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Re: filmscanners: What is 4,000 scanner quality like in practice.

Dear Lalle

Converting to dollar sums for universal simplicity. UK prices for "system 
time" vary between $75 - $125. Apparently New York is slightly cheaper than 
even the UK provinces.  

If I get a 120 scanner I will also need a Computer to plug it into, a table 
to put it on and by many accounts a dust free room. This all costs a lot more 
than the price of a scanner. When you count the rent, rates, electricity, 
insurance etc. the setup has an overhead. As a photographer I don't think it 
is logical to design a system where even my theoretical earnings are less 
than a technician at a lab. As a photographer I have the added disadvantage 
that I would not use the scanning setup everyday. Therefore the investment 
would be much less efficient than a bureau charging $75 - $125 using their 
Macs and stuff all the time. 

Whenever I've mentioned 50Mb drum scans at $10 on the Stockphoto list I've 
had lots of people ask "where?". If you know cheaper please tell. I did 
mention that they are done on a CGI scanner which is considerably more than 
$2,500. More like a $150,000 investment by the bureau. 

(For those who don't know the CGI has a unique evaporating oil and the film 
goes on the inside of the drum. Throughput is much faster than conventional 
drum scanners because there is no taping or oil cleaning.)

What seems to be the killer is the dust problem. The bureaux scans are clean 
which is wonderful. Looking at a full screen image on a monitor is like 
looking out of an open window at the scene. 


Bob Croxford


In a message dated 24/5/01 6:34:34 pm, lalle@email.com writes:

<< Ten perfect pictures per hour seems an unreasonably high expactation to me,
too--that's as many as I've *ever* done, without correcting for dust or much
of anything else--i.e. not perfect! If I could do that consistently with any
kind of quality, I'd either have an imaging system for sale (having
completed everything I set out to do), or go into the business of scanning
other people's slides & negs for profit. :-)

OTOH, 7.50 per drum-scan is a bit pricey, too. With a somewhat arbitrary
cost of $2500 (US) for a filmscanner, you'd have to do 334 at that price to
win back your money, providing you didn't do it "On The Clock." If your time
is worth anything, you'd have to factor that in, as well. :-|

The math is *interesting*. If you can consistently make $75-100 per hour
(whatever dollar conversion you'd like) in your working hours, the drum
scans are your friend!  Anything more or less would impact on the value of
doing your own scans, cost/profit-wise. Figuring a maximum amorization of 4
years for the cost of the scanner (with 2 being more realistic, IMO), that's
$625-1025 per year. Even if you can only make a $50-per-hour average for a
40/60-hour week without making scans yourself (discounting the cost of
perfect drum scans), it's probably to your advantage to do the drums. >>


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