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Author Topic: 16bit Drum Scanning  (Read 5534 times)
dreidesq
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« on: February 07, 2013, 11:49:08 PM »
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Hello all,

Before I go and do something spectacularly stupid again (like buy a load of medium format camera equipment and not fully insure it and then have it stolen by some ahole in London before I've really had a proper chance to use it) I was interested in your opinions in a related issue.

How many of you require either a decent if not high end reasonably priced drum scanning service?
I have the chance to buy (pick up for free for the cost of rental van) a stupidly large, fully working, 16bit drum scanner with an A3+ size drum and 8000 dpi optical resolution with everything included. Not that I have anywhere to properly store it and at least it's not worth anything to steal or be able to move without a very big van it seems like an option if anyone is interested in having low to crazy high end drum scanning done.

I have seen film scanning services dotted around the internet and am actually in need of one myself for the 5 rolls of film I put through my now stolen Hasselblad equipment. I just wondered if there was a scanning service running a half the price of anyone else would I get any takers and would it be worth my time and effort to have this kit?

Regards
David


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DanielStone
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« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2013, 01:29:52 AM »
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Make sure that wherever you put it, its a sturdy place, no wabbling! Drum scanners are slow compared to other scanners, but they have qualities that make up for it, IMO.

What scanner is it that you're looking at? One of the Chromograph or Heidelberg units? Or a Screen, Fuji Celcis, etc?

Make sure that you have the proper power connections as well. Here in the USA there are some scanners that basically have to be hard-wired into the wall, usually the larger, older units. Most of the newer, modern(under 20yrs old) scanners are run from a general house wall-outlet.

I know of one drum-scanning service in the UK, run by Tim Parkin:
http://cheapdrumscanning.com/

His prices are very reasonable IMO, and from what I've seen of his test scans, very good quality.

So, unless you are totally committed to learning the craft of wet-mounting(I'm still learning for sure, even after just over a year with my drum scanner, and about 100 scans), and have the financial capital to keep it running(they are generally very reliable, but everything is prone to fail eventually), I'd just send out. TBH, if I hadn't found the deal I got on my scanner, I'd be sending my film out to someone else who specializes in scanning. But doing the scans myself saves me some money, but i also get to adjust the scans to just the way I want them, right out of the scanner.

Weigh your options.

I,d personally consult a tech who services these units like the one you're looking at, they aren't really designed to be moved around too much, and generally the moving parts need to be locked in place for transit. They're not all the same, some are more involved than others.

-Dan
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dreidesq
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« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2013, 02:25:36 AM »
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I used to have/use a Howtek 4500 which used colour Quartet 4.2 with a dongle and ran on my very old PowerMac G3 but that was a loooong time ago.

This one is a Screen DT-S1045 AI. I think I'll go a take a look at it as it's only up the road. The guy who owns it runs a printing company and sounds like the guy he employed to run it has long since gone (dead or just left he didn't say). I also spoke to Dianippon Milton Keynes who didn't seem to be too fazed at offering advice though he also said that although these machines are bomb proof and he can't remember ever having to repair one, spares are scarce and for them to even come out and look at it would be about £1000 not including VAT of course.

I've heard of Tim Parkin I subscribe to his web magazine.

I'm thinking as it's only going to cost me the price of fuel to get home (stored in an air conditioned garage though everything else in there will have to be moved out) and it's 240v why the hell not.
If I can make it work, at the very least I'll be able to scan my own crappy 120 shots.
If I can then do a reasonable job of that I'll offer a scanning service to anyone who wants scanning.

If it breaks or doesn't work then I'll call some heavy lifting dudes to remove it for the price of a pint or two, though they will probably dump it in the nearest country lane, so I'm not sure I want that one on my conscience.

Hmmm Food for thought.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2013, 02:29:09 AM by dreidesq » Logged
ced
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« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2013, 04:14:53 AM »
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Let the thoughts of going into scanning pass you buy.
The market is too small and to run after customers is going to consume a lot of energy/time.
The maintenance is astronomical an arm and a leg for any small intervention and spare parts as you already found out are hard to come by.
That was referring to drum scanners.
Flatbeds, the good ones not much better in regards to maintenance issues/software updates.
I am not sure you can run a pro setup on the cheaper current scanners from Eps. and the like.
I would do it via a repro type system offered by Phase/Leaf with their archival system or any other of that type of setup.
You still will have to run to get the work in unless you have lots of contacts in that market.
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John Rodriguez
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« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2013, 09:44:31 AM »
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Lower price scanning services - you get what you pay for.  It's a labor intensive process to do it well.  I'd either spend money on a good scan or wouldn't bother.  I'd trust Tim Parkin/Cheap Drum Scanning if you live on that side of the pond.

