March 19, 2015

Drum Scanner

Filed under: A few things... — Frank @ 2:06 pm

I’ve been looking for a used drum scanner for several years, hoping to add super-high quality scanning capability at an affordable cost. Quite by accident, I recently became aware of a Howtek HR-8000 scanner that was for sale from a display graphics company in Washington, D.C. It’s in excellent condition and I’m fortunate to have a Mac that’s old enough to run the software.

Drum scanners are old technology, but for anyone making images on film, they are still far and away the best tool for making very large, high-quality digital images. The HR-8000 will enlarge a frame of 35mm film to a size that can be printed over 4×6 FEET—and at that size you WILL see every grain in the emulsion. The optical quality is amazing and it will handle film formats to 8×10 inches and larger. In the past, I’ve had to outsource scans from film formats larger than 6x7cm.

With this new capability, I can now begin working through the forty-year backlog of film images in my library and, when the New55 film becomes available later this year, I plan on shooting a lot more on 4×5 film. Of course, I’m also hoping that other fine art photographers who are still shooting film will send me their film to scan. I now have the complete large-format workflow from film, to scan, to image processing and final output to the Epson 9900 printer.

 

 

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