Pentacon Scanner 5000N copy stand camera/scanner system.

The Pentacon scanner system works on a copy stand (repro stand). There is also a Pentacon scan 3000 system. The Pentacon Scanner 5000N reprographic stand that we saw at Print '05 was too small to be effective considering the $11,995 price. I would rather pay $33,995 and at least get a system that you could grow into.

Or, if I was paying $11,995, I would at least prefer a BetterLight system that was large format size and therefore could use Rodenstock or Schneider lenses. In fairness to the Pentacon system, you can also get it for Schneider or Rodenstock adaptors, or for Hasselblad or even Mamiya medium format lenses. You can also get a copy stand area larger than the miserly 18 x 20 inches that is usually exhibited or shown in the brochure. But still I am not convinced, especially if there is an inadequate viewer. If you can view through the attached computer monitor.

Their selection of scanner software is good: SilverFast from LaserSoft Imaging, a capable company in Germany. So if you are in a different world than we are (we do giclee, decor, or scanning objects to create art), it is possible that the Pentacon scanner system is okay for you. But for maps it is too small; for books you need a Cruse system with book cradle, etc.

If the copy stand is too small, you are stuck when you want to grow.

Pentacon scanner 5000N copy stand camera reviews by FLAAR
Pentacon Scan 5000 at PhotoPlus 2003.

They call it a scanner because it is a tri-linear scanning technology, same as the Cruse, BetterLight and others. But this one is 35mm, as was the Leica S1. The Leica S1 did not last very long, probably because of its lack of portability.

Most lights for most copy stands are either too rinky-dink (such as the Videssence lights for the ZBE) or simply too fixed in one position (my one preference for improvement to the Cruse would be for lights that could be positioned in more positions).

At FLAAR we use the Cruse copy stand system and also the BetterLight system. If you are in Europe you should also consider the Anagramm tri-linear scanning camera on a Linhof Master Digi Repro System.

Continue on our FLAAR website for comparative comments on all the other medium format digital backs: Imacon, Jenoptic, Kodak, Leaf, Phase One, Sinar, Mamiya ZD and Megavision.

Updated December 1, 2008.
First posted, February 28, 2006.