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

Suggestion for hi-res scanning A3 sized formats?

Everything camera related. Includes triggers, batteries, power supplies, flatbeds and sheet-feeding scanners, too.
machelensin
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Suggestion for hi-res scanning A3 sized formats?

Post by machelensin » 20 Oct 2012, 18:55

I've been a lurker for quite awhile and have been keeping an eye on this community for a project... and now I have to finally jump into the fray.

I have a unique situation. I'm recent graduate with a degree in history who is building an archives for an on campus organization that goes back 80 years. I have 7 hand written books/ledgers that are a little bit smaller than A3 size sheets of paper. I'm trying to figure out a way to scan these books in color at/greater than 600 dpi... (being that I'm in an archive situation, I'm looking for quality, not overly concerned about speed at this time).

Anyone have any experience with anything like this?

So far I've figured out 3 ways, and am trying to figure out which route to take.

1. Digital Cameras - I'm guessing I'd need something expensive as heck given the resolution.
2. Buying a A3 book scanner (I've been looking at the opticbook A300 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... d-Scanners ), and replacing the platen with the book scanner itself, directly getting the 600 dpi scans that way. Downside: at the cheapest, I'm looking at dropping $1500 and botching a scanner, also running the risk of damaging a book because the scanner is heavy, etc.
3. Take film photos, and enlarge them from the negatives, or from scans. Time consuming, loss of quality?

As for the rest of it, I think a typical well built cradle, etc. will do the trick...

Anyone have any experience with this that I could ascertain which would be the best route, or know of something better? I'm all ears.

pav
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Re: Suggestion for hi-res scanning A3 sized formats?

Post by pav » 21 Oct 2012, 07:15

Daniel may have the time to comment why he stopped at a certain book size -perhaps there are technical issues.
My two cents worth:
Definitely try the flat bed scanner first. They claim: "2.5 sec for an A3-size color" scan - this is definitely worth checking out in practice. I am pretty sure the total time of building a scanner and fiddling with lighting and post-processing the images will give much more than 3 secs per page over 7 books.
I hear in the US you can return the product after some time (2 weeks?) if you don't like it - or especially if it does not perform as advertised. I am not suggesting using 7 different suppliers sequentially (crossed my mind :o :roll: ) but definitely try it first - and do it the way the scanner manual suggests - so that you know what you want to improve on (speed, cost, quality).

If the problem is that your books are heavy I would invest time and ingenuity in a seesaw-like device to safely lower a half-open book on a scanner (scanner in its normal position as designed). Something a bit medieval or like an ancient Egyptian water crane.

Seesaw or not: if you make it half cool the undergraduates will be volunteering to work with it (especially if they have hopes to scan something else when you are not looking). May be they will also give you DIY ideas.
Be a manager, start safe so you have something to show when they evaluate your project, when it works you will get the idea if it makes more sense to invest big in technology or pay small money for students to work with a scanner.

machelensin
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Re: Suggestion for hi-res scanning A3 sized formats?

Post by machelensin » 21 Oct 2012, 17:28

It's not that the books are heavy, but fragile. They are 80 years old, and on 2 the spines are in rough shape.

I've done 2 internships with artifact handling experiences and I'd get murdered if I used the Opticbook scanner the way it's supposed to be used. I'd build a set up with the book resting open on the cradle, and instead of having a platen lowered into the book, just flip the scanner over, mount it to the frame/sliders, and gently drop the scanner into the spine. That way there isn't any unwieldy/dangerous handling of the books.

I've been mulling this idea over for well over 2 years now. Now I need to move on it, just a bit still unsure.

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Re: Suggestion for hi-res scanning A3 sized formats?

Post by ThrillaMozilla » 23 Oct 2012, 14:02

1. Medium format digital camera. $6000 to $40,000.
2. Use 4 cameras simultaneously for one page, and stitch the images together. There's free software that's supposed to be pretty good at stitching. That's how I would do it.
3. Do it with one camera and stitch the images together.
4. Ask librarians and curators of major historical collections what they do.
5. Buy an expensive ("35-mm") camera with full-frame sensor and maybe settle for fewer pixels.

pav
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Re: Suggestion for hi-res scanning A3 sized formats?

Post by pav » 23 Oct 2012, 20:54

OK, I understand slightly better - sorry for unhelpful comments.
I once emailed the guy who worked with an upside down scanner:
http://www.geocities.jp/takascience/lego/fabs_en.html
hoping that may be he would join this forum or gave me some info but he never replied...

