Daniel Reetz, the founder of the DIY Book Scanner community, has recently started making videos of prototyping and shop tips. If you are tinkering with a book scanner (or any other project) in your home shop, these tips will come in handy. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn0gq8 ... g_8K1nfInQ

Our DIY Scanner

Built a scanner? Started to build a scanner? Record your progress here. Doesn't need to be a whole scanner - triggers and other parts are fine. Commercial scanners are fine too.
User avatar
Misty
Posts: 481
Joined: 06 Nov 2009, 12:20
Number of books owned: 0
Location: Frozen Wasteland

Re: Our DIY Scanner

Post by Misty » 11 Jan 2010, 10:58

It looks fine to me, Ann - I checked in Photoshop, and you don't have any colour clipping in the whites. The only clipping in the blacks is on your cradle's black surface.

I'm not sure how much information Live View is telling you about those images when you're shooting with those ultra-low shutter speeds, but getting your shutter speed that low is reducing the camera's exposure. Keeping the shutter speed that low, along with the small aperture, is reducing the amount of light that is getting on to the sensor; that's why your image is as dark as it is. In order to get an image of any reasonable brightness, your camera is increasing its sensitivity to light and that's introducing more noise.

I'd suggest using Aperture Priority (Av) mode instead of full manual mode. In manual mode, the camera is ignoring the exposure setting you give it; instead, the only way it determines brightness is through the combination of aperture and shutter speed. In Av mode, you set aperture manually and choose an exposure setting; the camera will then automatically select the fastest possible shutter speed that will produce an appropriate bright image to match the exposure setting you gave it. You can use that to experiment and find the best aperture for ideal image quality.

Edit: If you'd prefer to prioritize shutter speed, there's also a shutter speed priority (Tv or S) mode. That lets you manually select a shutter speed, and the camera will choose an aperture for you to get a brightness matching the exposure setting you selected. That said, you can't take shutter down to 1/100 or what have you, unless you have incredibly bright lights - there just won't be enough light for a proper exposure no matter what aperture it selects. But within reason, you can get the shutter speed to be quite fast. It's just a question of what you end up finds giving you the best image quality.
The opinions expressed in this post are my own and do not necessarily represent those of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

myenhdl
Posts: 10
Joined: 04 Mar 2014, 00:52

Re: Our DIY Scanner

Post by myenhdl » 11 Jan 2010, 14:22

Sorry to jump off topic- Does anyone know where to obtain such aluminum picture frames Nalfonso used in the picture-frame book scanner?

Ann

Re: Our DIY Scanner

Post by Ann » 11 Jan 2010, 15:35

Thanks Misty - I did do some Av setting tests but didn't post them; I'll re-look at those shots or take some more and play around with it. Did you happen to look at the photo I posted on io that was A-Dep? I like that image even better than the Av stuff I did because of the lack of focus problems. I'll keep working on it with both A-Dep and Av - I don't like the Manual stuff at all, and the quick shutter speeds with low lights is really interesting....or should I say, really black!

Thanks again for you input - very helpful!

To myenhdi - you can contact nalfonso to find out where he got the frames. But, any crafts store or department store would have a variety of frames to choose from, in a variety of sizes - Target, Michael's, Ikea, etc. - even a place like Menard's has frames.

User avatar
Misty
Posts: 481
Joined: 06 Nov 2009, 12:20
Number of books owned: 0
Location: Frozen Wasteland

Re: Our DIY Scanner

Post by Misty » 11 Jan 2010, 16:02

I did take a look! It was the one I checked the histogram on. It did produce nice results. My camera doesn't support A-Dep, so I haven't had the opportunity to test it for myself, but it seems like it's working well for you.
The opinions expressed in this post are my own and do not necessarily represent those of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

Ann

Re: Our DIY Scanner

Post by Ann » 11 Jan 2010, 16:26

Great. So, between Av and A-Dep and a bit of batch adjustments if needed, I might actually get this worked out. I've also ordered a tripod for the camera to see if using that instead of my top crossbar will improve my flexibility when it comes to keeping things focused. If the tripod is a hindrance, we need one for the field anyway, so at least it won't be a wasted purchase.

