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Thread: Buying a Scitex Eversmart Jazz: Dirt-Cheap, but Smart?

  1. #1

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    Buying a Scitex Eversmart Jazz: Dirt-Cheap, but Smart?

    Kindly pardon my status as something of a 35mm interloper here; I was searching on Another Photography Site (no, no, not Pnet), for a question about a Big, Heavy and once Crazy-Expensive flatbed scanner, and was advised (by Frank Petronio) to bounce the question off the Big Camera people here.

    The scanner in question is this one. The seller is the original owner, and she tells me it's in good working order. The price, or course, it ridiculously low. But I'm wondering abut a few things.

    - It's big. It's heavy. I'll need help getting it up a three-flight walk-up. I'm not certain if I'll find a place to park this thing (assuming my Significant Other doesn't freak and insist I start backing out of the apartment with it). Not a tiny issue.

    - Bulbs/parts: I'm assuming that the thing is truly industrial-grade (for $13k originally, I would imagine so, but enlighten me if I'm missing something), but things like bulbs eventually blow (only had one scanner that I ever had to replace a bulb in, however), so what am I in for in terms of replacement cost, availability, and being able to install the things myself? Will there be a Dance of 1000 Calibration Procedures to endure, involving possibly-unavailable hard/software?

    - I'll mainly be laying down lots of slides/negs for assorted purposes, including good-quality work prints and enlarged contact sheets. I already have a UMAX PowerLook 2100XL for some of this stuff. Spec sheets aside, what should I expect from the Jazz in terms of overall improvement? Is this overkill, like buying an old F1 car for street racing?

    - Software: the owner believes this won't run on anything newer than Mac OS 8.6. I actually have access to a very warmed-over Power Mac 7600 running OS 9.2.2 and X 10.3.9. If I want to run it on 9 or later, am I totally SOL? VueScan is generally my main scanning app: there's no mention of this scanner (or anything from Creo/Scitex) on Hamrick's site, so I'm presuming for the moment that it's unsupported.

    Besides the two-men-and-a-boy-to-lift-it aspect, what am I asking for here?


    - Barrett

  2. #2
    Daniel Stone's Avatar
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    Re: Buying a Scitex Eversmart Jazz: Dirt-Cheap, but Smart?

    for $50(or $100, take the system honestly), it's a nice scanner. A friend of mine picked one up from a lab closing here in LA, he got it for like $500 4 years ago or so. Still uses it to this day, with an ancient mac of course .

    but compared to even the newer epson v-series of scanners, this thing is still the best for the price(especially $50)

    make sure they didn't put a typo and mean $500.

    check out the bulbs, and do a test scan or TWO before buying it.

    just my $.02

    -Dan

  3. #3

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    Re: Buying a Scitex Eversmart Jazz: Dirt-Cheap, but Smart?

    Quote Originally Posted by amateriat View Post

    - Software: the owner believes this won't run on anything newer than Mac OS 8.6. I actually have access to a very warmed-over Power Mac 7600 running OS 9.2.2 and X 10.3.9. If I want to run it on 9 or later, am I totally SOL? VueScan is generally my main scanning app: there's no mention of this scanner (or anything from Creo/Scitex) on Hamrick's site, so I'm presuming for the moment that it's unsupported.

    Besides the two-men-and-a-boy-to-lift-it aspect, what am I asking for here?


    - Barrett
    I don't know which version of the Scitex operating software comes with this scanner but chances are very good that it will run on MAC OS 9.2.2, which is the last of the classical MAC operating systems, and by far the most stable. I own an Eversmart Pro from about the same period and operate it with a MAC G4 768 Mhz with dual boot into OS 10.3.9 or OS 9.2.2. Eversmart scanners are not supported by either Silverfast or Vuescan, apparently because they use a proprietary stitching routine that can not be copied.

    If you go to http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/S...guid=111435302 and look in the files setions you will find .pdf manuals on setting up and operating the Eversmart Jazz and the software.

