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Thread: Howtek 4500-Questions-Software, Comparisons, Etc.

  1. #21

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    Re: Howtek 4500-Questions-Software, Comparisons, Etc.

    [QUOTE=Lenny Eiger;403270]
    Last month people on this forum said wonderful things about prints from Walmart. /QUOTE]

    That was Costco, not Walmart.

    Don Bryant

  2. #22

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    Re: Howtek 4500-Questions-Software, Comparisons, Etc.

    [QUOTE=D. Bryant;403284]
    Quote Originally Posted by Lenny Eiger View Post
    Last month people on this forum said wonderful things about prints from Walmart. /QUOTE]

    That was Costco, not Walmart.

    Don Bryant
    I stand corrected.

    Perhaps useful, just not museum quality.

    Lenny
    EigerStudios
    Museum Quality Drum Scanning and Printing

  3. #23

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    Re: Howtek 4500-Questions-Software, Comparisons, Etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Van Camper View Post
    Hi Lenny, I do agree with what you're saying, and a high end drum scanner will outperform. But at the same time I also believe so long as you're using big negatives .... So I guess it boils down to one thing>>enlargement size desired. If you considering over 8x, then go for a drum.
    There are obviously things that can be done with large negs on lesser scanner. I'm not sure I would go as far as 8x, or that I would use a consumer machine vs a pro one, but there is definitely some wiggle room here.

    Of course, I have this drum scanner that I scan for others on - I obviously am going to use it myself...

    Quote Originally Posted by Van Camper View Post
    I also learned something, that you are interested in the very best work. All my scans on drums have been off a Tango, so next time the need for a really big print comes along I will consider your service.
    Whenever you're ready... you'd be welcome.

    Quote Originally Posted by Van Camper View Post
    I think your rating of the IQ2/3 at 3175 is wrong. I find it interesting that most museums are using an IQ3, when they could afford the best.
    I think manufacturer's claims are extremely hard to navigate. I think the only way to figure out which one meets your needs is to have test scans done on each machine in question by an expert operator. Many folks that use flatbeds spend a lot of time learning their sharpening techniques. Good technique can make up for a lot of imperfect scanning - or at least look like it does. It's very hard to quantify what one is losing, has a lot to do with what kinds of prints are being made, etc.

    As far as museums go, your comment reminds me of my wife shopping for food early in our relationship. She would often buy something in the meat/fish counter like a piece of salmon wrapped around something, or some other prepared object. Invariably, I always grimace while eating it. I am an amateur cook myself and it was almost always horrible. Whole Foods has some of the worst cooking one can imagine. Sorry for the digression - but she trusts these people to make food better than she can. In fact, they don't. My point is that museums are some of the worst offenders. These people have forced the worst photography upon us for the last 20 years, often in the name of Post-Modernism. There are some notable and appreciated exceptions, but most museums don't deserve any respect whatsoever - especially from this crowd. I will stop before - they should all be line up and shot - but I do hate what they have done to photography, the market, galleries, etc. So I am not surprised they can't choose a decent scanner. I've actually been involved in negotiations with a museum in San Francisco about a scanner and the decision wasn't based on the facts or needs but on political issues.


    Quote Originally Posted by Van Camper View Post
    I have been pushing two main points. First, film is not dead, as I explained earlier it has become a pro medium for those that understand its virtues.
    I sure hope you are right...

    Quote Originally Posted by Van Camper View Post
    Second, 612/617 in combination with a Nikon 9000/8000 is a very affordable choice to enter into large format landscape photography. When 4x5 is cropped your down to 612 anyways, and save almost 2/3 in film and processing costs.
    We are talking about Art here. Cost is not really an issue. None of us could justify 1/10th of what we do by financial analysis. Medium format is very different form a view camera. You are talking about square inches of film and whatnot, but the real difference is the way of working, approaching a subject, one piece of film a t a time, etc. It's very different.

    Quote Originally Posted by Van Camper View Post
    For the few times you need a more square ratio you can use a V700 Epson flatbed or rent time on a Imacon 848. For others doing larger format the Cezanne, IQ2/3, Eversmart series are great options for superb quality, and unless you need prints 30x40 and larger, you can get fantastic results which the pros in here are also using. Implying only a Premier scanner is good enough, or implying we all need drum scans just turns off new comers to large format, either because of the higher cost of drum scanning, or the inconvenience.
    Here's the meat of it. I do NOT want to imply that a drum scan is the only thing good enough. However, when you use the words "superb quality", "fantastic results" and the like, how is it that you would describe the step in quality, presumably represented by a drum scanner, that is higher than that. The results are not the same, they are different, there is no question. If an IQ3 is "fantastic", then what is a Premier - "super fantastic?

