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Need a high quality photo scanner

Discussion in 'Digital Photography & Imaging' started by TheInfiniteOne, Oct 2, 2008.

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  1. TheInfiniteOne

    TheInfiniteOne Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
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    Hello everybody,

    I'm coming here to ask if anyone knows of a really nice high quality photo scanner. At my office we have thousands of photos piled up in boxes and we would like to digitize them so we can put them on our server.

    I am looking for a scanner that can scan multiples at a time and possibly even auto crop. Or even a good scanner with some good software which can auto crop. Price is not a problem so what ever you can possibly recommend.

    Thank you! :)
     
  2. WButchar

    WButchar

    Joined:
    May 29, 2003
    Messages:
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    Hey TIO!

    Personally, if you want quality and speed, I'd stay away from "all in one" units: i.e. scanner, printer, copiers if that is one option you may consider.

    Visioneer makes very clean scanners for the price, but - in my experience - don't have a long life,

    I use an "Epson Perfection V200" for up to 8½ x 11 size and find it more than suits my needs as a professional in Photography, Design & Imaging. Speed is pretty good. Scans are crisp. Software is relatively easy, but I mainly scan images directly into Photoshop. Haven't burnt it out yet, so it seems quite durable. Price is very reasonable: around $100.

    [NOTE: Epson is also known for great image quality, but many - as myself - have had problems with their printers because the heads seem to dry up/wreck too easily. However, their scanners are good.]

    For image quality, Agfa has some great scanners.

    Added info, just in case you don't know: when scanning photos, images, higher settings are not necessarily the way to go. Too high a resolution will make the image look like crap and too low will appear blurred or pixilated. Normally, when scanning an image between 4"x5" and 8"x10", I'll scan it between 288 and 480 dpi max. Small images: slightly higher. Less for larger images. Experiment.

    Hope this helps.

    WB
     
  3. slipe

    slipe

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2000
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    The pick of the litter is probably the Epson V700. The V750 is the same scanner but comes with some high end software for color management and an anti-reflective coating that is probably useful for only film and slide work. The V700 is probably a better choice as you describe your needs. Good review: http://www.photo-i.co.uk/Reviews/interactive/Epson V700/page_1.htm

    The Epson 4990 is cheaper but still quite good. Review: http://www.photo-i.co.uk/Reviews/interactive/Epson 4990/Page 1.htm

    If you are just scanning prints and not a large collection of film and slides I think you would do OK with a cheaper scanner. The Epson V500 is PC Magazine’s Editor’s Choice in the price range and it has the features you require. Review: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2213394,00.asp

    All of these scanners will find the edges of multiple photos and display thumbnails of each in the preview.

    I was looking for a flatbed to digitize my large collection of film and slides. I have a dedicated film scanner for individual photos, but I wanted something that would do a lot at once. After research I decided on the Canon 9950. It does more at once than the Epsons and the scratch and dust removal is several times as fast. Alas, Canon discontinued it and I couldn’t find one at a price I was willing to pay. I was hoping they were going to come out with an upgraded version but they haven’t so far. Their new 8800 is about on a par with the Epson V500.

    If you have a large collection of photos to scan I wouldn’t go lower in quality than the V500 or 8800. Scan speed seems to drop off with low end scanners. Do not even consider a scanner with CIS sensors. They are the skinny scanners that get their power through the USB. Read the specs to make sure any scanner you might consider has CCD. Also be aware that “photo” scanners have a light lid for film and slides. Any scanner will do for photo prints as long as the speed and quality are suitable.

    Don’t scan photos over 300 PPI. You just increase your scan time and file size with no improvement in quality. You can upsample in an image editor with the same results a lot faster if you have an unusual need for pixels. There just isn’t more information on a photo unless you have some very old B&W contact prints, and even those don’t have more than 400 PPI of information.

    Notice that the photo Wayne Fulton uses here is taken with a fixed focal length Nikon lens on a tripod. You aren’t likely to have sharper photos. He couldn’t get more detail scanning higher than 300 PPI: http://scantips.com/resolut.html
     
  4. WButchar

    WButchar

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    Totally agreed. The only reason I sometimes scan images higher than 300 is because they are small images and I painstakenly intend on doing a fair amount of retouching/rebuilding of the image. Down side is that higher scans, as slipe mentioned, are uneccessarily larger files. Also, they tend to appear too rough/jagged. Except for an illusion of sharper edges for teeth, eyes, etc., while using Photoshop or something to soften the majority of the image, it's basically added work and a waste of time imo.
     
  5. TheInfiniteOne

    TheInfiniteOne Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
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    Thank you both for that great advice! Funny thing is I was looking at both of those scanners before hand, so now that you both recommended them I am probably going to go after the V700. :)

    My only other question is do you know if the software that comes with it or any other software can autocrop these pictures if I were to scan, say 2 at a time? I know there will probably be white space and I need to seperate the two images if this is the case. ( Sorry if this was already mentioned). This is my only concern because we have literally thousands upon thousands of pictures, so this would make my job a whole lot easier. :D

    THANK YOU!
     
  6. WButchar

    WButchar

    Joined:
    May 29, 2003
    Messages:
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    The Epson Scan software is very easy to use and has basic options for cropping, sharpening ("Unsharp Mask"), removing dust & scratches, etc. They actually work quite well, but I'd practice on a couple different images first to learn how to adjust the quality. Preferably practice with both a light and a dark image.

    You also have the option to scan several images at once, by selecting or cropping each image seperately (no need to hold down any other key) and clicking the "All" tab. It will save each one separately. However, in "bulk scanning", try and group similar quality images for the settings you use will apply to each one. If you place the images straight enough, it may actually save you some time. Pretty handy when you have a ton of images to scan.

    Hope this helps.

    WB
     
  7. angel food

    angel food

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    Messages:
    3
    Can anyone recommend a high quality scanner for less than $200? I like the idea of the Epson's, but they're not cheap. Please help.

    Thanks.
     
  8. angel food

    angel food

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    Oct 13, 2008
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    Nevermind. Looks like the V500 is $199. Thanks!
     
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