Scanners- printers - buying and using tips

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Welcome... ... to this site. It's mainly dedicated to digital imaging, plus a few other bits and pieces for fun and interest. My aim is to try to help, the amateur photographer and other people interesting in digital imaging, by recording links, information and resources that have been helpful to me.

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Info about scanners

Should I buy a flatbed scanner or a film scanner? Of course price is important but many " experts claim you will get better results with an inexpensive film scanner. "Better " is in the eye of the beholder, but you'll have a lot less hassle scanning prints with a flatbed, negatives invariably require quite a bit of post-scan manipulation and blatantly show dust marks and scratches that aren't even visible to the unaided eye. Privately I just bought (July-2001) the Epson Perfection 1640SU Photo. I am impressed how easy it is to get high quality scans. It is great for producing scans for web use or up to 11" x 14" from my 6x6cm trannies. I agree a film scanner is always better but its also 3x the price (8x in the case of medium format film scanners). You get what you pay for but I wouldn't say my images are worse than a sub-$500 digicam. Quite the opposite.
Make an educated choice with this Scanner buying guide.

flatbed scanners The Human Eye vs. Scanners and Cameras. The color sensors in the human eye are light sensitive cells called cones. As mentioned elsewhere in this discussion, there are three types of . . .

flatbed scanners How to Select a Photo Scanner, what do you want to scan and what do you want to do with the scans? gives you some answers

A more recent review of the newer Nikon Super CoolScan LS-4000 Film Scanner Test Images

inkjet printers A Minolta Dimage Scan Multi PRO Scanner Test Review and a comparison with 4 other scanners. Polaroid Sprintscan 120,Imacon, Nikon Coolscan LS-4000 and the Nikon Super Coolscan LS-8000

inkjet printers Steve's DigiCams has an comprehensive and updated review of image and film scanners

bläckstråleskrivareScanner Reviews from Imaging Resource, sorted by manufacturer, is also a quite good place to start searching for your new scanner.

It is great for producing scans for web use or up to 11" x 14" from my 6x6cm trannies. I agree a film scanner is always better but its also 3x the price (8x in the case of medium format film scanners). You get what you pay for but I wouldn't say my images are worse than a sub-$500 digicam. Quite the opposite.

End of last year Epson launched The EPSON Perfection 3200 that brings high quality film scanning with the flexibility of a flatbed scanner. Offering an optical resolution of 3200x6400 dpi, it also features a built-in 4"x9" Transparency Unit and a custom-developed ASIC for high-speed film scans. It might satisfy the needs of photographers who have a collection of negatives and who also need a flatbed for day to day scanning. Objectively, it seems that the Epson 3200 can deliver about 30 lp/mm of real photographic resolution, and that should allow enlargements of 5 to 6 times. Here is an extensive review of the Epson 3200 at The film section starts on page 9.
At the Yahoo forum you can exchange information about the Epson 3200 and 2450 series scanners. There is also a forum at where they exchange informations about the Epson Scanner 3200 vs. 2450 vs. Film scanner.
So why buy this flatbed scanner instead if a dedicated filmscanner ?
I guess :
  • 3200 transparencies scan quality is more than enough for home use
  • 3200 is cheaper than dedicated (say, compare to Minolta Scan Elite 5400 or Nikon Coolscan IV)
  • 3200 scans any format up to 6x9" (unbeatable by any under $1000 dedicated)
  • 3200 scans 12 frames at one load (dedicated above -- only 6)
  • 3200 scans reflectives (just impossible with dedicated)
  • Got the European Photo Awards 2004-2005
flatbed scanners Canon 9950F! The scanner that ends Canon's dedicated film scanners now when they announce the launch of the new flagship to its CanoScan scanner range: the 4800 x 9600 dpi 48 bit color depth CanoScan 9950F. The world’s first flat-bed scanner to offer 30-frame capacity for 35mm filmstrip, the 9950F also incorporates an aspheric element lens – Canon’s own ‘Super-Toric’ lens – for unsurpassed levels of clarity, contrast and image quality. Canon's new range-leader features FARE Level 3 – the ultimate infra-red film correction and enhancement system for precise, automatic dust and scratch removal, color restoration, plus grain and backlight correction. QARE Level 3 offers a similar correction and auto-retouching functionality for photo prints. A fast scan engine, moving backlight FAU, extremely efficient light capture system and USB 2.0 Hi–Speed / IEEE1394 FireWire connection combine to deliver super-quick 3.6 second previews and exceptionally fast scan times. The slim contours, aluminum hairline finish and robust build of the 9950F are consistent with its position at the top of the CanoScan range.

