Specialty Scanning Solutions

A sourcelist of flatbed, drum, and film scanners.

As the workflow for those in the graphic arts becomes increasingly and almost exclusively digitally based, the need for a scanner to bridge the gap between the physical and digital world has steadily declined over the past several years. However, don’t write off scanners just yet. A handful of companies are still manufacturing high-quality, professional scanners that can be valuable tools to graphic designers, artists, and photographers.

This month’s sourcelist is a compilation of those specialty scanners including film scanners and flatbed and drum scanners that can accept media from 8.5 x 14 inches and larger. (Note, however, that we are not including large-format scanners; we’ll have more on these in the September issue.)


Aztek’s Premier drum scanner is a 48-bit scanner with a scanning area of 12 x 12-in. and is capable of scanning transparencies, reflective media, unframed slides, printed material, and halftone-screened films. The single-pass scanner features Photo Multiplier OptiVu Technology, which manages and focuses variable scan capture spot sizes down to three microns, allowing for optimum grain management, reports Aztek. The Premier also features a maximum resolution of 16,000 x 8000 dpi and a maximum file size of 98 GB. Aztek’s PhotoLab Scanning software, one removable drum, and accessory kit are included.

The Mesa is an 18 x 24-in. CCD flatbed scanner suitable for GIS and fine-art reproduction needs. Featuring a scan resolution of 9600 dpi and an optical resolution of 400 dpi, the Mesa has a maximum file size of 96 GB. The 48-bit scanner can handle media up to 1.5-in. thick. The Mesa also comes with Aztek’s Digital PhotoLab software.


The Flex50i from Contex is a flatbed scanner capable of resolutions up to 9600 dpi. Designed for scanning artwork, books, and archival and fragile materials, the 48-bit color scanner can handle media up to 18 x 24 in. and can scan at speeds up to five inches/second at a resolution of 400 dpi. The scanner also features on-board image processing tools including built-in sharpen, blur, descreen, error diffusion, and adaptive thresholding, as well as auto lens enhancement (ALE) technology.

Durst Image Technology

Durst offers two professional film scanners, the Sigma 67 and the Sigma Plus. The Sigma 67 is designed for negatives, filmstrips, and black-and-white films from 35mm up to a 6 x 7-cm format. Designed for portrait studios, prepress operations, print shops, picture archives, museums, and professional photo labs, the scanner features color management with soft profiling and Digital ICE software for automatic dust and scratch removal. The Sigma 67 is capable of scanning a 75-MB 6 x 7-in. original in 15 sec.

The Sigma Plus is designed to scan color and black-and-white negatives and positives. Intended for photofinishers and portrait and commercial labs, the scanner incorporates Fujifilm’s Image Intelligence, a negative-analysis system, which detects skin tones, adjusts highlights and shadows separately, and sharpens the image. Like the Sigma 67, the Sigma Plus features Digital ICE technology as well as Digital GEM, which reduces film grain. Additionally, the scanner has a line sensor of 10,500 pxl and scan-to-print functions with Durst output devices. The Sigma Plus can scan a 70-MB 6 x 7-in. original in 10 sec.


Epson’s Expression 10000XL scanner is a 48-bit color scanner with 2400 x 4800-dpi resolution available in Photo and Graphic Arts editions. The scanners feature a Dmax of 3.8 and utilize Epson’s ColorTrue II Imaging System for vibrant color and precise registration, reports the company. Both also feature an Autofocus option system. The scanners are capable of scanning reflective media up to 12.2 x 17.2 in. and the Photo model is equipped with a transparency unit that scans transparencies up to 12.2 x 16.5 in. Both can scan a color image at 16 msec/line at 2400 dpi.

Both models are offered with Epson Scan, MonacoEZcolor, Adobe Photoshop 2.0, and ABBYY FineReader Sprint OCR software; LaserSoft Imaging SilverFast Ai6 is also included with the Photo model.

