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chrism

Hasselblad (Imacon) Flextight Scanners Discontinued

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Got confirmation from a contact at Hasselblad today. A few days ago all the links on Hasselblad websites to the scanners disappeared. No press release, nothing in the May Newsletter. Now I hear that employees were told two weeks ago, but no public announcement has been made. This has arisen because they didn't think it cost effective to write a 64-bit version of FlexColor to drive the scanners, and the 32-bit version won't run on Macs after 10.15 is released. Perhaps they are hoping to sell off all the existing inventory before telling the public that their expensive new toys are doomed.

I'll be keeping three old Macs around (another option is to buy a PC and a Firewire card) that I hope will see me out. Or I might sell my X1 - I haven't decided. Got to plan for my unusual circumstances.

 

Chris

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Thank you for your post. I've just ordered another X1 and hope they'll check it out.

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No more available in Italy!!! ...Hope to find a new one somewhere in Europe.

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Posted (edited)

i would try Linhof Studio in England.  Much better price than B&H.

Any word as to whether the Vuescan owner (Hamrick?) will take this on?

I just had a 2 hour private video session with the owner of the Yahoo Imacon Users group (Gerry Yaeger, who was head of customer service at Imacon back in the day) regarding the Flexcolor software and X1 capabilities.  I came away with validation that I know enough about Flexcolor (and I learned a few tricks) but more importantly I came away with a firmer appreciation for the X1 as a superior scanner than the Coolscan.

One thing that I learned was regarding sharpening.  I have herd SOOO many people say the they turn off sharpening on the flex color and do this by setting the unsharp mask to -120.  

Why -120?  Gerry explained that, indeed, the 0 setting does have some sharpening added to it.  But - and here is where I learned something knew - Imacon only did this in response to Nikon which added sharpening to their scans as a baseline (i.e., even without any sharpening added in Vuescan or Silverfast).  He explained that this is why many people think that the coolscan machines do a better job of getting sharpness out of negatives.  In response, Imacon changed the Flexcolor software to add sharpening to the scans as a baseline even when set to zero.  But at least with Flexcolor this can be reversed (unlike with Vuescan).  

The more I learn about and use the Flexcolor and X1 the more I think the workflow of turning off all sharpening is not good.  Gerry's approach, which I agree with, is to get the scanned image about as sharp as it looks on the light box.  This will be different with different film types. The only think that I don't like about the Flexcolor sharpening is that it doesn't allow you to mask the sharpness so that only the subjects that you want are sharpened.  Instead, the sharpening is applied to everything, including the sky, which you would avoid sharpening when using the mark in Lightroom.

In any case, I am using OS 10.13.6 on my iMac Pro and the Flexcolor works ok although not nearly as good as it did on old models.  

One bog question for me is what Hassy plans to do in terms of continued servicing of the machines.  Nikon continued its service of the coolscans long after they were discontinued.  Hope Hassy will do the same.

Edited by A miller

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Thanks Adam, that's interesting information regarding sharpening. I can believe it, but wonder about its applicability today when using Vuescan and not NikonScan. Personally I still scan with sharpening turned off in Flexcolor - and always does so in Vuescan too - because I prefer post-processing in other software. To be honest, I take whatever Yaeger says with a bit of a grain of salt because of how restrictive he seems to be in finding other ways to do things with the Flextights and Flexcolor, like for instance scanning linearly (or as linear as possible) to use Color Perfect on C41 scans or renaming 3F files to TIF to be able to edit them more easily. That said, I'm sure he knows his stuff.

I agree with your view of the X1 vs the Coolscan 9000. In fact I think it's quite an understatement. The 9000 does well most of the time but give it a dense slide and it just eats time whereas the X1 simply cuts through the slide like a hot knife through butter. And I never have been able to ensure a 100% certain way of not getting Newton rings. The only thing that has worked for me is wet mounting but that is time very time consuming.

I've emailed Hasselblad Sweden to ask for an official explanation regarding the future of the Flextights.

br

Philip

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Some days ago I bought a Brau FS-120 in a company where they also sell Hasselblad scanners. He told me that Hasselblad has stopped the production of the Flextights.

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23 hours ago, A miller said:

i would try Linhof Studio in England.  Much better price than B&H.

 

...and the customs duty on an £11,000 scanner heading into Canada?

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I just received the following email from Hasselblad Customer Service in Gothenburg:


"Yes, the production of both X1 and X5 scanner is now discontinued. I don't have the exact information about the reason of this decision.
Service will still be provided by Hasselblad for existing products on the market for a number of years. 
We hope this is of help for you. Please let us know if you have any further questions."

 

My question also concerned Vuescan and why Hasselblad has not taken up Ed Hamrick on his offer to adjust Vuescan to run these scanners. I know in the past Hasselblad has declined to do this because they have not wished to divulge the inner secrets of these machines. But since they are now no longer producing them, that concern shouldn't apply. Customer Service forwarded my query to the Flextight product manager so a further reply should be coming.

 

Br
Philip

 

10 hours ago, benqui said:

Some days ago I bought a Brau FS-120 in a company where they also sell Hasselblad scanners. He told me that Hasselblad has stopped the production of the Flextights.

