learn the right mounting of the films to the drum? Can it be done only be wet mounting or is "dry" mounting also possible? Do I get support/refurbishment/repair service for used (may be older) drum scanners? How are the connected to the computer, i.e. SCSI, Firewire, other interfaces?

    Any hint/tip/suggestion would be greatly appreciated!

    Greetinx

    Guido

    www.pix-bavaria.com

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Culver City
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    169

    Re: "entry" level drum scanner?

    Drum scanners can be purchased quite cheaply, but there are some issues that you should be aware of:

    1) Most of the drum scanners are no longer supported by the companies that built them (that is one reason why they sell for low prices). You may still be able to buy parts, and find someone who knows how to perform service. However, most drum scanners were designed for heavy usage, so they are typically well-built.

    2) The software that you will run on your computer will be quite old, and may not run on current-generation operating systems or computers.

    3) The connection to the computer is most likely to be SCSI or GPIB. Both of these interfaces are considered obsolete, and you may need an older computer.

    4) Most drum scanners are large. Very few, such as the Screen 1015, will be "desktop".

    5) Dry mounting is always possible on the drum, but wet mounting gives better results. Wet mounting is not so difficult once you are used to doing it.

    As an example, I bought a Screen 1030ai about three years ago for $1800USD. The software only runs on Mac OS 9 (and earlier), and the interface is SCSI. It weighs about 45kg with dimensions 35.7"W x 9.1"H x 18"D. It is one of the smaller drum scanners. Max res is 5200dpi, dmax is around 4.2, but the output is 8-bit. Scanning at max res is quite slow - a 4x5 film scan at 5200dpi takes around 4hrs. The results are excellent.

    If you plan to buy a drum scanner, make sure it is in good working condition.

    There is a Yahoo group called scan-hi-end that you might want to look at. It is all about the various scanners, and you can find out a lot about different manufacturers and models there.

  3. #3
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Jan 2001
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    Fond du Lac, WI, USA
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    Re: "entry" level drum scanner?

    Howtek 4000 or 4500?

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    162

    Re: "entry" level drum scanner?

    I'd second the Howtek 4000 or even better 4500 - I've got a 4000 which has proved to be excellent. However the most important thing is to find out which makes are serviced locally as at some stage you will need parts or repairs. Here in the UK the Howtek's are reasonably easy to have serviced, it may be different in Germany.

    David Whistance

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Surrey UK
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    Re: "entry" level drum scanner?

    Another vote for the Howtek 4500.

    I recently paid £565 for one which included two drums the mounting station and a good £150 pounds worth of consumables.

    It had been well looked after and was no problem to set up ,,,,needed a friend to help me collect it though.

    Aztek still have their Digitail photolab software on special at $500 rather than $1995, I much prefer that to Silverfast myself.

    I guess it's a question of what becomes available where you are but the Howtek does seem to be the most practical size / support and software wise.

    The mounting station really makes wet mounting very much easier if you can get one with that.
    Last edited by Clive Gray; 26-Nov-2008 at 02:48. Reason: additional coment

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Upper Bavaria, Germany
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    Re: "entry" level drum scanner?

    Many thanks for your hints, tips and recommendations!

    Greetinx

    Guido

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