PrePress for Photographers®

Over the years we have had many question on how a drum scanner works.
These are great questions and i thought that it was time to write a post about it.

Drum scanners are amazing pieces of technology designed by true geniuses!
Think of a hollow acrylic cylinder, then a piece of film. Wrap the film around the cylinder and you have the basics of a drum scanner.
Its a very cool big and heavy machine. The halogen lamp light is passed through a fiber optic bundle on the inside of the drum.
Then through the film onto the capture lens. It passes through an precision laser cut aperture wheel and into the optics bench.
The light is split into 3 parts (RGB) through various mirrors and optical filters.

At the end of the optics path are 3 PMT's (Photo Multiplier Tubes). A truly remarkable invention.
The light is now multiplied by the tubes and the current generated by the PMT's passes into the A/D converter, scanner hardware and finally the computer controlling the scanner.

Below is a Drum Scanning primer designed by Aztek, Inc.
Aztek is the designer and manufacturer of our 2 drum scanner, the Howtek 7500 and Aztek Premier.

Click to see the full size image in a new window.
©Aztek, Inc. Used with permission, All rights reserved.

If you have any questions, please contact us anytime.