Optronics Colorgetter 3 pro

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by eirik berger, Jun 1, 2005.

  1. Hello all..

    My challenge: I need to find a way to scan my 4x5 and 8x10
    transarencies. Most often I will need to scan 8x10 black/white
    negatives for digital printing in large sizes (40x50-80x100 cm)

    I have read through this forum to see if I could learn something from
    the users of this forum. And I did.

    A company here in Norway wants to sell me an Optronics Colorgetter 3
    pro (drumscanner) with Colorright Pro software. They want 1600 USD for
    the scanner which includes several drums, mounting table and an old
    Mac 9600.

    My experience with drumscanners is very limited, can someone tell me
    if this scanner is right for me or not? What are tho Pros and cons
    with this scanner?
  2. Thats not a bad price, but no big companies are supporting that scanner, ie parts, motors etc. I bought a Falcon without the controller for really cheap to set up, but abandoned it and bought a Howtek 4500. The 4500 is still supported by Aztek and according to them they still have a lot of parts on the shelf.

    I got lucky and found a decent one for cheap. I have heard some ebay horror stories though.

    Also I am not sure if silverfast supports the optronics either.

    The colorgetter is 5400 dpi, but IMO 4000 dpi is more than enough.
    4000 dpi roughly equals 80lp/mm at the film plane which is very high. My LF lenses are not that good.

    If you are printing a 4x5 at 300 dpi and want a 10X enlargement (40" x 50") then you would only need a 3000 dpi scan.

    I am a drum scan fan but alternativly you could use a Epson 4990 that will scan 8x10. The nice thing about the Epson is that with a really clean film like E100G there is hardly any grain. The true actual optical limit of the Epson is about +- 30 lp/mm or around 1500 - 1800 dpi, so printing at 300dpi you would be limited to a 6x enlargement. Also the Epsons are on the fuzzy side, but not too bad with some sharpening.

    Mind you a 8x10 enlarged 6x is big.
  3. A company here in Norway wants to sell me an Optronics Colorgetter 3 pro (drumscanner) with Colorright Pro software.

    Find out about service before you get it.

    I have a Screen 1045ai. My nearest service provider is over 3 hours away. If something breaks I can't fix I'm looking at $500 in drive time before any service even starts. I'm in San Diego, not exactly a flyspeck town. At least there are still parts and service for my 10- year-old monster. Many, many old drumscanners are parts and service orphans.

    Also find out what your max scan dimensions are. My Screen 1045ai is 8000dpi, but won't let you go past 16,000 x 16,000 pixels, so large format needs to be scanned in chunks to get high res.

    Make sure you know and observe all the shipping instructions. Mine incurred over $1,000 in damage because the bozos I bought it from forgot to secure the scan head for shipping, and knew it wasn't worth it to sue someone half a continent away for that little money.

    The colorgetter is 5400 dpi, but IMO 4000 dpi is more than enough. 4000 dpi roughly equals 80lp/mm at the film plane which is very high. My LF lenses are not that good.

    4000 dpi is only about 55 lp/mm. You need 3 pixels to consistently resolve a line pair, not 2, and even then you're at a much lower MTF than the original. Haven't run res tests on my Screen, but my Polaroid Sprintscan 120 topped out at 52 lp/mm, and needed at least 65 lp/mm on the film to reach 52 lp/mm on the scan.

    Finally, measure it carefully! I bought mine on ebay, and the seller's dimensions were a hair off--enough that it wouldn't turn the corner into the spare bedroom as planned. As I've said before on these forums, hell may have no fury like a woman scorned, but a woman with a drum scanner marooned in her living room is a really close second.
  4. I was given one a few years ago... and recycled it. The colorgetter was not a bad little
    scanner for a desktop drum. I believe you can get the RGB data to disk - much of the big
    iron scanners of that era converted to CMYK on the fly.

    One big problem not mentioned yet is the interface: I believe it is a GPIB (if I have that
    right it is General Purpose Interface Bus) which predates even SCSI. You will have to use
    the ancient Nubus Mac and one of the Classic flavors of the OS that is compatible with the
    card and software, and hope the darn thing never breaks down. I doubt you can find a
    newer card that will work in a modern computer. Software support, as mentioned, will be
    another big problem.
  5. qdb


    You should be able to find a Howtek D4000 for a similar price. The D4000 has the same performance as a D4500 but a slightly smaller drum - still capable of scanning a 8x10. The advantage of the Howteks (D4000 and 4500) is Aztek support and the fact there are a relatively large number out there. They also perform very well.

    Anyone contemplating buying a drum scanner, or who already has one, should really join the premier specialist forum for high end scanning at

  6. I have to correct some errors in others responses. Let me first tell you this. I own 2 Optronics scanners , a colorgetter Plus(4000dpi) and a Pro3 (8120 dpi). I have also had time on s Howtek 4000. You don't really need more than 2500dpi on a LF trans and drum scanners are all extremely sharp. I bought the Optronics after seeing some scans that Rodney Lough did. The Oprtonics had the best shadow detail I had ever seen and almost zero noise. The large Format Photography page has a test that also verifies this. The colorgetters dont need a nubus Mac. whoever said this is living in the stone age. I have a G4 (PCI) with Colorright Pro and OS 10.4. If you don't have the pro version you have to use a G3 blue and white ( PCI bus also)for the dongle to work. One thing I must say though, the cost of the Xenon arc lamps is high $550 but these have a broad spectrum and high intensity that allows the awesome color and noise characteristics that make the Colorgetters so good. Howtek is a very good machine also but not as good for pulling detail out of shadows. I would recommend Bob Weber inc for service. Their tech John Angus is first rate and very experienced.
    I want to know if you probally have software for OPTRONICS COLORGETTER 3pro scaner I need ColorGetter Controller Software Version 6.0.5 W/TEA 122. Thanks and best regard, Andrej Rojc
  8. Looking for a Colorgetter Falcon? I have one (plus a parts machine) with an extra drum, mounting station, and some supplies, offered for $500.
    This is near Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia. I really don't want to ship it!
    I also have collected some good info (including factory service manual) on line:

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