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Hasselblad's Flextight X1 logo. Click here to visit the Hasselblad website! Hasselblad: Two new film scanners
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(Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 07:12 EDT)

Among its Photokina announcements, Hasselblad has announced two new drum-based film scanners that are soon to ship.

The Hasselblad Flextight X1 and X5 are closely related, both being PC / Mac compatible, Firewire-connected units with 3 x 8000 pixel CCD sensors and a Rodenstock lens. The X1 is the cheaper of the two, with a pricetag of €9,500 and the ability to scan positive / negative film at 6300 dpi optical resolution, and a 60MB/minute scan speed. The X5 adds A4 reflective scanning, a batch / slide feeder, active cooling to keep noise down, and 8000 dpi optical resolution, along with a whopping 300MB/minute scan speed. For these additions, you pay a premium of almost 80%, with a pricetag of €16,800.

The two new scanners replace Hasselblad's existing Flextight range, which the company inherited when it acquired scanner and digital camera back manufacturer Imacon in late 2004. More details in the press release below.

Original Source Press Release:

Hasselblad Targets Professional Photographers & Production Environments with Two New Flextight Models, Including the World’s Fastest High-End Scanner

...new models simplify Hasselblad’s scanner line-up & address the image quality and speed requirements of the two active high-end scanner market segments...

26/09/2006 - At photokina 2006 Hasselblad is launching the Flextight X1 and the Flextight X5 high-end film scanners to satisfy the respective image quality and speed needs of professional photographers and production environments. Developed around Hasselblad’s patented virtual drum design and flexible magnetic holder and incorporating a 3x8000 optic CCD sensor and a Rodenstock lens, both scanners are fast, easy-to-use and offer professional photographers and production environments, such as photo-labs, archives, prepress and picture libraries, unparalleled image quality. Both scanners, which will replace the existing Flextight range, also feature a new time-saving facility – an ‘Auto Scan’ button, which with one press automatically delivers a superb, high resolution scan.

The Flextight X1 (so named for its standard speed) has been developed with value for money in mind, while the Flextight X5 (so named as it operates at five times the speed of the X1) has been built for speed and scans 35mm originals at up to 8000 dpi and at a blistering speed of 300MB per minute, making it the world’s fastest, high-end scanner. The X1 scans 35mm originals at a maximum non-interpolated optical resolution of 6300 dpi at a respectable maximum speed of 60MB per minute. The X5 also has an A4 reflective scanning option, can take a batch or slide feeder and incorporates Hasselblad’s active cooling capability, where an electronic device is placed directly on the CCD to cool it down and prevent an increase in electrical noise.

As with all Flextight scanners, the X1 and X5 offer outstanding sharpness and image quality and are designed to bring out the finest details and the full tonal range of the professional photographer’s film. Both Flextight models offer a maximum non-interpolated, optical resolution of 3200 dpi in true 8 or 16 bit colour from 60mm originals and 2040 dpi from 4” x 5” originals, both positive and negative. The two scanners also provide automatic frame detection, batch scanning, automatic focus and calibration, software and hardware-based (only X5) Auto Dust Removal and both utilize Hasselblad’s unique FlexColor software and 3F - Flexible File Format – digital data management system to provide users with a fully integrated workflow solution that spans from image capture to output. Both scanners are PC and Mac compatible and interface is via FireWire.

Christian Poulsen, CEO, Hasselblad, comments: "Although professional photographers are making the move to digital cameras, we are introducing these new Flextight models to give photographers the maximum flexibility. For those that do move to digital, the Flextight will be the ideal tool to enable them to digitize their large film archives, and for those that don’t want to go digital yet, the Flextight will extensively prolong the life – and the investment – of their analog equipment. Either way, by using a Flextight scanner, professionals can ensure that their digital conversions are of the best possible quality, will last for a long time and will therefore be worth the highest price.”

“There are also,” continues Poulsen, “other instances where professionals are going to prefer to use their analog kit. There may be situations (such as panoramic or very wide angle shots) for which analog equipment and film are the best technical or creative solution, locations where battery charging could be a problem, or even extreme environmental locations where a professional photographer just won’t or can’t take their digital equipment. For any of these cases, a Flextight scanner is the ideal answer to ensuring that every tone and nuance in the original film image is perfectly replicated in a digital format without any loss of quality or value.”

The new Flextight scanners also include a full selection of holders for mounting all of the most common original formats without requiring gel, tape or glass plates and include a full selection of the most common negative film set-up profiles. Support for special formats, such as panoramas, can also be customised and supplied by Hasselblad. The scanners use glass-free original holders that ‘flex’ the original during the scanning process to form a completely straight line that places nothing between the original and the electronic image sensor. This ensures that the quality remains at its highest level without glass distortions and other unwanted artifacts.

Hasselblad’s new Flextight scanners are on demonstration at photokina at the Hasselblad stand in Hall 2.1, Stand A020/B029 and B020/B028.

Both scanners will be available after photokina 2006, with the Flextight X1 priced at 9,500 Euros and the X5 priced at 16,800 Euros. A customer who buys a Flextight X1 and would then like to change up to a Flextight X5 model may have their X1 modified and upgraded (via their dealer/retailer) for approximately the difference in price between the two scanners.

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