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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 8:40 am 
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I'm probably going to be able to get a Howtek 4500 drum scanner for about $1700, including a Mac workstation and software. It'll probably take a bit of a learning curve, but it's worthwhile. Amazingly this is considerably less expensive than if I went for the best of all dedicated MF film scanners, the Nikon 9000. I'm going to have to put this bad boy in the basement because it's too big for anywhere else.

But I figure I'm spending $40-$50 (minimum) for every professional scan I get, and this really adds up. The local pro lab has an outstanding Creo Eversmart scanner for sheet film, but they use a Sigma/Durst scanner for MF that gives underwhelming results. So I think over the course of a few years this will pay for itself. Plus I bet I could offer people some cheap drum scans at high res and recoup some of that money.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:09 am 
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Wow sounds like a good deal Paul. When you become an expert drummer then you can start a mail-in service and recoup your investment pronto.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:40 am 
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Heh, I hope so. There's actually a Howtek 7500 with a computer that I've found as well for $2200. I can give you the info if you're interested. The 7500 will scan up to 12,000 true dpi. The 4500 that I'm going to buy will scan up to 4000 true dpi. I think the 7500 has some idiosyncracies, which is why I'm buying the 4500 instead. I also can't imagine EVER scanning over 4000 dpi, certainly not for MF or LF film. A 35mm frame at 4000 dpi would allow me to enlarge to over 11x14 at 300 dpi anyway.

I guess these scans can take a long time, like over an hour sometimes. But I can batch scan by mounting a whole roll of film or a cut up roll and a sheet to the drum.

I'll probably do a mail in thing when I figure out how to use it. Maybe I can even support this nasty photography hobby of mine with it.

The trick is convincing my wife that I should buy it (and finding space for it). But I've been working like a dog this last year at a job I don't like and now, with a better job a few weeks away, I feel like getting a present for myself. So there.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:59 am 
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Let me suggest speaking with John Stubblefield at the local lab, he has an Aztek and many years of experience with these things, he might be able to comment on the pros and cons of the Howteks. I think there was some recent discussion on Howteks over at hybridphoto too.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:03 pm 
drpablo wrote:
. . . The trick is convincing my wife that I should buy it (and finding space for it). But I've been working like a dog this last year at a job I don't like and now, with a better job a few weeks away, I feel like getting a present for myself. So there.


So, how will this scanner make you a better photographer?

:lol:


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 1:03 pm 
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Keithwms wrote:
Let me suggest speaking with John Stubblefield at the local lab, he has an Aztek and many years of experience with these things, he might be able to comment on the pros and cons of the Howteks. I think there was some recent discussion on Howteks over at hybridphoto too.
Sandy King has tested a number of Howtek scanners and talks about them on the various sites. They also have the 4500 on the scanner comparison on the LF forum. The Howteks are Aztek products and they're thought very highly of -- and the dr5 B&W chrome people use Howteks. The 4500 through the current 8000 models have essentially the same technology. I've heard that people should avoid the Howtek 4000 and below because of outdated software issues.

As for how I'll be a better photographer? Easy -- I can take pictures of the drum scanner.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 1:18 pm 
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DannL wrote:
So, how will this scanner make you a better photographer?


More pixels! Duh :roll: :D

That 7500 tempts me, I admit it.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 1:31 pm 
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Keithwms wrote:
That 7500 tempts me, I admit it.
I'd have bought it right away but it sounds like the scanner has an occasional problem with one of the lamps. I'll forward you the e-mail from the guy if you're interested. It doesn't sound like a huge deal, though, and since Aztek still supports them you could get it fixed if needed. He's throwing in the Mac with Trident on it.

Aside from the price difference, I'm not particularly in need of a 12,000 dpi scanner as opposed to 4000. What I really want is the wet-mounted drum technology to get perfectly flat, focused, sharp scans, I'm sick of scanning lines, and I want the full density range from my slides!

