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  • My first book review

    I recently purchased a book on scanning that I thought would be a good book to write a review on. I have never written a review in my life (that wasn’t being graded) so bare with me.

    The book is called Make Your Scanner A Great Design & Production Tool by Michael J. Sullivan. It was written in 1998 but I feel there is still valuable information that hasn’t changed in the last 3 years.

    It’s broken down into 5 sections starting out with a detailed section on how scanners work and understanding the whole scanning process including an explanation of the terminology. The next section is on the types of scans and scanners. It does a comparison of various types of scanning devices from the lowest end to the highest and shows picture examples of how each device produces the same photo. This is a great section if you were deciding on buying a new scanner. It covers everything from the hand held scanners, transparency scanners, flatbeds, digital cameras on up to the drum scanner. It shows you how to calibrate all your equipment with your scanner to produce the best color match. It also covers software and hardware that you can buy to do this.

    Then you get in to scanning techniques and I think this is the best section in the book. It shows you how to eliminate moirés, finding your scanners sweet spot. You can scan 3D objects and even how to make 3D backgrounds of different textures. It shows you how to get the best details out of an image and how to scan very bright photos or very dark ones. There are a lot of tips and techniques that make this book valuable to anyone scanning images for restoration and art or even the web.

    There is a gallery section of various digital artists one of which is Katrin Eismann. They display their unique artistic scans and give a break down of what they did to achieve these results. This was a very interesting section.

    It ends with a reference section on good reading material, software and hardware. I find that a lot of these materials are still popular in today’s market.

    Pros_
    I liked the many full color pictures to show comparisons and results. The scanning ideas and techniques make this book worth the effort to take a look at. The breakdown of different scanning devices and how they compare to each other is extremely interesting. I think it’s great for helping you decide on the type of scan device for your needs.

    Cons_
    The terminology can get confusing because the author refers to the scan as SPI or samples per inch rather than dpi or ppi. This can get confusing. This author spells things out by the numbers and sometimes that gets difficult to understand at times. To be fair, most scanning information is the same. The book was copyrighted in 1998, which puts some of the equipment and pricing out of date but the general comparisons still exist. Finally the price of this book is listed at $28.99 and I found that a bit high for a 157-page book.

    Summary_
    I would recommend the book because even though some things were difficult for me to understand, I tend to think that may be my own problem dealing with numbers. Others may find it easy to understand. I felt that the information in this book was still relevant today since the techniques and process is still the same. I would look for this book in the library or maybe on Amazon for less because I thought the price was a tad steep. I am glad I got it and will definitely use it as an excellent reference tool to improve my scanning abilities.
    DJ

  • #2
    Thanks for the review DJ. I would never have known it was your "first one" if you hadn't told us.

    I'm convinced that a good part of our success with photo restoration comes from the scan that we're able to get from the original. So, any resource that can help us with that is a good thing!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Jeanie

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    • #3
      Good review Dj, I agree with you about the price, but, knowledge never comes cheap. Sounds like a book worth obtaining. Tom

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      • #4
        Great review Debbie. Thanks. No doubt that scanning a good image is a *big* plus. I've had "Real World Scanning and Halftones" for 2 or 3 years, and they also refer to scanning at spi, or samples per inch. I guess that even though most people talk about dpi (dots per inch), or ppi (pixels per inch), spi is the correct terminology. But I guess no matter what you call it, if you understand what's going on, that's what's important. Once again, great review. I'm looking forward to more.

        Ed

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        • #5
          Thanks alot guys. I thought after I posted it that it was a little bit too long. I was going to buy a Photoshop book and saw that one and thought hey I could use some better knowledge on scanning. When I looked through it I thought it was pretty neat. Thanks again for your encouragement.
          DJ

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          • #6
            Debbie,

            The way I look at it is that the shorter the review, the less information there is available. Keep up the good work.

            Ed

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