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

Scanning postcards?

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.
Post Reply
symac
Posts: 2
Joined: 13 Oct 2015, 06:10
Number of books owned: 0
Country: UK

Scanning postcards?

Post by symac » 17 Oct 2015, 09:58

Hi all,
it is just a project for the moment, but I have received thousands of old postcards from my father and I am looking for a way to scan them efficiently. Using a standard photo scanner is not suitable as the time it would request is too important. So I was thinking about some way to automatically push cards in front of the camera, take a picture and go to the next one. The idea would be, at the end, to be able to have something as efficient as what this guy had done to load floppy disks but with postcards: http://dwellertech.blogspot.co.uk/2012/ ... disks.html

The thickness of a postcard make things complicated and I have not been able to find examples of this kind of process on the web and DYIer bookscanner community is the one I know that might have the more ideas on this project.

So any advice welcome (even if it is: I tried it myself and it is too complicated !)

Thanks,
Sylvain

duerig
Posts: 384
Joined: 01 Jun 2014, 17:04
Number of books owned: 1000
Country: United States of America

Re: Scanning postcards?

Post by duerig » 17 Oct 2015, 13:56

I think that trying to develop an automated solution is too complicated for this scale of scanning. You could scan them all by hand in the time it takes to make a reliable system.

Here is my suggestion. By a camera stand and a nice camera that will get you the dpi you want. Attach the camera and zoom in on the perfect spot on your table. Use tape or thin cardboard to mark the corners of that spot. Make sure that you can remotely trigger your camera.

Then start scanning. You will find that you can scan more than a thousand postcards an hour. Or half that if you are scanning both sides. Once you have things set up, you can get it all done in a weekend. Put on a podcast or book on tape to keep you entertained.

Full automatic scanning would be really cool. And I would love to see your resulting machine and read about your attempt if you pursue it. But that is a huge project in itself. If your primary aim is to have a lot of postcards digitized, then it is better to focus on that.

-D

User avatar
jck57
Posts: 376
Joined: 23 Nov 2009, 15:21

Re: Scanning postcards?

Post by jck57 » 18 Oct 2015, 09:25

A slight improvement on deurig's method would be to make a frame so you don't have to visually align the cards before each shot. Just drop one in, trigger the shutter, and repeat. The frame could be made of four small sticks taped down to the table. Leave the corners open to make it easier to pick up the cards.

User avatar
Antoha-spb
Posts: 89
Joined: 21 Nov 2009, 09:54
Number of books owned: 1000
Location: Saint Petersburg
Contact:

Re: Scanning postcards?

Post by Antoha-spb » 18 Oct 2015, 15:45

i've got a small collection of old postcards and i tried both shooting them with Canon EOS DSLR and scanning with an office-grade HP SJ.

Shooting may be fast BUT provided that your cards are perfectly flat (not curved) and perfectly lit (ideally by two LED laps at 45 degrees to the plane being scanned) with no parasite light from the window or so. Before shooting make sure the camera looks straight at the postcards centre, set the white balance and autofocus on the target taking test shots (check if edges are sharp as well) and then switch the focus to manual. Recemmended settings are F8-F11 and shutter above 1/50 with minimum ISO that supports this giving normal brightness of the photo. This way I digitized postcards and photos that don't belong to me :)

And my own cards I digitize with a flatbed scanner at 600 dpi colour or monochrome (most of my cards are pre-war bw photos). While scanner carriage goes back and fourth i have time to rename the previously made scan to make further search easier and to put the postcard back into its folder. So avoiding mess both on the table and on the hard disc.

So i would also suggest you to borrow a high-speed flatbed scanner for a weekend (i found one in my office :) and to do your task without much complications of shooting with a camera.

good luck!
Anton

symac
Posts: 2
Joined: 13 Oct 2015, 06:10
Number of books owned: 0
Country: UK

Re: Scanning postcards?

Post by symac » 25 Oct 2015, 10:36

Thanks to you all for these advices. The autoloader definitely seems not to be the best idea I understand :)

Shooting with frames (or with a background color and a small script after to crop the pictures automatically maybe) seems an interesting solution, I will give it a try I think.

Thanks,
Sylvain

danyq
Posts: 5
Joined: 08 May 2014, 17:53
Country: US

Re: Scanning postcards?

Post by danyq » 28 Oct 2015, 00:02

If you can get one, the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 should be able to scan stacks of postcards, and it's very fast. I scanned thousands of photos with it.

L.Willms
Posts: 131
Joined: 21 Sep 2016, 10:51
E-book readers owned: Tolino Shine
Country: Germany
Location: Frankfurt/Main, Germany

Re: Scanning postcards?

Post by L.Willms » 09 Oct 2016, 05:51

Antoha-spb wrote: So i would also suggest you to borrow a high-speed flatbed scanner for a weekend (i found one in my office :) and to do your task without much complications of shooting with a camera.
And best one with an ADF, i.e Automatic Document Feeder, but must not be one which turnes the pages, since a postcard is mae of a more rigid kind of paper. So a specialized document scanner which pulls the material to be scanned linearly thru the apparatus would be the best solution, methinks.

peterZ
Posts: 19
Joined: 16 Jun 2013, 06:13
Number of books owned: 10000
Country: Australia

Re: Scanning postcards?

Post by peterZ » 05 Nov 2016, 18:55

I used my ix500 to scan postcards , about a second for both sides of the card . Worked well. It is very fast scanning since it is done in hardware.
Postcards could probably even be batched in groups of 10, say , I vae not tried batching , just guessing it would be ok.

joe
Posts: 2
Joined: 25 Jan 2016, 15:59
E-book readers owned: Kindle Paperwhite
Number of books owned: 0
Country: USA
Location: Richmond, VA
Contact:

Re: Scanning postcards?

Post by joe » 18 Nov 2016, 16:59

+1 to sheetfed scanners for sure. I would definitely be sure to use one which wouldn't bend the postcard.

Post Reply