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Old December 3rd, 2010, 12:56 PM   #16
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Miami, FL USA
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Here's my thinking about trying to batch a lot of slides on a flatbed:

High end flatbeds, like the Epson 10000xl, have software that permits such batching--but you still have to analyze each transparency for proper exposure and focus. Lesser flatbeds of my experience do not permit adjustment of focus, and with mounted transparencies, this can vary greatly. And each transparency needs its own individual analysis for exposure and color balance. So you don't gain much just by being able to put a lot of slides on the platen.

My paper had an earlier model of the Epson, and while it's primary purpose was reflective scans, we did use it for large-format film which wouldn't work in a 35mm scanner. I found it cumbersome to use and the density range more limited than a dedicated film scanner.

Since you will presumably have to work on the transparencies one at a time, a used film scanner sounds like a good idea. You can scan with fairly inexpensive flatbeds if you recognize that being limited to 5 slides or so a a time isn't bad, since they need individual attention anyway...I have an Epson Perfection 3170 flatbed which permits slide scans. I have made some but never reached the resolution or detail that the Nikon scanners gave. But it is fair to middling quality at a very reasonable price.

Kodak used to make a scanner that used a strobe for illumination, making it an almost instant scan (albeit one at a time) and my paper had those with good success also, if you found a used one it might be a decent way to speed up the workflow...
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Old December 3rd, 2010, 01:06 PM   #17
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Location: Marin County, California
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scanning for small business: short list of models

I was just thinking that I need to perhaps further define my scanning needs as the owner of a small-business.

First, I want quality equipment. I will spend more time to preview a scan and get the color balance correct than most commercial/overseas mass processing enterprises. However, I must balance that with the very real consideration that most clients do not have deep pockets. And, I have to get a quality scan that doesn't take 2 minutes to process.

For instance, take the Microtek M1. It's a current generation machine running along the lines of the Artixscan 1800f: the slide sits on a template that fits below the glass of the flatbed. Less distortion. So far, so good. BUT, apparently the M1 goes through a "recalibration cycle", lasting 90 seconds, after each scan (!!!). For a small business that's too long. And most clients wouldn't want to pay for that kind of time.

So, I'd like to redirect my question. Perhaps I should post it as a new question??

Given the small-business considerations that must balance quality with time-spent, and the need to safeguard the original slide from damage...I'd like to know if anyone has had experience with the scanner that has made my short list:

Epson Perfection V700 or V750

I have read mostly good reviews about the resolution and dynamic range. Don't know how fast it is, though. Don't know if it tends to break down a lot or have other issues that I should be aware of.
Claudia Eklof
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Old December 3rd, 2010, 04:40 PM   #18
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Hi, Claudia, again...........

Do you have an "all in one" unit like a HP C7180 (mine must be about two or three years old so they will be much upgraded since) or equivalent? (Just in case that's not a US term - fax, copier, printer, coffee etc).

Many of the higher priced units (like mine) have, inbuilt, slide and film scanning facilities.

If you have one, try it out and see if it can deliver what you and the prospective client find acceptable. If you don't, ask around, someone will, no doubt.

Top quality?

Hardly, but there's not much point forking out for a combine harvester when a motor mower will do the job required.

Just a thought.

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Old December 4th, 2010, 01:31 PM   #19
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Claudia... I'm not sure what causes the flare problem but it's inherent with flatbed scanners. Even the very expensive ones. Could be the glass. Could be the way the CCD scanner operates. And flatbed scanners won't be able to extract important details from the denser portions of the image of transparencies.

In any case, the film scanner is the way to go.

And you might want to handle the slides individually. Consider the potential penalty of damaging a photo that someone considers priceless. That's a huge liability that is being relegated to a mindless piece of equipment.

I'm very wary of anything that attempts to handle important material automatically. When I was archiving old photos at the Star-Bulletin the publisher wanted to find a way to auto-feed old prints. But I refused to do it that way as some were brittle and many were curled. And what took the most time was making sure each item was properly catalogued with all the information associated with each photo. That's something only a good librarian could do.

You always want to handle each image carefully to avoid harming the originals in any way. It's easy to scratch an emulsion!

It takes time to do archive irreplaceable material properly. There are no inexpensive shortcuts.
Dean Sensui
Exec Producer, Hawaii Goes Fishing
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