I'd only buy a drum scanner if you have a lot of time and money on your hands.  Before buying anything, make sure you really know what you're buying, not all drum scanners are the same.  I looked into it, but in then end it wasn't worth the hassle (storage and maintenance of not only the scanner but the antique computer collection you'll need to keep it all running).  I'd rather just pay someone else to do it right, but I'm low volume.
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jerome_m
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« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2013, 10:42:43 AM »
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Apparently, most of the advice ignores the fact that you get the machine for free... I would say: if you have the space for storage and some time at hand, go for it. You can always sell it later.

What I would not do, however, is to advertise cheaper scan service. People who need cheap middle quality scans can buy an Epson flatbed but a drumscan sells on quality. Either provide the quality (and it will cost you time, which means you don't want to do it for cheap) or just scan for yourself and projects you care about.
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dreidesq
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« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2013, 11:13:56 PM »
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Thank you for all of your advice.

I'll cogitate over the weekend.

Regards
David
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FredBGG
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« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2013, 12:39:10 PM »
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I would do it via a repro type system offered by Phase/Leaf with their archival system or any other of that type of setup.


For slides and negatives this would be a comparatively low quality high volume option... good for general archival use, but not top quality.
Same goes for other camera based options.
That said using a Phase One IQ180 and a repro camera will be the best repro setup out there, but no match for a scanner, even a relatively modest scanner.

here is a comparisson from a previous thread:

Quote
camera is a Arca swiss Rm3di Shneider 90mm apo digitar ( with some extra focusing rings to do macro), + Phase on P45



http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=73297.0;attach=71948;image
« Last Edit: February 09, 2013, 12:51:11 PM by FredBGG » Logged
FredBGG
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« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2013, 01:01:37 PM »
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You also need to consider dust control for where you are going to setup.
Mounting a wet scan on a drum scanner takes some time and involves a total of
six surfaces to keep clean.

Another thing to consider if you are going to offer scanning service to others
is the whole liability of handling, receiving and mailing out their film.
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dmerger
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« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2013, 01:20:46 PM »
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That Phase P45 example looks horrible.  I've seen much better results using a camera. Maybe still no match for the Imacon, but something just looks wrong with this P45 example. Here is another example that looks pretty good.

Can't help with the Minolta part, but here is a B&W negative (Ilford HP5+ developed in Rodinal) that I shot on a Hasselblad XPan (24x65mm) and then photographed the negative with a Canon 5DMkII/100mm macro:

Entire image:


A small crop from the negative:


As you can see, with the dSLR, you can focus down to the grain of the film.  I don't know about the Minolta scanner, but you sure can't so that on an Epson flatbed.  The Epson will give oyu something that kind of looks like grain, but it isn't - it's just noise.
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Dean Erger
FredBGG
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« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2013, 12:04:47 PM »
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That looks quite nice. The Canon 100mm macro lenses are quite something.

However I am getting better grain when scanning with the Epson v750, especially away from the center of the image.
Keep in mind that you need to occasionally open up the Epson and give it an internal cleaning to get the best results.





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dreidesq
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« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2013, 12:03:22 AM »
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Very Impressive. The deal has now passed me buy, someone came a bought with £250 cash while I waited and pondered. Oh Well.
I still need to have my films scanned. Tim Parkin here I come.
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RomanN.
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« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2013, 06:19:41 AM »
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indeed something is wrong with the Phase one 45. All 39 Mln backs should be better that 4x5 inch scanned on Imacon. Maybe the focus is wrong.To the Screen 1045- it is a great scanner, easy to work with if you scann transparecies, hard to use with negativs- as the most drum scanners. There is also a problem of the right RBG color space of the older drumscanner. Screen use they own, that is similar to Color MatchRGB, therefore the scanns must be corrected when Adobe RGB is used.
To achieve real good scann on a drumscanner can be sometimes a long story, if you go into deep. Every scanner have they own way to work, it takes time to find it out. Imacon is very easy to use and the most people have no need for real good scan quality, it is sad but a fact.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2013, 09:18:44 AM »
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That Phase P45 example looks horrible.  I've seen much better results using a camera.

Something is indeed way, way off. I've done similar tests with better scanners and worse (older) digital capture (like really old Leaf Volare vs PMT drum) which blew the doors off the film scan.
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Andrew Rodney
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Doug Peterson
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« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2013, 09:59:37 AM »
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Yes, the P45 sample FredBGG pointed to is obviously absolute crap compared to what that back can do when handled properly. It looks either badly out of focus, not parallel, or severely diffracted. I've also not used the Schneider 90mm at this reproduction range (macro for flat artwork) so could not comment on how I expect it to perform in that usage. A more typical lens for copywork would be a Schneider 120mm M or ASPH.

