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

Best non-DIY book scanners

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.
Scanallthebooks
Posts: 38
Joined: 01 Dec 2016, 19:05
Number of books owned: 0
Country: Denmark

Re: Best non-DIY book scanners

Post by Scanallthebooks » 03 Dec 2016, 20:53

b0bcat wrote:Sounds about right - even for b&w text only I've learned it is indeed best to scan in greyscale and to take care first of all adjusting scanner options like brightness, contrast and gamma, especially with faded/yellowed pages, plus of course using a backing card when scanning thin paper with text bleed through as previously mentioned. Taking these steps saves an inordinate amount of post-scan software processing time.

I bought a Plustek Opticbook 4800 in May 2016 and it has just failed after 7 months, outputting only solid black / blank images even with default values. Issue looks as if it may be same as referenced in comment here

https://www.amazon.com/Plustek-OpticBoo ... B0059DZ4W2

Amazon UK contact / returns system is in a loop so I have filed a problem description with the Plustek website.

If it turns out there is the same 'chip failure' problem then it might be worth bearing in mind when choosing a unit. I see the AVISION FB2280E is around again, for about half the price.
How do you guys feel about color vs grey-scale vs turning text pages into b/w? I've heard some people find it easier to read pages when they're in grey-scale...plus some paperbacks come with grey pages when new, sop grey-scale would be more authentic. However scanning in color gives it quite the charm, and b/w makes it sharp and very new looking (but kind of loses its charm). If price was not issue, wouldn't all paperbacks be printed on completely white paper?

The reason I'm asking is that I've got some old paperbacks with yellowing pages and am thinking what the best way of scanning and postprocessing would be. If I scan color 600dpi lowest compression the file size is enormous.

rkomar
Posts: 86
Joined: 12 May 2013, 16:36
E-book readers owned: PRS-505, PocketBook 902, PRS-T1, PocketBook 623, PocketBook 840
Number of books owned: 3000
Country: Canada

Re: Best non-DIY book scanners

Post by rkomar » 03 Dec 2016, 21:10

I think it partly depends on what you intend to read the scanned books on. I read on an E-Ink device, which has low contrast, so converting to black-and-white improves the readability and speed greatly. If reading on an LCD screen, then grayscale looks better than black-and-white. Personally, I would not preserve the brownish-yellow colour of acid paper with colour scans.

Scanallthebooks
Posts: 38
Joined: 01 Dec 2016, 19:05
Number of books owned: 0
Country: Denmark

Re: Best non-DIY book scanners

Post by Scanallthebooks » 03 Dec 2016, 21:29

I read on LCD screens (IPS laptop screen, OLED smartphone screen) so I'll probably go with greyscale then. What tools do you use to convert to b/w? I'm using an ix500 to scan in color @ 600dpi and then use photoshop to up the contrast, convert to grey-scale and then adjust levels to achieve black text on white background.

rkomar
Posts: 86
Joined: 12 May 2013, 16:36
E-book readers owned: PRS-505, PocketBook 902, PRS-T1, PocketBook 623, PocketBook 840
Number of books owned: 3000
Country: Canada

Re: Best non-DIY book scanners

Post by rkomar » 03 Dec 2016, 22:04

I'm a linux guy, so I use command-line programs with shell scripts to convert images. I mentioned earlier that I use the binarizewolfjolion program to convert from greyscale to black-and-white. I use unpaper to clean up images. I also use ImageMagick and the netpbm suite of programs to do general conversion. If I was starting fresh, I'd probably use ScanTailor for all that, but I've been doing this for quite a while, so I stick to what's been working for me.

b0bcat
Posts: 38
Joined: 30 Nov 2012, 21:37
Number of books owned: 0
Country: UK

Re: Best non-DIY book scanners [Plustek; Avision]

Post by b0bcat » 10 Dec 2016, 20:37

1) dead Plustek OpticBook 4800 - thankfully amazon.co.uk took this back and indeed declined my offer of pro-rata reduction of the fully reimbursed price for having used it for 7 months. The scans produced were fine and it operated faster than the 3600 plus you can get much closer to the spine but for a scanner costing nearly £430 a hardware failure after only 7 months light to medium use and recourse to manufacturer warranty (in this case resolved in practice by amazon) is not encouraging.

