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Author Topic: Scanners, please tell us about your scanner  (Read 31157 times)

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Offline builderboy

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Scanners, please tell us about your scanner
« on: December 31, 2010, 06:14:42 AM »
I've made this a new topic.
Comics scanners, please tell us about your scanner/computer set-up and what you think works best for you.
This topic isn't limited to hardware.  If you'd like to talk about how you handle your books, apps you use or anything else you'd like to share in the 'art' of making a good scan please share it here.

-Yoc


=========

Sure!  It all started when JVJ was telling us about his scanner, which is a Epson 15000, which he uses to prepare his graphics publication.

The Epson is a really nice rig...11x17 platen size, fast scan rate, etc., etc.  It is also roughly $1500 new, and nobody seems to be selling theirs used at a bargain.  I looked and looked, and started to despair of getting something affordable.  I was trying various Google searches to see who else had anything to offer.

A scanner by a company I had never heard of before, Mustek, kept coming up. Nobody had done any reviews of them in a tech article, and the consumer reviews painted the thing as either heaven or hell. You really can't trust those too much.

The Mustek A3 USB 1200 Pro was available from dozens of on-line sellers.  I got mine for about $165, shipping included.  I figured this was the only way I could possibly get my hands on that kind of hardware, and was worth the risk.

The verdict is this:  the hardware is great, the software that comes with it, just OK.  The way I use the scanner is to open Photoshop and import the image through the twain driver, and use Photoshop's software for all image correction.  Any shortcomings in the scanner's software package don't impact me, and I couldn't be more pleased.  Besides being able to scan my own original comic art in a single pass, I can also scan two pages at a whack of a comic if the staples comply.  I would recommend it to anyone.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2010, 09:14:40 PM by Yoc »

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Scanners, please tell us about your scanner
« on: December 31, 2010, 06:14:42 AM »

Offline narfstar

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Re: Scanners, please tell us about your scanner
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2011, 06:13:39 PM »
Thanks BB I will keep that in mind when I am in the market for a new scanner. I want something that will do two pages at once

Offline larrytalbot

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Re: Scanners, please tell us about your scanner
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2011, 01:38:27 AM »
Thanks for the info BB.  Would you have a figure for the scanning rate?  My Xerox 7600 requires 30 sec to scan one page.  This doesn't include going back to trim the page after scanning.

Offline JVJ

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Re: Scanners, please tell us about your scanner
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2011, 02:15:03 PM »
As a comparison, guys,
The Epson 15000 scans two 100% comic pages at 300 ppi in 20 seconds - that's from pressing Scan to getting the pages in Photoshop. Setting up the comic might take another five seconds.

Peace, Jim (|:{>
Peace, Jim (|:{>

JVJ Publishing and VW inc.

Offline Yoc

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Re: Scanners, please tell us about your scanner
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2011, 07:29:08 PM »
Holy Crap that's FAST Jim!!
My HP is about 2mins and that's at bloody 150dpi!
:(

Offline darwination

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Re: Scanners, please tell us about your scanner
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2011, 08:52:04 PM »
I did a post on picking a scanner recently here:

http://darwinscans.blogspot.com/2010/11/how-to-scan-pt-1-picking-scanner.html

I use your method of scanning directly into photoshop when using my A3 Mustek, too, BB, as the software that comes with it isn't too great.  After a few years of sometime-use, mine has developed a bad spot in the bulb (which is at least only about an inch in), and I'll probably replace it with the same model.  I'm tempted to try another make of A3, but the prices are just so high, I'd hate to get it wrong, and most of the reviews for A3s seem to be from artists that probably aren't putting the wear on a scanner that I would. I'm not surprised to hear that Jim likes his Epson, they seem to make very solid machines.

Offline JVJ

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Re: Scanners, please tell us about your scanner
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2011, 09:36:46 PM »
Holy Crap that's FAST Jim!!
My HP is about 2mins and that's at bloody 150dpi!
:(
Here's some math, Yoc:
Your scanner takes about 1.75 hours more than mine to do a 64 page comic (assuming you are quoting 2 minutes per page not per spread). At minimum wage of, conservatively, $7.50 an hour (U.S.), that's around $13 per comic you're spending in extra time. You can probably get a 15000 on line for around $600-$700. At $13 per comic, you only have to scan around 50 comics to have it pay for itself. AND, you'll be able to quadruple your scan quality at 300 ppi. If, like me, you think you're worth more than minimum wage, the number of comics drops precipitously.

It's your time...

Peace, Jim (|:{>

"One Day at a Time: The Speed of Life."

