>>3527974>how crucial is the calibration target?
Depends on what you want. IT8 targets aren't magic or perfect but they're a requirement in most cases.
Scanners don't really see in color.
They don't know what pink is, and they sure as hell doesn't know what cyans or yellows are. What they do is capture up to 16 bits of grey in three separate channels. Combining these channels creates a color image but all colors are false. All of these "colors" get made up on the spot from a mixture of red, green, and blue values with no greater context so there's no accuracy in representation of original colors. They are precise, but inaccurate. Things can literally look like completely different colors in the scan compared to the original.
Calibration fixes 99% of this.
IT8 is the industry standard way of dealing with this.
Some methods are superior and some require using more than one physical target but they aren't standardized or widely available.
It's possible to do this manually with curves and shit but you'll go autistic and gain 400lbs and die long before you get even two colors nailed down and it only gets more complicated as you try and correct more colors without fucking up previous ones.
It's all a game of (what goes in) + (what comes out) + (knowing what went in) + (making adjustments) = making future scans more accurate by applying corrections made knowing what's wrong and what it should be closer to.
Working while ignoring this issue leads to wasted time trying to correct color or just bad images in the end.
Check out the mouse-over examples at this sitehttp://www.computer-darkroom.com/it8cal/it8_page_1.htm>I'm looking into buying an 8200i for $250, but does not come with the target.
Is it used?
You can buy targets separately. They're usually well under $100 but there's not many places selling them. Be sure to buy only standard targets if you're not using Silverfast because not all software can use Silverfast's "advanced" targets or special ones