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Re: filmscanners: flatbed scanner

Title: Re: filmscanners: flatbed scanner
At 7:45 PM -0400 12-10-01, Sisk98@aol.com wrote:
Hi everyone....A while back a good flatbed that was on sale was talked about by some of you. What was that scanner? I need a good flatbed scanner and I was wondering if that scanner would be appropriate. I already have a slide scanner so I would not need any thing like a slide adapter that some flatbeds come equipped with. Any recommendations?  Thank-you.

I recently bought a ScanMaker 8700, the Pro (or Design?) version with extra software, for $1,000.  According to my personal (and somewhat subjective) testing:

o It has a similar Dmax and cleaner greyscale histogram than the $3,500 Agfa T2500, but significantly more shadow noise.

o It's reflective Dmax is about 2.5 but usable dynamic range is 1.5 to 1.9 depending on what's being scanned.

o It's transmissive Dmax is at least 2.8 almost all of which is usable, again depending on the target.

o  This is far less Dmax than the typical specs, but is supposedly excellent real-life performance for this class of scanner.

o It's capture of a smooth greyscale gradient is excellent, implying that it's A/D conversion is good.

o It's sharpness across the full legal size scanner bed is very good, without the "sweet spot" that many scanners have of higher sharpness in a band down the middle.

o It's evenness of tone across the scanner bed is excellent (i.e. it's not "bright" down the middle and "dim" towards the edges).

o It's alignment between the RGB CCD sensors seems excellent across the entire scanner bed.

o I haven't been able to determine whether it lives up to its 2400 dpi resolution claims.  It resolves some pretty small details, like the microprinting on US currency or on the signature line of my bank account checks and some resolution targets I have, but none of these are calibrated so I don't know how good a performance I'm actually seeing.

o It comes with transmissive and reflective IT8 color calibration targets and a proprietary ICC profile generator which seems to do an excellent job of creating scanner-specific profiles.  The quality of color management seems excellent.

o By and large the ScanWizard Pro software works very well and has all the control you could wish for.  It also allows you to select multiple areas on the scanner bed and scan them as separate images in a batch operation.

o It also comes with SilverFast Ai 5.5, Genuine Fractals Print Pro and an OCR program but I haven't worked with these yet.

o It has a separate, internal tray for transparencies and a variety of adapters. But you asked only about reflective scanning so I'll stop here about transparencies.

o It has both FireWire and USB interfaces.  I use Mac OS 8.6 which works great with Firewire.  I haven't tried USB.  With the OS, VueScan (from hamrick.com) works only with USB, not FireWire.

o Except for the one flaw of being noisy in the shadows this is an excellent scanner and I've made some beautiful scans with it.

Hope this helps,


Bill Fernandez  *  User Interface Architect  *  Bill Fernandez Design

(505) 346-3080  *  bill@billfernandez.com  *  http://billfernandez.com


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