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Thread: Drum scans in Montreal?

  1. #11
    MBrooks's Avatar
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    Re: Drum scans in Montreal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jody_S View Post
    Your side-by-side comparison has almost convinced me to buy Epson flatbed. Anyway, good to know you're out there, I've always wanted to try a drum scan of one of my negs.
    Haha! I haven't finished the comparison sections yet so stay tuned.

    Epson could easily make a better quality scanner, but they haven't bothered to update the design since 2006 other than some small changes. Their biggest flaw is the fixed focus as well as their fake resolution specs.. in reality it can resolve between 1600 to 2400ppi. They're not bad for sheet film—especially 8x10—but they aren't ideal for smaller formats.
    Last edited by MBrooks; 26-Nov-2019 at 20:34.
    Photo-based artist (matthewbrooks.info) / Drum scanning (studiomatthewbrooks.com) / Educator

  2. #12
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    Re: Drum scans in Montreal?

    Quote Originally Posted by MBrooks View Post
    Haha! I haven't finished the comparison sections yet so stay tuned.

    Epson could easily make a good quality scanner, but they haven't bothered to update the design since 2006 other than some small changes. It's biggest flaw is the fixed focus as well as their fake resolution specs.. in reality it can resolve between 1600 to 2400ppi. They're not bad for sheet film—especially 8x10—but they aren't ideal for smaller formats.
    I have a couple of HPs with similar specs to the Epsons, unfortunately they are also from the early '00s and I can't get the drivers to work with a 64-bit OS. That limits the size of my overall scan such that I can't scan an 8x10 at higher than 1200dpi without crashing the scan software. That's close to the optical resolution of the scanner, and if I'm upsampling I would rather do it with Photoshop than with a 20 year-old scanner driver, but it's still annoying. The only upside is that the HP costs $40 vs. the Epson's $850, and the HP has better dust removal (IMHO). It does leave me wondering how much of the image I'm leaving on the negative. I gather the drum scan does better with negs with high density areas, or high-contrast chromes.

    Anyway, I bookmarked your site, I will check back with you to see if you finish the comparisons, and your prices are certainly competitive.

  3. #13

    Re: Drum scans in Montreal?

    Quote Originally Posted by MBrooks View Post
    Super old thread, I realize.. but in case anyone comes across this thread and is looking for drum scans in Montreal, I've recently started offering a new scanning service with my Linotype-Hell (Heidelberg) ChromaGraph S3400. And my prices are much more reasonable than big labs in Montreal, Toronto, NYC etc.

    Studio Matthew Brooks (SMB), studiomatthewbrooks.com
    Congrats! Just checking your site, I would refrain from mentioning other labs - I get your point but its distasteful
    All the best with the venture, I wish I could fit that machine in my container.
    The Container Lab
    www.thecontainerlab.com/blog

  4. #14
    MBrooks's Avatar
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    Re: Drum scans in Montreal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jody_S View Post
    I have a couple of HPs with similar specs to the Epsons, unfortunately they are also from the early '00s and I can't get the drivers to work with a 64-bit OS. That limits the size of my overall scan such that I can't scan an 8x10 at higher than 1200dpi without crashing the scan software. That's close to the optical resolution of the scanner, and if I'm upsampling I would rather do it with Photoshop than with a 20 year-old scanner driver, but it's still annoying. The only upside is that the HP costs $40 vs. the Epson's $850, and the HP has better dust removal (IMHO). It does leave me wondering how much of the image I'm leaving on the negative. I gather the drum scan does better with negs with high density areas, or high-contrast chromes.

    Anyway, I bookmarked your site, I will check back with you to see if you finish the comparisons, and your prices are certainly competitive.
    Interesting! I've never worked with HP scanners before. At 1200ppi you are probably still getting "real" resolution from an 8x10, so as long as that's enough pixels for your print it should be fine. There are lots of advantages to drum scans—nearly zero flare, wet-mounting, very sharp output, no digital noise, wider gamut and more subtlety to the colours, greater depth and tonality—and I'd say that this applies equally to slides and negatives. In fact, most of what I'm scanning for clients (and myself) is colour neg; when drum scanned and inverted manually, it really comes alive and looks very different from most CCD scans.

    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. Hopefully it will be useful for the photo community at large, especially for those who don't have access to Imacon or drum scanners. My intent isn't to show "this is better than that" but rather to demonstrate the advantages and disadvantages of each scanning method in order to help photographers decide what level of quality (and price) suits the aims of their work. Eventually I'm hoping to expand the comparisons to include Fuji Frontier and Noritsu mini-lab scanners as well as other drum scanners like Howtek/Aztek models, maybe a small Screen too. I think real-world examples are the most valuable, not test charts, so that's my focus overall.

    Thanks for checking out the site– I'm hoping to have the V750 and Imacon comparisons finished and posted by January 2020.
    Photo-based artist (matthewbrooks.info) / Drum scanning (studiomatthewbrooks.com) / Educator

  5. #15
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    Re: Drum scans in Montreal?

    Quote Originally Posted by calebarchie View Post
    Congrats! Just checking your site, I would refrain from mentioning other labs - I get your point but its distasteful
    All the best with the venture, I wish I could fit that machine in my container.
    Hey Caleb– appreciate it, thank you! Love the project you're working on as well.

    I'm definitely walking a fine line, so I appreciate the feedback. Some of the comments apply mostly to the Canadian market where the only high quality drum scanning solutions are Toronto Image Works (TIW) and Photosynthèse in Montreal. The rest are running so-so equipment and given the prices (usually $1/MB), I really don't understand why anyone puts up with it. I'm not really afraid of pointing out the shortcomings of other services, I think it's important to understand what you're paying for and how it stacks up. There's nothing wrong with Howtek scanners whatsoever, but the scans aren't worth 3-500.00 CAD each. The ultimate goal of the website is education and resources for photographers, artists, students, educators, etc. so I'll do my best to remain respectful.
    Last edited by MBrooks; 27-Nov-2019 at 11:05. Reason: Edited for clarity
    Photo-based artist (matthewbrooks.info) / Drum scanning (studiomatthewbrooks.com) / Educator

  6. #16
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    Re: Drum scans in Montreal?

    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.

  7. #17
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    Re: Drum scans in Montreal?

    By the way I have been testing the Phase One system against both systems I own recently and the results are kind of interesting , but need to do much more before I form an opinion.

  8. #18
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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.
    Hi Bob,

    Thanks for your reply. I absolutely agree that the operator is the most important element to any scan, hence why bad drum scans are easily beaten by good Imacon scans even though they're inferior scanners. Especially when dealing with colour negatives there is a huge amount of interpretation involved, as you know. I have no doubt that scans made on your Eversmart Supreme are excellent– they are the best flatbeds ever made and I much prefer them to Imacons or small drum scanners like the Aztek. The results of your test don't surprise me at all. The Aztek's in particular are overhyped and I'll take the output of a high-end flatbed like yours or a Tango any day of the week.
    Photo-based artist (matthewbrooks.info) / Drum scanning (studiomatthewbrooks.com) / Educator

  9. #19
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    Re: Drum scans in Montreal?

    Quote Originally Posted by bob carnie View Post
    By the way I have been testing the Phase One system against both systems I own recently and the results are kind of interesting , but need to do much more before I form an opinion.
    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.
    Photo-based artist (matthewbrooks.info) / Drum scanning (studiomatthewbrooks.com) / Educator

  10. #20
    bob carnie's Avatar
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    Re: Drum scans in Montreal?

    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.

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