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    Photo Scanner Experience?

    I want to update my very slow, 15+ year old flatbed scanner.

    My feedstock consists of several thousand prints now in the "shoebox" that have been accumulating for a long time. They've lasted this long, but . . .

    I want to scan to generate .tiff files, catalog them in LightRoom, and clean them up in LR or Photoshop. Reunion multimedia will be produced as .jpegs from the cleaned-up .tiffs. The .tiffs will be archived for my heirs and assigns.

    The scanner will _not_ be used to scan slides or negatives. I've had excellent results digitizing over 2900 slides using a DSLR fitted with a macro lens and minimal additional hardware. That project is completed. Negatives are a low priority for me at this point.

    Edit: I forgot to mention I'm also checking into setting up a copying stand to accomplish this project. If anyone has ideas on this approach, I'd certainly be interested in what you see as the pros and cons. Thanks.

    Both cost and ease/speed of use are important. Every hour spent on this project will be one hour I'd rather have spent on research and production of results.

    Thanks to any willing to share your experience and suggestions re: scanner hardware.

    Terry
    Last edited by Terry Smith; 26 September 2016, 03:45 PM. Reason: To mention a copying stand as an alternative.

    #2
    Re: Photo Scanner Experience?

    I used to use a copy stand back in the 1980s with a Nikon with a MicroNikkor lens, gooseneck lamps and I held 8x8" polarizing filters over the lights to polarize the light then put a polarizing filter on the camera to kill any reflections. However, I would not recommend using a copy stand these days - scanners do a MUCH better job because the material being copied is pressed against the glass so there is less distance to cause a loss of fine detail and more even lighting, fewer surface shadows, etc. It's like the difference between a print made from putting the negative in an enlarger versus a contact print with the negative pressed against the photo paper. The difference is substantial if you compare something taken in a copy stand with a 600 dpi scan.

    How much you invest in your scanner matters too. I can see a difference between less expensive or portable scanners with CIS sensors and a decent flatbed with a CCD sensor. CIS sensors (such as you would find in a Canon LIDE or FlipPal) cast shadows on wrinkles or the surface texture of a print because the light comes from only one side. Also, in my experience, color fidelity is not as good with my portable Canon LIDE 200 as with my Epson Perfection V600 flatbed. The Epson was well worth the $200 investment over the $100 for the Canon or $150 for a FlipPal. If you decide to get something like the Epson you might want to experiment with scanning one or two of your favorite slides at 2400 dpi on the Epson - I bet you'll see a difference in detail over the camera copy method. I did.

    I would suggest that you put as many prints on the platen at a time as you can and then digitally "cut them out" in a photo editor afterwards. You can get things scanned much faster that way - especially if you have a lot of small snapshots. Scan everything at 600 dpi in 24 bit color (whether or not it is black and white) because you can sometimes use color to separate stains, silvering and other damage from the image.

    The resolution you scan is based on the amount of detail you are likely to get from a black and white print. At best the grain structure will yield detail up to about 400 dpi - sometimes closer to 600 dpi for old contact prints. Color prints will yield at best about 200-300 dpi because there are three layers of emulsion.

    These are some test scans I made with my Canon LIDE 200, the Epson V600 and an iPhone 5. You can see the differences (such as the more visible wrinkles with the CIS sensor) in the enlargements. http://www.bishir.org/scans/

    I've found this web site to be very helpful in all this. http://www.scantips.com
    Last edited by donworth; 27 September 2016, 02:48 AM.

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      #3
      Re: Photo Scanner Experience?

      Take a good look at QromaCan at http://qroma.net. It utilizes your iPhone and includes the ability to control by voice.
      Bob White, Mac Nut Since 1985, Reunion Nut Since 1991
      Jenanyan, Barnes, White, Duncan, Dunning, Luce, Hedge and more
      iMac & MacBookPro 10.14 iPhoneX/iPads 12 R12 & RT 1 Watch 4.3

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        #4
        Re: Photo Scanner Experience?

