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Yair and other Creo users - flatbed scanners...vs Imacon.

PeterA

Well-known member
After much consideration (for too long ) I have decided that my choice in scanners has come down to either the X5 from Imacon/Blad or one of the CREO (Kodak) flatbeds.

I am finding it difficult to get much information about the flatbeds - but in speaking with some people down here, I am prepared to at least test one aginst the other.

I want a scanner that can do 35/Xpan and MF square as well as 645 - I also have many decades of family photographs I want to scan and archive digitally.

I would appreciate your thoughts experiences and any othger information you can share.

This is a serious investmetn for me - coming at price points similar to high end digi backs.

Thanks
Pete
 

yaya

Active member
Hello Peter,

The iQsmart range offer several advantages over any other current scanner, beyond the spec on paper:

Image quality in all its aspects: sharpness, detail, dynamic range, colour depth, density etc. is found as superior in comparative tests.

Workflow: Being an A3+ flatbed, it allows you to mount several negs, trannies and reflective originals, even together if you want; you can then set multiple crops and different parameters to each crop and run them all in one scan, or create presets for batch scans.

The scans can be saved as 16-bit "DT" files (Digital Transparency) carrying all the "raw" data so they can be re-processed at a later stage or for archiving.

Dust and scratches: The Oil Mounting solution eliminates these like on a drum scanner, saving retouching time and adding to the productivity.

Sun Studios sell our scanners in Australia and they can demonstrate the iQ range.
Scanners are also available as refurbs so that may help in reducing the cost.

I hope this helps, let me know if you need any names dropping for references.

Best

Yair
 

Francois_A

New member
After much consideration (for too long ) I have decided that my choice in scanners has come down to either the X5 from Imacon/Blad or one of the CREO (Kodak) flatbeds.

I am finding it difficult to get much information about the flatbeds - but in speaking with some people down here, I am prepared to at least test one aginst the other.

I want a scanner that can do 35/Xpan and MF square as well as 645 - I also have many decades of family photographs I want to scan and archive digitally.

I would appreciate your thoughts experiences and any othger information you can share.

This is a serious investmetn for me - coming at price points similar to high end digi backs.

Thanks
Pete
Hi Peter

Did you have a chance to make a comparison between the X5 and the Kodak iQSMART ?
I am facing the same dilemma, and there is almost no feedback on the net.

Thanks,
Francois
 

Lars

New member
I'd say consider getting more than one scanner - one for high-volume slides/negs, and one for high-quality scanning.

For scanning huge volumes, anything that helps you avoid post-processing is invaluable. I scanned some 15,000 slides on a Nikon LS-2000 scanner, the Digital ICE feature meant no postprocessing whatsoever. It also had a slide feeder so it could scan 50 slides unattended - huge time saver.

Even a seasoned wetmounter cannot avoid dust particles. This means that every single scan has to be inspected by hand at full resolution. If you intend to scan thousands of images then this means that you literally have to take your own lifespan expectancy into account. This might sound like a joke but do the math.

Wetmounting on a flatbed is a breeze especially if the glass is A3+.

The ScanHi-End group on yahoo discusses drumscanners and high-end flatbeds like the Creo. You'll also find lots of material on wetmounting there.

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/ScanHi-End/
 

ptomsu

Workshop Member
After much consideration (for too long ) I have decided that my choice in scanners has come down to either the X5 from Imacon/Blad or one of the CREO (Kodak) flatbeds.

I am finding it difficult to get much information about the flatbeds - but in speaking with some people down here, I am prepared to at least test one aginst the other.

I want a scanner that can do 35/Xpan and MF square as well as 645 - I also have many decades of family photographs I want to scan and archive digitally.

I would appreciate your thoughts experiences and any othger information you can share.

This is a serious investmetn for me - coming at price points similar to high end digi backs.

Thanks
Pete
I am using an X5. Best Scanner available. Period!

Tested several others on the market, did not like them or their results or their SW.
 

Lars

New member
I am using an X5. Best Scanner available. Period!
Peter nobody doubts that the X5 is a very good scanner for what it is designed to do, but "best" is a bit of a strong word don't you think? Different tools have different strong sides. For example, when scanning old damaged negs, wetmounting has a serious advantage. Or for batchscanning mounted slides at high resolution a Creo is hard to beat for productivity. And for ultra resolution Aztek Premier can scan an 8x10" film at 8K dpi resolution with full pixel-to pixel contrast - something no CCD scanner can do. So it really depends on what your priorities are.
 
Like Lars said, it really depends on your situation, and particularly your volumes. If you intend to do lots and lots of scans, there probably is not a quicker scanner than the X5 -- the diffused light source will help too, as it will minimize the appearance of dust and scratches. Wet mounting is great for the highest quality, but it is a time intensive process. I would also consider whether you actually need to scan EVERYTHING. Film is inherently archival, so storing it correctly and just scanning the best images might be a better course than just scanning everything. Again, as Lars said, you need to factor in your time, and frankly your sanity.
 

Francois_A

New member
Thanks Lars for the link.

Peter, from what I have read, the IqSmart and X5 use the same Rodenstock lens. The IqSmart can scan 4x5 at a higher resolution than the X5; on the other hand, the Hasselblad software is very good an supposedly easier to use than the one with IqSmart.

