CMYK vs RGB Scans for CMYK Separations:

The greyscale images to the left are the color channels from two scans of the same color negative. The scan on the left side was scanned into CMYK color on our drum scanner. The scan on the right was scanned into RGB color using one of our Polaroid Sprint Scan scanners and then converted into CMYK in Photoshop 5.5.

If you compare the two sets of images you will see that the drum 'color' channels (C,M & Y) are denser and cover more of the image, particularly into the deeper midtones and shadow areas. The'black' channel (K) however, is much lighter than the converted K channel.

What this means in your scan, and ultimately your print job, is that the CMYK drum scan will transition more accurately from full color to shadow. Converted RGB scans (and digital camera captures) will often show a band of dense color at the transition falling off into a flat and excessively neutral shadow. This is most obvious in the outlined area of the Magenta and Yellow channels of this particular image.



CLICK HERE to see a side by side comparison of these two scans in full color. The detail is from the outlined area.

CMYK Drum Scan
Converted RGB Scan

Our Imocon Drum Scanner vs Other High End Scanners

CLICK HERE to download a PDF spec sheet showing how our scanner compares to the competition.