    There are certainly levels of quality. Some people want more than a flatbed will deliver. I am not going to say they are wrong, either. How is it that one would describe those levels if the middle is superb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Van Camper View Post
    Good luck with your scanning service. Hope to use it soon.
    Thank you,

    Lenny
    EigerStudios
    Museum Quality Drum Scanning and Printing

  4. #24

  5. #25

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    Re: Howtek 4500-Questions-Software, Comparisons, Etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by 8x10 user View Post
    I found these links to be interesting.
    I find them to be less than useful. Once again, a manufacturer wants to make claims regarding optical resolution that are clearly false.

    Lenny
    EigerStudios
    Museum Quality Drum Scanning and Printing

  6. #26

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    Re: Howtek 4500-Questions-Software, Comparisons, Etc.

    I'm not sure, I have done 5,600 PPI microfilm scans with the Eversmart Supreme and I thought every pixel contained valuable resolving detail. I didn't see any pixel spill over or softness when viewing the "actual pixels". The scans were fluid mounted on a brand new base glass, I used the MaxDR function and the final image had no detectable noise, and almost no grain.

  7. #27

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    Re: Howtek 4500-Questions-Software, Comparisons, Etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by 8x10 user View Post
    I'm not sure, I have done 5,600 PPI microfilm scans with the Eversmart Supreme and I thought every pixel contained valuable resolving detail. I didn't see any pixel spill over or softness when viewing the "actual pixels". The scans were fluid mounted on a brand new base glass, I used the MaxDR function and the final image had no detectable noise, and almost no grain.
    I you have good results, that's great. The Air Force test target is what people use to compare things with. My sources tell me that their claims are false, with the optical at roughly 3200. I don't have the time to test these things myself... PMT also has other benefits in addition to resolution, that the CCD type scanner cannot match. That's basic physics.

    I have never liked Kodak as a company, and don't automatically trust them. Of course, as I said, if you have great results that's what matters. Of course, it begs the question of what things would look like on a high end drum, how would it be different?

    Lenny
    EigerStudios
    Museum Quality Drum Scanning and Printing

  8. #28

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    Re: Howtek 4500-Questions-Software, Comparisons, Etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenny Eiger View Post
    I you have good results, that's great. The Air Force test target is what people use to compare things with. My sources tell me that their claims are false, with the optical at roughly 3200. I don't have the time to test these things myself... PMT also has other benefits in addition to resolution, that the CCD type scanner cannot match. That's basic physics.

    I have never liked Kodak as a company, and don't automatically trust them. Of course, as I said, if you have great results that's what matters. Of course, it begs the question of what things would look like on a high end drum, how would it be different?

    Lenny

    Lenny,

    I am familiar with the results that Aztek posted on various scanners. I don’t think that the comparison is fair or accurate. Like I said before my own results shows that it lives up to stated resolution. My guess is that who ever did the scan for Aztek was inexperienced or did not understand the scans purpose. There are a number of things that could of caused a bad result

    *The scan may not of been done with the MaxDr on which would of really hurt the D-range

    *The Scan may have been done at a lower resolution

    *The scanner has a grain removal setting which it can default too if not set properly, the features works be physically unfocsing the image. This is ideal for screened images but really should be turned off for other work. At 5,600 the default setting is near its maximum.

    *There could have been a focusing error caused by dust hair or scratches in or around the film/glass

    *The scan may of not been oil mounted which would seriously effect image quality in a large number of ways.

    *There could have been dust, on the lens or other optics

    If you want you could send me an ortho-microfilm target to scan to see what my results are.

    This debate may be a little off topic because an Eversmart Supreme would certainly cost a lot more then a howtek 4500 but still I think that your claim that howtek 4500 is going to beat every CCD scanner in the world is accurate.

    I have heard a lot of strange theories about the drum vs CCD debate. Some claim that all CCD scanners are flawed because a larger section of the film is illumined. As if it caused the light from different sections of the image to strike the sample pixel on the CCD. That would be the case if the scanner did not have a lens. Of course without a lens there would be not image forming light to scan unless the array was very very close to the film so that it could “contact scan” the image. The lens in the scanner prevents pixel contamination from light from different sections of the film by “sorting” the light by the direction it came from rather then where it was heading to.

    To really understand what makes the Eversmart supreme so good you have to know all of the factors in a CCD scanner that can lead to image degradation.

    One factor is the known as CCD blooming. These is when a ray of light hits the CCD then is absorbed by the atoms in the CCD. Some of the atoms will rereleases this energy in the form of new light. The Eversmart Supreme has the most expensive antiblooming CCD array of all of the flatbed scanners.

    A second factor is optical flare, which is caused by uncoated, scratched, or dirty optics. I did notice some light scattering with my old antireflective baseglass however when I upgraded to a new oil mounting glass I never saw the problem again.

