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Input/Output/Workflow Scanning, printing, color management, and discussing best practices for control and repeatability

HP Scanner

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  #1  
Old 08-17-2001, 05:26 PM
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akj akj is offline
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HP Scanner

Just wondering if any of you out there are working with a HP scanner? When I bought my scanner I was heavy into web design so I really didn't consider buying a high-output-end scanner--of course now I'm regretting this decision.

I have a ScanJet 5300C and am reading all I can to figure out how to optimize my scans. The only thing you can change in HP's scanning software is the resolution . The optical resolution with my scanner is 1200 dpi. but it really seems to choke when I attempt to use this setting. I've downloaded VueScan and am trying to figure out if this will help me any.

Anyway, just wonder if any fellow HP owners have any tips to share.

Thanks

Amanda
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Old 08-18-2001, 06:19 AM
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Chris W. Chris W. is offline
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Hi akj,

Well I've been through 3 HP scanners and finally decided enough is enough. Switched to an Epson 1640SU and have been totally satisfied. It runs about $300 which includes the attachment to scan slides and negatives.

My last HP was the top of the line and lasted a year and a half before the imaging element went out...needless to say HP could have cared less.

Wish I could tell you something positive but my experience with HP is nill...but maybe it's just me.
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Old 08-18-2001, 10:00 AM
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Akj, Some of the scanners out there are optimized for Web or targeted for the home user as a sort of "swiss army knife" type unit, and offer very limited user adjustments. Sometimes second party software can help but usually the results are not real good. Best course of action is to look for a scanner which is set up for photo type scanning. You can find various ones with very attractive price tags and enough features to do some very good work. Dont get too hung up on the scanning resolution--- I seldom scan at over 400dpi. Check out "PUBLISHING PERFECTION'' I think they have a web site. I have purchased hardware items thru them before and they are great to do business with. The sales reps actually call you up two or three weeks or so after your purchase to see if everything is OK and I have never had any problem getting answers to questions etc. from them. All that being said, you can sometimes improve the quality of the scan by scanning the same photo or document two to 4 times and then using the advanced blending mode sliders to blend them together. What this does is helps to eliminate scanner generated "Noise" and improve faint details etc.. It is a lot of work however. Dont think that unless you get a new scanner right away you wont be able to do good work---you can and will. It is a GREAT way to learn how to use all the adjustment tools ,blending tricks and so forth to improve the quality. I know because I started out with an HP scanner and used it for 6 years before upgrading. Hope this helps. Tom

Last edited by thomasgeorge; 08-18-2001 at 10:19 AM.
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Old 08-18-2001, 12:18 PM
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Hi Tom and Chris,

I appreciate your thoughts. I know I'll need to get a new scanner eventually--I'm working on getting a new printer now though, so it probably wouldn't be anytime soon. I figure I need the new printer more. It's kind of harder to fake a nice print.

Tom, I've been working on the multiple scans concept but I guess it's hard to know if I'm doing this right. Which advanced blending mode sliders were you referring to?

Thanks again

Amanda
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Old 08-18-2001, 12:44 PM
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Akj, I hope I remember my PS 5.5'cause if I dont this is going to sound like the ravings of a madman. Anyhow, under layers in the menu at the top of the PS screen you should find something akin to Blending options or something like that. This tool allows you select via sliders (similar to "LEVELS'') how the pixels from the active layer (called THIS LAYER in PS 6 anyway) interact or blend with the other layer(s) below it. You can set a range of Grey values or color values and determine how much or even if they will interact with each other. It is a powerful tool and it takes a lot of playing with to get comfortable using but the results are well worth it for compositing work and I suspect it has value in restore work because of the control it gives you. I have only used it in creating backgrounds but have reciently begun experimenting with its potential for use in repair/restore. However like Frankensteins little experiment I've still got to "put the juice to it" before I attempt to announce success. (If it doesnot eat me first--PS is FULL of surprises) Tom
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Old 08-18-2001, 12:57 PM
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Akj, Re: multiple scans. The main value is to reduce the electronic interference(noise) generated by the scanning hardware which often shows up as random speckles on a scan. In astrophotography a technique called dark field subtraction is used to get rid of noise but it might be difficult to do on a flat bed scanner. I played around once without much success trying to adapt this technique. Stacking multiple scans using and "average" or if very faint an "add" mode can help build up density and bring out detail but it requires experimentation so you dont "blow out" the highlights. I would encourage you to keep playing with multiple scans and combining them as the skills you refine and develop, as regards blending etc., doing this will most definately be a valuable addition to your "tool box". Dont get discouraged. This part is called "paying dues", THEN comes PAYDAY. Good blending, Tom
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Old 08-18-2001, 02:30 PM
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Thanks Tom, I appreciate your comments very much. They are very helpful. So far I've found the "input" part of photo restoration more aggravating than the restoration itself. Anyway, you know what they say, "If something is worth doing--then it's worth doing well." I always try to remember this when I'm in the process of learning something new. It seems to help with the aggravation--at least a little.

Amanda
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Old 08-18-2001, 05:27 PM
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Akj, For what its worth, scanning with the high end flatbed and even the super expensive drum type scanners is not always a refreshing experience from what I have observed. The thing called a learning curve can be a very humbling critter. Tom
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