Our Division of Cultural Heritage has a lot of experience working with very, very particular clients on film scanning projects.



A P45+ can make an incredibly good scan of a 4x5; a P65+ or IQ180 is capable of even better.

It's not easy*. The lens must be of exceptional quality. You have to make sure the film is very flat. You have to have a very good and stable platform, even if using strobe, to ensure once you attain focus it stays put before the capture. You have to make sure the back is perfectly parallel to the film (which goes back to the stable platform) and you have to know the basics of macro and repro photography (like you can't stop down very far because diffraction takes effect earlier than normal when shooting macro work).

But once you've addressed the technical issues you can hit FADGI 4-star and Metamorfoze Strict compliance (US Federal and Euro-zone guidelines that lay out quantitative measurements for quality of preservation-grade captures).  And you can do it at the rate of around 5-20 images per minute (assuming two operators, one constantly preparing the next piece of film, and depending on the condition and type of film), which is orders of magnitude faster than a scanner.

For very high resolution scans of very large pieces of film (e.g. 8x10) nothing will touch a drum scanner at the moment. However, for a large percentage of film scanning work a digital back, properly used, offers a very competitive solution, especially when the scanning project is for more than a handful of pieces of film.

*Then again operating a drum scanner and keeping a drum scanner in tip-top condition is also not easy
« Last Edit: February 12, 2013, 10:07:45 AM by Doug Peterson » Logged

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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2013, 12:18:29 PM »
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Hi,

Doug makes several very valid points.

I would also try to mask out all light leaks. I have done some tests using my Sony Alpha 99 and even very small amounts of surround light or flare will affect reproduction.

My impression is that excellent results are possible but it takes great care to achieve them.

Best regards
Erik

Yes, the P45 sample FredBGG pointed to is obviously absolute crap compared to what that back can do when handled properly. It looks either badly out of focus, not parallel, or severely diffracted. I've also not used the Schneider 90mm at this reproduction range (macro for flat artwork) so could not comment on how I expect it to perform in that usage. A more typical lens for copywork would be a Schneider 120mm M or ASPH.

Our Division of Cultural Heritage has a lot of experience working with very, very particular clients on film scanning projects.



A P45+ can make an incredibly good scan of a 4x5; a P65+ or IQ180 is capable of even better.

It's not easy*. The lens must be of exceptional quality. You have to make sure the film is very flat. You have to have a very good and stable platform, even if using strobe, to ensure once you attain focus it stays put before the capture. You have to make sure the back is perfectly parallel to the film (which goes back to the stable platform) and you have to know the basics of macro and repro photography (like you can't stop down very far because diffraction takes effect earlier than normal when shooting macro work).

But once you've addressed the technical issues you can hit FADGI 4-star and Metamorfoze Strict compliance (US Federal and Euro-zone guidelines that lay out quantitative measurements for quality of preservation-grade captures).  And you can do it at the rate of around 5-20 images per minute (assuming two operators, one constantly preparing the next piece of film, and depending on the condition and type of film), which is orders of magnitude faster than a scanner.

For very high resolution scans of very large pieces of film (e.g. 8x10) nothing will touch a drum scanner at the moment. However, for a large percentage of film scanning work a digital back, properly used, offers a very competitive solution, especially when the scanning project is for more than a handful of pieces of film.

*Then again operating a drum scanner and keeping a drum scanner in tip-top condition is also not easy
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Doug Peterson
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« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2013, 12:31:52 PM »
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Great point Erik. If it wasn't clear from my post there are any number of ways to go wrong. This is especially true with less sophisticated DIY solutions. But when you get it right the results are excellent.

I took the picture of the setup I posted and I thought it was more visually impressive without the normally-used black matte that we suggest clients drop on the unused area of the lighttable.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2013, 12:33:56 PM by Doug Peterson » Logged

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dmerger
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« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2013, 06:41:38 PM »
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Here are some more examples of camera vs Epson and drum scanner.  http://photo.net/digital-darkroom-forum/00b7Fk  Easy set up and camera wins.
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Dean Erger
FredBGG
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« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2013, 09:44:23 PM »
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A P45+ can make an incredibly good scan of a 4x5; a P65+ or IQ180 is capable of even better.



Got any examples? The speed is a strong plus...
« Last Edit: February 12, 2013, 09:47:17 PM by FredBGG » Logged
FredBGG
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« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2013, 09:45:51 PM »
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Here are some more examples of camera vs Epson and drum scanner.  http://photo.net/digital-darkroom-forum/00b7Fk  Easy set up and camera wins.

Interesting....
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