What I am looking for, besides resolution, is dynamic range; in particular, being able to pull details from shadows. Maybe a used drum scanner is an option considering the low volume I have.
 

Lars

New member
What I am looking for, besides resolution, is dynamic range; in particular, being able to pull details from shadows. Maybe a used drum scanner is an option considering the low volume I have.
Drumscanners are no magic bullet when it comes to dynamic range. My 1991 vintage Howtek 4500 has 10 linear bits per channel, and it's a bit noisy at that. My Nikon 8000 with 16x oversampling delivers clean 14-bit scans that reach far deeper into the densest Velvia slides. The drum scans are of course far crisper.

For neg film Dmax in itself is not so important - rather, resolution and bits per channel are. The Aztek Premier, with Aztek's software, has a very elegant mechanism - you can load a transfer curve into the A/D converter in the scanner, to optimize distribution of digital values and minimize quantization. This is important since negs have a log-compressed response curve that is expanded in the reversion process, so any quantization errors are amplified. Essentially the neg conversion is performed before going from analog to digital.

As Peter points out, the X5 is most likely more than good enough as long as your film fits inside it. As are the Creos. I had planned to get a Creo for scanning my 8x10s but a good deal on a Howtek emerged.
 
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Geoff

Member
FWIW, I've used the Imacon 343 (junior version of the X5 types) for MF film and 35 negs, and its wonderful. Lack of dust is a feature, however, for slides - its practically unusable, as you have to dismount the slide and then scan it.

The smaller one (343) doesn't handle larger than 6x12, so LF film needs the larger scanner.

Consider, as the posts have mentioned, the way you plan to use the scanner, and the number of scans you want to do. Batch scanning of slides is best done with one scanner (I use an Epson 700, not great, but good enough to use to teach from). Fine MF scans are another (and slower) problem - for me well solved with the Imacon (Hassy) quality.

Geoff
 
Luckily, the X5 will scan slides without dismounting them, and it does have batch scanning ability.

Can you use the creo's to scan a bunch of slides all at once at full resolution? Like a page of slides from a sleeve (though out of their sleeves when you scan them...). That would be a nice feature....
 
Hi Peter,

I am not into knocking the competition so I think you are smart enough to decide which is the right scanner for you.

It is worth mentioning that the X5 also has the ability to mount 10 film holders of any type and scan in a batch.

You can also select to scan in '3F' format which will essentially do a RAW scan at a predefined quality set by yourself without the need to worry about finite settings. It takes the pain out of scanning as you know when you return to the 3F scan you can then decide on sharpening, settings, output size etc etc.

So you effectively could mount a selection of different formats (35mm, 4x5, 120, 6x17....) and say "gimmie a 16-bit scan of 100MB on each image, with a 2mm bleed". Hit scan and go and have a coffee.

Significantly reduces the operator work until you 'need' the image for output.

David
 

Woody Campbell

Workshop Member
The Epson V750 - with fluid mount- is surprisingly good. Actually amazingly good for the price. I use it for slides and large negs. I use a Hasselblad Imacon for 35 through 4x5 when I'm serious.
 

ptomsu

Workshop Member
The Epson V750 - with fluid mount- is surprisingly good. Actually amazingly good for the price. I use it for slides and large negs. I use a Hasselblad Imacon for 35 through 4x5 when I'm serious.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE!

Stop these discussions about Epsons and Canons etc. here.

I have been through all these tests with different high end SW etc. No comparison to real high end scanners like X5, drum scanners or flatbed scanners. And high end defines itself unfortunately via price. So I am talking $15000.- upwards!

All below is just waste of time if you want to get real good and stunning results.

For me in that price range the X5 was the absolutely optimum, and I am very happy with it!
 

Lars

New member
You can also select to scan in '3F' format which will essentially do a RAW scan at a predefined quality set by yourself without the need to worry about finite settings. It takes the pain out of scanning as you know when you return to the 3F scan you can then decide on sharpening, settings, output size etc etc.
I do something similar with my drum scanner, put the raw bits into a tiff that is in the scanner color space. Any adjustments, neg conversion, and conversion to working color space can be done (and re-done) at a later time.
 
I do something similar with my drum scanner, put the raw bits into a tiff that is in the scanner color space. Any adjustments, neg conversion, and conversion to working color space can be done (and re-done) at a later time.
Yes, this is of course possible.

The benefit of the 3F idea is that it requires no settings from the user. Just load an original and hit scan - thats it.

Then in the future as you repurpose the file, the settings used are stored within the raw file as a library of different adjustments.

Best,


David
 

fotografz

Active member
Hey David, can I do that with my Imacon 949? Or is that a difference between the 949 and X5?

If I could, then I'd be up for adding the multi film-holder production attachment and a pile of MF holders ... then I could start shooting more 203FE film for weddings and scan everything on auto 3F ... working further only on client selects.

I love this scanner ... it's so fast it's scarey.
 
Hey David, can I do that with my Imacon 949? Or is that a difference between the 949 and X5?

If I could, then I'd be up for adding the multi film-holder production attachment and a pile of MF holders ... then I could start shooting more 203FE film for weddings and scan everything on auto 3F ... working further only on client selects.

I love this scanner ... it's so fast it's scarey.
Yes! You certainly can - hit the 3F button in the top right hand corner, and then look at the options.

David
 
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