2) bought the Avision FB2280E edge scanner. Not quite half the price. (The OpticBook 4800 now seems to run to £400-500+ and imported from sellers outside UK). Here's not the time for a review but

(a) Avision build/finish quality seems superior to the Plustek OpticBook 3600/4800 I've had; however
(b) the Avision scanner software is sufficiently quirky, non-intuitive and maybe defective that after messing around for 2hrs installing it and exploring, plus consulting the 80pp appx cd manual with the objective of doing a short 300dpi / greyscale / dual-sided scan with alternating orientation, I gave up and started looking for a MS Windows XP or 7 open source or commercial TWAIN driver that would basically provide the functionality to achieve this modest objective. (The 4800's BookPavilion driver was itself not that great and indeed less easy to use than the more friendly driver bundled with the 3600, but both superior to the Avision, which only seems to permit preview and sizing in a tiny thumbnail mode and despite being set to scan in greyscale insists on scanning in trucolor(?) I did notice a UK purchaser's amazon.co.uk review stated the software did not allow full control of the scanner settings but I disregarded this as being from someone who had not RTFM. Silly me).

3). VueScan seems the most likely contender but I cannot find a 32-bit version on the website and there is in fact no dedicated version for this particular scanner anyway though there is this which looks as near as dammit:
https://www.hamrick.com/vuescan/avision_fb2080e.html

a) has anyone recently used the Vuescan software whether for this scanner or not, and any major comments from the perspective of the bookscanner?
b) any other commercial or open source for MS Windows that you've used successfully in lieu of the manufacturer's bundled TWAIN driver?

4) b&w or greyscale - when people speak here of b&w do they generally mean binarized original scan images or 256 scanned as greyscale with the background noise later eliminated using e.g. levels in batch mode of XnView? As detailed to my chagrin in the thread below, scanning in b&w (original binarized) has an unpleasant payback for economising on size, unless (maybe) the source item is uniformly text of a medium to large font size.

https://www.diybookscanner.org/forum/vi ... =24&t=3359

recaptcha
Posts: 58
Joined: 03 Sep 2010, 13:23
Number of books owned: 0
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Re: Best non-DIY book scanners

Post by recaptcha » 14 Dec 2016, 21:50

Thanks bobcat.

I was seriously thinking of ordering the Avison from Amazon.uk (I live in Canada), but your comments have made me pause. There used to be a Microtek bookedge scanner, but all my attempts at contacting them have failed. There doesn't seem to be any other quality flatbed scanners available. I just may have to give up searching for decent flatbeds.

SPM
Posts: 1
Joined: 16 Mar 2012, 10:32
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Country: UK
Location: Northampton, UK

Re: Best non-DIY book scanners

Post by SPM » 06 Jan 2017, 12:09

Hi, my first posting here

Another option to consider that hasn't been mentioned and definitely warrants being considered, especially when considering old and delicate books being affordably captured, is the little known M2030 book scanner from Czurtek. This has an adjustable V cradle to support the book spine and cover and utilises twin overhead 10 MP cmos cameras with built in LED lighting to capture face up left and right pages independently, it sells for around $1500 http://www.czur.com/en/product/M2030

The software takes a little getting used to, but once understood it can capture quickly double pages simultaneously and automatically crop and flatten images as you capture. the resultant images can be exported into multi-page Ocr'd pdf for example. The quality isn't as good as a Professional system like Atiz using Canon or Nikon cameras or a BookEye using Linear CCD cameras, however depending on your application and content of your original books it might be suitable.

