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Thread: In 2019 where are we at with drum scanners?

  1. #21
    Steven Ruttenberg's Avatar
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    Re: In 2019 where are we at with drum scanners?

    I am still looking into a way to digital scan with dslr. The big issue is you need 3-axis capability with way to set/hold camera optical axis perfectly perpendicular in all directions to the film. I would wet mount the film and use ANR glass as well. Color balance are correct even illumination is also paramount. But the 3-axis set up is the trickiest part.

  2. #22
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    Re: In 2019 where are we at with drum scanners?

    No need to start the discussion from scratch. There are several related threads in the DIY subforum under the titles "DSLR Scanner: (subtopic)", with extensive discussion of the different components required to implement DSLR-based scanning and technical challenges and solutions related to the respective components.

  3. #23

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    Re: In 2019 where are we at with drum scanners?

    Wow Pere,
    Impressive to see the comparative results!
    I need to work at getting more out of my epson v800.
    I usually scan on the glass platen, did not see a difference with the holders.
    But when film curls, I can't always flatten it out well.

    I did a test where I did a couple of Epson scans & had the same film drum scanned.
    The Epson scans were not that bad after tweaking with an unsharp mask.
    My expectations were that the Epson would be totally crushed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pere Casals View Post
    For 35mm work it will perform better a cheap Plustek 8000 or 7000 series than the expensive 120, regarding resolving power. Built qulity of the 120 should be more Pro, I feel...

    Then if one wants to scan LF a good combination may be a having a Plustek 8000 and a V850, this is cheaper than a single Plustek 120, you make from 35mm to 8x10", and you only have a bit less performance for MF.

    Some reviews around the web are flawed, because not editing each scan to it's best, it's true that the EPSON has less automatic image enhancing and scans always need some Ps work, but this is not necessarily bad IMHO, me I prefer departing from a rawer situation.

    If you see this review: https://prosophos.com/2014/02/07/eps...s-plustek-120/
    https://web.archive.org/web/*/https:...s-plustek-120/

    First it happens that the images have tone, none is gray, the PLustek 120 is way better:

    Attachment 186269

    But with little edition we can nearly match the results:

    Attachment 186268

    Anyway if one has a lot of MF then the 120 is the dedicated tool of choice... of course.

  4. #24

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    Re: In 2019 where are we at with drum scanners?

    Quote Originally Posted by Serge S View Post
    The Epson scans were not that bad after tweaking with an unsharp mask.
    Serge, in general a expensive drum (or other Pro systems) does an image optimization than even removes some blur from the capture itself, you may see the scan sharper than it is in the negative itself, seen with a magnifier, also it manages amazing contrast and color enhancings.

    The EPSONs are not Pro, they are prosumer perhaps. They lack that automation level.

    Automatic sharpening has to be made with very intelligent algorithms, because depending on the gray level (and etc) there is a need to adjust the settings (strength, radious, etc...) locally to shapen a lot without producing overshots (and etc...).

    An EPSON is not as smart, it always delivers a rawer output. This is not necessarily a practical shortcoming: if we want to do our own job in the edition then we may prefer the rawest possible image.

    Absolutely there is no doubt than a drum is an amazingly superior machine than any Flatbed, but if we can only pay a 2000dpi drum scan for a 8x10 sheet (see price for higher dpi !!!), and the medium has no extreme densities...

    Drum scanners have a tought competition, in one side dedicated roll film scanners make a good job, in the other side flatbed scanners do a good enough job for LF, remarkably the V850 for 8x10, with no wet mounting need...

    This places the drums in a narrow niche, they are spared for cases with extreme high densities, and when we have a technically perfect shot and wanting to extract all information from it.

    As (member) Ken Lee noted several times, it's cheaper, higher Q and faster to shot 5x7 and scanning with an EPSON than shooting 4x5 and drum scanning, (if no dense velvia in the middle, of course...)

    In the scanning/edition the weakest link is the operator...

  5. #25

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    Re: In 2019 where are we at with drum scanners?

    it's cheaper, higher Q and faster to shot 5x7 and scanning with an EPSON than shooting 4x5 and drum scanning, (if no dense velvia in the middle, of course...)

    On the other hand, a drum scan of a 5 x 7 is even better. I had Lenny Eiger drum scan a couple of 5 x 7 and 8 x 10 negs once. Really nice. But in the end I got an IQsmart 2 because of the workload simplicity and a 5 x 7 (or larger) scanned on the IQsmart is still really nice.

    Aside from that little quibble I agree with what you're saying

  6. #26

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    Re: In 2019 where are we at with drum scanners?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Andrada View Post
    I had Lenny Eiger drum scan a couple of 5 x 7 and 8 x 10 negs once. Really nice. But in the end I got an IQsmart 2
    Jim, at 4300 optical performance, an IQsmart 2 may take 1.5 gigapixels from the 8x10 surface, a drum even can take more, but in a very sharp 8x10 medium we may have worth 600MPix, this is some 2500 effective dpi. Also many 8x10 shots are not 600Mpix worth by far, as with all cameras, one thing is shooting flat charts in a lab and another one is practical photography of 3D scenes... an average 8x10 negative may have around 2000 dpi in the perfectly focused areas

    An EPSON may take only 300 or 400 MPix from a 8x10 medium, anyway still this is an insane amount of image quality that will fulfill needs for crazy big prints...

    My view is that there are shots deserving a drum scanning or an IQsmart job, because the shot is exceptionally good, (technically and aesthetically) and we want to crop, or we want a monster print...

