Large Format Flatbed Scanner

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by srr113@hotmail.com, Jan 2, 2007.

  1. Guest

    Are there any reasonably-priced flatbed scanners that can handle 13" X
    22" documents? I would like to have the capability of scanning entire
    newspaper pages. Thanks.

    Smooth
    , Jan 2, 2007
    #1
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  2. Paul Rubin Guest

    writes:
    > Are there any reasonably-priced flatbed scanners that can handle 13" X
    > 22" documents? I would like to have the capability of scanning entire
    > newspaper pages. Thanks.


    Not really. There are a fair number of 11x17 scanners that can scan a
    tabloid page, and there are large format ($$$) sheet fed scanners that
    can scan larger pages. There are also overhead ("planetary") scanners
    that are basically large format scanning-type digicams, also quite
    expensive. If this is for personal use and you just want readable
    copy, you can use a consumer DSLR, but the results won't be nearly as
    good as what you'd get with a scanner.

    17x22 inch flatbed scanners do exist but the ones I know of are very
    expensive and probably pretty slow.
    Paul Rubin, Jan 2, 2007
    #2
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  3. Guest

    Thanks, Paul. Those were my basic conclusions from some limited web
    searching. Actually what I would like to do is OCR conversion of the
    news print. I've tried using digital camera images, but have had very
    poor results. A flatbed is the answer, but none are available at a
    resonable price. I did see one, but it cost $18K. That is a bit too
    high for a hobbyist.

    Thanks for the reply,

    Smooth

    Paul Rubin wrote:
    > writes:
    > > Are there any reasonably-priced flatbed scanners that can handle 13" X
    > > 22" documents? I would like to have the capability of scanning entire
    > > newspaper pages. Thanks.

    >
    > Not really. There are a fair number of 11x17 scanners that can scan a
    > tabloid page, and there are large format ($$$) sheet fed scanners that
    > can scan larger pages. There are also overhead ("planetary") scanners
    > that are basically large format scanning-type digicams, also quite
    > expensive. If this is for personal use and you just want readable
    > copy, you can use a consumer DSLR, but the results won't be nearly as
    > good as what you'd get with a scanner.
    >
    > 17x22 inch flatbed scanners do exist but the ones I know of are very
    > expensive and probably pretty slow.
    , Jan 2, 2007
    #3
  4. Paul Rubin Guest

    writes:
    > Thanks, Paul. Those were my basic conclusions from some limited web
    > searching. Actually what I would like to do is OCR conversion of the
    > news print. I've tried using digital camera images, but have had very
    > poor results. A flatbed is the answer, but none are available at a
    > resonable price. I did see one, but it cost $18K. That is a bit too
    > high for a hobbyist.


    I think OCR conversion of regular sized newsprint is not out of the
    question from digicam images, especially if you shoot the page in
    several sections. I've played around with the idea of setting up a
    multi-camera copy stand to shoot multiple sections of a large page in
    one operation, maybe using a dual-camera rail from
    reallyrightstuff.com. You want to run an edge detection filter over
    the digicam output, then crank up gamma to make an almost-monochrome
    image, then maybe do threshold detection to get monochrome. I've been
    doing these operations by hand with GIMP but have been meaning to get
    around to writing a program to do it automatically.

    For very small newsprint (classified ads), OCR failed pretty badly
    when I tried several years ago, even on flatbed scanner output. The
    newspaper printing process is just not precise enough.

    I don't understand why nobody makes a low cost overhead scanner using
    basically the guts of a consumer desktop flatbed scanner, plus some
    enlarger optics. The seem to only make ultra-high-end models with
    super duper color accuracy (Scitex or whatever) intended for color
    prepress. What you're doing is 99% monochrome and for the 1% that's
    color, the color accuracy can be relative crap and still be fine.
    Paul Rubin, Jan 2, 2007
    #4
  5. Stewy Guest

    In article <>,
    wrote:

    > Are there any reasonably-priced flatbed scanners that can handle 13" X
    > 22" documents? I would like to have the capability of scanning entire
    > newspaper pages. Thanks.
    >

    I think you'll find them very expensive.

    I did scan a series of old tabloid-sized UK comics a few years back on
    an A4 flatbed. Scanning in two parts and using Photoshop to merge the
    two halves.

    I'm assuming you'll be trying OCR once you scanned the pages. I have
    tried Omnipage Pro 2 which did a really poor job. Hopefully things have
    improved.
    Stewy, Jan 2, 2007
    #5
  6. tomm42 Guest

    On Jan 1, 11:08 pm, wrote:
    > Are there any reasonably-priced flatbed scanners that can handle 13" X
    > 22" documents? I would like to have the capability of scanning entire
    > newspaper pages. Thanks.
    >
    > Smooth


    All depends on your definition of reasonable. A Umax Powerlook 2100 can
    be purchased refurb for $1000-1500. that is about the best price. If
    you consider the construction requirements of these scanners you begin
    to see that is almost a bargain. UMAX Powerlook scanners are very good.
    But these are 12x17 scanners, can certainly handle 1 newspaper page but
    not a double spread.
    Forget Ebay, I tried to buy 3 UMAX Mirage scanners, each one was
    severely damaged in shipping. No horror stories, all good Ebay sellers,
    just disappointment, UPS was a pain though.
    If you end up photographing the pages you'll have to do this 1/2 page
    at a time.

    Have a good New Year
    Tom
    tomm42, Jan 2, 2007
    #6
  7. Paul Rubin Guest

    "tomm42" <> writes:
    > All depends on your definition of reasonable. A Umax Powerlook 2100 can
    > be purchased refurb for $1000-1500. that is about the best price. If
    > you consider the construction requirements of these scanners you begin
    > to see that is almost a bargain. UMAX Powerlook scanners are very good.
    > But these are 12x17 scanners, can certainly handle 1 newspaper page but
    > not a double spread.


    If it's just 12x17 (probably actually A3), there are lots of scanners
    that size, in the $500 range on ebay. 17x22 is a lot harder.
    Paul Rubin, Jan 2, 2007
    #7
  8. Jim Blue Guest

    Stewy wrote:
    > I did scan a series of old tabloid-sized UK comics a few years back on
    > an A4 flatbed. Scanning in two parts and using Photoshop to merge the
    > two halves.


    You could use AutoStitch, a free program to make panorama photos, to
    merge the 2 halves. Just leave some overlap so AutoStitch can
    join the 2.
    Jim Blue, Jan 3, 2007
    #8
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