By the way, there's a lab in Raleigh that is going to do a bulk run of ilfochromes soon, so I've heard. I may give them a few to do if they actually do this run. They don't do them routinely anymore except for large / bulk / combined orders.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 2:00 pm 
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Can you explain a Drum Scanner in a short Paragraph? For some reason I am picturing placing a Negative into a Rock Tumbler looking device. Not sure why, but when I read drum Scanner, that is what I see in my head.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 3:01 pm 
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Shawn, this article reveals all, look at fig.22 in particular.

http://aic.stanford.edu/sg/emg/library/ ... lution.pdf

The advantage of a drum scanner is that the lens colelcts nly signal and not image info, so there is virtually no lens resolution loss and you can truly scan the snot out of a slide right down to a few microns of grain. The result is that a MF or LF slide easily gives 40+ mp of real info, 16 bit per channel. It boggles the mind and stirs the soul. Say, have you done any slide shooting yet?!

Paul I curse you for tempting me with yet another major acquisition. Nah, no drum for me, i want to support tyhe aztek at the local lab as long as I can.

I would be interested in some ilfos though. I definitely could submit some slides for that.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 3:19 pm 
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Keithwms wrote:
Shawn, this article reveals all, look at fig.22 in particular.

http://aic.stanford.edu/sg/emg/library/ ... lution.pdf

The advantage of a drum scanner is that the lens colelcts nly signal and not image info, so there is virtually no lens resolution loss and you can truly scan the snot out of a slide right down to a few microns of grain. The result is that a MF or LF slide easily gives 40+ mp of real info, 16 bit per channel. It boggles the mind and stirs the soul. Say, have you done any slide shooting yet?!

Paul I curse you for tempting me with yet another major acquisition. Nah, no drum for me, i want to support tyhe aztek at the local lab as long as I can.

I would be interested in some ilfos though. I definitely could submit some slides for that.


If Velvia 100 qualifies, then yes. still have about 10 exposures left on the roll.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 3:25 pm 
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I think the 4500 is 12 bits per channel. But that should be fine for the vast majority of images that will only need trivial color correction. The 7500 is 16 bits as far as I know.

Sandy King wrote that at 4000 dpi (on a drum scan) the resolution is at approximately the level of the grain size on Velvia 100F, i.e. you're already beyond the size of any actual detail. Most desktop scanners, whatever resolution they advertise, will not get more than 1200 dpi (and some detail is lost from Bayer interpolation, some is lost from the film-air-glass interface, and some is lost from lack of film flatness).

Keith, always glad to tempt you with more. I nearly coughed up $1200 recently for an 8 pound Phillips 8x10 camera, which would have been a steal. I've got to stay away from E-bay and Craigslist, just too dangerous.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 1:29 am 
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I actually got my wife to ok this purchase. What did it was telling her that it was the best way to scan the negatives from our wedding (our photographer used medium format and gave us all the negs after a year). Actually she asked.

Now I have to figure out how to pack and ship this thing from somewhere in British Columbia. It's 3x2x1.5 feet and weighs 140 pounds. Anyone have any ideas?


Oh, I was wrong by the way, the 4500 that I'm buying is 48 bits / 16 bits per channel.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 1:37 am 
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drpablo wrote:
Now I have to figure out how to pack and ship this thing from somewhere in British Columbia. It's 3x2x1.5 feet and weighs 140 pounds. Anyone have any ideas?


Tell me your UPS / DHL / Fedex / Purolator shipping quote and I'll tell you whether I can drive it to your east coast for less (you cover hotels, meals, and gas ;)).

How big is a drum scanner anyway? I shipped a Jobo processor via purolator; it wasn't fun packing the thing up for safe shipping. I'd imagine you're going to be at the mercy of the shipper's packing abilities. Good luck.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 1:35 pm 
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Yeah I was gonna suggest that you at least have Walter package it for you! Immobilizing that drum is really important. Optimally, Walter would go by and see it running properly before it ships.

