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Thread: Drum scans in Montreal?

  1. #21
    bob carnie's Avatar
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    Re: Drum scans in Montreal?

    Quote Originally Posted by MBrooks View Post
    I am also in touch with B3K and will be performing some comparisons, very interested to see the results. I have no doubt that their system will surpass an Imacon but I'm curious to see how it will stack up against good drum scans or high-end flatbeds.
    I think you will be surprised... but am quite interested in hearing your initial thoughts.

  2. #22

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    Re: Drum scans in Montreal?

    Quote Originally Posted by MBrooks View Post
    I've spent the last six months or so making scanning comparisons with a V750, Imacon 848 + X1, and the ChromaGraph S3400. It's been a huge project but my goal is to publish a relatively objective comparison between the three scanning methods.
    If you want contact copies of a USAF 1951 glass slide on ADOX CMS 20 film to evaluate what the drum and the X does, compared with the Epson, then please contact me by PM.
    Last edited by Pere Casals; 27-Nov-2019 at 12:24.

  3. #23
    MBrooks's Avatar
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    Re: Drum scans in Montreal?

    Quote Originally Posted by bob carnie View Post
    I am located in Canada and use a Imocan , and Creo Eversmart Supreme, and have been placing work in museums / gallery's now for over 35 years.. I have done extensive testing on all the machines you mention and and other drum machines including the Aztek. My conclusion is the operator's understanding of the marketplace and the ability to place tones is the most important element and basically levels all the machines.. I find it kind of amusing you have slammed some pretty fine printmakers in your posts , who do not get overwhelmed with scanner performance but rather put prints on walls.

    We did a test of 5 scanners with reputable operators from different locations throughout North America.
    The test was done on the same original colour negative , each operator knew they were being tested. Once we got back the files we matched areas of the prints at 40 x 50 magnification strips and made 5 prints. Over a couple of years we allowed photographers to pick their favourite in order of sharpness and over all tonality . Results.. Creo and Aztec got a slightly higher pick Imocan second to these . the results were kind of surprising since we believed that the Aztec was going to be the flat out winner... We used two Aztec labs btw and the manufacturer of Creo in Michigan.... As a result I bought the Creo and have been quite happy... Maybe this is why the Montreal clientele who have been spoiled by your amazing work do not come here.?? tongue in cheek. This topic is Silver Bullet Chasing and most of us who have been professionally printing have been down this path many times. I hope you do not start doing black and white processing , you may start poo pooing all the other labs with your new concoctions.
    Also, just wanted to clarify my initial comment. I was referring specifically to drum scanning services in Canada and was not referring to your services whatsoever. Sorry if it came across that way. If you've been printing and scanning for 35 years, I have no doubt that your work is excellent.. especially running an Eversmart Supreme.
    Photo-based artist (matthewbrooks.info) / Drum scanning (studiomatthewbrooks.com) / Educator

  4. #24
    MBrooks's Avatar
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    Re: Drum scans in Montreal?

    Quote Originally Posted by bob carnie View Post
    This discussion is Classic for the forums... I do not think Brassai cared that someone else's optics were better or worst, same goes for almost great artists who use photography as their medium. It boils down to what is going on the wall, if sharpness , dmax ect were the ultimate goal we would only print in Silver , but we are all aware there are hundreds of processes available that excite the viewer of photography.

    I have been printing for clients who used the Canon SLR digital system for years , but most switched to the high end Phase and Hasselblad systems to make their 8ft ink on paper prints . I see the need and I see the resolution difference in this jump up in systems, but frankly who scans film these days?? and for who. I suggest that colour film is almost a dying breed with many labs so far out of process control that the films themselves carry cross curves that are almost impossible to eliminate.
    No matter what scanner you use this is something we are being cursed with right now. I ran film for very good labs in the good old days and I can say that I am not aware of any labs running plots like Colourgenics or Steichanlab did.
    I do a lot of archive work on old film and frankly some of it I could use a coke bottle as a lens and get good results.. I am sad to see the Imocan's leaving support in the marketplace as IMHO they are really the cats ass for 90 % of printing needs.