        I've used Epson scanners for digitizing my photos for years now. I currently use an Epson V600 that I bought refurbished from Epson about 3 years ago. I think I paid about $150.
        Researching DEBEE, FRERICHS/FREDERICKS, HAHNENENKAMP, JANCO, KOLK, PETRINI, WEISS

        http://familytreesandbranches.weebly.com
        http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.....com/~ilrootz/

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          #5
          Re: Photo Scanner Experience?

          Looks like Epson has a new 'fast foto' scanner. A little expensive compared to a flat bed, and may not do as well on some photos...but I'm going to have to consider it. It looks like I could accomplish a lot very quickly with this one.

          http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/j..._fastfoto_pos1
          Researching DEBEE, FRERICHS/FREDERICKS, HAHNENENKAMP, JANCO, KOLK, PETRINI, WEISS

          http://familytreesandbranches.weebly.com
          http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.....com/~ilrootz/

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            #6
            Re: Photo Scanner Experience?

            Your reply is extremely helpful, donworth, and so were your very interesting image comparisons. These Reunion forums are a wonderful resource -- valuable experience delivered with a generosity and enthusiasm that is quite unique.

            I've bagged the copy stand idea (an old Bogen 22A enlarger support). There's now a V600 on a shipping dock somewhere with my name on it. I'm sure the results on my shoebox prints will be excellent. I'm skeptical that its slide copying will match (or exceed) the quality I've managed to extract with my camera lash-up, but I will be pleased to be proven wrong. If I can salvage prints from many old negatives for which I'd lost hope, that alone may justify the purchase.

            Again, thanks.

            Terry

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              #7
              Re: Photo Scanner Experience?

              Bob White thanks much for alerting me to the Qroma solution. Wow! Talk about a "no boundaries" solution. I think a more conventional solution (which will take the flatbed route) is a better bet for the file types and archiving I have in mind. Meanwhile, I'll be watching for an IPO when that nifty Qroma system "makes it big."

              Terry

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                #8
                Re: Photo Scanner Experience?

                Kim thanks for the speedy reply and sharing your experience. As you may have noted, I'm going the Epson V600 route as you have done. I saw that higher speed new model in my rummaging around, but the cost is a tad rich for my project.

                Thanks again for your help.

                Terry

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                  #9
                  Re: Photo Scanner Experience?

                  Originally posted by Terry Smith View Post
                  If I can salvage prints from many old negatives for which I'd lost hope, that alone may justify the purchase.
                  Oh yes! If you have negatives to scan you're golden! Scan them with at least 2400 dpi. I have a whole lot of negs I've been meaning to get around to scanning to replace the scans of prints that I have.

                  Don

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                    #10
                    Re: Photo Scanner Experience?

                    Originally posted by Terry Smith View Post
                    Kim thanks for the speedy reply and sharing your experience. As you may have noted, I'm going the Epson V600 route as you have done. I saw that higher speed new model in my rummaging around, but the cost is a tad rich for my project.

                    Thanks again for your help.

                    Terry
                    I agree, Terry. I've been reading a bit more, and while it is fast, it is also costly, and it doesn't do Polaroids because they are 'too thick'. That makes me wonder how some of my 40s era portraits would hold up as they seem to be on thicker paper. The speed might still be nice for my 70s-80s-90s snapshots, especially since it could do backs and fronts at once...but I have to wonder what the quality of the scans is compared to a flatbed Epson. I'm going to hold off....at least until next year when maybe they will drop in price.
                    Researching DEBEE, FRERICHS/FREDERICKS, HAHNENENKAMP, JANCO, KOLK, PETRINI, WEISS

                    http://familytreesandbranches.weebly.com
                    http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.....com/~ilrootz/

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Photo Scanner Experience?

