Video analyzing scanner and digital imager/processor combo speeds throughput
At the Photo Marketing Association show March 2-5 in Las Vegas, Colex will demonstrate the Polielettronica Digital Imaging Video Analyzing Scanner and the Laserlab 3049 Digital Imager/Processor. The two devices, which are built in Italy, will be networked and producing continuous-tone photographic prints directly from the scanner.
Like its narrower format predecessor (the Laserlab 2032), the Polielettronica Laserlab 3049 combines a color-laser imaging system with a high-speed RA4 photo processor to create a complete photographic laser-printing system. Whereas the 2032 model has a maximum 20 x 32-in. image size, the new Laserlab 3049 can output prints up to 30 x 49 in."?and do so at speeds of up to 70 prints per hour. According to Colex calculations, the resolution of the continuous-tone photo imager is comparable to about 3000 dpi on an inkjet printer that uses dithered patterns of dots to create images.
The Laserlab 3049 exposes images on photographic paper and display films in a manner engineered to eliminate dust problems. When the photo material is transported into the printing area, a vacuum in the exposing chamber keeps the paper in position emulsion-side down. After the paper is cut and advanced to the expose position, it remains stationary while the laser exposes the image via a 30,000 rpm rotating mirror.
The complete Laserlab 3049 system includes computer server, color monitor, UPS system, networking system and hardware, color processors and laser-printing module. The workstation runs on Windows 2000, can read more than 40 different file formats, and includes templates for printing packages of smaller prints. Customized templates can be set up and stored in a hot folder. When the Laserlab is set to Autoprint, files can be sent from any networked workstation.
To further improve input-to-output speed, the Polielettronica Video Analyzing Scanner doesn't require a pre-scan. Just three to five seconds after the Acquire button is activated, the scanned image appears on screen, where color density and gamma can be color-corrected in real-time with a joystick. The corrected image can then be stored or sent directly to an output device, including (but not limited to) Laserlab photo imagers. The Polielettronica Video Analyzing Scanner can scan color negatives, transparencies or black-and-white negative film and produce TIFF, JPEG, BMP and FlashPIX file formats. According to Colex's Anthony Taylor, "The unit can also be used as a digital control device to view and correct any customer files sent into the lab for digital printing."
The Digital Imager I model of the scanner is recommended for making prints up to 20 x 32 in.; the Digital Imager II model is used for making prints up to 30 x 49 in.
For event photographers seeking a quick way to output images up to 12 x 18 in, Colex will demonstrate the DigiPro 1218 with a new 8 MPxl chip. Manufactured by Colex in Paramus, NJ, the device can be used either as a freestanding printing device or as part of a network of workstations and scanners. Capable of producing 300 8- x 10-in. prints per hour, the DigiPro uses LCD exposing technology. The unit is supplied with a PC Pentium-based front end that can accept CD, Zip, Memory Card and other standard media as well as a cutter and processor. Rolls of photo paper are fed into the exposing area, where they are exposed, cut, and then transported into the processor. The fully automated operation generates prints ready to give to the customer.
At the PMA Show, Colex will also be demonstrating its new Digital-Ready Medium-Format RA4 Processor for use with medium-format photo imagers from Oce, Durst, and ZBE. The Colex CPK and RTK32 DP units will accept rolls of photo paper or display film up to 30 in. wide. The processors feature new replenishment technology that uses a new spray bar design to disperse the replenished chemistry into the development tank at close to operating temperature. Increased chemistry agitation promotes even processing. (Colex: www.colex.com)