I would like to bring to your attention a quote from his page:
'EPSON GT-7200U (And many scanners) does not work in upside down state. The floor of such scanner is flat but the roof is not. For my case: I attached a lego block rail to my scanner's roofcover. Then it began to work upside down.'
...and the fact that working further on his project he did not use a scanner anymore (ceased to operate upside down?)
http://www.geocities.jp/takascience/lego/pic/abs2.wmv

So, as you said, there is a risk of running a loss on an investment. I have not worked with the A3 scanner but have two other Opticbooks which I was hoping to use in a non-standard position - no luck so far.

Stitching pictures from more than one camera worked for me for text for OCR but I would not recommend it if you need colour and lighting uniformity - e.g. if there is some artwork in your content or a 'feel' to be preserved. May be a frame allowing multiple shots with the same camera (moved between fixed positions)?

I think that photographing on film in principle does not lead to a loss of quality - but the actual quality depends on good exposure and post-processing: definitely a try run required. There is this website which recently reminded me that there are bigger formats than 35mm:
http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/filmdig.htm
I don't know if a big format would be required for your job. I would scan negatives.

machelensin
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Re: Suggestion for hi-res scanning A3 sized formats?

Post by machelensin » 25 Oct 2012, 01:00

I feel like an idiot for not even thinking if the scanner would operate upside down. Let me know if you manage to get anything out of the Opticbooks.

I am familiar with the Rockwell site, and going with a 4x5 camera has crossed my mind. I have worked with microfilm, so I know the quality you can get off that. Being a 4x5 is how much bigger, I think it has a shot.

I know a few photographers, and there's one in town that may be willing to bounce a few ideas off about if the quality would be diminished, etc.

(I am hoping to keep a log of this build if it pans out for anyone following near this attempt)

ThrillaMozilla
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Re: Suggestion for hi-res scanning A3 sized formats?

Post by ThrillaMozilla » 12 Feb 2013, 12:34

Are you still there? How about a HP 4670?
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,1306984,00.asp
Or maybe a CanonScan LiDE 700F or other LiDE?
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2352831,00.asp

machelensin
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Re: Suggestion for hi-res scanning A3 sized formats?

Post by machelensin » 28 Jul 2014, 14:30

Haha, Yes, I am, albeit a bit late :P That SeeThru Vertical Scanjet would fit the bill if it had a good book edge and had a bigger pane! I can't seem to find an up to date model for it either, dang!

In the mean time I have acquired the funds for a nice (read: Expensive) digital camera, lens, remote, communication hotfoot, and other gear. I'm going to catch up with some of my museum friends for building the rest of the set up with archive safe materials, and am going to work with a professional photographer to get the lighting set up. The guy is retired and considers book scanning as an awesome idea and is willing to help for free as it piques his interest.

So, now that I've acquired the gear, time to get to the planning/designing :D

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daniel_reetz
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Re: Suggestion for hi-res scanning A3 sized formats?

Post by daniel_reetz » 29 Jul 2014, 10:37

Glad to see you getting some momentum on this! Which camera did you choose in the end? The D810 and NEX-7R are both 36mp.

A3 is 11.7x16.5

What would it take to capture this doc at, say, 300DPI?

16.5*300=4950px
11.7*300=3510px

So, the Sony A7R or Nikon D810 at 36MP would exceed both: 7,360 x 4,912 pixels. You'd need a good, high-res lens to match. I'm a fan of the Micro-Nikkor 60mm f2.8, though there might be something better these days.

machelensin
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Re: Suggestion for hi-res scanning A3 sized formats?

Post by machelensin » 29 Jul 2014, 18:02

Yup, D810 and Nikon AF-S Micro-NIKKOR 60mm f/2.8G ED Lens :D

It is a bit surreal to think of doing this and legitimately dropping the dimes for this. I really want to get to the finished product! But it will have to wait until I get home in September. I am stuck working on the ocean until then. Tough life :D

I'm also glad I have photographer friends to help me out too. It's been quite an interesting experience.
daniel_reetz wrote:Glad to see you getting some momentum on this! Which camera did you choose in the end? The D810 and NEX-7R are both 36mp.

A3 is 11.7x16.5

What would it take to capture this doc at, say, 300DPI?

16.5*300=4950px
11.7*300=3510px

So, the Sony A7R or Nikon D810 at 36MP would exceed both: 7,360 x 4,912 pixels. You'd need a good, high-res lens to match. I'm a fan of the Micro-Nikkor 60mm f2.8, though there might be something better these days.

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