    In order to set up and calibrate the scanner you will need software and a calibration slide, which is a large transparency that fits over the registration pins of the scanner. When you run the software the scanner does a series of self-diagnosis tests for focus, light intensity, stitching, etc. to make sure everything is working as it should. You really want to make sure you get the calibration slide because if you have to buy it separately the cost will be $200+. Support for the scanner can only come through third parties as Creo/Kodak is out of this business.

    I managed to get my Eversmart Pro up a flight of stairs with no problem at all. I simply walked into the local gym holding up two $20 bills and asked for help. Two very muscular kids quickly accompanied me back to my house and had the scanner upstairs in about two minutes.

    In terms of scan quality the Eversmart Jazz should be quite a bit better than V700/750.

    Sandy King
    http://www.sandykingphotography.com/
    For discussion and information about carbon transfer please visit the carbon group at groups.io
    [url]https://groups.io/g/carbon

  4. #4

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    Re: Buying a Scitex Eversmart Jazz: Dirt-Cheap, but Smart?

    Barrett,
    I have (2) Jazz, with one as a Jazz+. The Jazz + is a bit better then the Jazz.

    Software, I run mine on an ancient Mac G3 Biege Tower on OS9.22. I have to check which version software. BULBS are no longer available, hence the second scanner with extra bulbs (total of 6!!) I will check which version software I have.

    As Sandy stated, make sure you have that calibration slide. If you do decide to buy it, start up the scanner and Lock it Down for the scanner CCD head. 3 Floors of stairs will be a major Pain. I had some friends over for a BBQ and they help me set up my scanner(s). I think that i have Software version 3.1 (for SCSI and OS9.22) and I might be able to get Version 3.5 (OSX up to 10.28, not sure if it will go beyond that!) and it will work either as SCSI or Firewire.....

    If your chromes are SHARP and has perfect exposure tonality, then your scans will be great. I take all post scanned images into Lightroom for minor correction and any additional edit work is done in Photoshop.

    Evan

  5. #5

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    Re: Buying a Scitex Eversmart Jazz: Dirt-Cheap, but Smart?

    Are these early Jazz scanners 8 or 16 bit (A/D hardware capture level)?

    I ask because many/most flatbeds of the era used in desktop publishing were 8 bit. Fine for the intended task but anything besides a perfectly exposed transparency is unlikely to scan well for an acceptable fine-art print if 8 bit (forget about using an 8-bit scanner with LF negs; applying large curves or gamma moves to even a well-scanned 8bit file can result in banding).

  6. #6

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    Re: Buying a Scitex Eversmart Jazz: Dirt-Cheap, but Smart?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan J. Eberle View Post
    Are these early Jazz scanners 8 or 16 bit (A/D hardware capture level)?

    I ask because many/most flatbeds of the era used in desktop publishing were 8 bit. Fine for the intended task but anything besides a perfectly exposed transparency is unlikely to scan well for an acceptable fine-art print if 8 bit (forget about using an 8-bit scanner with LF negs; applying large curves or gamma moves to even a well-scanned 8bit file can result in banding).

    It is true that most flatbeds of the period (drum scanners as well) were 8 bit scanners. It is not true that large curves or gamma changes can not be applied to these files. I do it all the time with 6X12 cm and 5X7" B&W negatives and no one will ever see banding or posterization in my prints.

    If you are scanning B&W LF negatives the key is to scan in RGB, preparing the file as best you can on screen before making the scan. With the Eversmart scanners the conversion from analogue to digital is actually made in 14 bit but the save is in 8 bit with older scanners (Eversmart scanners from the Pro II and newer save in 16 bit). As soon as you get the scan into Photoshop change the file to 16 bit grayscale and you can then do apply curves and tonal changes to the file without risk of posterization. Canging an 8 bit file to 16 bit will not create more tones but it will prevent the loss of tones from rounding off. Or you can just continue to work in 24 bit RGB, applying the B&W conversion in Photoshop. The key is to avoid doing corrections on the 8 bit grayscale file, but it is possible to do a huge amount of tonal corrections on B&W negatives that are in 24 bit RGB or 16 bit grayscale without running into posterization or banding problems.

