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WTB: Pre-assembled scanner for comic covers

Posted: 05 Jun 2018, 11:46
by comiccoverguy
Hello, I am the least handy person in the world. Yet, I really want a DIY scanner that can be used to rapidly capture the front and back covers (no interiors) of hundreds or thousands of comic books in one sitting. Maybe 200 dpi max? Maybe use a iPhone camera instead of a handheld camera?

Open to ideas. I'm in the MD/DC/VA area and would definitely pay for the time and labor.

Thanks so much!

Re: WTB: Pre-assembled scanner for comic covers

Posted: 05 Jun 2018, 12:18
by cday
Scanning just the covers would be well suited to a flatbed scanner: while the typical home scanner would be much too slow, a good office multifunction copier-scanner would be very quick and produce quality as high (or low) as you need... And as you are open to paying for the time and labor, in the absence of a better solution you could consider getting quotes from local copy shops.

Re: WTB: Pre-assembled scanner for comic covers

Posted: 05 Jun 2018, 13:29
by duerig
Agreed that a flatbed scanner might be just what you are looking for. The other alternative which would be faster to actually scan is what is called a 'copy stand'. This is a simple device for holding your camera vertically above a bed looking down for quick scanning of flat documents. There are almost certainly variants of it that can handle a cell phone as well if you want to use your phone to do it.

Of the two, the flatbed would probably yield better quality and more even light. While the copy stand would be able to scan more quickly because there is no cover and you don't have to wait for the scanner bar to move back and forth.

-Jonathon Duerig

Re: WTB: Pre-assembled scanner for comic covers

Posted: 05 Jun 2018, 14:04
by comiccoverguy
Never thought of the copy shops. I suspect that they may not be cost-effective as I get into hundreds of thousands. As a business, it might be more cost effective to have my own sunk cost into the hardware and pay some high school/college kids myself. Still, I will get some quotes.

Another reason that I might want to keep the scanning in-house is that I'd like to integrate some proprietary workflow and follow-on processes.

I use a flatbed currently, but between the warm-up time, closing and opening the lid and the scan time, it seems slow. I'd like to get it down to 10 seconds or less per book.

Jonathon - Thank you. I will look into the copy stand option.

Re: WTB: Pre-assembled scanner for comic covers

Posted: 05 Jun 2018, 15:06
by cday
duerig wrote:
05 Jun 2018, 13:29
Of the two, the flatbed would probably yield better quality and more even light. While the copy stand would be able to scan more quickly because there is no cover and you don't have to wait for the scanner bar to move back and forth.
You are talking very large numbers of magazines now, so that could change the tradeoff versus setting up costs.

The flatbed should certainly produce better quality, to the extent that you actually need that, and could potentially reduce or eliminate the need for any postprocessing.

Regarding good quality office multifunction scanner-copiers, the one I've used in a local library is very fast, about the same time as it takes to make a photocopy. I also suspect that good results could be obtained with the lid removed, enabling magazines to be quickly positioned against a corner of the glass and then held down by hand.

At a more detailed level, you might consider whether it would work better to scan both covers in one scan with the magazine held down open, and then separate the covers using batch processing software. Otherwise, as Duerig has said, a simple copy stand and camera should do, and if the magazines are the same size simple guides should enable them to be positioned both accurately and quickly.

Re: WTB: Pre-assembled scanner for comic covers

Posted: 07 Jun 2018, 08:05
by L.Willms
cday wrote:
05 Jun 2018, 12:18
a good office multifunction copier-scanner would be very quick and produce quality as high (or low) as you need...
Just yesterday I scanned a 460 page book in about an hour, with an interuption inbetween for recharging my pay card for the device.

Well, those are 230 actual scans, since two pages of the book are scanned in one go. They were later separated with Scan Tailor (which had its problems in that case, but that is off topic here).