Legal Size Scanner thread.
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VintageComics   
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Hey gang, I did this a couple of years ago but things have changed a lot with scanner technology so I decided to start a new thread to help locate which scanners make the best scans for CGC slabs.

 

If you own a scanner with a legal size platen can you post a few examples of what your scanner can do, the make and model of the scanner and how you adjusted the scan to compensate for any problems?

 

I'll include a few different slab thicknesses for variety.

 

This is mine made with an HP 8250, no adjustments made to the pics, USB port and taken at either 300 or 600 dpi. Windows XP operating system, Mozilla upload to photobucket. Oh yeah, two burritos for breakfast with yogurt and pickles. :insane:

 

BB.jpg

 

DD1319_6.jpg

 

MarvelMysteryComics9CGC5_0-2.jpg

 

This is exactly the same scan at 600dpi but it's been "auto enhanced".

 

MarvelMysteryComics9CGC5_0.jpg

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whisp   
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I nominate this thread to be stickied.

 

 

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BlowUpTheMoon   
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HP OfficeJet 7410 All-In-One

 

Default settings. Windows XP. These are old scans and I forget the DPI.

 

2qc3xpd.jpg

 

11guky9.jpg

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comicwiz   
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Good idea Roy - would be helpful for those that have already posted to include:

 

Scanner interface (i.e. USB, SCSI, Parallel, Firewire)

If known, what operating system your running it on (i.e. Windows or Mac, XP/Vista or OS X)

And what DPI you used to obtain the scan

 

(thumbs u

 

Here's a result from an HP Scanjet 8250

 

Interface: USB 2.0

Operating System: Windows Vista

 

Using the following settings on the scanning software:

 

Sharpness: Extreme

Resolution: 300 dpi (goes up to 4800 dpi)

 

I am acquring scans using Arcsoft Photostudio using "Auto Enhance" to colour correct the fading caused by the CGC holder and inner-well:

 

ASM_129.jpg

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sniderwj   
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Love the idea!

 

I just bought an OfficeJet 8500 over the weekend. It can do a fair job at scanning the slabs but it comes out a bit blurry. When I get home I'll try posting a pic. Any suggestions to help make it clearer would be helpful.

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ckp1680   
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Love the idea!

 

I just bought an OfficeJet 8500 over the weekend. It can do a fair job at scanning the slabs but it comes out a bit blurry. When I get home I'll try posting a pic. Any suggestions to help make it clearer would be helpful.

 

That was the first one that I had tried myself. Nothing made the images clearer :(

I took it right back to costco.

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icefires   
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Arcsoft is not free any more (it is $80).

 

Am I better off buying Photoshop Elements 8 for $100?

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ckp1680   
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After I took back the HP 8500 I went on craigslist and picked up a HP 7130xi and below is the result.

 

AmazingSpider-Man12990-1.jpg

 

 

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Flaming_Telepath   
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Good idea Roy - would be helpful for those that have already posted to include:

 

Scanner interface (i.e. USB, SCSI, Parallel, Firewire)

If known, what operating system your running it on (i.e. Windows or Mac, XP/Vista or OS X)

And what DPI you used to obtain the scan

 

(thumbs u

 

Here's a result from an HP Scanjet 8250

 

Interface: USB 2.0

Operating System: Windows Vista

 

Using the following settings on the scanning software:

 

Sharpness: Extreme

Resolution: 300 dpi (goes up to 4800 dpi)

 

I am acquring scans using Arcsoft Photostudio using "Auto Enhance" to colour correct the fading caused by the CGC holder and inner-well:

 

ASM_129.jpg

 

That is one seriously excellent scan! (worship)

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drewincanada   
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That is one seriously excellent scan! (worship)

 

Personally, I hate auto enhance. It screws around with the gamut and creates a completely unnatural image.

 

Auto enhance looks for the whitest area in the scan and makes it pure white. Likewise, it finds the darkest area and makes it pure black. By doing that, it compresses the colour gamut. And more often than not, there shouldn't BE a pure white area in the scan, especially on an old comic.

 

It also adjusts the saturation in unnatural ways.

 

And since each comic has different levels of "white" and "black", it will "correct" each comic differently. You won't get consistent scans.

 

You're better off using your scanning software to do manual adjustments to the colours levels/curves and saturation - experimenting til you find settings that produce a natural scan that matches the actual book in hand.

 

Then - if your software allows - SAVE those settings and reload them every time you do a scan. That way, all your comic scans will be consistent and natural.

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comicwiz   
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That is one seriously excellent scan! (worship)

 

Personally, I hate auto enhance. It screws around with the gamut and creates a completely unnatural image.

 

Auto enhance looks for the whitest area in the scan and makes it pure white. Likewise, it finds the darkest area and makes it pure black. By doing that, it compresses the colour gamut. And more often than not, there shouldn't BE a pure white area in the scan, especially on an old comic.

 

It also adjusts the saturation in unnatural ways.

 

And since each comic has different levels of "white" and "black", it will "correct" each comic differently. You won't get consistent scans.

 

You're better off using your scanning software to do manual adjustments to the colours levels/curves and saturation - experimenting til you find settings that produce a natural scan that matches the actual book in hand.

 

Then - if your software allows - SAVE those settings and reload them every time you do a scan. That way, all your comic scans will be consistent and natural.

 

drewincanada, I don't want to come off sounding harsh, or worse, like some know-it-all, but I've been using Photoshop since v3 and I can tell you without hesitation that you've just contradicted yourself.

