bowens_1A couple of posts ago I was bitching about not being able to meld my obsolete scanners with windows 7 and the lack of SCSI drivers  for my old card. Even after I wrote that I continued to haunt the web looking for a solution wasting a lot of time until I finally cracked and bought a modern second hand card off eBay. Including postage it cost AUD 26.25.

Installing it, finding the appropriate drivers on Adaptec’s support site, downloading 64bit Vuescan, and bringing the lot to a workable state took less than half an hour. Sometimes Scrooge is not the ideal role model.

I am a fan of the Bowens Illumitran as a fast, rough way to get a lot of negatives or slides into the computer for proofing. I had an old unit which finally gave up the ghost amid crackling noises, sparks and clouds of black smoke, so have been looking for a replacement on eBay, but the cost of buying one then paying an extortionate amount for international freight kept me from buying.

Then a week ago one turned up locally at a competitive price and only $15 for postage, so I didn’t haggle parting with some of my brochure sales to become the owner of a very smart Bowens 3S – the last model from about 1991. It functions beautifully so I am back in the business of trying to sort what I call my archive.  It has also been described as a mess, which is in fact, more accurate.

The image above is direct from the camera (Nikon D200) with no post tweaks other than resizing for the blog. The Illumitran was simply set to standard flash and the flash head dropped to its lowest level, the lens set to f32, the shutter to 1/60th. The mounted Ektachrome 64 35mm slide popped in to the holder and pop … an acceptable proof image. I could have fiddled with filters to get the colour balance right, but as I am only planning to print proof sheets from these files, it hardly matters.


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