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Since I've been answering reader's questions for the Digital Help column, one frequent source of interest is a scanner which can work with all sizes of film. Until now I've had to answer that question negatively and advise getting a separate 35mm film scanner and a flat-bed with good resolution which is capable of scanning film. This report is about a professional quality Umax scanner they describe as, "The Flat-bed Drum Scanner," implying it has the capability to do it all, with high professional quality. But the Umax PowerLook offers film scanning and UMAX Scanner PowerLook 3000 scanning up to 8. Brooks, All Rights Reserved Unusual in performance and price, the Umax PowerLook is also unique in its construction and functions.

At first glance it seems like just a rather large flat-bed scanner. It can be described as such, but rather than having a fixed bed and UMAX Scanner PowerLook 3000 moving scan bar inside, the Umax has a moving, steel framed, optical glass bed, a fixed dual lens sensor array and illumination sources. The dual, distinct optical setups are the secret to the high-resolution, one providing a "picture" of the whole width of the scan bed, the other just one third, and both focused on a 10, element CCD array. That takes care of more than adequate resolution at dpi for even film as small as a 35mm frame higher than the most popular 35mm scanner at dpiand very high for all size films, and even a slightly cropped 4x5.

Larger film sizes like 5x7 and 8x10 at the dpi optical maximum across, is also much more than adequate. Umax now includes PowerColor 4.


And finally, the other key dimension of UMAX Scanner PowerLook 3000 quality, dynamic range, is a healthy 3. The scanner is also supported with a SCSI 2 interface, and two different scanner driver software packages, MagicScan 4. One very distinct advantage of the Umax PowerLook is immediately apparent as soon as it is unpacked and set up. You can lay out as many as 12 35mm film frames, in the strip holder or six in the slide mount holder, and do a pre-scan of all of them placed in the area that scans at dpi.

The advantage is that with just one pre-scan, you can do selection defining UMAX Scanner PowerLook 3000 the crop frames of each image. Then make color correction and other adjustments like size, to each, then once all of the images are prepared for a final scan, hit one button and they are all scanned without further attention by you. Resulting in a file for each image on your hard drive. Both the Umax MagicScan 4. I took this picture of a lone Aspen still holding on to its colored leaves, from across a mountain valley in Colorado, shot with an mm lens on a 6x4.

Because the image is not critically sharp scanning it has not resulted in a successful image file until I scanned the film at dpi with the Umax PowerLook At the present time multiple image holders are only available from Umax in 35mm size. The and 4x5 size film holders supplied are single units. However, from working successfully with 35mm mounted UMAX Scanner PowerLook 3000 Wess Plastic glassless mounts with the scanner, I would assume if they have glassless mounts for sizes they would function equally well for batch scanning. I selected a wide variety UMAX Scanner PowerLook 3000 film images, and a few prints to scan with the Umax PowerLookand used both software packages provided.

Also a sharp 35mm Kodachrome appropriately chosen to test resolution and evaluate the dynamic range ability of this scanner to handle the densities of chrome films. I also chose a number of film images scanned before and found it difficult to obtain good results with other scanners, and particularly concentrated on a number of 6x4.

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One fall I was fortunate to be in the Colorado Rockies when the Aspen were in color. Working with just one image at UMAX Scanner PowerLook 3000 time, the PowerLook is not as fast as some 35mm scanners, but using its ability to batch scan makes up for that and then some. Fortunately I have a number of scanner film holders and was able to put at least three or four size images on the scan bed at a time.

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For anyone who is using the scanner for archiving, combining this batch ability and selecting output in bit mode, is both UMAX Scanner PowerLook 3000 in securing a file with all of the scan data collected by the Umax in it in an archived file, which can then be color corrected for different applications later. Even though I deliberately chose mostly challenging images from a scanning perspective, I obtained superior image qualities in just about every instance. UMAX Scanner PowerLook 3000 exception I found was with some black and white silver-based film scans. Although I have no information about the details of the light source and optical path employed in the PowerLookI have to assume that it is less diffuse than a typical flat-bed with a TPU light source replacing the scanner lid, or a 35mm scanner which uses a fluorescent tube light source.

Umax PowerLook 3000 PrePress Flatbed Scanner

The apparent more collimated light of the Umax would result in greater effective densities read in silver film negative images. I could never obtain a decent silver print of this portrait of my UMAX Scanner PowerLook 3000 model shot on 8x10 film, because of the fine detail and subtle tonality of the white shawl.


The UMAX Scanner PowerLook 3000 PowerLook provided the opportunity to scan that big negative and adjust the curve so all of the values reproduce with stunning reality. In all other dimension applied to all color media, the Umax PowerLook provided distinctly superior image quality to any flat-bed scanner I've worked with, and a close match or better than the professional larger format film scanners. In other words the visual qualities of the images scanned in sharpness, and detail is everything and sometimes more than what you would expect based on the visual appearance of the film image.

The range of tones captured by the scanner provides fine separation of values, and color saturation and the delineation of tints and hues is a precise representation of the original image. After 40 or so scans, all of which were improvements over previous scans of many of the film images, working with the scanner on a Mac and a Windows PC, I was quite convinced the Umax PowerLook is indeed a thoroughly professional UMAX Scanner PowerLook 3000 scanner. The clincher was a completely successful scan of a 6x4. This piece of film was one of the few I was successful reticulating, as modern color films are quite resistant to that affect. However, the reticulation pattern is quite fine, and it took the Umax's dpi resolution to record it clearly. This photograph of a dancer taken in my daylight studio with a combination of ambient and UMAX Scanner PowerLook 3000 flash lighting at a slow shutter speed, captured many subtle tonal variations.

These slight variations in tone distinctions were accurately preserved scanning the Ektachrome 6x4. Umax supplies two software drivers with the PowerLookthe MagicScan 4. But the Umax PowerLook offers film scanning and print scanning up to x11" with an optical resolution up to dpi for film up to ". UMAX PowerLook - flatbed scanner - desktop - SCSI overview and full product specs on CNET.

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