View Full Version : Scanning Finished Tintype

30-May-2020, 15:01
For those who do scan their tintypes, do you scan with the lid open? Is this the correct procedure?

Is there any risk of platen damage if scanning a tintype on a Creo, or should I budget for a cheap scanner for wet plate scanning?


30-May-2020, 15:13
Great question! I have scanned a few plates. At first I was a bit worried it would stick to the platen, but that wasn't an issue, nor did I have any issues with scanning. Obviously they were very dry, and varnished plates. I am interested to hear what others experience is.

Tin Can
30-May-2020, 15:38
What is your usage, meaning how will you use the copy?

I find my iPhone can copy many things very well and I need to reduce most files to 72 ppi and 1000 pixels long side for email as few want a big file delivered

So many use a phone to look at any pic, that is high enough rez

I usually use a giant tripod with a iPhone mount to get the thing square in the screen


30-May-2020, 15:45
Well, eventually I hope to make some decent tintypes.
Then I'd scan them and print on an Epson.

If I only needed to display for web, I'd use the MePhone in that instance.

Tin Can
30-May-2020, 15:57

Mark Sawyer
30-May-2020, 16:06
I scan with the lid open, largely because I prefer a black background around the edge. It's also customary to scan before varnishing to avoid dust/flaws in the varnish, a soft varnish sticking to the glass,(dry unvarnished plates won't), and, if you're using Sandarac or other harsh varnish, potential partial or total loss of the image.

30-May-2020, 16:10
Excellent, thanks Mark! Next time I'll ask about Sandarac, since that's part of the B&S kit.

Should I be worried about an unvarnished plate scratching the scanner glass?

30-May-2020, 17:38
I scan with lid closed before varnishing. Occasionally, I get light wrapping around the edges of a plate if it isnít completely flat with the lid open. I agree with Mark. It is best to scan before varnishing. The varnish can add a lot of junk to spot out later on a scan. I have been scanning with a V700 for 8 years with no obvious scratching.

30-May-2020, 17:42
Scan before varnishing. Use a higher DPI than you would think, then adjust contrast and color saturation down to what the plate really looks like. I use the lid down.

30-May-2020, 19:31
I've done it two ways, both work. Mostly I place them face down on my Epson v700 and scan. Lid closed. Have not had a problem. I scan before varnishing. I've also taped them to a wall with a piece of white paper in the background, in full sun, and photo'd them using my Nikon D850 + Nikon 150mm macro on a tripod.

Kent in SD

30-May-2020, 20:03
Thanks all. When time comes, I'll try lid open and closed, see what works best.
I still think I'd prefer to keep my Creo for scanning non-metallic items, so I'll probably spring for a $50 Epson V39 soon.

31-May-2020, 16:52
Just picked up an Epson V39 off the local Craiglist for $35.00. I didn't want to risk scratching the glass on my Creo. It costs a lot to replace.

The V39 is a nice little machine:

About the size of a 15" laptop, but much, much lighter.
USB powered, you can scan on the road with your laptop.
Scans prints up to letter size, so big enough for 8x10 plates.
Claims 4800x4800 resolution which probably means that 1200-1600 is ideal.

Here's a scan I just made now of my best plate from 5 years ago:

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49957808511_12ddfca6bf_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2j7APY4)

I scanned with lid closed, which makes the settings a bit tricker to adjust. I'll try scanning with a piece of black paper on top of the plate next time.
Scanned at 1200 dpi, it gives a 17" x 21" print at 300 dpi, the scan took about 7 seconds.

No, it's not as sharp as the Creo, but it does a fine job nonetheless, and tough to beat the price.

Exactly what I wanted.

Tin Can
31-May-2020, 17:00
and a great shot of a wonderful sitter

31-May-2020, 20:16
Thanks, Randy.