the old circa 1996 Leaf Lumina digital camera/scanner.
to avoid basing your decision on price; yes its tempting as their
price drops. If you already have them and no problems have occurred
then enjoy them. Hopefully not all of these printers have as many
problems as the ones we hear about.
makes great products and their Leaf Lumina, Leaf 35mm slide scanner,
and Leaf 4x5 slide scanner were the earliest of their kind on the
market (years ago, before everyone else had products). The Leaf
4x5 slide scanner was the best technology of its kind in those years
American television was the first on the market too. This allowed
French and German TV systems to improve on the original invention
and provide far superior television reception. Now High Definition
TV is even better.
with Leaf products. Everyone else makes a better product than the
first one out the door. I tested a Leaf Lumina. It was a disaster
and I returned it. I was severely irritated by its inhabilities
to meet standard norms.
weight and bulk was unbalanced in every respect and thus difficult
to hold or even use on a tripod.
lens was some cheap low quality brand, something comparable to a
Sigma. How can any company ask $5,000 for a product and then deliver
it with a cheap lens? They should have at least included a Nikon
lens. The ad claims it has a Nikon F lens mount, but that only means
a Nikon lens can screw in. In fact the Lumina that was sent to me
had a cheapo lens, the buyer got screwed.
software was difficult to load, in fact I was not able to get it
properly working. Even if the software did wonders for the scans,
this did not help if it was not yet user-friendly. This was years
and years ago, but in 1998 I still saw a major desktop publishing
mail order catalog store offering the Leaf Lumina for $4,995, which
was an outrageous price even four years ago.
is all the more unrealistic is this price for a used item; it is
buy a Leaf Lumina even if it is reduced to $1,000. It is not worth
it. I am sure that somewhere someone is happy with their Leaf Lumina,
but after you try any of today's sophisticated scanner and digital
photo solutions, you may ask yourself how could anyone even consider
I have not personally used the Leaf 35mm film scanner or the Leaf
45 4x5 film scanner, they are based on hardware and software of
many years ago. It is unlikely, that however advanced they were
originally, that they can match the quality (or speed) of today's
newer products. I mention this because just this week I saw a Web
site of a service bureau which advertised"scans from a Leaf
45 are near drum scanner quality." Umax also got badly burned
for this exaggeration. If you can get 4000 dpi out of your equipment,
then at least you are close, since low-level (entry level) drum
scanners from Howtek offer precisely 4000 dpi. Yet you can get that
much dpi in a Polaroid
SprintScan 4000 and more in the higher models of Imacon.
however, someone offers to give you a Leaf 4x5 scanner, considering
accepting it. The Leaf 4x5 scanner was so advanced for its time
that it is probably still better than other 4x5 scanners. The 4x5
products by Nikon and Polaroid have not fared very well though their
new models are greatly improved. If you have lots of 4x5 chromes
to scan you probably need a CreoScitex
EverSmart flatbed scanner.
for the Epson 1520 and Epson 3000 inkjet printers. Yes, many people
are content or don't try to produce much with them so may escape
problems. But I have spoken or received mail with several people
who had bought the Epson 3000. One was not impressed and bought
it only because it was cheap. The other reported frequent problems.
other person had made the mistake of buying three or four Epson
3000's. He reported precisely similar problems. If there is the
slightest glitch (which is common) then your print is totally ruined.
than that, if you forget to clear the memory manually, all your
subsequent prints include digital garbage left over from the print
that was just scrambled. None of my other printers from any other
company print digital garbage and then spew the same garbage out
print after print.... all on overpriced paper.
ads do not picture digital garbage being printed yet this seems
to be a known failure of the printer drivers.
other major problem (other than being glacially slow and thus tying
up your computer for hours) is that neither of these Epson printers
is made for mass production. You can print one or two copies, but
forget trying to print 30 to 50 copies. You need a color laser for
headache is that the ink is excessively overpriced. The ink is sealed
to make it impossible for you to refill it with more economical
ink. The printer comes to a complete halt when it decides it wants
more ink--we tore the ink cartridge open and found ink still inside,
but the paper counter decided it had printed enough sheets so it
demanded that I buy more ink. Worse, the printer requires fancy
expensive paper to produce a reasonable print. Fortunately now you
can get aftermarket ink for most Epson printers. This ink lasts
longer and does not fade. It would help if the ads indicated that
special paper was required, and give a forthright estimate of the
ink and paper cost combined, as well as warn you that you also ought
to buy an after-market RIP.
you know why the printer costs so little: you don't get very much.