    There is something that always benefits a digital image, this is a very skilled Ps user having solid criterions for the aesthetics and for the art !!! There are some people around that's able to visualize a sound score, and with few clicks nail an amazing interpretation, not being intrusive if they want. I guess that this is an scarce profile...

    Anyway it looks that Sally Mann is right now teaching around (exhibiting) how to craft an impressive work. IMHO digitalization is very important for LF, but at the same time we should keep an eye in the rear-mirror...

  7. #27

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    Re: In 2019 where are we at with drum scanners?

    Hi Pere

    I also do a lot of MF - maybe more than LF lately, so the IQsmart works out really well for me since I can get a roll or two of 120 or maybe a roll of 120 and a couple of 4 x 5's or 5 x 7's on the bed at the same time, set up the scan parameters for each image independently, hit start after dinner, and look at the results in the morning. It's not all just about resolution.
    Last edited by Jim Andrada; 11-Jan-2019 at 17:25.

  8. #28

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    Re: In 2019 where are we at with drum scanners?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Andrada View Post
    set up the scan, hit start after dinner, and look at the results in the morning. It's not all just about resolution.
    Yes, it's really boring waiting for an scanner to end. Anyway one may be editing images while the scanner is working... but the press and go it's nice.

  9. #29

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    Re: In 2019 where are we at with drum scanners?

    Pere,

    I used to always get my stuff drum scanned if it was used for a commercial project (brochure).
    It was the gold standard. Now there are so many options.
    I started to shoot more 5x7 since I had the back & it's so much fun to scan.
    The bigger the neg, the easier I find it is.
    The larger negs sit better & flatter for me also.
    120 film is harder on the epson.
    I tried dslr scanning but like the workflow better with the epson

    Quote Originally Posted by Pere Casals View Post
    Serge, in general a expensive drum (or other Pro systems) does an image optimization than even removes some blur from the capture itself, you may see the scan sharper than it is in the negative itself, seen with a magnifier, also it manages amazing contrast and color enhancings.

    The EPSONs are not Pro, they are prosumer perhaps. They lack that automation level.

    Automatic sharpening has to be made with very intelligent algorithms, because depending on the gray level (and etc) there is a need to adjust the settings (strength, radious, etc...) locally to shapen a lot without producing overshots (and etc...).

    An EPSON is not as smart, it always delivers a rawer output. This is not necessarily a practical shortcoming: if we want to do our own job in the edition then we may prefer the rawest possible image.

    Absolutely there is no doubt than a drum is an amazingly superior machine than any Flatbed, but if we can only pay a 2000dpi drum scan for a 8x10 sheet (see price for higher dpi !!!), and the medium has no extreme densities...

    Drum scanners have a tought competition, in one side dedicated roll film scanners make a good job, in the other side flatbed scanners do a good enough job for LF, remarkably the V850 for 8x10, with no wet mounting need...

    This places the drums in a narrow niche, they are spared for cases with extreme high densities, and when we have a technically perfect shot and wanting to extract all information from it.

    As (member) Ken Lee noted several times, it's cheaper, higher Q and faster to shot 5x7 and scanning with an EPSON than shooting 4x5 and drum scanning, (if no dense velvia in the middle, of course...)

    In the scanning/edition the weakest link is the operator...

  10. #30

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    Re: In 2019 where are we at with drum scanners?

    Quote Originally Posted by Serge S View Post
    The bigger the neg, the easier I find it is.
    The larger negs sit better & flatter for me also.
    120 film is harder on the epson.
    Yes, the EPSON has no optical zoom system. A V850 has not bad two lenses, the one that covers 5.9" is resolving around 3000 dpi in the full scan width, resulting in some effective 2800dpi in Hor axis, the Vert axis resolves less (2300) suposedly because of vibrations (etc) in the carriage driving and belts, ...but with 120 film the V850 only uses 1/3 of the scan width, being a suboptimal result, if EPSON would have mounted a narrower lens to take 4" a better performance for 4x5 and 120 would be there, but only one 120 strip would fit, or two 35mm strips. Also a better Y carriage driving would be required.


    Speaking about drums, one interesting issue is film cubic grain, personally I love grain and I find that scanning well the classic films' grain structure is nice, an EPSON oversamples by 200% the effective resolving power so it's inmune to moire and aliasing, but because lower ultimate resolving power it's more difficult to get the grain shape. When we scan with a drum or other top hires scanner, resolving power is not as limited by the lens, but by the pixel density, this shapes better the grains but then we have aliasing for the grains in the pixel size range...

    This effect is also seen in DSLRs, some models sacrifice resolving power by incorporating an optical low pass filters on the sensor, perventing moiré (etc), D610 and D800 for example. But today some people buy based on DXO like lab ratings rather from practical results, so they removed the OLPF in the D810, D850, D3400... a motivation is that with such a high pixel density the OLPF is less needed because the optical perfomance of the lens in practical conditions is likely to limit the resolving power, so OLPF is less necessary.

    This is translated to scanners... an scanner may be more optically limited or more pixel size limited... In the case of drums sensor aperture can be selected, sure drum designers found that for some some jobs a different discretization strategy was required...

    A flatbed with a zoom system (Creo, Cezane) can zoom out for the same effect.

    But IMHO the operator/edition is the most critical component, well used software may make miracles if having a criterion to use it in the right way. Some drum operators are able to deliver an incredible image from a 2000 dpi scan, with also amazing color management. Other's may make a botched job from an effective 6500dpi image, with all sorts of deffects, including a not sharp result in the print. And some customers may not notice it at all. (me the first one...)

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