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Hasselblad Flextight X1 and Imacon 848


Just curious to know what the differences are, if any, between the old Imacon badged 848 scanner and the newer Hasselblad X1.

I'm wondering if the X1 is newer technology or better with things like grain aliasing when scanning MF colour neg film. I hear the X5 and 949 are both better because of better D-Max but more importantly a different diffuse light source that gives smoother, less gainy results. Not counting the faster speed of the more expensive units.

I've been comparing colour neg scans made on a Nikon 8000ED I have at work, all 8x multisampled at 4000dpi using the glass carrier, against Imacon 848 scans done from the same neg at 3200dpi. The Imacon is certainly a lot sharper although the grain aliasing is very noticeable on both. Very clumpy and full of accentuated colour grain compared to scanned trannie film. Both units produce colour neg scans that are certainly worse than a wet mounted drum scan. The results on both have made me very hesitant to shoot colour neg in the past as I don't have access to wet c-type printing pro labs here in New Zealand and must scan and print all exhibition work with inkjet (Epson 7800) or Lightjet.

For trannies, I've only had 4x5" scanned on the 848 but the quality was very good, if not rather noisy (kind of weird, faint wavy lines,) in the deeper shadows. I wouldn't say it was that far ahead of the Nikon when comparing the results I get scanning 6x7cm trannies with it. It was just "sharper."

Comments and personal observations greatly appreciated!

The Imacon 949 and X1 produce more analog looking scans ... similar to enlarger work. This is due to the light source being different than the 646 and 848 ... and the D-max produces better shadow detail (there may be other image differences, but I do not know exactly what they may be).

I used an 848 loaner for a couple months prior to purchasing the 949 when Hasselblad put them on sale to make room for the re-badged X series. The difference is noticeable. Scan speed of the 949 is simply amazing ... which cannot be underestimated.

However, it must be said that the Flexcolor software preferences have to be set up properly to maximize each scanner's abilities. Film profiles are approximate, and I've found that it's better to set your own. Defaults are also set to averages rather than specific tastes and needs based on your shooting habits. I reset almost everything ... and that also made a big difference.

Your dealer should be working with you to set up the scanner and software for maximum performance.
That's a great reply, thank you.

So the X1 has a different light source too? I thought only the X5 had a better condenser? It sounds then that the main advantage of the X5 is speed and batch functions, along with slightly more D-Max.

Thanks again,
That's a great reply, thank you.

So the X1 has a different light source too? I thought only the X5 had a better condenser? It sounds then that the main advantage of the X5 is speed and batch functions, along with slightly more D-Max.

Thanks again,

My error, I do not know if the X1 has the better light source. The X5 is the same as the 949. I do not know much about the X1 at all ... once I got my 949, I stopped following the scanner news.
Thanks again.

I'm stressed at the moment because I have a possible show and book publication coming up and they both depend on having my photographs scanned and ready for exhibition quality printing and cmyk press press at the drop of a hat. I've scanned them all with the Nikon 8000 at work and the more I look at them, the worse they look! Bad shadow detail, really bad grain aliasing on neg etc. I'm beginning to think I should just go into debt and spend the money to get everything drum scanned. Problem is I know end quality is very much dependent on the skill of the operator. I live in New Zealand and lets just say the skills in the photo industry are very few and far between! End cost for the scans I'd need would be about $8000NZ - $10000NZ ($6300US,) that's including colour correcting etc. The cost of a good second hand or refurb 848 wouldn't be *that* far off that, considering I could use it in future projects and to rescan my archives myself rather than outsourcing. But it seems the 949 / X5 is the better scanner...

May I ask fotografz, how do you find the grain aliasing when scanning 400ISO colour neg on your 949? I've found the difference between scanning 400ISO tranny and neg like chalk and cheese, with the tranny being a lot smoother, with less colour "noise."

Does anyone know of a reputable dealer that sells refurb Imacons that I could contact? Do they have a web site? The Hasselblad reps here are utterly useless and not returning my calls. Doesn't exactly inspire confidence in after sales support and to be frank they have proven they don't deserve my money!