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Thread: Using an Epson v700 for documents

  1. #1

    Using an Epson v700 for documents

    Hello all,

    I'm currently pondering the purchase of a scanner.

    Right now I'm in need of one to digitize a bookcase full of paper documents, letters, and other such stuff. For that, any $50 model will do, and a $75 model will do well. However, I foresee a future where I'll be shooting 8x10 negatives (I'm currently saving up for the last parts of the camera), and when I do, I'll probably be wanting to scan those negatives.

    The market for scanners that can handle 8x10 is pretty limited, and looking around, the Epson v700 seems to be the best option for me.

    So now I'm wondering if I should just get the Epson now, and be set for both tasks. However, every review of the v700 I've read focuses on that device's capabilities as a photo scanner, and I can find hardly any reference to its performance when converting simple pieces of paper to pdf files. The only thing I've been able to find was an off-hand comment that the warm-up for the scanner was much longer than with non-photo models.

    Has anyone here used this scanner for things other than photos or negatives, maybe has experience with `normal' scanners for comparison, and is willing to share his thoughts on the matter?

    Regards,
    Bernard.

  2. #2
    Joanna Carter's Avatar
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    Re: Using an Epson v700 for documents

    Sounds like it could be a good idea. The only proviso I would make is that scanning lots of paper before scanning negs might just introduce dust into the scanner body, which is not exactly sealed against such ingress.
    Joanna Carter
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  3. #3

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    Re: Using an Epson v700 for documents

    It could be worth looking at the Fujitsu paper scanners as they can do double-sided scans and convert them into pdf documents in one go. It would have to be a standalone unit as it's hopeless for photos.

    We use one at work and it's very fast and has proven reliable, so far. We get through several hundred pages a week, though we do still use ScanFile software, which I don't recommend.

    Nick

  4. #4
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Using an Epson v700 for documents

    An office scanner designed to efficiently process a large volume of documents may well be worth the investment, even when the purchase of a V700 is in the future. For occasional document scanning my V700 is fine. It was an easier choice to supplement my Epson 3800 with an inexpensive laser printer for those tasks it does so much faster and cheaper.

  5. #5

    Re: Using an Epson v700 for documents

    Thanks for all the replies so far!

    To clarify, if I don't buy the Epson now, I'll probably buy a simple flatbed like a Canon Lide 210. The documents I'll be digitizing are too mismatched for a dedicated office scanner to be practical, nor are there so many as to make it economical. It's mostly the process of making my office paperless.

    The dust caveat is a good one, I'll keep that in mind.

  6. #6
    Yes, but why? David R Munson's Avatar
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    Re: Using an Epson v700 for documents

    A document feed is a godsend for digitizing. I once worked a temp job for six months where I had to scan personal records of Missouri's public school teachers for their retirement system. I personally fed several million sheets of paper through a dedicated Kodak document scanner. Even for my own purposes, which sound like a lot less than what you have to digitize, I would still consider a scanner that would take an auxiliary document feed. A surprising number of flatbeds that are fairly cheap nowadays have doc feeds available.

    EDIT: Sounds overly simple, but have you considered a copy stand and a DSLR?
    So apparently my signature was full of dead links after a few years away...

  7. #7

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    Re: Using an Epson v700 for documents

    Quote Originally Posted by B.J.Scharp View Post
    Thanks for all the replies so far!

    To clarify, if I don't buy the Epson now, I'll probably buy a simple flatbed like a Canon Lide 210. The documents I'll be digitizing are too mismatched for a dedicated office scanner to be practical, nor are there so many as to make it economical. It's mostly the process of making my office paperless.

    The dust caveat is a good one, I'll keep that in mind.
    Are you planning to simply create image files of your documents. If so, any scanner that does a decent job of scanning transparencies and negs will likely be way more than capable.

    If there are a lot of documents, then a dedicated document scanner with a feed mechanism may make more sense. In that case any scanner that is part of an "all in one" device with a feed tray can be inexpensive and worthwhile.

    However if you are scanning to convert documents to files than can be edited, then you have tons of work ahead of you. You may never get to the photo possibilities. Conversion using OCR (optical character recognition) software depends on the quality of the software, the per cent recognition capability, and how standard the documents are. Forms, and particularly those with boxes, lines, blanks and changes in fonts require a ton of work for the recognition system, and much reformatting. Legal and business forms do not lend themselves to conversions to files that can be subsequently edited. OCR software may be a fairly expensive side issue if recognition of unusually formatted documents.

    Simple image files of documents are best and least work to get such projects done. Your questions is quite open ended until you make this determination. If you are only after image files of the documents, and you see a reasonable end to the process, hand feeding the documents one by one, then the V700 is far more capable for documents than you might imagine and about 3-4 times more money than you really need.

  8. #8

    Re: Using an Epson v700 for documents

    Several million files? Thank god I don't have that many.

    As I said, a normal flatbed would be completely sufficient for what I intend to do in regards to document scanning. For nearly everything, a normal image/pdf file will be the output. So as Kuzano indicated, a normal flatbed scanner would be sufficient, and an Epson will indeed be four times the needed price. My question was mainly if the Epson can still do this, or if its design is so focused on the photo side of things that it is no longer useful as a normal document scanner. (Bad software, very slow, that kind of thing, again: compared to a cheap flatbed, not compared to a professional scanner).

    But from the comments so far I deduce this is not the case, so I think I'll just go for te Epson, and be set for the next decade.

    Hey, maybe it'll even beat my old Minolta Scan Elite II for scanning 35mm negs...

    Again, thanks for all the replies and tips!

    Bernard

  9. #9

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    Re: Using an Epson v700 for documents

    I used to work at the Oregon Historical Society scanning documents and pictures for their digital image collections. We used Epson 1680 and 10000XL scanners. My recommendation is to get a document scanner with an automatic feed if your primary goal is to scan documents. Many are available that will output the scans as a PDF.

    The questions you need to ask yourself are: How much time do you want to spend opening and closing the scanner bed and inserting documents by hand? Are you going to prescan, set up and scan each document individually, or just push the "auto" button? Name or number each document by hand as you set up the scan?

    Automation is your friend for a project like the one you describe. Scanning an archive is by nature incredibly tedious work. It also takes a lot of time. Time is money, and your time is therefore worth something. How do you really want to spend your time?

    I'd look into leasing a document scanner from an office machine company for the heavy work and buy the Epson for your personal use. You'll thank yourself.

    Peter Gomena

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    Re: Using an Epson v700 for documents

    I've been using a V750 to scan historical (1890-1960) documents, pamphlets and books on Mt. Rainier NP. It's not the fastest document scanner for itself and with Silverfast software, but it's done an excellent job for me. I do agree with Peter a dedicated document scanner would do better if you have a lot of documents or not a lot of time.
    --Scott--

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