of Kodak slide scanners, especially the 4050 for large format film,
coupled with links to reviews of the inherent problems of the whole
Kodak Photo CD system.
museum had a brand new 4x5 slide scanner, the equivalent
of what today is a Kodak model 4050. The basic difference is that
in 1995 it was run by a Sun Sparcstation; today it is more sensibly
coupled to a Macintosh G3.
review is simple and to the point. The original 4x5 system (which
also did 35mm and 6x6 cm medium format) was overkill
for 1996 and is obsolete in 1999. The selection of a Sun Sparcstation
was totally impractical (unless you have a room full of other Sun
Sparcstations to handle the images). It is much more realistic to
use a Macintosh. Sure Adobe Photoshop was available for Sun and
Silicon Graphics, but outdated versions. The latest versions were
available only for Mac and Wintel machines. Besides, unless you
had a million dollars worth of RAM and a super fast hard drive,
the Sun computer did not handle digitized slides significantly faster
than a normal Mac or PC.
vase hierogliphic close-up
particular scanner in Osaka was either poorly manufactured or had
otherwise developed loose connections. Hardly what you expect in
a $125,000.00 scanner. What a waste. Today you can get an Imacon
to do 4x5 and medium format for $16,000, so why get a Kodak?
Kodak was a convenient answer in the early days when not
many people knew about scanning, scanners, or any of the high end.
Kodak packaged together an entire system and held your hand
while it was installed.
the scanner operator was uncaring (a polite way for saying that
he pressed the ON button without adequately adjusting for the different
attributes of the various scans). I got the impression the operator
had insufficient training. Training
the operator is often worth more than having expensive hardware
and fancy software. A well trained operator can produce wonders
from a midrange scanner, but a poorly trained operator will produce
bad results no matter how expensive and high-end the scanner.
with the Internet, and better access to information, there
are plenty of other companies who will hold both your hands and
even your feet and will deliver a fully professional system for
far less than Kodak asks. Kodak, like any large company,
has a hard time changing with the new technology. Imacon,
Howtek, and comparable smaller companies depend on producing
an exceptional scanner; these companies devote their entire capabilities
to focus on producing quality software and hardware for the high-end
part of the problem with Kodak scanners is the legacy of
Kodak Photo CD. This well intentioned but ultimately
unfortunate system attempted to cram umpteen pictures in multiple
resolutions onto a single CD. This was a clever marketing ploy to
attempt to interest Mr. and Mrs. John Q Public to store their family
albums on Kodak Photo CDs. This meant it was directed at
the low end (read low resolution, poor color quality, and dreadful
compression). Nowadays any reasonably intelligent person can, on
their own, vary the resolution of their pictures. Macintosh systems
provide automatic thumbnail views anyway. Archiving software such
as Extensis Portfolio can create much more useful thumbnails
than the low-res Kodak images anyway.
additional problem with the Kodak Photo CD system is that
they attempted to make it proprietary. In other words, no other
software but Kodak could open a Kodak Photo CD in the early days.
Still today you can mess up the files if you attempt to open them
in any normal conventional manner. It might be safer to get the
special version of SilverFast
which is made specifically to open Kodak Photo CD files, www.LaserSoft-Imaging.com.
than beat a dead horse, best to politely acknowledge collective
appreciation to Kodak for trying hard in a premature era to bring
Photo CD to the masses. Today Yamaha, Panasonic, and dozens of other
venders of CD-R burners have provided a substantially higher
level of quality and an international standard (such as Adaptec
TOAST CD-burner software). Today there is no need to have Kodak
hold your hand while you burn one of their CD formats. You can select
your own format and more easily burn your own CD--far more flexible.
have not used the Kodak model 1000 scanner for 35mm, but unless
it has eliminated the Kodak Photo CD system it suffers all the effects
of the unnecessary gibberish of ranked resolutions. All you need
is a single resolution; you will have to resize the picture for
eventual use anyway, so why gut the archival original just to get
lots of useless extra resolutions to clog your Photo CD with.
host of medium and high-end scanner manufacturers run circles around
Kodak in the market of the 1999. Their scanner was a good try, definitely
well intentioned, and I am sure that other units did not have the
physical defects of the 1996-vintage model in Japan (it was, however,
brand new when I used it in 1996).
you are stuck with lots of Kodak Photo CD images that you did before
better systems were available, be sure you get SilverFast
to open your Kodak Photo CD images. Kodak Photo CD never really became
an international standard and most scanner and color programs cannot
necessarily open a Kodak Photo CD properly (I suspect that Kodak wanted
to sell that software on their own, but the market refused to buy
it). In the meantime there is a "rescue software"
available from LaserSoft Imaging. This is a special form of
SilverFast. For more information, consult www.silverfast.com
one part of the Kodak system that was superb in 1996 and is still
high-tech today is their dye-sub printer. Alps can also produce dye-sub
at about $500 (as opposed to over $7,000+ for the Kodak version) and
Fuji Pictography can produce exhibit quality masterpieces that
surpass even a $10,000 dye sub printer--but this only works if you
have the extra cash for the pricey Pictography. The Kodak dye sub
printer produces exhibit quality prints, is solidly made, and worked
flawlessly for the several months that I tested it in Japan. QMS sells
dye-sub printers in Europe and I would imagine in the USA as well.
deity variant of PSS hieroglyph, Tepeu 1, Maya, Land Collection
you wish a tip on a reliable place to purchase any major brand of
35mm slide scanner (Nikon, Polaroid, etc) we recommend CDW. CDW
stocks over 40,000 items for computers and digital imaging. e-mail
Mick McEuan at email@example.com
and indicate what kind of scanner you would like (or ask his advice).