Oh and it also has a little brother the ET16, a single 16MP overhead digitiser, that requires the book to be opened flat face up, it also crops and flattens images as you capture. Both systems even have finger tip recognition removal from the images which works fine as long you are on a white margin on the page edge.

Whether they would be suitable for your needs would depend on your original material and what you intend to do with captured data, if glossy colour magazines that you want full reprographic reproduction from then possibly not, but black and white books containing drawings / illustrations for visual viewing and reading then it would work fine.

just some food for thought :)

recaptcha
Posts: 58
Joined: 03 Sep 2010, 13:23
Number of books owned: 0
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Re: Best non-DIY book scanners

Post by recaptcha » 01 Feb 2017, 20:33

Thanks SPM. It might be worth considering for me. I have a lot of small paperback books from the 1960s and 1970s that have tight spines, and I'd need to hold them down while scanning.

jpkeyzer
Posts: 4
Joined: 23 Aug 2017, 11:27
E-book readers owned: iPad: iBooks & GoodReader
Number of books owned: 0
Country: United States

Re: Best non-DIY book scanners

Post by jpkeyzer » 24 Aug 2017, 09:49

SPM wrote:
06 Jan 2017, 12:09
Hi, my first posting here

... is the little known M2030 book scanner from Czurtek ...

Oh and it also has a little brother the ET16, a single 16MP overhead digitiser, that requires the book to be opened flat face up, it also crops and flattens images as you capture. Both systems even have finger tip recognition removal from the images which works fine as long you are on a white margin on the page edge.

...

just some food for thought :)
I purchased the CZUR ET16 (http://www.czur.com/product/ET16) from Amazon in the US and tested it. I so badly wanted this to work as marketed but unfortunately the supporting software's auto-crop and auto-alignment is not as crisp as it needs to be. I also found that, without a cradle or some supporting mechanism, turning pages results is slight movements and ultimately affects the end result. It would be awesome if the CZUR software's auto-crop and auto-alignment dealt with this. The scanner has been returned. :(

On a side note, I have purchased the Microtek XT3500 scanner and will report on it as soon as I have used it.

jpkeyzer
Posts: 4
Joined: 23 Aug 2017, 11:27
E-book readers owned: iPad: iBooks & GoodReader
Number of books owned: 0
Country: United States

Re: Best non-DIY book scanners

Post by jpkeyzer » 24 Aug 2017, 10:02

recaptcha wrote:
14 Dec 2016, 21:50
...
There used to be a Microtek bookedge scanner, but all my attempts at contacting them have failed. There doesn't seem to be any other quality flatbed scanners available. I just may have to give up searching for decent flatbeds.
...
recaptcha wrote:
19 Mar 2015, 14:44
...
I looked into the Microtek zero-boundary flatbed scanners (XT Series) but could not find a single model available anywhere in North America. Microtek's only contact info is an email address and phone number listed in Taiwan. I emailed them twice a few weeks apart several months ago, but never got any response. I wonder if Microtek is even still in business?
...
Using the information found here http://www.microtek.com/microtek.php?Type=contact I was able to contact Jerry Su, via Skype, who handles Microtek sales for the US. Please find his complete contact info below:

Contact : Mr. Jerry Su
Tel : +886-3-577-2155 Ext.551
Fax : +886-3-577-2598 Ext.551
E-mail : jerry.su@microtek.com.tw
Skype : jerrysu0728

Jerry Su was very responsive and helpful ... I was informed that the US distributor for Microtek is Iscantek - please find their contact info below:

Company: Iscantek Inc.
Address: 300 W Valley Bvld A27 Alhambra, CA 91803
Tel: 626-269-9948
FAX: 626-289-6678
Contact: Mr. Loi Giai Han
Email: loihan@iscantek.com
Email: hangiailoi@gmail.com
Website: www.iscantek.com

Ultimately, I purchased the Microtek XT3500 scanner from Amazon UK.

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