You get a cheap printer and then pay for the RIP separately,then
you pay the rest of your life for costly ink and premium paper.
A color laser uses ordinary paper and even premium paper for a laser
costs only a few pennies a page. Ink jet photo glossy paper can
cost over a dollar a sheet; the ink alone can cost a dollar a sheet
as well. That is $2 a sheet, so when the printer mangles the file
and prints digital symbols, you have lost another hard earned dollar(s).
also met one user of the Epson 3000 who was perfectly content, but
I am not sure that he actually uses it often. Also, he is a professional
and thus less likely to have his pictures turn to digital disaster.
The lab technician at the Center for Advanced Imaging said he had
precisely the same problems with the 3000 as have been reported
for other models, namely indigestion (prints computer gibberish
every few pages), you have to purge the system manually to get the
printer to print a clean page. I do occasionally get e-mail's from
people are are satisfied with their Epson 1520, so do not base your
purchasing decision on my experiences. Fine people that you know
who already have these models; if they like them, then you should
consider them for your use as well. The purpose of this discussion
is to suggest that people should consult with others who have already
tried equipment rather than believing what the ads promise and then
ending up being dissatisfied.
documented problem with Epson Printers is that some paper turns
colors. The discolored print is then effectively ruined. This is
only certain kinds of paper, not all kinds. Evidently most people
don't keep their prints long enough to experience this problem or
by luck have not used that kind of paper. I tended to throw all
my Epson prints away when the color of the image faded so I did
not experience the paper fading, probably because I was not using
warning does NOT apply to the new Epson 7000 or Epson 9000. The
Epson 9000 has a Fiery RIP from EFI (though you are better off with
PosterJet, BEST, ColorGate or comparable quality software RIP).
If you want a 6-color printer, consider the I-Jet. They produce
great quality if you don't mind wanting an hour for a poster or
several hours for a long banner. If you need a fast printer, ColorSpan
makes an 8-color
printer as well as the newer 12
color model. FLAAR has two Hewlett-Packard DesignJet printers
and the ColorSpan DisplayMaker XII in
our photo studio.
on scanners by the senior review editor, now available. Just
send in the inquiry form and the reviews will be sent to you
by return e-mail.
scanners are best for digitizing your slides or negatives
for digital printing, especially for large format inkjet printers.
Includes mention of which digital cameras are best for direct
reports available on cheap scanners. If the scanner you intend
to buy is sold by CompUSA then it is not covered in a FLAAR
report on drum scanners (in preparation but you can go
ahead and order the work-in-progress version now). Discusses
whether drum scanners are still worth the extra cost. Pros and
cons of drum scanners vs flatbed scanners. Tips on whether you
should buy a used scanner.
scanners cost between $20,000 and $140,000. You can get an excellent
drum scanner for $40K to $60K. The newest models are easy to
use (yes, you don't have to have a technical background). Ideal
for photo labs, museums, fine art giclee studios, and advanced
scanners," (repro stand scanners), a list of all
the various cominations of copy stands, large format
scan backs, or dedicated scanners mounted on a repro stand.
museums to scan objects of any size or shape; for fine art giclee
printers to scan paintings of any size; for technical photography;
for general studio photography.
of the various wide format sheet-fed scanners which are
scanning maps, large drawings, GIS, CAD;
the better wide format scanners cost from $5,000 and up.
note: no reviews on cheap desktop scanners; no reviews on
HP scanners for example. No technical help on scanning available.
We do not cover older, obsolete, nor used scanners.
free service is exclusively to assist individuals, studios,
and companies who would like to know which of the new breed
of scanners is best for your needs. Contact: Nicholas Hellmuth,
FLAAR reports on scanners are suitable for photographers, artists,
and pre-press professionals. The reports are suitable for beginners
if you are prepared for the reality of professional digital
imaging. FLAAR is a non-profit research institute so there is
no cost for the reports.