                      Originally posted by Kim View Post
                      I agree, Terry. I've been reading a bit more, and while it is fast, it is also costly, and it doesn't do Polaroids because they are 'too thick'. That makes me wonder how some of my 40s era portraits would hold up as they seem to be on thicker paper. The speed might still be nice for my 70s-80s-90s snapshots, especially since it could do backs and fronts at once...but I have to wonder what the quality of the scans is compared to a flatbed Epson. I'm going to hold off....at least until next year when maybe they will drop in price.
                      I have an Epson Perfevtion V700 Photo which does both negatives, slides and paper prints works very well slides yield smaller copies ... I have even printed glass plate negatives

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                        #12
                        Re: Photo Scanner Experience?

                        My biggest concern about the Epson FastFoto is that it feeds the photos through a mechanism. I'm sure not going to be very happy if it "eats" one of my precious family photos from the 1920s! And the fact that it uses a CIS sensor, with the attendant issues I discussed above - the shadowing of any texture or wrinkles in the paper in particular. And, while most photos don't require scans of more than 600 dpi, I like having the option to go higher when I'm scanning three dimensional heirlooms like pocket watches and Civil War medals and ribbons (which, you obviously aren't going to be able to feed through a scanner anyway). There are trade-offs for any scanner - usually portability/convenience, speed, quality, and price. Unfortunately you can never come up with one product that optimizes along all of those dimensions so I've chosen to focus on quality and let the others go where they may. :-)

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                          #13
                          Re: Photo Scanner Experience?

                          Originally posted by donworth View Post
                          My biggest concern about the Epson FastFoto is that it feeds the photos through a mechanism. I'm sure not going to be very happy if it "eats" one of my precious family photos from the 1920s! And the fact that it uses a CIS sensor, with the attendant issues I discussed above - the shadowing of any texture or wrinkles in the paper in particular. And, while most photos don't require scans of more than 600 dpi, I like having the option to go higher when I'm scanning three dimensional heirlooms like pocket watches and Civil War medals and ribbons (which, you obviously aren't going to be able to feed through a scanner anyway). There are trade-offs for any scanner - usually portability/convenience, speed, quality, and price. Unfortunately you can never come up with one product that optimizes along all of those dimensions so I've chosen to focus on quality and let the others go where they may. :-)
                          I completely agree with you. I have my doubts about feeding my older photos through this scanner and I also like having the control over scan resolution. For the most part I scan at 600 dpi, but I change the dimensions for the output so the long side is at least 6 inches. I figure this is fine for my snapshots. But for my older 'heritage' photos that were taken back before taking a photo was a regular thing, I do like to scan at a higher resolution. Like I said, if they drop significantly in price and I still have tons of snapshots to scan, I may consider it, but for now, my v600 is just fine.
                          Researching DEBEE, FRERICHS/FREDERICKS, HAHNENENKAMP, JANCO, KOLK, PETRINI, WEISS

                          http://familytreesandbranches.weebly.com
                          http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.....com/~ilrootz/

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: Photo Scanner Experience?

                            Originally posted by Rikki View Post
                            I have an Epson Perfevtion V700 Photo which does both negatives, slides and paper prints works very well slides yield smaller copies ... I have even printed glass plate negatives
                            I looked at the V600, but the difference in price between that one and my V600 was significant, and I didn't think the extra features would be used enough to justify the extra expense. I haven't really scanned negatives or slides yet. If I ever get finished with the prints I'll see how the V600 handles negatives.
                            Researching DEBEE, FRERICHS/FREDERICKS, HAHNENENKAMP, JANCO, KOLK, PETRINI, WEISS

                            http://familytreesandbranches.weebly.com
                            http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.....com/~ilrootz/

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: Photo Scanner Experience?

                              I've used a Cannon MP620. I found how to scan negatives to make positives by accident. The problem is this won't work with El Capitan. I tried everything even calling Canon. It was a big help with the negatives from the 1930's. I wrote down some steps if it will help anyone. I have a HP 5660 now and no negative scanning procedures can be found. Just my contribution. Pete
                              Searching: Freeland--Gargano--Martin--Marotta(o)

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