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Movie Friday: How one photographer revived a human-sized scanner to scan his ultra-large format moist plate photographs: Digital Pictures Evaluate


Editor’s word: That is the primary a part of a two-part Movie Friday collection.


Markus Hofstätter is understood for creating elaborate giant format cameras and contraptions, however one in every of his most up-to-date initiatives goes above and past something we’ve seen earlier than. For this venture, Hofstätter introduced again to life a 73kg (160lb) ultra-large format flatbed scanner so he can higher scan all however the largest of images he captures on his array of enormous format cameras.

Whereas the venture itself took three months to finish, the journey began years in the past. Hofstätter had been wanting a way to scan his large moist plates, however might by no means wrangle up a scanner that might get the job completed. That every one modified although when a good friend of his notified him a few Display screen Cézanne EFT-S5500 scanner that was up on the market.

This ultra-large scanner weighs roughly as a lot as a full-grown human and is so giant that it barely match within the rear of his SUV when he picked it up and simply managed to squeeze via his entrance door when he introduced it inside. And the logistics have been simply the beginning of the street forward.

The scanner, which might scan 32-bit CMYK, 48-bit RGB and 8-bit grayscale pictures at as much as 5300dpi on its 53cm x 34 cm (13.4″ x 20.9″) mattress, makes use of a SCSI II interface and software program under no circumstances designed to run on trendy computer systems. Whereas it did include a retro Energy Mac (433Mhz) that might’ve considerably labored out of the field, Hofstätter decided the velocity at which he’d be capable to switch these pictures from the scanner to the Energy Mac and to a different pc would’ve taken far too lengthy. So, he ‘upgraded’ to a Energy Mac G4 Quicksilver with a twin 1.2Ghz CPU and 2GB of RAM and bought an array of outdated parts—some new within the authentic field—that might velocity up the method whereas additionally being suitable with the scanner.

From there, it took some tinkering to get the Energy Mac G4 Quicksilver up and operating, as MacOS 9 wouldn’t run on the pc, however Mac OS X wouldn’t help the SCSi controller wanted to attach the scanner. Ultimately, Hofstätter managed to discover a workaround that allowed him to run Mac OS9 through a intelligent multi-boot setup and switch scans over Ethernet at about 60MB/s, roughly 60x the velocity of the USB 1.1 connection that was required for the unique Energy Mac (433Mhz) that got here with the scanner.

With that set in place, alongside an authentic Cinema Show, Hofstätter was prepared to begin scanning.

You may see the outcomes on Hofstätter’s weblog publish overlaying your complete course of, however we’ll be saving the outcomes for half two, which can be featured on Movie Friday subsequent week.

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