The old-fashioned copy stand with a 35mm camera has given way to the modern digital reprographic stand system. These new digital versions can be conceived of as an overhead scanner. Whereas a flatbed scanner will handle only up to tabloid size (about 11 x 17 or at most 12 x 18 inches) the new class of repro stand will capture up to 40 x 60 inches.

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Colex, tti, Kaiser Fototechnik, Cruse, or ZBE, which is a good digital copy stand system to select?

FLAAR has checked these systems out at DRUPA trade show, Photokina 2000 and Photokina 2002 trade shows and at PhotoPlus East in New York (November 2000, 2001, and 2002). We are adding a new report which lists all the repro stands that we have found so far (those that meet our picky requirements). This report is highlighted in the list below.

The Colex, ZBE and tti stands include a digital scan back (BetterLight, PhaseOne, Anagram, or Jobo) or may have a preparatory digital head (Cruse system). A digital scan back costs from $14,000 upwards to $28,000. Repro stands cost from $2,000 upwards to over $100,000, depending on whether they are manual (movement of the camera) or with an electric motor. The really sturdy ones are not cheap. The really cheap ones are not sturdy.

At two trade shows Colex clearly did not have their heart into reprographic stands. They will sell one if you want it, but they don't have a team of people to handle this. Their interests are definitely elsewhere. We don't recommend any equipment that is not under constant development with it's own team of engineers and designers.

Same with ZBE, they have put all their effort into the Chromira digital photo printer, trying to nibble at the market already occupied by Durst Lambda and Cymbolic Sciences LightJet. So again, we cannot recommend the ZBE Satellite because it is not a model that is still under development. We also got this suggestion from several other sources.
Of the three repro stand systems, Colex, tti, and ZBE, tti is clearly the best. This is because Tarsia Technical Industries has an entire team that works on just this equipment.

So the main question is whether you wish a component system (tti) or a dedicated turnkey system (Cruse). Each has its distinct advantages. FLAAR has chosen the Cruse system to install at Bowling Green State University in order to generate digital files large enough to print with our 60" Hewlett-Packard DesignJet 5000ps and the 72" ColorSpan DisplayMaker XII and Mach 12 printers. What we respect about a company is when they have a full-time crew of engineers working on producing improved models. In fact since I first saw a Cruse scanner three years ago, they have introduced new models every six months or so. Their top patented synchron models are definitely the Rolls Royce of reprographic copy stand systems.

The leading libraries in Europe have selected the Cruse scanner system to handle their rare books, paintings, and priceless documents. The Vatican Secret Archive is the most recent Library that has selected the Cruse scanner over all other systems. Contacts for Cruse include Kurt Ernst, Managing Director (for USA), kurt.ernst@crusedigital.com, fax (973) 208-0519; sales outlet, Michael A. Lind, e-mail malind@msn.com, fax (281) 492-0307.

If you need a list of all the systems which we have found so far, contact the FLAAR review editor.

If you wish brochures on the tti Tarsia Technical Industries repro stand outfitted with the BetterLight scan back, then contact is Mike Collette directly: e-mail: info@betterlight.com

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