Also from Epson are the V750-M Pro and V700 Photo scanners. The 8 x 10-in. scanners both feature a built-in transparency adapter lid with film holders. The 48-bit flatbed scanners feature an optical resolution of 6400 dpi and utilize Epson’s Dual Lens System which optimizes each scan by selecting from two lenses for the optimal scan resolution. Both feature a Dmax of 4.0 and are capable of batch scanning multiple slides, negatives, and prints. The scanners also feature Digital ICE technology for easy dust and scratch removal.

The V750-M Pro also features the High-Pass Optics system, which consists of anti-reflective lens coatings and a high-reflection mirror. The scanner also includes a fluid mount accessory for wet-mount film which gives the user additional scratch-removal and grain-reduction capabilities for black and white film.


Hasselblad offers the Flextight X1 and Flextight X5 high-end film scanners, which feature a 3 x 8000 CCD sensor and 16-bit (per channel) color depth. Designed for professional photographers, these scanners utilize a "virtual drum" design that uses a vertical optical system to allow for glassless scanning. The X1 is capable of scanning 35mm originals at 6300 dpi at a rate of 60 MB/sec and the X5 can scan 35mm originals at 8000 dpi at 300 MB/sec. The X5 also offers an A4 reflective scanning option and batch and slide feeder compatibility.

Additionally, the scanners feature automatic frame detection, batch-scanning capabilities, automatic focus and calibration, hard- and/or software-based dust removal, as well as an Auto Scan button which enables one-touch scanning. Both scanners also offer Hasselblad’s Flexible File Format (3F) workflow for easy and efficient file manipulation.


The Hewlett-Packard 8300 Professional Image Scanner is a flatbed scanner designed to scan reflective media, 35mm slides and negatives, and medium- and large-format film, with a transparency adapter. The scanner features an optical resolution of up to 4800 dpi and is capable of handling media up to 8.5 x 14 in. The 48-bit scanner features a control panel that allows users to scan, copy, and create PDFs and other file formats.

The 8300 also features HP Real Life Technologies, such as adaptive lighting technology, image restoration, dust and scratch removal, and red-eye removal. Software bundled with the scanner includes HP Photosmart and Adobe Photoshop Elements.


The ICG line of drum scanners includes the ICG 380 and 369. The vertical drum scanners utilize photomultiplier technology and are capable of scanning an array of media including transparency, reflective, linework, and color negatives at a max optical resolution of 12,000 dpi. The 380 features a drum speed of 2000 rpm, and the 369 features a speed of 1750 rpm.

Additionally, the scanners offer users a choice of interchangeable drums, the A3+ external and a SlickMount internal. Both the 380 and 369 are equipped with ScanXact XI color-separation and sharpening software designed to extend RGB color range.


Kodak’s selection of scanners include the EverSmart and iQsmart scanner lines. The EverSmart Select II and the EverSmart Supreme II are trilinear-array CCD flatbed scanners. Both scanners offer a scanning area of 12 x 17 in. and are capable of scanning transparent and reflective media at a max optical resolution of 5600 dpi. The 48-bit scanners also include XY Stitch scanning technology which helps ensure sharpness and resolution and oXYgen Scan software which accelerates scanning production. An oil-mounting station is optional on all scanners.

The EverSmart Supreme II features a CCD dynamic cooling system which enables the scanner to better differentiate a wide range of color tones. The scanner also includes a maximum dynamic range tool (MaxDR) to improve the dynamic range in the dark and mid-tone area of a scan. The Supreme II is capable of generating 120 scans per hour while the Select II can produce 100 scans per hour.

The iQsmart scanner line consists of the iQsmart1, iQsmart2, and the iQsmart3. The 16-bit scanners are designed to scan positive and negative film as well as reflective images. The flatbed scanners feature an inverted CCD array to help eliminate dust and include oXYgen software and XY scanning technology. The scanners can also be equipped with an optional oil-mounting station. The iQsmart1 has an optical resolution of 3200 dpi and the iQsmart2 has an optical resolution of 4300 dpi; both can generate 50 scans/hour. The iQsmart3 has an optical resolution of 5500 and can produce 85 scans/hour.