    A third factor is CCD noise. The Eversmart Supreme is one of a few scanners that features an actively cooled CCD array; this improves sensitivity while reducing noise. At smaller apertures the amount of light that a drum scanners PMT receives is really quite small. Small amounts of light mean small signals from the pmt. With most electronics Background noise (from electromagitic radiation and such) remains a constant level, generally, extremely low singles are avoided because the outside inference is more noticeable. Its like trying to listen to a radio station when the single is not strong enough. There is too much static and when you increase the volume you only increase the noise. One of the best features of the Eversmart is the maxDR setting, which scans film multiple times at different exposures then combines the data to create a scan with incredibly high dynamic range and virtually no noise. You cannot change the scanners exposure with a pmt scanner, you can boost the single strength (which amplifies noise) or you could use a more sensitive PMT. The howtek 4500 was on the low end of the drum scanners and don’t think it had the best possible components however the Eversmart Surpeme was meant to be the best possible flatbed scanner without any regard to costs.

    All of the Eversmart line of scanners use the kodaks 8000 line trilinear sensor. Some scanners use a sensor with more lines however in order to increase the sensor density they have to reduce the size of each individual sensor which increase noise while reducing sensitivity (for example compare full frame to smaller framed digital cameras). The Kodak trilinear sensor is very highly regarded. Most of the highend flatbeds and the new imacons use it. It is also the same sensor used by betterlight however theirs is not actively cooled.

    The four factor is the scanning resolution which with the eversmart is achieve with a very very good lens and a xy system that allows the scanner to scan large piece of film in smaller sections.

    The fifth factor is comes from how well the image data is handled after it leaves the CCD. The Eversmart supreme is a true 16 bit scanner from analog to digital conversion through image processing and straight to the final file. All the components are top notch a single board in the Eversmart can cost more then 5k to replace. I think this is another reason why it is going to produce better results then a low-end drum scanner.

    I decided to start a new thread entitled Eversmart vs drum scanners & Aztek plateau. Please post your responses to this message there.

  9. #29

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    Re: Howtek 4500-Questions-Software, Comparisons, Etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by 8x10 user View Post
    Lenny,

    I am familiar with the results that Aztek posted on various scanners. I don’t think that the comparison is fair or accurate. Like I said before my own results shows that it lives up to stated resolution. My guess is that who ever did the scan for Aztek was inexperienced or did not understand the scans purpose. There are a number of things that could of caused a bad result

    This debate may be a little off topic because an Eversmart Supreme would certainly cost a lot more then a howtek 4500 but still I think that your claim that Howtek 4500 is going to beat every CCD scanner in the world is accurate.

    I have heard a lot of strange theories about the drum vs CCD debate.
    I decided to start a new thread entitled Eversmart vs drum scanners & Aztek plateau. Please post your responses to this message there.
    I think it is difficult to get good data. The tests at Scannerforum were done by someone independent, but I don't know much more that that.

    I think the issue for me is the abilities of a PMT sensor vs a CCD, rather than a 4500 vs a flatbed. From what I understand, the PMT has a similar effect to an audio amplifier which stretches out the light and increases its sensitivity. I need/want a lot of sensitivity because I can't get as much out of black and white film as I used to. Frankly, experiments with consumer flatbeds have been a joke. I expect the high end ones to be better but not match a PMT.

    FWIW, in correction, I have a Premier, not a 4500. I used to have one and it gave me great results.

    I have had many conversations with Aztek about the Plateau. I was very impressed with the technology they brought to bear. (I almost bought one but the project that would have funded it did not materialize.) They have been very frank about it and clearly said that the result from their top end flatbed could not match that of their top end drum.

    Lenny
    EigerStudios
    Museum Quality Drum Scanning and Printing

  10. #30
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    Re: Howtek 4500-Questions-Software, Comparisons, Etc.

    Just speaking practically, I got sick of spending $50 on Eversmart Supreme scans, which were great but expensive. I strongly considered a Nikon 9000, but I shoot a lot of 4x5 and 8x10. So the best bang for the buck for me was to get a Howtek 4500 drum scanner with Silverfast. Cost me $2000, i.e. the same (or less) than a Nikon 9000. Shipping it took a lot of work, it takes up space, it takes a long time to get to know how to use it and how to mount film effectively.

    But if you want to own your own high end scanner, there's just nothing better for the money, and that would be true even if there's some evidence of equivalence or superiority among the high end CCDs. It's a moot point because they cost tens of thousands of dollars.

    I used a Microtek i800 (comparable to an Epson 4990) prior to getting the Howtek. And honestly even on screenshots for web sharing I can see a dramatic difference between the Howtek and the Microtek. Not in terms of resolution, but in terms of color fidelity, sharpness, dynamic range, noise, and shadow detail.

    That said, I had great success scanning 4x5 color negative film on my Microtek i800 and making large prints. My largest was a 24x30" print scanned from 4x5 Portra 160NC, which is ungodly stunning from inches away. Maybe it would be better on the Howtek, but not enough to keep that print from being a showstopper.

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