Peace, Jim (|:{>

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Offline JVJ

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Re: Scanners, please tell us about your scanner
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2011, 09:44:18 PM »
I did a post on picking a scanner recently here:

http://darwinscans.blogspot.com/2010/11/how-to-scan-pt-1-picking-scanner.html

I use your method of scanning directly into photoshop when using my A3 Mustek, too, BB, as the software that comes with it isn't too great.  After a few years of sometime-use, mine has developed a bad spot in the bulb (which is at least only about an inch in), and I'll probably replace it with the same model.  I'm tempted to try another make of A3, but the prices are just so high, I'd hate to get it wrong, and most of the reviews for A3s seem to be from artists that probably aren't putting the wear on a scanner that I would. I'm not surprised to hear that Jim likes his Epson, they seem to make very solid machines.

As you say, different scanners give very different results, darwin. I found that my Epson 15000 doesn't do the best job on material I intend to reproduce in pure b&w (i.e. eventually output as bitmap). I kept my HP 7400 running for over a year or so just to get its scan quality on high resolution line material. I eventually replaced it with an Epson 500 which works GREAT on line stuff but not nearly as well on photos. And I have an Epson multi-purpose device with a scanner in Paris and it is only just adequate when scanning at 400 ppi.

I have no experience with Mustek beyond a short experiment with one of their handheld units about 15-16 years ago. What a trial that was!

Peace, Jim (|:{>
Peace, Jim (|:{>

JVJ Publishing and VW inc.

Offline larrytalbot

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Re: Scanners, please tell us about your scanner
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2011, 03:15:07 AM »
Darwin: Thanks for your informative blog on scanners

Offline Twobyfour

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Re: Scanners, please tell us about your scanner
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2011, 06:20:03 PM »
I was updating a scanner project thread and Yoc said the response could just as easily end up over here.  Well, my 2 year old  Plustek Optibook developed a series of lines in October and I got a new Epson V300 based on a couple recommendations.  It started having lamp problems by the 2nd set of raws I had sent to Darwin.  I got a replacement a couple weeks ago and everything seems fine.  I'm rawing up the last of the huge St. John's box I got from JVJ and Darwins been plowing through them as fast as I can get them to him.   I always try and scan covers at a nice 400 - 600 Tiff.  The rest of the book I hit at 300 dpi jpg  with fairly standard settings.  I really liked the raws I would get from the Plustek,  I had a series of pre-sets that I loved, I could easily manipulate the saturation and gamma settings so when I went int Photoshop, I really just had to work with some color replacement, cloning and curving to get great results.  Now I know editors who want raws with a lot of the work already done, but most of the guys I work with like letting Photoshop do most of the heavy lifting.  So as I have gotten more comfortable with Photoshop CS5 I've modified some of my actions, but I still have some pretty clear-cut edits, for modern comics, black and white mags, slick mags and golden age and older comics.  So that's my story :-)

2X4

Offline Yoc

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Re: Scanners, please tell us about your scanner
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2011, 10:02:58 PM »
Thanks very much for the posts guys!
I for one appreciate any info before considering a replacement.

Offline cimmerian32

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Re: Scanners, please tell us about your scanner
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2011, 10:59:39 PM »
My Plustek 3600 is now 3 years old, and still going quite well, even after scanning over 10,000 covers in my on-going attempt to inventory my collection, AND after upgrading to Windows 7, with the necessary fresh software download from Plustek...  My Mustek A3, on the other hand, died an ugly death after only a handful of scans, spread out over a couple of years.  I think when I get around to buying a new A3, I will go with a Plustek, even at the 600.00 pricetag.
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Offline narfstar

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Re: Scanners, please tell us about your scanner
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2011, 09:19:54 AM »

Offline JVJ

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Re: Scanners, please tell us about your scanner
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2011, 12:38:00 PM »
No, narf,
this is mine:
http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/consumer/consDetail.jsp?oid=38633256
It's been discontinued, but there is likely to be a better replacement for less money. My needs run towards size, speed and optics as opposed to ease of feeding the source material. I'm sure the 1500 is a decent machine, but I have no experience with it. Sorry.
Peace, Jim (|:{>
Peace, Jim (|:{>

JVJ Publishing and VW inc.

Offline builderboy

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Re: Scanners, please tell us about your scanner
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2011, 08:30:58 PM »
Yeah, narf...I tried finding a used version of JVJ's 15000 on line (it has been discontinued and replaced by the GT20000).

My efforts were frustrated by the fact that they now offer a 1500 (not 15000!), and many web pages listed the specs for JVJ's rig, and the price tag for the 1500. Sheesh! I would have thought Epson would have forseen the confusion between the similar model numbers.