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Specialty Scanning Solutions

(May 2008) posted on Mon May 12, 2008

A sourcelist of flatbed, drum, and film scanners.

click an image below to view slideshow

By Clare Baker

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