 

First, the "auto enhance" feature in Arcsoft Photostudio is similar to the "variations" option in Adobe Photoshop. As you said, it adjusts the colour but does so on the entire spectrum and range of colours used on the cover, not just on the shades (white and black). Simply put, there is no scanner on the market (outside of office horses in the 80K and up range) that can properly calibrate the colour palette during scan capture mode because of the way the plastic holder and inner well washes out the colours on the cover. The reason why is because the bulbs used on high-end multifunction printers/copiers/scanners are like shinning a spotlight on the book in comparison to the bulbs used on consumer end scanners.

 

Your idea of experimenting with levels/curves and saturation is not realistic and impractical. First of all, I would not recommend any novice to experiment with these settings for two reasons. First being that you need to understand how they work, and secondly because outside of Photoshop, no software actually does the job properly. And did I mention using these features in Photoshop can be a study.

 

As well, the idea of saving the setting once calibrated to a specific scan and using it on all scans makes no sense, because these are in fact settings which would work strictly on the cover you manipulated, and shouldn't be treated as wholesale settings that can be used with every scanned comic.

 

Taking it to the ergo basics, suggesting the "auto enhance" means two mouse clicks (one to confirm) - as opposed to how many for levels/curves/saturation - being very conservative, 10? Certainly involves more tinkering than I would like on a scan.

 

You want to bring in the use of "unnatural", your suggestions are exactly that - but don't take my word for it, do a Google search for "Photoshop nightmare" and look for some of the forensic examples of real practitioners and the way they describe things.

 

One final point - and believe me when I tell you, if I were to show you that ASM 129 in real-time, you would not be complaining about how the "auto enhance" produces an unnatural scan.

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DR.X   
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This is some great info. I'm going to be in the market for one shortly. Where can you pick one of these scanners up. It seems most of the local office stores have a very limited if any, supply of flat-bed scanners anymore. Are these on-line purchases, Best Buy, Office Max? hm

 

DRX

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comicwiz   
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Good point DRX. Where I live, practically every scanner with a legal size platen is a special order. There are multifunction copies/printers/scanners (I bought one earlier last year) but the scans come out blurry. I want to say you'll have no problem finding this model "used" online, but my personal preference is to buy something like this locally. This particular model (HP Scanjet 8250) has no lock on the scanning mechanism that is normally used when transporting/shipping a scanner. Every flatbed I've ever owned had one (it's usually underneath the scanner) so I was sweating about even putting it in the trunk and hauling for over an hours drive when I got this one. My recommendation would be to scan cragslist (and if in Canada, kikiji) and see if you can pick one up from a local business center as a refurb with some type of warranty. I did exactly this and paid $150 for mine.

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comicwiz   
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A couple of other tidbits of info to process here.

 

You hear a lot of people comparing consumer-end scanners to the office workhorses. It usually comes up as "how does Comiclink or Heritage" get those scans to look so nice. The reality is that these guys are using the high-end multifunction copiers/printers/scanners. What this means is not only a far more advanced and precise instrument to perform office-related tasks (or in this case scanning) but they are built with "office" proficiency in mind.

 

Case in point, my scanner takes scans up to 4800 dpi which is phenomenal compared to most other scanners I've used and/or owned. The issue is that my PC needs to have available disk space to acquire the image. At 300 dpi, my virtual memory reading is on average about 100MB before I start optimizing the image for use on my auctions or my online store. This might not seem like a lot, but if you want a sharper, clearer, and quality image, you have to consider that anything over 1200dpi will make your machine struggle, no matter how new and fast it is, and likely if you're running a PC with XP or earlier, and less than 1GIG of RAM, you'll either notice the machine grinding to a near halt, or you will start to see some low memory warnings popping-up on your screen.

 

In comparison to a high-end multifunction copier/printer/scanner, most of them use a default setting of 300-600 dpi, and jumping up to 4800dpi would do absolutely nothing to slow the process down because they have their own inbuilt servers and hard-disks, and even when your connecting remotely, they are designed to off-load the strain of processing the scans capture mode away from the PC. Chances are, when you're looking at a scan taken at a consignment site or auction house, they are using one of these high-end workhorses, and comparing the consumer market scanners is an unfair one, especially when you look at their proficiency and all the necessary technical piecing together to simulate a scanning station capable of producing comparable scans from your home PC.

 

One other point - when you use photobucket and/or any free image hosting site, they will downsample your image in order to host it within a certain file size range that makes thing manageable for them to provide free hosting. As such, your images will be optimized using settings which are unknown, so make sure to compare the images on your computer and the ones being hosted on photobucket. If you notice any blurring or quality discrepancy, you are better off hosting images on your own site. I especially notice this on CGC books, but have also seen this happen with raw book scans as well.

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Flaming_Telepath   
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Here's some that I've done on an HP L7680 with factory settings, saved at highest resolution and then dumped straight into Photobucket.

 

 

AmazingAdventures11Front.jpg

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comicwiz   
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Nice scans (thumbs u

 

The next time I use photobucket, I'm going to note the file size before and after upload just to get a sense of how it compares when I save for the Web using Photoshop.

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TheWatcher   
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HP 8300 @ 200 DPI (with my own background) and resized to be manageable, uploaded to Photobucket

 

Spook221CHURCH.jpg

Spirit1FH8.jpg

 

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