Do I Need One?
Drum scanners are designed to do one thing really well. Scan your film. There are plenty of good scanners on the market that achieve the same thing. The difference can be equated to a standard vs luxury car. Both cars will get you from point A to point B. The luxury car may offer better handling, a more comfortable ride, generous torque, you name it. The question is how much do you really care about these additions or conveniences? I'll be the first to admit that a drum scan isn't for everyone (or everything), but when you do desire that tighter performance, I'll be right here to take you on that ride!
I've asked myself this question many times over the years. Why get a drum scan? Are they really worth the extra cost? Will I see any advantage?
After months of testing and owning this beast, I can confidently answer yes! They show me what film is finally capable of. My scanner's maiden voyage was for a local commercial photographer. She provided me with 645 and 6x7 negatives shot on Portra 400 of models in a studio setting. The detail and clarity was astounding! I had no idea that Portra 400 had this kind of resolution. I'm learning that this scanner can see further than I ever expected.
Swimmers, Halfway Rock Point
Bruce Peninsula National Park
Ask yourself these questions?
1) Do I have a sharp, well exposed image? A drum scan is no substitute for poor technique.
2) Do I need a large file for printing big? This is where drum scans excel. You don't need a large scan for social sharing.
3) I have a few select images that I want to get the most detail I can. Perfect! Whole roll scanning is not the drum scanners' forte. It's designed for high quality selects. Noritsu and Frontier scanners dominate this market already and are the best option. They're also more affordable.
4) I am pretty versed with Photoshop, or an equivalent editor, and I can tell a good scan from a bad one. Colour depth, fidelity, tonal range, and sharpness are just some of the things I'm attuned to. Welcome!
5) I just want to pixel peep a fine drum scan. Excellent!