Page 1 of 59 1231151 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 588

Thread: Making a scanner with a DSLR

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    9,344

    Making a scanner with a DSLR

    So instead of belly-aching over how crummy flatbeds are and how old drum scanners are a pain to deal with, why don't all the engineers here tackle creating a new, modern drum scanner that's as open-sourced, off-the-shelf, and future-proofed as possible?

    A lot of those old drum scanners were pre-PC, they must not be that complicated... Other than the drums, what else needs to be fabricated rather than bought? Isn't most of the value in the engineering, not the hardware? Heck I can buy $50 lasers at Home Depot.

    What if 1,000 serious film photographer put down $1,000 deposits on a $2,000 price-point, Heathkit-style drum scanner? Wouldn't a million dollars of pure R&D money be more than most of the big corporations spent on their classic drum scanners back in the day?

    We could get those argumentative lawyers that keep pestering the mods to set up a clean not-for-profit organization to administrate the project. Make it open source, everyone contributes... Ending up with a Volkscanner for the masses, able to handle 8x10 and modern software and interfaces (just have a network or even wifi interface)... Best $2000 ever spent - you know there are easily more than 1,000 people who would jump at this.

    So why not?

  2. #2
    Joshua Tree, California
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    224

    Re: Making a New Modern Drum Scanner

    Man that must be some killer weed you're smoking.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tacoma, WA
    Posts
    768

    Re: Making a New Modern Drum Scanner

    Well it seems older drum scanner used photomultiplier tubes. I'm betting you can't get those anymore. Newer ones use CCD arrays which are not easy for amateurs to deal with. It seems more practical to put a whole bunch of APS-C sensors on a device that can position them. You take one picture with the whole bunch of sensors, shift the sensors (because there will be borders between the sensors), take the picture again and stitch the result. If this could be done with an 8x10 cameras I'm sure the resulting digital image would be in the Gigapixel range easily.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Milan, Italy
    Posts
    223

    Re: Making a New Modern Drum Scanner

    it seems pmt tubes are still produced

    http://sales.hamamatsu.com/en/produc...lier-tubes.php

  5. #5
    David Brown bigdog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    270

    Re: Making a New Modern Drum Scanner

    Serious question: Is a drum scanner inherently better than a flat bed, given all (most) other factors being equal? Or, is it a matter that the old high end drum scanners were better than the present consumer flatbeds? I mean, if the Epson V750 "Pro" msrp's at $850, and you're willing to spend $2000, what could be done with a flat bed at the $2000 price point (that only needs to go up to 8x10 - I realize there are larger flat beds.)

  6. #6
    Format Omnivore Brian C. Miller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 1999
    Location
    Everett, WA
    Posts
    2,963

    Re: Making a New Modern Drum Scanner

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Petronio View Post
    What if 1,000 serious film photographer put down $1,000 deposits on a $2,000 price-point, Heathkit-style drum scanner?
    *shudder*

    I used to work for a manufacturer (yes, we had our own pick-and-place machines) and my boss designed part of the Intel 80386, and the company president wrote the book on the Intel i860, literally. I can see $2,000 in just parts alone, and the result would look ugly, to put it mildly.

    Hurdles: Focusing, stability, and speed. These are mechanical things. The "easy" stuff, like interface, is very simple: network connection. A 1-Gb network connection is easy and will be adaptable for at least a decade or two into the future.

    There has to be a lens assembly commercially available which can be actuated by stepper motors. The mechanics for the drum would probably have to be custom machined.

    And what about when it breaks down? Then you might have a $2000 hunkajunk and just hoping that somebody has some free time to help you out.

    $2000 can buy a really good flatbed scanner with decent film scanning performance.
    "It's the way to educate your eyes. Stare. Pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long." - Walker Evans

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    9,344

    Re: Making a New Modern Drum Scanner

    Yeah a drum scan will have less noise and be "clearer" with a little extra range. Not that you can't work with Epson scans - I do. There is always going to be a small market for people who want the best, but it will always be there too. An even bigger market is for the photographers who is willing to pay 2-3x what a good Epson costs.

    How is not something that could be manufactured in a clean garage?

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    1,329

    Re: Making a New Modern Drum Scanner

    Having operated them in the past, drum scanners were bitchy, painfully slow, required disgusting amounts of service and quite extraordinary amounts of consumables (Mylar sheets, fluid, cleaner, cleaning wipes and the odd drum and lamp ever so often). Nobody doing a run-of-the-mill scan service can still do that profitably on a drum scanner, and the few individuals still making money out of them have tweaked their scanners to perfection, and probably would not be inclined to switch to a new scanner built to meet a much lower price point...

    Currently the market is that saturated with old pro scanners that there is no profit in any new high end scanner development. Whenever there will be enough demand to start high end scanner building again, it will be in low numbers, and will probably take a entirely different direction - more like a 2D Imacon or those micro-movement enhanced medium format backs.

    A high quality macro lens, FF or APS-C sensor and a piezo base for micro stepping the sensor to multisample at a finer than raster pitch should today be capable of delivering above 100MP scans at pro digital camera quality, using current off-the-shelf components rather than anything proprietary or not made any more - which is essential if the thing must be affordable enough for enthusiasts and archivars rather than the advertising industry, and has to be made by the ten rather than the thousand.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    9,344

    Re: Making a New Modern Drum Scanner

    A high quality macro lens, FF or APS-C sensor and a piezo base for micro stepping the sensor to multisample at a finer than raster pitch should today be capable of delivering above 100MP scans at pro digital camera quality, using current off-the-shelf components rather than anything proprietary or not made any more.
    Most useful comment. So is anyone doing this or working on it yet? Or where do you buy it and how much does it cost?

    Isn't the drum scanner always going to have an advantage in dynamic range, unless they start to develop camera sensors with a greater-than-current range? Are there any roadblocks to getting a higher range than film out of a digital sensor? Or can you do a high and low exposure and combine them in HDR?

  10. #10
    Mike Anderson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    684

    Re: Making a New Modern Drum Scanner

    Quote Originally Posted by domaz View Post
    Well it seems older drum scanner used photomultiplier tubes. I'm betting you can't get those anymore. Newer ones use CCD arrays which are not easy for amateurs to deal with. It seems more practical to put a whole bunch of APS-C sensors on a device that can position them. You take one picture with the whole bunch of sensors, shift the sensors (because there will be borders between the sensors), take the picture again and stitch the result. If this could be done with an 8x10 cameras I'm sure the resulting digital image would be in the Gigapixel range easily.
    Yeah I'd throw a bunch of cheap sensors and a bunch of cheap computing power at the problem. I'd make everything static, just greatly overlap each sensor's image field and have the computer correct for lens inaccuracies, film curvature and average out the noise.

    ...Mike

Similar Threads

  1. Use a scanner or a DSLR to scan slides and negs
    By Rider in forum Digital Processing
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 3-May-2011, 11:01
  2. Replies: 27
    Last Post: 28-Dec-2010, 14:15
  3. Scanner comparisson page and drum scan limits?
    By l2oBiN in forum Digital Processing
    Replies: 72
    Last Post: 11-Sep-2010, 11:51
  4. Purchase drum Scanner or pay for scans
    By Dave Jeffery in forum Digital Hardware
    Replies: 50
    Last Post: 31-Dec-2007, 15:53
  5. Can an Enlarger and Flatbed Scanner be Used Together?
    By Michael Heald in forum Digital Processing
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 20-Sep-2006, 03:53

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •