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

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

    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

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

    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
    Yair Shahar | Product Manager | Phase One | Mamiya Leaf
    e: [email protected] | m: +44(0)77 8992 8199 | yaya's blog

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

    Thanks for the links Yair !

    Pete

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

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    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

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

    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/
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    Re: Yair and other Creo users - flatbed scanners...vs Imacon.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    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.

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Yair and other Creo users - flatbed scanners...vs Imacon.

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    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.
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    Re: Yair and other Creo users - flatbed scanners...vs Imacon.

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

    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.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Francois_A View Post
    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.
    Last edited by Lars; 6th May 2009 at 13:51.
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    Re: Yair and other Creo users - flatbed scanners...vs Imacon.

    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

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

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

    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

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

    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.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Campbell View Post
    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!

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

    Quote Originally Posted by David Grover / Hasselblad View Post
    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.
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    Re: Yair and other Creo users - flatbed scanners...vs Imacon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Vinberg View Post
    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

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

    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.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Campbell View Post
    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.
    I agree the Epson 750 is really quite good for under $1000.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    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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    Re: Yair and other Creo users - flatbed scanners...vs Imacon.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Grover / Hasselblad View Post
    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.
    Sounds like exactly what I'm doing.
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    Re: Yair and other Creo users - flatbed scanners...vs Imacon.

    I alway scan to 3F and highest resolution. Do the rest later, which always takes time. SO the pure scanning process is fast and allows me to store RAW data. From which I always can get new versions for whatever my needs are.

    This is real flexibility.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Vinberg View Post
    Sounds like exactly what I'm doing.
    Maybe.

    Do you have to make a preview scan first, to then crop?

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

    Quote Originally Posted by David Grover / Hasselblad View Post
    Maybe.

    Do you have to make a preview scan first, to then crop?
    It's a drum scanner, scan area is 12x12", position of a wetmounted 8x10" film is of course not precise, so yes unless I want excessive margins I need to preview and position my crop.

    Preview time is only about 3% of scan time so it's not really a big problem.
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    Re: Yair and other Creo users - flatbed scanners...vs Imacon.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Grover / Hasselblad View Post
    Yes! You certainly can - hit the 3F button in the top right hand corner, and then look at the options.

    David
    You mean top left hand corner, right? (at least in my Flexcolor scan window).

    Well, how easy is that? Auto scans a 6X6 3F file in a minute ... ready in the browser window for any batch adjustments ... then transfer selects to an 16 bit, 371.6 meg, 22.5" X 22.5" tiff @ 360 dpi in in 10 seconds. 10 seconds.

    David, tell the Hasselblad folks to consider adding DNG to the "Save" choices" along with Tiff and Jpg. Art Directors and retouchers don't have Flexcolor.

    I'm ordering the Batch feeder on Monday. Thanks David.

    -Marc

    P.S. this is the film frame from a commercial shoot that I practiced on.

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

    I'm in the way to buy a new scanner and read this thread, amazing!

    Do You think, the Creo offers in 35mm any advantages over the X5? the Hassy scanners seems to be great solution for an advance aficionado!

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

    I like my Heidelberg Tango drum for trannies, but the learning curve is steep, I warn. A used drum system can be had for under $10k.
    I like the Imacon/Hasselblad CCD scanners for negs, though if they are scratched, dusty...etc., you will want to use the drum for oil mount.
    As many have stated previously, there is no one single "magic bullet", it really depends on your originals, quantity, and final use.
    I made the comparison test for my museum clients a few years back. The Nikon Coolscan and Heidelberg Topaz are CCD scanners. The Topaz is a very high-end flatbed scanner similar to the results from the X5 or other Imacon type CCD scanners. The Tango is the PMT drum, of course, and there is no substitute for DMax and a PMT for certain things.

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

    I've got a Heidelberg Chromagraph drum scanner, as well as Flextight CCD 'virtual drum' scanner. I agree with Egor above; unless you're committed to hundreds of hours of learning with the drum scanner, you should choose the Flextight. The Flextight range is still supported, and has modern software running on modern OS platforms. On the other hand, the Heidelberg software was written in the mid '90s and (at least in my case) runs on a dedicated OS9 computer. If I had the time, I'd love to master the drum scanner, but that's simply not the case. I think I will look to move it on in the near future, and perhaps upgrade to a bigger Flextight.