 

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On 6/2/2019 at 4:45 AM, james.liam said:

Still available at B&H Photo.

 

On 6/2/2019 at 5:54 AM, A miller said:

i would try Linhof Studio in England.  Much better price than B&H.

Any word as to whether the Vuescan owner (Hamrick?) will take this on?

I just had a 2 hour private video session with the owner of the Yahoo Imacon Users group (Gerry Yaeger, who was head of customer service at Imacon back in the day) regarding the Flexcolor software and X1 capabilities.  I came away with validation that I know enough about Flexcolor (and I learned a few tricks) but more importantly I came away with a firmer appreciation for the X1 as a superior scanner than the Coolscan.

One thing that I learned was regarding sharpening.  I have herd SOOO many people say the they turn off sharpening on the flex color and do this by setting the unsharp mask to -120.  

Why -120?  Gerry explained that, indeed, the 0 setting does have some sharpening added to it.  But - and here is where I learned something knew - Imacon only did this in response to Nikon which added sharpening to their scans as a baseline (i.e., even without any sharpening added in Vuescan or Silverfast).  He explained that this is why many people think that the coolscan machines do a better job of getting sharpness out of negatives.  In response, Imacon changed the Flexcolor software to add sharpening to the scans as a baseline even when set to zero.  But at least with Flexcolor this can be reversed (unlike with Vuescan).  

The more I learn about and use the Flexcolor and X1 the more I think the workflow of turning off all sharpening is not good.  Gerry's approach, which I agree with, is to get the scanned image about as sharp as it looks on the light box.  This will be different with different film types. The only think that I don't like about the Flexcolor sharpening is that it doesn't allow you to mask the sharpness so that only the subjects that you want are sharpened.  Instead, the sharpening is applied to everything, including the sky, which you would avoid sharpening when using the mark in Lightroom.

In any case, I am using OS 10.13.6 on my iMac Pro and the Flexcolor works ok although not nearly as good as it did on old models.  

One bog question for me is what Hassy plans to do in terms of continued servicing of the machines.  Nikon continued its service of the coolscans long after they were discontinued.  Hope Hassy will do the same.

 

Linhof set it as discontinued, B&H has price in USD and import to Europe is subject to customer fee. Hope there's one  left in a shelf around Europe.

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7 hours ago, james.liam said:

...and the customs duty on an £11,000 scanner heading into Canada?

I think they managed the customs to zero into the US.  Dunno about Canada

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Posted (edited)

I think standard WTO tariff on digital products 

53 minutes ago, sarav said:

 

 

Hope there's one  left in a shelf around Europe.

You might want to call The Pro Centre in London (don't bother checking their website). If they don't have one, you can probably rule out the UK as a source and look at other countries in Europe. In truth, very few dealers were stocking (or had stock of) these scanners in recent years so they haven't been easy to come by for a while. They were mostly "available to order" rather than "in stock" items. Wex (previously Calumet) used to list both scanners but no longer do so. I suspect that the supply chain from Hasselblad dried up some time ago.

Edited by wattsy

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46 minutes ago, wattsy said:

I think standard WTO tariff on digital products 

You might want to call The Pro Centre in London (don't bother checking their website). If they don't have one, you can probably rule out the UK as a source and look at other countries in Europe. In truth, very few dealers were stocking (or had stock of) these scanners in recent years so they haven't been easy to come by for a while. They were mostly "available to order" rather than "in stock" items. Wex (previously Calumet) used to list both scanners but no longer do so. I suspect that the supply chain from Hasselblad dried up some time ago.

I'll do it! Thank you very much!!

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What  a sad world for film lover! Pro Centre in London has no more Hasselblad scanners. I've contacted ICG (producer of real drum scanners) and as of January 2019 stopped production and support.

I hope Leica will buy Imacon rights and sell rebranded ones with Karbe-Lens. It's our last hope.

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I suppose the (remote) possibility of someone buying the rights from Hasselblad is just about their only reason for not releasing the engineering specs to Ed Hamrick. Though I'd have thought it would be a more attractive purchase for someone like Leica if they didn't have to write new software for the scanners and could just let VueScan handle that side of it.

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37 minutes ago, sarav said:

What  a sad world for film lover! Pro Centre in London has no more Hasselblad scanners. I've contacted ICG (producer of real drum scanners) and as of January 2019 stopped production and support.

I hope Leica will buy Imacon rights and sell rebranded ones with Karbe-Lens. It's our last hope.

I fear that $17k + shipping + VAT for an X1 at B&H might be your best option as of today for a new Hasselblad scanner.

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11 minutes ago, wattsy said:

I fear that $17k + shipping + VAT for an X1 at B&H might be your best option as of today for a new Hasselblad scanner.

Ian - I'll bet you a lollipop that B&H drop ships this and would tell you that they don't have anything to sell once an order is put through

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I am wondering if it isn't time to go public and try to drum up support from Flexcolor users somehow to show Hasselblad that they're leaving quite a few people in the ditch. Not sure how that could be done, though. Any ideas? I mean, emailing customer support won't go very far, methinks.

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Perhaps the way to go is to press Hasselblad to provide Ed Hamrick with the necessary technical information to enable future software support though his Vuescan software package.

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