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Todd wrote with a question about
Leaf Scan Quality

I have a quick question about  a 1995 model leafscan 45s . 
I, am a photographer and I am looking a purchasing a film scanner . 
I have found a older leaf scan  for $6000 US Dollars . I am 
wondering  if this older model scanner would compare with 
some of the newer scanners  in that price range . Todd

D'Lynn Waldron Answers:

As you may have seen in my article on scanners, the old "Chrysler Building" Leafscan 45S provided more satisfactory images as far as highlight and shadow detail than any consumer model I tested. (I assume this is the model you are considering.) I did however have to pump saturation in Photoshop on most images.


  1. The Leafscan uses a bulb technology that requires calibrating before every session, and the bulbs dim down and then wear out. (Are the bulbs still available?)
  2. The Leafscans can have a real problem with flatness alignment of the stage to the lens.
  3. It is impossible to get a piece of film in absolutely straight in the carrier- a real problem when you consider point #4.
  4. The Leafscan takes about 15 minutes to preview, and 40 minutes to scan a 35mm.
  5. The Leafscan is long out of production plus a change of company (or two or three) and support for the driver is probably nonexistent- (which was a problem from the year they stopped production with the Nikon LS3510AF) Check the appropriate Web site for driver support before you buy.
  6. Repairs for the Leafscan are probably unavailable (I knew the tech and repair people, who all got the gate in one of the take-overs.)
  7. This scanners are VERY LARGE AND VERY HEAVY and fragile. As originally shipped they came in a custom built crate on a palette for the fork lift. Don't have one shipped unless it comes in this original crate- which is huge and was probably not saved.
  8. $6000 is way too much to pay for an old orphaned piece of equipment with very outdated technology. (the technology dates to the early 1980's- or earlier).
  9. If you consider a drum scanner look up the reviews as to image quality and software usability.

Consider instead one of the new drum scanners in that same price range. If you decide on the Leafscan, offer $1500, which is its absolute max value, and be sure it is working and there is support for the driver.

Best wishes, Lynn

D'Lynn Waldron THE IMAGE PERFECTED copyright 1999

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