Flatbed scanners sometimes come with adapters that let you work with film and slides, but the result rarely comes up to the quality you get from hardware dedicated to digitizing this type of input. That makes the CanoScan 8400F part of a rare breed. More unusual, yet, the unit's high resolution and bit depth (which produce the fine image detail) don't equate to a high price. When we looked at this unit, it was a mere $149.99 direct.

flatbed scanners The Epson Perfection 4870 Photo scanner ($450 street) is possibly the best desktop flatbed scanner tested by PC Magazine, rivaling even professional scanners costing thousands.
A very comprehensive review is performed by However mid 2006 the Epson Perfection 4990 Photo scanner is the new top of the line consumer scanner from Epson, which replaces the much loved 4870.

flatbed scanners New flatbed scanners introduce unique features. The Microtec ScanMaker 6800 is the first flatbed scanner to employ Digital ICE technology to restore dirty or damage prints. As PC Magazine come to expect from Microtek in there test, scans were sharper with the 6800 ($400) than with the other models we reviewed. The test scans also exhibited excellent color, though with some clipping in the highlights. All in all, the 6800 is an excellent photo scanner, especially when you consider Digital ice's ability to restore old, dirty, or scratched prints.
They also say, in the same flatbed scanner test January 2003, that The HP ScanJet 5500C ($300) is a godsend for those who do a lot of photo scanning or would, were it not for the tedium of loading dozens of prints onto the platen one at a time. On the lid of the 5500C is an automatic photo feeder (APF), which lets you stack up to 24 3-by-5 or 4-by-6 snapshots, scan them, and save them at the push of a button. And the excellent quality of the prints is nice too.

flatbed scanners A Flatbed for Film. The Microtek ScanMaker 6100 Pro offers more than most scanners. In addition to high-quality scans for photographic prints, a 4- by 5-inch transparency adaptor built into the cover gives surprisingly high-quality film scanning.

flatbed scannersHow I correct my scanned images in my digital darkroom! (Only in Swedish for the time being, unfortunately

bläckstråleskrivare An independent review site which have a good and detailed description of the Acer ScanWit 2720 film scanner.
bläckstråleskrivareA great site from Wayne Fulton to offer some scanning tips and hints, fundamentals and other basic scanning information to help us to get the most from our scanner. Although you find most of the information on this website the book is well worth the money. I bought it myself

From his book I quote " Video Resolution - How much to scan? As an example, if we intend to scan a 1 inch width and want an image with 1024 pixel width, then we need to scan at (1024 pixels / 1 inch) = 1024 dpi (good luck, this is quite extreme, unless we are scanning film). Or if we will scan an 8 inch width and need an image with 400 pixels of width, then we scan at (400 pixels / 8 inches) = 50 dpi. Remember that "dpi" is Dots Per Inch, meaning pixels per inch.
It's still a hard question however. What size do we want? Are we scanning to fill a quarter of a 640x480 screen, or to totally fill a 1280x1024 screen? Only you can answer questions about your purpose.
But if scanning for the web, keep in mind that many people use 640x480 screens, whether you do or not. It is a very good idea to switch to 640x480 and check your own web pages.

Understanding Resolution You might also be interested to know, before you buy, a little about: How much detail can you capture and scan? Two popular film formats were tested: 35mm (image size approximately 24mm x 36mm, or 0.94 x 1.41 inches) and 4x5 (image size approximately 97 x 122 mm, or 3.8 x 4.8 inches). Promise you will learn a lot!

Understanding Resolution From the article " Understanding Resolution" I personally, at last, understood more about the concepts of input and output resolution and I am not so terribly confused any more, as to what settings to use, and when.

Understanding Resolution Confusion between image size and resolution is a perennial favorite. To illustrate, it is convenient to think in terms of destinations which I try to illustrate here!

bläckstråleskrivare Curious about some of the most frequently asked questions from a scanner newsgroup! What to buy? Which resolution to scan? ....

bläckstråleskrivare Peter Jones has at his website Digital Photography Reference collected some useful information's you can use both before you buy your first scanner and when you start too use it.

bläckstråleskrivare You might also get some hints from one of the scanner newsgroup like comp.periphs.scanners or alt.comp.periphs.scanner

ink jet printers The myth about 72dpi scans for the web images!!

ink jet printers How do you store your images after scanning? Probably at least your grandchildren are interested that you keep your digital images safe and in a good shape! I am myself strongly in favor of the Tiff format for archiving of digital images!

Word of advice 1: In a newsgroup I read the following question: I've read somewhere that printed photos (positive / regular size) can't contain more information than 300dpi. If this is true why should I buy a 1200 dpi (optical) flatbed scanner (or even a 600 dpi) ?
I can understand that people get confused when the scanner manufactures still insist in specifying scanner resolution in dpi instead if ppi, pixel per inch. If you are going to output your image to an inkjet printer scan with 1/5 to 1/3 of the printer output resolution. Why this? The printer resolution is referring to addressability of the ink-dots, and not the resolution of the image. In modern inkjet printers several print head ink dots are required to make one image dot. This means that the printer's image resolution capability is much less than the advertised dpi numbers. Does this make sense? Lars Ekdahl

flatbädds and film scanners To top of page

A buyers guide for Printers

Today's all-purpose and Photo printers offer impressive quality and speed, whether you are printing photos, homework or just about anything
All-Purpose Ink Jets

ink jet printers The HP Deskjet 5740 and the 6540 Color Inkjet Printers double as photoprinters, letting you swap the black cartridge for a photo cartridge to print pictures with six color. They provide photo output good enough to match that of many photo printers, and they hold their own with graphics and text too.

ink jet printersThe Canon Pixma iP6700D can serve as an all-purpose printer, but its high rating comes almost entirely from printing high-quality photos at fast speeds. Here you find the spec from Canon.