Microtek’s scanners include the ScanMaker and ArtixScan scanner lines. The ScanMaker i800 is a 4800-dpi flatbed scanner capable of scanning media at a size of 8.5 x 14 in. The scanner features EZ-Lock film holders which accommodate 35mm slides, 35mm filmstrips, 4 x 5-in. film, and medium-format film up to 6 x 17-cm panoramic. The scanner is also equipped with an 8 x 12-in. transparency adapter. Software bundled with the scanner includes ColoRescue color-restoration software, Digital ICE image-correction technology, and LaserSoft’s SilverFast SE. Microtek’s ScanMakeri800 Pro features the same specifications as the i800, but is bundled with SilverFast Ai.

The ScanMaker 9800 XL is designed to scan media up to 12 x 17-in. and is ideal for corporate, production, or medical environments. The 48-bit color scanner features an optical resolution of 1600 dpi. The scanner is bundled with Adobe Photoshop Elements, Microtek Scanner ICC Profiler, Microtek LanShare, and SilverFast Ai. An optional transparency media adapter is also available for scanning film and transparencies up to 12 x 16 in.

The ScanMaker 1000XL is a 48-bit color flatbed scanner with a scanning area of 12 x 17 in. and a 3200-dpi optical resolution. The scanner is designed for reflective media as well as 35mm and 120 film transparencies. The scanner features batch-scan support and multiple sampling and is bundled with software including ColoRescue, Digital ICE technology, and ScanWizard Pro. A Pro version of the scanner is equipped with a transparent media adapter and is bundled with SilverFast Ai.

The ArtixScan MI is a film and flatbed combination scanner that’s capable of scanning 35mm, 6-cm, and 4 x 5-in. film, as well as reflective prints up to 8.5 x 14 in. and 8 x 10-in. transparencies. The 48-bit scanner is designed for photographers and designers and offers an optical resolution of 4800 dpi. The scanner features autofocus technology for optimum sharpness and the scanner is bundled with SilverFast SE Plus and ScanWizard Pro. The scanner is also equipped with E.D.I.T., Microtek’s glassless scanning architecture. A Pro version of the scanner is bundled with SilverFast Ai Studio software and two sets of film holders.


Nikon offers the Super CoolScan 9000 and 5000 ED and the CoolScan V ED film scanners. The CoolScan V ED and the Super CoolScan 5000 ED are capable of scanning 35mm film, while the Super CoolScan 9000 ED can handle multiple film formats including 120/220, 35mm, 6 x 7, 6 x 9, 16 mm, and electron microscope. The 16-bit scanners feature an optical resolution of 4000 dpi and are capable of batch processing. Additionally, the scanners utilize scanner Nikkor ED (extra-low dispersion) lenses and Digital ICE Advanced image correction technology.


The new Plustek OpticPro A320 is a 12 x 17-in. scanner that boasts a maximum resolution of 1600 dpi and a scanning speed of 11.2 sec for A3 documents (at 300 dpi). The company also offers the A360, which can do a full bed scan at 300 dpi in just under 2.5 sec. See page 8 for a full report on these scanners.

Plustek also offers six models of OpticFilm Series film scanners, all designed for the professional user: the 7200 (7200 dpi), 7200i SE (adds SilverFast SE iSRD software, for automatic image-defect removal), 7200i (adds SilverFast Ai iSRD software, for production-oriented options), 7300 (7200 dpi with multi-sampling and SilverFast SE Plus software), 7500i SE (adds SilverFast SE Plus iSRD software), and 7500i Ai (SilverFast Ai Studio software).

Screen USA

The SG-8060 Mark II drum scanner from Screen USA is designed to scan transparencies and reflective materials. The scanner features resolutions up to 12,000 dpi, a magnification ranging from 10% to 3000%, and 16-bit color depth in RGB. The scanner also includes a moire-reduction option which reduces moire patterns before output. It is also capable of batch scanning.

The Cezanne Elite FT-S5500 is a flatbed scanner capable of scanning reflective material as well as positive and negative transparencies and features a maximum resolution of 5300 dpi in 48-bit RGB. The scanner can scan 35mm originals at 350 dpi at a rate of 104 scans/hour and 6 x 7-cm originals at 300 dpi at a rate of 94 scans/hour. The scanner is bundled with Colorgenius EX image processing software (Mac version).

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