    I insist on work that is to be printed by me that I scan the work myself, basically so I can control the process from start to finish and not have someone else using a ham fisted approach to reproduction and leaving me with poor options to make a great print. It is funny , the Creo screams and yells as it is working but in fact the result is worth the pain of hearing it complain.
    I agree with most of what you're saying, Bob. I think we're on the same page re: sharpness/DMax being much less important than the work on the wall. I'll agree to disagree on the Imacon, but they are good quality scanners no doubt.

    I have experienced the exact same issues with film processing– cross curves everywhere. It is very difficult to avoid these days. The best service I have found so far is Duggal in NYC, I send all of my 8x10 there and it's been quite good so far. I've had intermittent issues with Borealis and TIW in terms of streaks and uneven C41 dev, but they are both very kind and understanding.. the issues just don't seem to be improving.

    I have worked with a Creo iQSmart 2 and I know exactly the sounds to which you're referring.. they love to sing!
    Photo-based artist (matthewbrooks.info) / Drum scanning (studiomatthewbrooks.com) / Educator

  5. #25

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    Re: Drum scans in Montreal?

    Quote Originally Posted by MBrooks View Post
    ....
    Matthew, I've been reading your V750 vs Drum side by side (https://studiomatthewbrooks.com/Epso...s-drum-scanner) and I've some objections.



    "a V700, V800, or V850 which all use the same sensor and optical design since 2006. Epson’s older 4990 model is also quite similar and would likely produce nearly equal results."

    You omit that the 4990 has a single lens covering all, while the V700 has two lenses, a high res covering only 5.9" lens is included with focus placed just in the film plane. This allows some 70% more effective pixels in the same negative (per area), only 8x10 is scanned with similar quality than with the 4990, 5x7" and down have a remarkable enhacement in a V700.




    COLOR="#0000FF"]"Overall the Epson V750 scan renders cyan/green in both the shadows and highlights due in part to Epson Scan’s poor negative inversion." [/COLOR]

    The Epson inversion is the good one, it shows what the negative has. This is artificial illumination, probably with Xenon type industrial bulbs that are higher in kelvin, the V750 inversion was perfect, the Drum image has a auto-BW modification, do the same with the epson scan and you'll have matching colors.

    The V750 is an IT8 calibrated machine and it nails all patches one by one. The V750 lamp requires calibrations from time to time, a color target is supplied for that. A V850 that has a LED illuminator that it does not require calibrations. The Epson has been praised for its supreme color negative inversion, in fact Epson is a multinational with an strong leadership in color jet printing, not by chance, they have world class color technicians in legions.






    "At 100% magnification, it’s clear that the Epson V750 cannot resolve 3200ppi even though it is well within its stated specifications."

    The Epson resolves 2900 in the vertical axis and 2300 in the vertical if scanning at 6400, you have to scan at 4200 and reduce later to 3200. The drum won't resolve 3200 at 3200, you always have a minium of a 20% loss from sampling density to effective, Nyquist-Shannon, so any 3200 spi (samples per inch) acquisition is limited to around 2600 effective. Also the Epson image may always require an additional light sharpening to get its best, expensive scanners do that in hardware or in the software automaticly.

    Anyway, being a cheapo flatbed, it is not that bad with the required slight sharpening:





    Nearly all roll film exhibits small scratches, either from the transport mechanism of the camera or handling before/after processing. As shown above, dust and scratches are painfully visible when using dry scanning methods such as the Epson V750 or Imacon (Flextight).



    Just use ICE infrared feature to correct all scratches and dust, it makes a perfect automated job, also use a cheap HEPA purifier to eliminate dust in the air. With the Drum you take the work of wet mounting and with the EPSON you don't want to use a cheap purifier that elimiates all dust in the dry work without having to wet mount... Dry scan with HEPA and ICE and later compare.




    With a steep curve applied to the shadows of the V750 scan, a small amount of detail is recovered with a heavy cyan cast. Overall, the shadows appear empty and the pile of furs loses some three-dimensionality. The very high contrast look of the V750 scan is simply a reflection of the scanner’s shortcomings, rather than the negative.



    Don't tell me that you scan with the Epson with auto exposure !!! This is to make a presentable image that clips enough in the extremes to have presentable mids. With the Epson you take all the histogram and in Ps you decide what you do with the curve. With negative film the V750 gets the same shadows than a drum because density is low and this is no challenge, it is with very dense slide film that the Epson may require multi-exposure to recover shadows.

