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 Photos

Don't know where to start, or stuck on a certain problem? Drop by and tell us about it. Feel like helping others? Start here.
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barnaclebarnes
Posts: 4
Joined: 21 Jun 2015, 21:43
Number of books owned: 200
Country: New Zealand

Scanning Photos

Post by barnaclebarnes » 22 Jun 2015, 22:05

We're looking at getting one of the DIY Book Scanners and using it for a couple of things:
  1. Scanning local books (people's recipe books, brochures and other books that won't get picked up by major scanning efforts)
  2. Scanning people's photo collections
My question is around the quality of the images that come from the scanner. If we use decent quality SLR's will the scanner take quality images of the photos? We want to be able to use the images in an archive so we want them to be of decent quality an accurate. The thinking is that somebody could come in with a shoebox full of their grandparents photos and scan them at a local library.

Are there any examples that people can point to of images that have been captured?

Thanks
Glen

dpc
Posts: 286
Joined: 01 Apr 2011, 18:05
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Location: Issaquah, WA

Re: Scanning Photos

Post by dpc » 23 Jun 2015, 09:08

If it were me, I'd be using a flat bed scanner for photos. Much easier to use and better lighting and resolution.

cday
Posts: 226
Joined: 19 Mar 2013, 14:55
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Country: UK

Re: Scanning Photos

Post by cday » 23 Jun 2015, 10:08

dpc wrote:If it were me, I'd be using a flat bed scanner for photos. Much easier to use and better lighting and resolution.
Yes, the only question is speed... But in practice using a book scanner might not be so much faster, although there might be some scope for refining the process for loose photos.

And with a flatbed, several photos can easily be scanned at once and then separated and straightened automatically in software, although the scan time would increase with the increase in the length of the scanner bed scanned. Single small photos, or photos palced side-by-side, should be scanned reasonably quickly if the scan is set up optimally.

Edit:

A flatbed scanner could also scan slides and possibly negative film, depending on the model, which could be relevant to archiving, and would be relatively inexpensive compared with the book scanner if both are required.
Last edited by cday on 23 Jun 2015, 12:17, edited 1 time in total.

cday
Posts: 226
Joined: 19 Mar 2013, 14:55
Number of books owned: 0
Country: UK

Re: Scanning Photos

Post by cday » 23 Jun 2015, 11:45

Further...

If there were a need to image a large number of photos and the speed of a camera was required, a rather different design of 'book scanner' might be designed that is better suited to the purpose and possibly relatively easy to conceive and fabricate.

For loose photos a flatbed with a hinged glass platen would likely be more suitable, enabling photos to be positioned easily and flattened, as in a conventional flatbed scanner. As photos are generally quite small, a good quality camera should be able to capture enough pixels for most purposes. And if the camera were mounted directly above the centre of the platen, that and the relatively small size of the photos should minimise distortions, especially if the camera were mounted fairly high. Lighting the relatively small area evenly should similarly be relatively easy, whether with a lamp either side, or maybe a single lamp or four lamps, preferably at a distance...

If required, multiple photos could be imaged at once and later separated and straightened with standard software, although the larger area imaged would increase distortion and adversely affect the design of suitably even lighting. And slides and film could not be imaged.

An interesting project in concept, perhaps, but probably not actually relevant to the immediate need?

barnaclebarnes
Posts: 4
Joined: 21 Jun 2015, 21:43
Number of books owned: 200
Country: New Zealand

Re: Scanning Photos

Post by barnaclebarnes » 25 Jun 2015, 02:45

Thanks for the feedback. Speed is probably the biggest issue with flatbed scanners, quite frankly they are a bit of a PITA for scanning a lot of images. I do like the idea of setting a proper photo taking device that uses a camera though. You get the higher throughput and probably a better outcome than with the book scanner.

I will probably end up doing both in the long run though as there are a bunch of small books, diaries and pamphlets that we want to scan.

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