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Thread: Scanning 8x10 Transparencies

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Scanning 8x10 Transparencies

    Hi:

    My problem is as follows. The original images were 3'x4' colored maps with very high detail including lots of little towns and rivers and symbols. The originals were transferred to 8"x10" positive transparencies. I don't know the technology but it was apparently quite difficult and performed at the National Archives. I have to scan hundreds of these transparencies during a five day visit to the Archives. Based on past experiences, in order to capture all the detail I have to scan at a minimum of 1800DPI and the scan time for each image can not exceed five minutes. The size of the image file is not an issue. I would appreciate any suggestions.

    Regards,

    John

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    1,959

    Lightbulb Re: Scanning 8x10 Transparencies

    Quote Originally Posted by jccalvin View Post
    Hi:

    My problem is as follows. The original images were 3'x4' colored maps with very high detail including lots of little towns and rivers and symbols. The originals were transferred to 8"x10" positive transparencies. I don't know the technology but it was apparently quite difficult and performed at the National Archives. I have to scan hundreds of these transparencies during a five day visit to the Archives. Based on past experiences, in order to capture all the detail I have to scan at a minimum of 1800DPI and the scan time for each image can not exceed five minutes. The size of the image file is not an issue. I would appreciate any suggestions.

    Regards,

    John
    Bring 2 computers and 2 scanners for productivity; your task sounds mission critical!

    2 Epson v700/750 or Epson 4990 for moderately priced scanners with decent output. 2 Mac Books would be nice also.

    Don Bryant

  3. #3
    Cyclothymic
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    459

    Re: Scanning 8x10 Transparencies

    ^^ What Don said.

  4. #4

    Re: Scanning 8x10 Transparencies

    An Epson 10000XL scanner will let you set up two 8x10 transparencies on the bed at one time. Use the Firewire instead of the USB connection to speed things along. If you use Silverfast software, you can calibrate the system and automate your process. Batch scan mode will let you speed things along as well. I believe the top resolution on this scanner is 2400 pixels per inch.

    I used one of these at the Oregon Historical Society and will say they are really nice, rugged scanners. Unlike many flatbed scanners, these can be focused, so you can place the big transparencies directly on the scanner bed and not have to mess with film holders. You will have to pony up somewhere around $3000, but the money is well spent when you consider the productivity possible.

    On the down side, there is no way you will be able to scan hundreds of negatives in five days' time. Plan on about 50-60 images in an 8-hour day, tops. Scan time plus all the organization you will have to do simply takes too long.

    Good luck!
    Peter Gomena

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    5

    Re: Scanning 8x10 Transparencies

    Thanks for the replies.

    My budget is $700 so one V700 and VueScan or Silverfast is probably all I can afford. I also have a V500 and an XL20000 and two laptops. However, the process of selecting each transparency in proper order and replacing them in the folders would make using two scanners a nightmare.

    I don't understand how you can scan two 8x10 transparencies on the 1000XL's 12x17 scan area.

    BTW, if I can copy 50 transparencies per day that is acceptable. Seventy would be better but I can liver with 50. There is one map for each day of the year for about four years--almost 1,500 transparencies. It will be worth it as I am not aware of any digital copies that have all the detail.

    Any more suggestions?

    John

  6. #6
    Youngin Daniel Stone's Avatar
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    Nov 2009
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    LA county
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    1,645

    Re: Scanning 8x10 Transparencies

    the glass bed on the 10000xl is 17in long. 8"x2=16", with a small space between each sheet, you get around 1/4" all the way around. 1" on the top and bottom.

    make sure to bring BACKUP portable HARDDRIVES. no point in scanning at all if your portable or laptop HD goes down .

    -Dan

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    5

    Re: Scanning 8x10 Transparencies

    I was never very good at my multiplication tables.

    I always bring a little passport HD and back up my day's work every night. Gives me something to do in my hotel room.

    Thanks for the info.

    John

  8. #8

    Re: Scanning 8x10 Transparencies

    At 1800dpi, an 8x10" transparency will take about 10-15 minutes to scan on a V750. You will scan about 30 images in an 8-hour day. Trust me, I scanned 15,000 images of various sizes over a 5-year period. The scanner just can't gather and pipe all that info through that little wire very quickly.

    Maybe reassess your needs a bit. An 1800dpi file will scale up to more than 24x30" at 300dpi. Do you need that much resolution? If your final use is to view it on a monitor, you may be able to get away with a 600dpi file. That will save you a lot of time and storage space. You may be very surprised at how good an image you can get even at the lower resolution.

    Peter Gomena

  9. #9
    Lachlan 717
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    1,766

    Re: Scanning 8x10 Transparencies

    How would you go with a high res digital, a good macro lens and a light box? Maybe rent a 'Blad with a digital back? Not sure if you need to go over 33-odd meg for the files...

    I have no doubt that this would be a much quicker way to digitise the transparencies. I guess that you'll need to consider output size, but I would think that a modern macro lens will capture the detail pretty well. Dust will be significantly less of an issue as well, as will film flatness.

    I'd prefab a stand for the light box so that you're sure the sensor is perfectly parallel to the image.

    I would think that you could get through many, many more images with this system.
    Lachlan.

    You miss 100% of the shots you never take. -- Wayne Gretzky

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    5

    Re: Scanning 8x10 Transparencies

    I think I have not properly explained the amount of detail on the transparency. A typical magnifying glass will not let you see all the detail. It takes something like a jewelers loop. I have scanned similar transparencies with significantly less detail and the minimum DPI to see that detail was 800DPI.

    I have seen a grayscale scanned image of one of these colored transparencies which showed the names of small towns but the names were not readable. The TIF file was 150MBs.

    Am I correct that the choke point is not the scanner but the cable from the scanner to the PC?

    John

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