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

    I would also play a bit of devil's advocate here too...scanners are dead. They are not going anywhere. As stated above, many of them are no longer running or barely running on modern operating systems. The Hasselblad scanner line is all but dead. I bought my X5 back in 2009, and I donīt think they have updated the software other than to make it compatible for Mountain Lion (and I am very grateful for that!). They really have not done much to change the software or interface in the 8+ years I have been using it. They have continually resisted incorporating the software into Phocus. Given the direction they are going with the Lunar and the Stellar, the writing is really on the wall. They are probably just selling old stock at this point anyway...maybe not, but I still don't think you will be able to buy a new Hasselblad scanner in 5 years, let alone 10.
    What you can get, however, is a very high resolution camera and a macro lens. Of course, the scanners still have many advantages, but using a high resolution camera and a good lens, you solve a lot of problems -- you can capture any size or format, you are always getting state of the art image processing software, and if you get fancy, you can have almost unlimited quality if you have a good setup and employ stitching.
    I still use the X5 for most jobs, as it works better for volume work and smaller formats, but for 8x10 film or inflexible film (glass plates etc), I have taken to using my Leica S2 with the 120mm macro lens. I have a high quality lightbox, and I have taken a clean glass plate that I place a bit above the lightbox (to increase the diffusion, and to eliminate any influence of scratches on the soft acrylic of the light box). I just put it on top of two small boxes. Then I simply photograph the negatives using the S2 and invert them in photoshop. This method is fiddly and slow compared to the X5, but the results can be excellent, and of course the older high resolution flatbeds and drum scanners are also rather slow and difficult to set up. Another upside is that instead of spending thousands of dollars on a single purpose tool, you will wind up with a good scanner, AND a great camera.
    I run a lab, so the speed and ease of use advantages of the X5 still overwhelm the utility of this technique, but if I was just scanning for myself, I am not sure I would be willing to pay so much for the X5...I would almost certainly get a smaller dedicated film scanner and use a high resolution camera (MFD, D800, what have you...) to supplement. Unless by some miracle, someone starts making modern, high quality scanners, this method is only going to increase in quality and practicality.
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    Re: Yair and other Creo users - flatbed scanners...vs Imacon.

    We have built an entire niche industry around cultural heritage rapid film scanning based on high-res digital backs and high quality macro lenses. Planarity (making sure the sensor and film are parallel) and film flatness are both challenges, and should not be underestimated. But once you overcome those issues, and assuming you're using sufficient quality capture equipment the results rival very good flatbed film scanners with the added benefit of capturing raw files adjustable in a variety of modern software and capturing several dozen times faster (assuming you're scanning many pieces of similar size). Durability and maintenance is also much less of a concern, now and especially in the future. One other obvious benefit being that if you're not using the film-scanner full-time you can take the digital back or camera being used and go take pictures with it, which is hard to do with a flatbed scanner .

    This approach is worth considering for you whether it's a prosumer Nikon, a homebuilt stand, and a decent nikon macro, or an 80mp digital back on a dedicated camera bench like our rcam and a full industrial grade copy stand.
    Last edited by dougpeterson; 8th August 2013 at 06:54.
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    Re: Yair and other Creo users - flatbed scanners...vs Imacon.

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpeterson View Post
    We have built an entire niche industry around cultural heritage rapid film scanning based on high-res digital backs and high quality macro lenses. Planarity (making sure the sensor and film are parallel) and film flatness are both challenges, and should not be underestimated. But once you overcome those issues, and assuming you're using sufficient quality capture equipment the results rival very good flatbed film scanners with the added benefit of capturing raw files adjustable in a variety of modern software and capturing several dozen times faster (assuming you're scanning many pieces of similar size). Durability and maintenance is also much less of a concern, now and especially in the future. One other obvious benefit being that if you're not using the film-scanner full-time you can take the digital back or camera being used and go take pictures with it, which is hard to do with a flatbed scanner .

    This approach is worth considering for you whether it's a prosumer Nikon, a homebuilt stand, and a decent nikon macro, or an 80mp digital back on a dedicated camera bench like our rcam and a full industrial grade copy stand.
    Hard, but not impossible


  32. #32
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    Re: Yair and other Creo users - flatbed scanners...vs Imacon.

    Quote Originally Posted by jars121 View Post
    Hard, but not impossible

    Ha!

    But it'd be pretty arduous to switch back to scanning film after you've set up the scanner to take normal pictures .
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183

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