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Is a drum scanner worth it?


Well-Known Member
Let me first state that, if film is still available, I will not be going "back" to digital in the foreseeable future. I LOVE film and I love my film cameras. Some pending sales of equipment will give me some money to spend and I was thinking of a drumscanner instead of a digital back. Let's just pretend that money is not the discussion right now.

What would I get from a drumscanner compared to my V700?

Obviously, the scans will be sharper, but what in terms of workflow and automation? I am talking Imacon/Hasselblad and Flexcolor, but any other suggestions are more than welcome. Will the software be able to give me better more consistent color scans from negatives? Will slides scan more easily in the shadows?

I am really interested in getting good quality, predictable scans without having to adjust curvers and spend hours in front of the monitor. I am happy with what is on my film, and don't use photoshop, but I want the scan to be on par with the film itself, especially so I can make color prints.

Would an Imacon scanner help me or just complicate things even more?

One final question: why can the current Hasselblad scanners only scan 16-bit?

Any help is much appreciated.


Well-Known Member
To begin with Imacon scanners are not drumscanners in th true sense of the word.
Having said that Imacon scanners are the thing next best to a drum scanner.

Do not make the mistake to bua an older drum scanner with ancient computer technology.
These things use the old SCI standard in stead of USB to communicate.
That takes you back to computer hardware that is impossible to find simply because it is obsolete.

My advice: take some trannies with lots of contrast and have them scanned by a scanning service with Imacon scanners who knows their job.
Look at the results and take it from there.



Well-Known Member
How about the "famous" Nikon 9000? Wouldn't that be an acceptable "compromise" - excellent quality for a reasonable amount of money?


Well-Known Member
The Nikon 9000 is halfway between the Epson 700 and an Imacon scanner.
Without doubt worth every dollar or euro but not near as good as an Imacon.

This may help:
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Minor correction: that would be SCSI, not SCI.

Typically older scanners were used on then-current Apple machines which came with SCSI interfaces *). Apart from the hardware aspect, keep in mind that you might need older software to make things work (like MacOS 9 which is really obsolete by now).


*) SCSI stands for Small Computer Systems Interface. It is still being used in essentially all professional storage equipment, SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) and FC (FibreChannel) make use of it. SCSI is in fact a very neat ANSI interface/standard, much better than the (S)ATA consumer-grade <censored> stuff people have in their PCs. But as we know all too well it is not superior technology that will win the market.