September 2017 - Digitization of cultural heritage: a world first from Zeutschel

The best of both worlds

The Zeutschel ScanStudio is a unique, innovative solution for digitization of art and cultural heritage in libraries, archives and museums. The system brings together a camera system, an easily exchangeable presentation table for all requirements with a PhaseOne digital back, interchangeable high-performance lenses for a wide range of applications and scanning formats, and a special ErgoLED lighting system with maximum process efficiency and easy operation.

It takes the trend toward digitization in the cultural sector to the next level. Beside bound originals, such as books or large-format documents like magazines, the focus has now widened to include other original material such as films, slides and coins.
Although repro camera systems for these collections already exist, they are limited when it comes to productivity, simple reproducibility of high-quality results and user-friendliness. Professional overhead scanners feature all these characteristics, but they cannot handle transparent originals.
Digitization sites were obliged to use different scanning systems, depending on the original. Such practice is often inefficient, costly and the digitization process made more complex by the various image sources involved.

Scanner and photo studio in one
With this in mind, Zeutschel resolved to develop a holistic solution for the digitization needs of libraries, archives and museums. “The new system bridges the gap between scanning and photo studio applications and therefore combines the best of both worlds. This means we can digitize almost anything – stamps and coins, films and glass negatives, as well as books and large-format originals”, says Jörg Vogler, CEO of Zeutschel GmbH.

Making up the core components are the camera base with PhaseOne digital backs, ErgoLED lighting with flexible directed lighting, a job and production-optimized process control, OmniScan digitization software and a wide range of easily exchangeable presentation tables and holders for overhead and transparency applications. It also includes an LED transmitted light table for transparent originals – from 35 mm slides and films to aerial photographs and x-ray images – fully automatic book cradles up to an A1 format and a vacuum table.

Flexible and modular
Product design took a very systematic approach. As a result, the Zeutschel ScanStudio has a modular structure. The unit can be expanded or upgraded at any time as requirements grow or new tasks are added. “The Zeutschel ScanStudio sets new standards in terms of flexibility and future security. This makes it a tool for the digitization of today and tomorrow”, explains Jörg Vogler.
A system concept evidenced by interchangeable lenses and various accessory modules for scanning – from the transmitted light table with corresponding original holders for slides, glass plate negatives or film formats, to an A2 book cradle with or without a glass plate, and up to a copyboard table for A1 formats. The system is also engineered to accommodate innovative developments in digital backs.

Exceeds existing quality standards
The flexibility of a digitization system for the future also depends on the image quality offered. “We took great care during development to ensure that the existing norms and standards for image quality are not just met, but exceeded”, stresses Jörg Vogler.
Accordingly, the Zeutschel ScanStudio offers an image quality, which exceeds the provisions of the established digitization guidelines of FADGI, Metamorfoze and ISO-19264-1. This is largely down to the latest state-of-the-art PhaseOne digital backs and ErgoLED lighting developed by Zeutschel.

As PhaseOne digital backs use CMOS sensors with a large sensor format, a far superior scan quality can be achieved compared to conventional 35-mm slide sensors. Combined with the high-performance lenses selected by Zeutschel, the proffered 50 or 100 megapixel resolution can be fully attained. The results are sharp, noise-free images that faithfully reproduce even the finest details.
Every perfect picture requires the right lighting.
The Zeutschel ScanStudio does not use flash. Instead, it has ErgoLED lighting with two controllable and adjustable LED lamps optimized for digitization of cultural objects. The original material is illuminated ‘crosswise’ to prevent shadows from appearing in the book fold or casting shadows on mint coins, for example. The ErgoLED lighting system also allows glare-free, directed lighting and ergonomic operation.

Productive and easy to use
Productive, easy to use with quality-controlled results all go hand in hand with Zeutschel ScanStudio. The system is controlled by the OmniScan software, which has been proven in numerous digitization projects, and which, combined with the user-friendly design, ensures optimized process control.
The software, for example, has predefined scan settings for common digitization tasks. It is also possible to create predefined workflows containing all the major settings for the respective project, such as shutter, color management and lighting angle. Once the scan settings are activated, the camera automatically travels to the correct position, and the user given precise instructions on how to adjust the lighting.

This means that even non-professionals can easily and reliably perform repetitive digitization tasks – with the same high quality.  
The monitor is connected to the system and makes a live view possible, which means that the original documents can be positioned perfectly on the copyboard systems. It also allows immediate control of the results.
The presentation systems available also increase productivity. For example, it features a motorized book cradle for book digitization, which allows a semi-automatic workflow. It also boasts a fast autofocus system and very high data transfer rates.
With all these functionalities, the Zeutschel ScanStudio is three times as productive as conventional photo studio systems. The typical cycle time is 600 scans per hour.

Low production costs
The price of the Zeutschel ScanStudio is higher than professional scanning and camera systems. The seemingly high price quickly looks a lot lower if you consider the immense benefits the system has to offer. Jörg Vogler: “Small formats with high resolution requirements, large formats or transmitted light applications, and applications that need a variable light guidance: The Zeutschel ScanStudio accommodates all these needs, while achieving a far higher throughput than other repro systems.“
A conservative scenario gives production costs per scan in the low single-digit cent range and this is in the highest standardized image quality.
The ScanStudio is now available via Zeutschel’s global partner network. PhaseOne exclusively distributes the system in the North American market via its partner Digital Transition. More information at:

Market leaders band together
PhaseOne collaborated with Zeutschel in developing ScanStudio. Both companies are market leaders in their respective segments – book scanners and digital medium format cameras – and have the same high standards of quality. Zeutschel has so far been focusing on digitization solutions for books and other valuable bound documents. The cooperation with PhaseOne means that the Tübingen-based company can now expand its range and enter new markets. Cooperation was very productive from the start. They were quickly able to overcome technical challenges through collaborative effort. “All in all, we are extremely proud that it only took a year from agreed concept to presentation of the first prototypes at the CeBIT“, says Jörg Vogler.

About Zeutschel:
With its scanning and microfilm systems, Zeutschel GmbH has played a key role for more than 55 years in the digitization and digital preservation of valuable documents, both in librarianship and archive management as well as in industrial companies and public administration. The company is the global market leader in book scanners. Now, zeta, Zeutschel's multiple award-winning overhead scanner, brings all the advantages of "scanning from above" into the modern office. It has never been so easy, efficient and eco-friendly to digitize pages from contracts, files or balance sheets. The range of software products and accompanying services is extensive and supports libraries and archives in building up digital collections in the Internet and in the realization of digital services. The company founded in 1961, employs 65 members of staff and its products and services are represented in more than 100 countries. All Zeutschel products are "Made in Germany": The complete manufacture and entire research and development activities take place at the company's headquarters in Tübingen-Hirschau.

Corporate Contact
Zeutschel GmbH, Heerweg 2, 72070 Tübingen, Germany, e-mail:; Internet:

Press contact:
Zeutschel GmbH, Margot Rauscher, Tel.: +49 (0) 7071 / 9706-11, Fax: +49 (0) 7071 / 9706-44, E-Mail:

PR agency:
neitzel communications, Jürgen Neitzel, Löwenstr. 46a, 70597 Stuttgart, Germany, Telephone: 0711/ 440 800-63, Fax: +49 (0) 711 / 440 800-70, E-Mail:


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