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16-08-2008
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What's Your Scanner? Plus Tips & Tricks for Better Scanning
I've noticed everyone's scans are of different quality.
The quality of my scans are terrible, certain members scans are absolutely stunning, for example Luxx's scans for Harpers Bazaar September 2008 were so crisp! What type of scanners does everyone have, I'm looking for a new one!

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16-08-2008
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Epson Perfection 2400 Photo. Don't go for less. Mine is about 3 years old, so there should be newer models.

Great picture quality and provides you with excellent results as well if you have to scan documents which might be of importance if you wanna apply for a job.

Speed is another important factor. A slow scanner spoils the fun big time.

Keep in mind that some of the folks over here work at places where they can use pro equipment to do their scans. Somebody recently pointed out in this forum that he spends about 15 minutes of post editing on each scan...

Check out the scan i just did, using the scanners automatic mode to give you some quick example about it's quality. No post editing. Just reduced the quality a bit and resized the pic. If you don't reduce the quality like i did in order to keep the file size down it's waaaay perfect enough for online use.

And... don't be affraid to rip the magazine apart - you'll throw it into the dustbin anyway in a year or two...



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16-08-2008
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Thank You Roman Vc... I've added to the thread title tips & tricks... please feel free to share & discuss with others what you know about magazine scanning... this will be a help to those who want to learn more.


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16-08-2008
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Epson Stylus CX7400. moderate quality, but extremely fast and reasonably priced.

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16-08-2008
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It really depends on which setting you put it on.
When I just press the scan button on my scanner (canon MP510), it automatically scans it quickly, and I get the result shown on the left. You can see the scan lines, and the color isn't very vibrant. It's dull and her skin isn't flawless. But then, changing the settings and making it at its highest quality, and you see she doesn't look as dull and her skin is now flawless and smooth.


My scan

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Last edited by alix*; 16-08-2008 at 09:48 PM.
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16-08-2008
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You can also increase the DPI setting
300 is great quality (a high number captures this many tiny dots/details per inch)
but yes the speed of your scanner is important. Otherwise it will take ages to scan at this setting...

You can then resize it to shrink the file size
so it's downloadable

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16-08-2008
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Also if you experience bleed throughs when scanning you can always use a black piece of paper (i bought a cheap .99 cent piece of black felt at joanns - use whatever) on the back of your page while scanning and it will negate it! Also seems to make my scans come out a little better overall.

(bleeding when referring to scans is when you scan a page but what is on the other side bleeds through and shows up, its really annoying.)

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16-08-2008
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any tips for lowering the glare ? for example, if you scan white pages..sometimes the detail on the page just fades out because of the white bg

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18-08-2008
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Big tip!! Don't use the auto modes when scanning a double pager. These will apply level and colour correction. When you try to join them the skin tones and other colours will never match.

Also, sometimes you'll need to use a blur filter to get rid of moiré patterns. Some magazines are more prone to this than others.

and some more tips.........

When saving the file as a jpeg the compression can be set to a medium level. You won't see any noticable quality increase if you go higher. This will keep the file size down to an acceptable amount.

I like to edit the images in Photoshop. Clean up dust and marks, straighten the image, adjust the levels and colour balance. Use the healing brush or clone tool.

Hope that helps.

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18-08-2008
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Thanks for this thread, i have never been a good scanner and i threw my old one out but i am buying a new one so all tips are appreciated.

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18-08-2008
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I'm glad the thread is of use to others others that myself. But my scans still have those stupid dots. I'm beginning to think it's just old.

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06-01-2009
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I'm not using my own scanner right now & this is driving me

I'm using an HP 1200 series scanner. Would someone please help me find the correct settings? My file sizes at 300dpi & million of colors (24 bit) or 300dpi & 256 color web pallette are much too large to upload with an imagehost.

Thank You

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07-01-2009
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Hp Deskjet F4180

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07-01-2009
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I use CanoScan LiDE90.
My tip is: use the descreen option in scanner program
(it´s usually in the advanced settings).
Here´s the difference:
Both images are same size and unedited, first with descreen:

file size 788kb
and without descreen:

File size 1,57mb
Result: picture quality gets better and filesize is much smaller,
bad thing is that the scantime is much longer...

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07-01-2009
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(disclaimer: I work at a photography studio and we do a lot of scanning work for clients. I have hours and hours and hours of experience in scanning and retouching images, some as much as 80 years old! so, I know from experience what gives good results )

I find I can get good scans out of almost any scanner - the secret for me is all in the post-processing.

The scanner I use at home is a Canon Pixma MP 800, it's a scanner/fax/printer/copier in one and definitely not the best scanner you can get - but it does a fine job for me.

I scan everything in at 600DPI, which gives really huge files (around 20MB usually, and around 5000-6000 pixels in size). An A4 page takes about 5-10 minutes to complete, depending on how colorful the image is (text-heavy pages only take about a minute on the same settings). Photoshop then takes care of removing a lot of the grain just by sizing it down to 200DPI - that's half the job done already.

I keep the auto settings in my scanner to a minimum, as Photoshop generally does a better job at it. Here are my exact settings:



I have an action setup that I run on all my scans. The action:

- helps me crop and rotate scans (for some reason, mine rarely come out straight - I never put them against the edge of the scanner bed to avoid cropping any edges off)
- sizes them down to 200DPI and 2,000 pixels on the shortest side
- applies my tags
- prompts me for Curves adjustments (needed 99% of the time - the blacks are hardly ever really black), and Color Balance (also needed 99% of the time, especially with black and white images - they always come out blue-y through my scanner)
- and prompts me to remove any dust and scratches. I find I work the fastest with the Clone Stamp brush, but the Healing brush will probably give you great results too.

Lastly, I run the NeatImage Photoshop plugin over the scan to get rid of any remaining grain or scanner lines as well as to sharpen it. This plugin isn't free, but worth its weight in gold. I happily paid for it - well worth the price! It is an absolute must for me, and makes all the difference. Settings for this varies with every scan and depends on the paper quality, as well as how old the paper is. For example, a scan from Vogue will generally only need a very light amount of NeatImage applied - their paper quality is pretty good. But a lesser magazine with thinner paper will need more of it applied. I play around with it for every scan until I get a good result.

This all sounds like a lot of work, probably, but generally the editing only takes me about 5 minutes per scan. The dust & scratches step is usually the most time consuming, and if I'm scanning something more than 5 years old, this can take a good half hour per scan instead. It just depends.

Here is an example of an original, straight out of my scanner (4 years old, and from GQ - only medium paper quality):
http://rapidshare.com/files/180786808/ana02.jpg (sorry for the RapidShare link, 20MB is too big for any image host I know of!)

And here is the edited scan, all finished with the above steps (definitely not a perfect scan, but I'd consider this one not half bad, considering the paper quality):


Generally my finished scans are anywhere between 500k and 1.2MB - again depends on how colorful and busy the final image is. This one, with very few 'solid' areas, weighs in at 1.1MB finished.

Hope this is useful to someone - don't hesitate to ask if anyone wants me to explain anything more in depth!

Edit: Oh, and yes, I do cut everything out of magazines before scanning, using a small X-Acto type knife and cutting as close to the spine as possible! Quality is much much better if you're not trying to squash a bulky mag under the scanner cover!

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Last edited by nothingless; 07-01-2009 at 01:32 PM.
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