Drum Scanner

The drum scanner is the most advanced scanning technology, which is put into action, when visual quality comes first. That is why the drum scan is used for the preparation of exhibitions, the publication of photographs, and demanding digital archiving. no-pixel is specializing in high-quality digitalization in high regard to the analog original.


no-pixel works with the legendary drum scanner Tango by the company Heidelberg.

In contrast to the CCD line technique, which is in widespread use today, the drum scanner works with PMT (photo multiplier tube), a light-sensitive line, which digitalizes pixel by pixel and safes each separately in RGB. The result is an enormous, visual resolution, by effective 10 780ppi (11000ppi), tested according to USAF-1951 target. A drum scan provides a very wide density range (> 4,2) and develops fine details in dark image zones. In order to be able to reach the optimum level of focus in every zone of the scan, the templates are wrapped around an acrylic drum, with the result, that when rotated, a precise spacing is guaranteed. Furthermore a special installation liquid is used, which covers the material. That very technique increases the dynamic range, covers even the smallest scratches in the template material, eliminates Newton rings in the scan file, and reduces the retouching retrospectively.

The maximum template size for the drum scan is 44,9x47,7cm (17,7x18,8inches).

The maximum magnification factor reaches 3667% of the template size. 

Generally color templates are digitalized in a 16-bit (this means in color 16-bit per canal | RGB, often also called 48-bit) and greyscale templates (black-and-white) in an 8-bit modus. Scans are issued in color space Adobe RGB and transmitted as TIFF. If other data is required, a small note in the comment area of the order is sufficient.


  • very large dynamic range
  • maximum sensitivity in dark image zones
  • low image noise
  • high density range
  • optimal definition/focus across the whole image zone
  • purely visual instead of interpolated resolution
  • high resolution up to 11000ppi
  • no automatic sharpening, noise reduction
  • wet installation reduces scratches and dust
  • ICC color management individual to film type by iT8-targets

Advantages no-pixel

  • individual setting of white and black-point
  • individual tone value correction
  • FineScan option incl. dust removal
  • FineScan option incl. color negative conversion
  • individual setting of scan aperture
  • application of high-quality system components
  • simple order via web shop
  • dast download via server
  • low prices per Mpx
  • discount at high purchase



In order to clean the film material/original and remove impurities and dust particles, antistatic brushes, compressed air and/or film cleaner are used. For this purpose products by the companies Kami and Simco are applied. The cleaned templates are wrapped around an acrylic round drum and are each inserted in a non-destructive scan liquid. This liquid covers the film material and conceals even the smallest scratches in the template, binds dust particles and prevents Newton rings from forming in the scan file. We use products by the companies SDS and Kami, which were tested and proved to have no influence on the film material. Subsequently the liquid evaporates free from residue. Film and scan liquid are pressed onto the drum exterior by a transparency, so that a constant level of focus across the entire scan area is guaranteed.


As soon as the template is installed on the drum, the scan process begins. After a first pre-scan, the extract is defined, white and black-point are manually chosen and the individual required parameter for each individual scan is set. The scan process can start and according to each individual scan the processing time ranges from a few minutes up to a couple of hours. As soon as the scan is completed, the digital data is examined and retouched and according to the specific order configuration it is saved on the server, a USB stick or a DVD. The template is disassembled, cleaned, securely packaged and prepared for delivery or collection.


The drum scanner in use is able to achieve a purely visual resolution of 11000ppi (effective 10 780ppi, tested via USAF-1951 target). In addition to this high-resolution power, the drum scanner provides various other essential parameters for an exceptional scan. The installation on top of the rotating drum enables the scanner to select each pixel at its optimal level of focus. Using other scanning systems the optimal level of focus cannot be guaranteed and therefore unfocused subsections and image artifacts are the result. Furthermore the density range is a central component, especially when it comes to reaching high-quality results of scans. The proven value of our device is 4.2 DMAX, hence very high. A 2000ppi scan by a drum scanner provides more visual information and a better result than a 2000ppi scan by any other scanner (Hasselblad/Imacon, Coolscan, Consumer devices).


In order to support you, we prepared a format table, which contains any kind of relevant information for you.


Despite all reasonable precautions to minimize any impurities and to get rid of dust particles (compressed air, anti-static brush, negative pressure), a 100% dust-free scan file is unrealizable. That is why a certain extra time for dust retouching has to be considered, especially when it comes to high-resolution images. Those who have gained experiences with film scanning, probably know this aspect to it. no-pixel offers a “RAW”-Scan option, which you can find in the main order and which delivers a digitally unprocessed image file. Choosing the option “FineScan” comes along with the removal of dust particles via retouching by us. Effort and complexity of dust retouch increase with high-resolution, consequently we prorate the costs with 40% of the scan price. If a template is outstandingly impure and it is not to be cleaned despite all efforts prior to the scan, we will contact you after the order has been set and together we will come to a compromise.


As an example the “raw” scan without dust retouch (left) and the same image, having chosen the option “FineScan” (right).

Exampe “FineScan” 35mm Crop, Ilford HP5, 100% crop and 200% crop.

Order configurator

no-pixel provides the entire digitalization offer in a web shop as well as it gives the customer the possibility to define his or her required services.

In order to be able to choose the scan according to your requirements, we provided a configuration in the web shop, which allows you to select the required resolution in megapixel (Mpx) and the magnification factor (% in original size), after the setting of the film format or the template size. Subsequently you define, if your scan should be processed in color or in black-and-white and you will receive the information on possible print size, pixel volume, file size and the final price of your scan. The option “FineScan” will be displayed and you can select it additionally. As soon as the product is adjusted to your needs, you can add your required number of products to the cart, conclude the order and define another product. 

Attention: If you want to order more scans of the same size, but at different resolutions and/or variations, please label each single template, so they can be easily assigned to the different orders.

Attention: If your template material/original is a reflective image or a transparency, which should not be exposed to any kinds of liquids or bending, we would advise against the drum scan and entrust the digitalization by CCD-technique to you (another service offered by us).

Drum Scan Pricing

The prices include the installation price (15€) + per megapixel (Mpx) – 0,25€ for color and 0,15 for black-and-white + VAT. We offer discounts with the increase of incoming orders: 3 scans+ (-5%), 8 scans+ (-10%), 15 scans+ (-15%), 30 scans+ (-20%) or 50 scans+ (-25%). If your volume of order reaches 100 scans, contact us and we will be glad to submit an offer to you. We provide all the required information and prices in the format table. If any further questions come up, turn to the FAQ or contact us.

Place your order