Enlarged wide format print 36 inches across printed on an Encad wide format printer using an EFI Fiery RIP shows the adequate quality of a midrange flatbed scanner. If you are curious about what a $32,000 scanner will really do, check out our reviews of a circa $40,000 scanner, 5000 dpi (true optical dpi).

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Do you really need a $32,000 flatbed scanner?

An economical Umax PowerLook III flatbed can enlarge a 6x6 cm, 4x5 inch, or 8x10 transparency to fill the wide-format print pictured here; a Nikon or Polaroid slide scanner can enlarge a 35mm slide to fill a wide-format Encad print up to 24 inches wide. The new Polaroid SprintScan 4000 35mm slide scanner enables you to enlarge a 35mm slide up to 36 inches wide.

8 x 10 chrome scanned Umax powerlook
The poster above resulted from an 8x10 chrome scanned on a UMAX PowerLook. How can an economical UMAX scanner do all this? It's all in the software. If you get good software you can do wonders with a cost-effective scanner. If you upgrade to LinoColor software from Heidelberg CPS (Linotype-Hell) you can get even better color management.

all kinds of information on flatbed scanners from www.flatbed-scanner-review.org

A basic desktop flatbed scanner costing less than $2,000 can enlarge a transparency to create a huge poster, and still have dpi to spare. FLAAR can document this because our wide-format ENCAD printer routinely creates impressive large-size posters from transparencies, as seen here.

The scanner that did this is a UMAX PowerLook, not a $32,000 scanner!

Admittedly this is not a $250 model, but $4,000 is a lot less than $32,000 for a low-end drum scanner or high-end flatbed. Besides, the price of this Umax scanner is now only about a thousand dollars and change.

To get this quality in the color enlargement, you need a good quality printer and a hardware RIP server. We have good experience with the EFI Fiery RIP and recommend it. Our EFI Fiery RIP always functions, never failed.

American Inkjet Company
Wide format media by American Inkjet Company




But again, don't try to produce exhibit quality with a cheap low end scanner.

We have also scanned 35mm color slides with dedicated Nikon 35mm slide scanners and enlarged the resulting prints to 24 inches in size with the ENCAD wide-format printer.

All this said and done, after we scanned a wide variety of 35mm, 2 1/4 inch, and 4x5 chromes on a Fuji C-550 Lanovia flatbed scanner, the quality of these Fuji scans left a lasting impression. These scans were simply superior in all respects to scans from any lesser scanner. In other words, you get what you pay for.

Most active digital offices have one of each, a dedicated slide scanner and also a flatbed. A prepress shop should also have a drum scanner.

Wide format media comes from American Ink Jet Company. Many people prefer the Matte. Others prefer photo glossy. American Ink Jet sells all of the above, and much more.

Reviews of a professional flatbed scanner, the Fuji C-550 Lanovia, on www.flatbed-scanner-review.org

FLAAR offers for you more information about this subject
Scanners Preview Creo EverSmart Supreme Printing 3D Digital Rollouts
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Updated May 5, 1998, edited May 24, 1999; last updated July 21, 1999, James L Robinson: last checked by webdesigner Mar. 1, 2002. Most recent updated November 04, 2004, redesigned January 2004

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