    Sandy King
    Last edited by sanking; 15-May-2010 at 08:34.
    http://www.sandykingphotography.com/
    For discussion and information about carbon transfer please visit the carbon group at groups.io
    [url]https://groups.io/g/carbon

  7. #7

    Re: Buying a Scitex Eversmart Jazz: Dirt-Cheap, but Smart?

    Absolutely agree with what Sandy has said. I have a Jazz+ that I run via a g4 and OSX. I have not once experienced banding that would be visible in a print. Just do any major corrections in the Eversmart software and you won't have any problems what-so-ever. I'm not sure, but if the Jazz uses the same bulbs as the jazz+, they are still available and run $50-100 a piece(or at least they were 1 year ago). I got my replacements from Genesis, but there is another supplier. Search the forums for my post about Jazz+ bulbs.

    As far as quality, I've been pretty happy. Astia scans great, Velvia and Provia scan decently enough if they are not too dark or are ever so slightly overexposed. Negatives scan about as good as I'd ever want at native res or slightly above. The only problem I have with the scanner is the flare; use of the masks is pretty critical. You'll likely want to clean the mirrors, lens, and glass cover over the sensor. Doing so made quite a bit of difference on mine. Be super careful as the mirrors are coated on the surface rather than beneath the glass. The noise(sound not digital) is also pretty obtrusive, but nothing that can't be handled if it doesn't run 24/7.

    Email me at bmwolfatgmaildotcom if you'd like some full size 35mm or 645 scans to poke around with.

    edit: I have the latest software and the firewire adapter, so I can run it in OSX. I run the g4 headless and VNC into the machine from my other computers. This is nice because I can be downstairs controlling the scanner upstairs. Email me for any info.

  8. #8

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    Re: Buying a Scitex Eversmart Jazz: Dirt-Cheap, but Smart?

    Byran,

    Which version software are you using on OSX? Is it Version 3.5? I know that with this version you can use it with a SCSI card (Adaptec 2906). I guess that you are using the Ratco Firewire convertor?

    Can you tell me your configuration setup? I plan to update my G3 to a PowerPC G5.
    Evan

  9. #9

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    Re: Buying a Scitex Eversmart Jazz: Dirt-Cheap, but Smart?

    Thanks for all the info so far.

    At the moment, I'm uncertain as to whether I'm going to drag the thing home with me, but if I can't manage it, I have two clients who seem more than mildly interested, so it won't be a wasted trip to check it out in an hour or so. (Of course, if I'm sufficiently blown away by the thing, I'll be feverishly figuring out what stuff to jettison from my workspace, as well as how to sweet-talk Galfriend into not going Skynet on my butt for this...)

    Keep the info coming. More later!


    - Barrett

  10. #10

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    Re: Buying a Scitex Eversmart Jazz: Dirt-Cheap, but Smart?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vertex Ninja View Post
    The only problem I have with the scanner is the flare; use of the masks is pretty critical. You'll likely want to clean the mirrors, lens, and glass cover over the sensor. Doing so made quite a bit of difference on mine. Be super careful as the mirrors are coated on the surface rather than beneath the glass. The noise(sound not digital) is also pretty obtrusive, but nothing that can't be handled if it doesn't run 24/7.
    The base glass of all Eversmart scanners, except for the Jazz, has an anti-reflection coating, similar to to the coating on lenses to minimize reflections.

    My understanding is that the Eversmart Jazz scanners were made by Microtek, not by Scitex. They are excellent scanners but some cost saving compared to regular Eversmart can be noted. The lack of anti-reflection coating on the base glass is one example of cost saving.

    Eversmart scanners make a lot of noise when moving the head. The first time I ran one I was sure something was broken but turned out that this is normal. But at times it sounds like there are a bunch of evil elves in there banging on the side of the scanner.

    Sandy King
    http://www.sandykingphotography.com/
    For discussion and information about carbon transfer please visit the carbon group at groups.io
    [url]https://groups.io/g/carbon

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