    With the Epsonou may select any curve (beyond the too steep one) for automated scans, or use Silverfast, it comes for free with the Epson...


    Finally....

    In the Epson scan, you have clipped, oversaturared and provocated banding by editing in 8bits !!!! How cannot compare after editing the Epson image that bad !!!



    Left arrow shows a saturated flat cyan, from clipping in the (scanner exposure) histogram. That crop has not been sharpened

    The arrow in the middle shows banding, this comes from having edited the image in 8bits, which is a totally botched job for somebody owning a drum.

    If you want, send me that negative and I'll show you how a V850 is used.
    Last edited by Pere Casals; 28-Nov-2019 at 03:02. Reason: More polite

  6. #26
    MBrooks's Avatar
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    Re: Drum scans in Montreal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pere Casals View Post
    ...
    Hi Pere,

    Thanks for your reply, but it's clearly off-topic for this thread re: drum scanning services in Montreal. I simply included a link to my new service on an old thread. I asked the mods before doing this and feel like it was relatively discrete.

    The scanning comparisons are not finished or published in their entirety, but if you'd like to discuss feel free to PM me. Just a couple notes re: the above:

    1) The drum scan was scanned as a positive and inverted manually, no "auto WB" or other enhancements were performed. And yes, the manual inversion is better than the V750 inversion.

    2) I agree that the V750 is not bad at all with some sharpening, but the two scans are compared as-is since that is the most direct comparison. If you sharpen the V750 scan, also sharpen the drum scan and you'll see how the same disparity exists. The drum scanner does not do any hardware sharpening and the neg was scanned using SilverFast's 48-bit HDR mode which has zero sharpening applied. No sharpening was added in PS to either scan, later I will add a sharpened comparison.

    3) The V750 scan could have been improved with the wet mounting system, I agree, but I don't have access to one and most users are dry scanning so that level of dust is quite normal. I already have filtered air and negs were cleaned before/after scanning as well using compressed air. Point taken re: ICE.

    4) Auto exposure was not used, levels were adjusted in Epson Scan to scan flat and not clip any information. Of course the V750 can resolve the dynamic range of most negatives, but software inversion is not perfect for every negative and the only way to truly preserve all of the information is to manually invert it. Similar issues exist with the Imacon's default inversion, so manual inversion is always best if you have the eye for it. ColorPerfect also works quite well. I agree that it would be a more direct comparison if both were inverted in the same way, but the average Epson flatbed user is not manually inverting their negs from perfectly linear 16-bit scans so it doesn't really seem realistic.. I have no doubt that an expert Epson user could get better results, but these are roughly equivalent to average results for a home user.

    5) Every file was scanned in 16-bit and edited in 16-bit. Of course the drum can capture a wider range of colour than a consumer scanner, but the V750 still does okay to my eyes. They were, however, converted to sRGB for web viewing so that is enough to clip some information in the most saturated colours (in both scans, actually). Keep in mind that this is Ektar, the colours are intense and unfortunately I can't post examples in AdobeRGB or uncompressed TIFFs. They are compressed JPEGs in sRGB so they do have flaws, but I'm not interested in paying for hosting for people around the world to download huge TIFFs from me.

    In any case, this is off-topic for this thread and if you'd like to discuss further, please PM me. Eventually I will make a post on LFPF with examples in multiple film formats for the V750, Imacon 848 and X1, and the ChromaGraph S3400. I have spent a lot of time on these comparisons and I'm hoping that they will be useful to the photo community at large, so please be respectful. I'm not saying that the V750 is a bad scanner at all, but it should also be obvious to you that a top of the line drum scanner performs better than a $1000 consumer scanner.
    Photo-based artist (matthewbrooks.info) / Drum scanning (studiomatthewbrooks.com) / Educator

  7. #27
    MBrooks's Avatar
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    Re: Drum scans in Montreal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pere Casals View Post
    If you want contact copies of a USAF 1951 glass slide on ADOX CMS 20 film to evaluate what the drum and the X does, compared with the Epson, then please contact me by PM.
    This would be excellent by the way, please send me a PM and we can coordinate.
    Photo-based artist (matthewbrooks.info) / Drum scanning (studiomatthewbrooks.com) / Educator

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