How does a drum scanner work?

The drum scanner – a scanner with particularly high quality

Mit Trommelscanner Fotos scannen“Drum scanners are the best thing available in scanners,” says Janek Janssen, photo technician at MEDIAFIX, “Nothing comes close to the results of such a scanner in terms of quality.”

The technology used in a drum scanner is relatively old, but it delivers great results. The drum scans can achieve a resolution of up to 12,000 dpi. But how is such a scanner constructed? Why does the drum scanner deliver so much better results than the flatbed scanner ?

As the name suggests, the core element of a drum scanner is a drum inside the device. The drum rotates and the originals (slides or photos) are mounted to it, what results in them lying in a semi-circular position. Our photo technician explains why this is better than placing them flat in a flatbed scanner: “If you simply place the originals, no matter whether they are photos or slides, on top of a flatbed scanner or fix them in a holder, you will never be able to clamp them completely straight without wrinkles or bulges, you will always see this on the scan afterwards. But if everything is fixed semicircularly on the drum, that can’t happen.”

As the drum of the scanner rotates evenly, the illumination and scanning unit also move evenly past the original. Always at the same distance and at the same speed. Instead of CCD sensors, the scanner works with highly sensitive photomultipliers. The quality achieved this way can only convince you.

But drum scanners also have a disadvantage. “A scan takes a very long time. That’s why you usually try to use the whole area of the drum and put as many originals on there as possible.”

Our scanner is a Hasselblad Flextight X5 – a virtual drum scanner

At MEDIAFIX we work with the Hasselblad Flextight X5. This scanner is designed for professional use and thus ensures an image quality that you cannot achieve with the commercially available scanners at home. The Hasselblad Flextight X5 is a virtual drum scanner. The originals are placed in flexible mounts. For scanning, they are then also bent and guided around the sensor in a fixed radius. The tension in the now bent original prevents the film from curving. The scanner can scan the original completely sharp.

By the way, at MEDIAFIX we offer both medium-format and large-format scans with the Hasselblad Flextight X5. This means that any of your originals can also be scanned in professional quality.

Bilder scannen mit Trommelscanner

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