You know, there might be a way to fragile-freight ship it via Amtrak.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:28 pm 
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If you saw the masterful way in which I packaged the JOBO I sold you'd hire me to do your packing in a heartbeat. I spent about 4 hours, no kidding, on the thing. Absolutely nothing was left uncushioned, and absolutely nothing would move during shipment. I used up every packing material scrap, bubble wrap bit, and foam peanut in my house, accumulated during a couple of years of ebaying and B&H purchases, plus about two rolls of tape and a couple of weeks' worth of newspapers.

I charge the low low price of $400 per hour (4 hour minimum), plus travel & materials costs. This is nothing compared to what photographers charge, it's truly a bargain.

Is it the one in Surrey (Vancouver suburb)? I just drove through there two days ago and could have given it the once over for you, but I won't be back for a month now (and besides I'll be driving a moving truck at that time ;)).

Keithwms wrote:
Yeah I was gonna suggest that you at least have Walter package it for you! Immobilizing that drum is really important. Optimally, Walter would go by and see it running properly before it ships.

You know, there might be a way to fragile-freight ship it via Amtrak.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 12:39 am 
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The shipping (from Surrey, BC) is going to cost around $500 plus insurance. But DHL is going to put the scanner inside a crate, and the guy I'm buying it from is going to lock the scanning mechanism (there is supposedly a dropdown menu on the scanner itself). I suggested that he call Aztek to confirm how to do it.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 1:17 am 
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drpablo wrote:
The shipping (from Surrey, BC) is going to cost around $500 plus insurance.


Well, I guess my low low low offer of $1600 to pack plus a few thousand to drive it to you has been undercut by the Big Monopolies. Sigh. What's an honest businessman to do?

$500 isn't bad actually, considering the delicacy and size of the thing. If you get it in good shape you'll probably be doing pretty good at $2100 total. Even now a 5D goes for more than that.

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 Post subject: it's here...
PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 12:50 am 
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Well, it's here. $2000 down the can and I am now the proud owner of a drum scanner. It's pretty big, but we have room for it. I'm picking up a used 19" LCD off of Craigslist for $100 to go with the Mac G3 that came with the scanner. Hopefully the learning curve won't be too steep -- I've got a lot of stuff to scan.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 1:51 am 
walter23 wrote:
If you saw the masterful way in which I packaged the JOBO I sold you'd hire me to do your packing in a heartbeat. I spent about 4 hours, no kidding, on the thing. Absolutely nothing was left uncushioned, and absolutely nothing would move during shipment. I used up every packing material scrap, bubble wrap bit, and foam peanut in my house, accumulated during a couple of years of ebaying and B&H purchases, plus about two rolls of tape and a couple of weeks' worth of newspapers.

I charge the low low price of $400 per hour (4 hour minimum), plus travel & materials costs. This is nothing compared to what photographers charge, it's truly a bargain.

Is it the one in Surrey (Vancouver suburb)? I just drove through there two days ago and could have given it the once over for you, but I won't be back for a month now (and besides I'll be driving a moving truck at that time ;)).



I wish I had known you had a JOBO, Walter. I should have asked you about it. Having set myself up to drive 350 miles in the morning to pick up an JOBO AUTOLAB ATL-2, I really hope I'm not wasting my time. If I am, then I'll just change my heading and go to Paul's house to pick up that fancy scanner instead. :shock:


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 2:15 am 
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DannL wrote:
I wish I had known you had a JOBO, Walter. I should have asked you about it. Having set myself up to drive 350 miles in the morning to pick up an JOBO AUTOLAB ATL-2, I really hope I'm not wasting my time. If I am, then I'll just change my heading and go to Paul's house to pick up that fancy scanner instead. :shock:


I had it only in the sense that it sat in my spare room for a few months before I realized I was never going to get around to using it, plugged it in to make sure it worked, and then sold it on apug. It was a CPP-2 with a lift. Pretty snazzy actually, but more than I need.

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