We have been eying the Scitex family of SmartScanners for some time, since they offer about 4000 dpi. This is the class of scanner used by Corbis (William Gates' company which was formed to corner the market on photographic archives).

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Need for High Quality Flatbed Scanners in Archaeology

Since the home office of Scitex is rather far away, in Israel, I looked around for another company that I could reach by train within Europe, and I found ScanView, conveniently located in the same city as PhaseOne (digital cameras). I am looking forward to going to Israel when Andrea and I have enough time, at which time we will report on Scitex. In the meantime, we found exactly what archaeologists and museums need in the ScanView.

When we reviewed all available products, we noticed that ScanView products consistently got good marks. The name of ScanView stands for quality and craftsmanship, as would be expected for a product produced in Denmark.

So, Andrea David and I went to Copenhagen to visit the factory of ScanView. Although ScanView makes drum scanners of legendary quality, for any archaeologist, historian, biologist (zoologist or botanist) and for 90% of the museum market, a high end flatbed scanner is the better choice. The A3 size (11x17 inches for the American equivalent) is of further interest because most of this market has large drawings to be scanned, especially architectural historians, art historians, and again, archaeologists. Anthropologists would be another market, since they should have sketches and other records which need to be digitized on a flatbed scanner. Geographers have their millions of maps.

Makers of high end scanners orient themselves to the prepress and desktop publishing people and forget the eager market of scientists and scholars who are just now realizing they have to come to grips with the digital era. Since most prepress companies have long ago selected what kind of equipment they will obtain, the countless professors and their departments are the areas that need the most assistance in deciding what format is best for them.

Peter Dalhoff Christiansen, Support Engineer, explained the various ScanView products. The F8 family is certainly an impressive piece of precision engineering. The high dpi is needed because the alternative, a UMAX Mirage, is only 800 dpi, and costs $6999. The ScanView F8 is obviously higher price than that, but worth every dot-per-inch. One of the initial mistakes of all of us is to buy a scanner on the basis of price. After a few months we learn that the extrapolated dpi claims of the ads are just smoke and mirrors. These dpi are essentially useless. This fact is why you really want a machine the quality of a ScanView, since all 4,000 of their dpi are true dpi.

You can probably order a ScanMate F8 or F8 Plus flat bed scanner from any high end dealer. I have seen them offered in catalogs of DTP Direct. Ask for Scott Olson. The F8 was product number 64-00325-122.

ScanView in the USA: 330A Hatch Drive, Foster City, CA 94404 (415) 378 6360, fax (415) 378 6368.

Home office of ScanView: ScanView A/S, Meterbuen 6, DK-2740 , Denmark. Phone (45) 44 53 6100, fax (45) 44 53 61 08.

FLAAR Premium Report - Series on Scanners

FLAAR now has a great variety of reports, where you can find practical information,
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Flatbed scanners
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Sprintscan 120 for medium format film
Sprintscan multi-format including 4x5
Sprintscan 35 plus
Scan 3D objects on a flatbed scanner (Linotype-Hell)
Scitex Eversmart
Umax Power look (capabilities)
Digital recording (coins , stamps)
4x5 transparency enlarged to 60x60 inches
6x6 transparencies on a flatbed scanner (sample)

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