Now this class of scanning on a flatbed scanner is even easier

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If an enlargement of the image on a wide format printer holds all the detail, this is the best way to demonstrate that a flatbed scanner has the necessary resolution.

SilverFast, from LaserSoft, is a new software for flatbed scanners. Silver Fast is multifaceted. Related versions of SilverFast scanner software can even run the prestigious digital cameras from Leica, the elite of 35mm digital cameras.

Silver Fast software works on most models of Umax flatbed scanners from their entry level flatbed scanners through the PowerLook II and PowerLook III as well as the Umax PowerLook 3000 flatbed scanner. Silver Fast also works on Nikon 35mm film scanners (Nikon CoolScan), on flatbed scanners from Agfa, Microtek, Epson, and Hewlett-Packard, among others. Additional versions of Silver Fast work on drum scanners from Howtek and Crosfield,

Umax textile scan
Scan of a textile on a Umax scanner

The $64,000 question is whether a $64,000 scanner can produce an image that is visibly superior. Obviously a drum scanner will enlarge to a greater size, but that is not the point here. The question scanner buyers have is, "can I get by with a $4,000 scanner when I need to create basic posters from my scanner?"

Now you know why UMAX likes our test suite. We easily demonstrate, with visual proof, that a scan from a UMAX PowerLook (I, II, or III) enlarges handsomely to large format.

Now that the price of a Umax III has dropped by more than half, now is the time to give your old scanner to charity or to your kids, and indulge yourself with a Umax III.

Umax textile
Close up of the scanned textile

If you want sophisticated software with the same kind of scanner, consider the Linotype-Hell Saphir Ultra 2.

Next step obviously is to scan the same images on a $15,000 Howtek, and then go up the scale, into Fuji, Screen Cezanne up to the price range of a Scanview or Creo.  We are currently reviewing the EverSmart scanners from Creo. Creo scanners are what professionals use. Although I a very happy with the two Umax scanners and the one Heidelberg scanner that I have, when I need to do an enlargement the Scitex scanner provides better quality (as it should, FLAAR has the Creo EverSmart Supreme, the top model of the high end prepress scanners).

FLAAR has moved from desktop publishing into the higher end and recently tested an Imacon vertical scanner. For people interested in scanners for design and graphics studios, prepress service bureaus, advertising agencies, and comparable graphic arts businesses, we review drum scanners on a site,

printed textile Umax
Printed textile

We do one thing at a time. First result is to demonstrate that the PowerLook III is decidedly faster and produces better images than earlier models (keeping in mind that we also have super images from the PowerLook II and even its predecessor the original PowerLook model of 4 years ago, which is still in our office cranking out images).

LinoColor Elite (review)
MagicScan and Binuscan
Silver Fast (about)
Scanning improvement


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Posted April 1998; links added Aug. 11, 1999; edited Oct. 1999, links added Mar. 2002
Most recent updated November 04, 2004, redesigned January 2004
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