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.
The deal has now passed me buy, someone came a bought with £250 cash while I waited and pondered.
Someone saw the same ebay listing
which for reference was start price of £4.99 or £250 buy it now and never likely to be a take it away for the cost of a van the most recent auction
that I could find went for £515.00. I kind of figured it was at least worth the buy it now price after spending about a day doing what research I could; fortunately the specific yahoo group for this scanner has a copy of the service manual and the "adjustment" mentioned in the listing (actually resetting up the lateral feed wire) was easy to do although anyone not up to it would be looking at £945 + VAT for Screen to do it.
I used to have/use a Howtek 4500 which used colour Quartet 4.2
A fairly unusal Howtek then as Colour Quartet is for the Scanmate scanners. Was it a Howtek or a Scanmate ?
The Screen has been humming away nicely to itself while I have been getting the hang of its ins and outs if any one is interested in pro's and con's compared to say the Howtek Scanmaster 4500 here are a few thoughts.
It's pretty much bomb proof there is no maintance as such which is very much not the case in comparrision to the Howtek, build quality is far superior too this is not to say that you should not consider sensible precautions such as replacing resivior caps.
Potentail productivity is much higher due to the larger drum area you can easilly mount two 10x8 or eight 5x4 sheets and set up to batch scan them with individual settings.
It seems to be one of the very few 16bit drum scanners the Howtek is 12bit as are most others of this era the only other 16bit machines I could find checking the literature are the bigger screen 8060SG and the Howtek Hiresolve 8000 / Aztek Premier not sure about the ICG machines note a lot of scanning software might be 16 bit it does not meant the units D/A's are.
Now a few cons you are stuck with PPC MAC's running OS9 as that is the latest thing the Screen software runs on also there is a limitation that the maxium scan can be no more than 16000 pixels a side which is irritating given the 8000dpi optical resolution this is possibly a limit of maxium file sizes at the time the software was written in relation to the MAC OS it is however possible to batch scan and stitch the sections and it does allow a 5x4 scan at say 3000dpi at once. Note one irritating but oft over looked limitation of the Howtek Scanmaster 4500 is its inability to scan beyond the first five inches of it's drum at beyond 2000dpi I know I have one and part of the reason for wanting the screen was the ability to do higher resolution scans of 10x8 than the Howtek is capable of granted it is not as convienant as a Aztek Premier which can do its whole drum without the need for stiching.
With regard to the digitail back set up suggestions the going rate for the Screen is way cheaper than a P45 back and while wet mounting is a pain the running / maintanance costs are not at all high also the power consumption of 200W is some what friendlier than say the Optronics Colorgetters that require 700w.
Tim Parkin's prices seem very reasonable for the results and certainly for most people that probably makes more sense than owning your own drum scanner.