Thanks again for sharing your expertise; I actually understand what you and Dan have said, and it will really help me in writing my grant proposals. It's pretty funny that I have to prove that I know what I'm doing, but if I hired a 3rd party vendor in Washington, I wouldn't have to prove their qualifications. I did contact vendors there - only 3 replied to my inquiries and none of them could meet the standards I needed; the other 10 didn't even respond to me. The "big" companies I googled don't go out to sites to digitize and they do business archiving on high-speed machines, so I couldn't use any of them, either. So, if I an convince the grantors that I'm not an idiot, they will let me do my own research, which I always wanted to do in the first place.

Ann

Re: Our DIY Scanner

Post by Ann » 12 Jan 2010, 15:18

Finally - I have decided on the proper settings for how our scanner is currently configured:

A-Dep (Auto Depth of Field), which translates to 1/6 shutter speed (haven't had jiggling problems, so yeah!) & f5.6
Auto White Balance
Exposure Level +2 from Standard
ISO 100
No White Balance Correction; I've been using A4G4 but find I don't need it
Manual Focus (through computer & EOS Utility)
90 degree rotate through EOS Utility while shooting - REALLY saves time later, since all images are auto rotated (depending on project, of course)

Now I'll get on a sample project for the "Projects" forum that I can use for my grant proposal due at the end of the month. Thanks to Dan and Misty for all the advice!

Ann

Re: Our DIY Scanner

Post by Ann » 13 Jan 2010, 17:56

The Washington NARA finally responded to my request to bring in the scanner - I asked 2 months ago - and they have no problem with the machine - except for the lights. No extra lights allowed in the research room. The Kansas City NARA has no problem with it, but Washington does. So, if I can't use my lights, I can't use my black-out curtain and since I can't use that, there is no reason so use the whole machine. What I'll be bringing in will be the cradle base, cradle, a loose piece of plexi, and a tripod - and cross my fingers that the camera can compensate enough for the low light and that any glare will be controllable. Geez.

StevePoling
Posts: 290
Joined: 20 Jun 2009, 12:19
E-book readers owned: SONY PRS-505, Kindle DX
Number of books owned: 9999
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Contact:

Re: Our DIY Scanner

Post by StevePoling » 13 Jan 2010, 19:14

Here's to hoping you get a big north-facing window and a sunny day.

User avatar
daniel_reetz
Posts: 2786
Joined: 03 Jun 2009, 13:56
E-book readers owned: Used to have a PRS-500
Number of books owned: 600
Country: United States
Contact:

Re: Our DIY Scanner

Post by daniel_reetz » 14 Jan 2010, 08:29

wow, bummer.

I'd bring the hood anyway-- you might need something like it to block glare from overhead lighting. Folded up and perched on a tripod or something, it could save your images.

Then again, with just one camera it might not be tsuch a problem. Best of luck to you, Ann.

User avatar
Misty
Posts: 481
Joined: 06 Nov 2009, 12:20
Number of books owned: 0
Location: Frozen Wasteland

Re: Our DIY Scanner

Post by Misty » 14 Jan 2010, 10:46

StevePoling wrote:Here's to hoping you get a big north-facing window and a sunny day.
Not likely in an archives. Sunlight is a major source of UV, so reading rooms generally block off all sunlight.

Ann, I hope the lighting is sufficient! You should definitely take your curtain just in case you need it to block off at least some glare. If your camera support is stable enough, you might be able to get away with a fairly slow shutter speed to let more light in and get a brighter image.

I am glad that you have the permission to take in the scanner in both places, at least! I'm glad Kansas City is okay with this. It's exciting having your project move forward like this!
The opinions expressed in this post are my own and do not necessarily represent those of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

Post Reply