The PIXMA iP6600D, a quality direct photo printer with large 3.5" colour LCD screen has been awarded by the EISA Awards 2006/2007 in the category Photo printers

Photo Ink Jets

scannertest Canon Updates Photo Printer Offerings august 2006

scannertest - TOKYO, Japan, March 27, 2007 - Epson Develops a Next-Generation Inkjet Print Head Using an Original Thin-Film Piezo Element That Has the World's Highest Degree of Distortion

ink jet printers Epson seems to be on a crusade to make printing on CDs and DVDs a standard feature for ink jet printers. The three models, Epson Stylus Photo R200, R300 and R800 have this capability. And doing so easy. The R200 is the choice for a tight budget. The R320 fills a gap in their line between the R200 and R800. Its output quality comes close to matching the R800.

ink jet printers The HP Photosmart 8150 Photo Printer is the smaller, less expensive cousin of the Photosmart 8450.

Word of advice 2: The perfomance in terms of color and dynamic range depends on the media. . .glossy vs matte or watercolor. So simply comparing printers is pointless. . .it's the printer + the media.

ink jet printers In one of the worst kept secrets of the year, Epson announced on May 10th its new line of high-end consumer and professional printers, and advanced UltraChrome inks. This is one of the most extensive and exciting printer announcements ever. No wonder the news was hard to keep under wraps. Read more at The luminous landscape about the new printers Stylus Photo 2400, Stylus Pro 4800, 7800 and 9800. Epson's specs on the 4800 / 7800 / 9800.

Epson Stylus Photo 2000P Epson Adds CD Printing Capabilities to Popular Epson Stylus Photo 960

The fine-art landscape photographer Alain Briot was one of the first people to take delivery last month of Epson's latest large-format archival inkjet printer, the new Epson Stylus Pro 9600. This printer uses the same new UltraChrome inks as the also just released 7600 and 2100/2200 printers, so there's worthwhile information here for those interested in these new models as well. I hope to have my own review of the new 2200 printer online within a week or so.
Barry Haynes has been having a great time working with his new Epson 7600 24" wide printer ( the larger brother of the 2200 ) which uses the new Ultrachrome pigmented inks. This is a great printer and appears to have greatly reduced the amount of Metamerism effect that he was having with the 2000P. Metamerism makes your prints look very different depending on the color of the light source. The 7600 prints he have made on the Epson Premium Luster paper, can achieve very saturated colors and a quality similar to that on my 1280 using dye based inks. He seems to be very happy with this printer

Canon i865 Color Bubble Photo Printer Canon UK has announced 4 new Photo printers in its recently launched Pixma family. The Pixma iP4000R is the first member of the family to go wireless and the iP5000 is a industry first with a 1-picolitre droplet size. Canon’s Pixma iP6000D is the new six color, 4800 x 1200 dpi with ultimate connectivity.
Canon calls the PIXMA iP4000 a photo printer, but it's a good choice for all-purpose printing. It offers high speed for graphics, text, and photos; output quality that varies from just short of very good to just short of excellent; and unusually sophisticated paper handling for an ink jet.
The Next Step in the Evolution of Photo Printing The PIXMA iP8500 photo printer is Canon’s first ChromaPLUS eight-color ink letter-sized format photo...The Canon Pixma iP8500 is the new 8-ink flagship for professional photos at 4800 x 2400 dpi and prints A4 photos in just 34 seconds....

Steve's Conclusion regarding the iP5200 is that it is another of Canon's 5-color printers that leaves him wondering why he owns and use the 8-color i9900. When he see's just how good the photo prints look when using only the three primary colors (cyan, magenta and yellow), h doesn't know why he needs those other ink colors, or the added expense. With the 1-picoliter size ink droplets the prints are virtually grainless. He say's he can only visually see imperfections after scanning a print at 600dpi and then zooming in really close. Holding a 4×6" print in my hand and getting it as close as possible, he can see nothing to complain about at all. For the average to the hypercritical user he is sure that this printer will satisfy your photo printing as well as your everyday printing needs. The color is simply brilliant, the prints last and you'll certainly not be waiting for this printer to do its job. Read his full review here! and all other of his printer- reviews from here!

The Canon i9900 has been updated by two new professional photo printers: the ten-color PIXMA Pro9500 and the eight color PIXMA Pro9000. They are the first PIXMA printers to earn the Pro designation. Both the PIXMA Pro9500 which utilizes long-lasting, pigment-based inks and the PIXMA Pro9000 which also uses long-lasting, dye-based inks produce brilliant, gallery quality prints up to 13 x 19 inches on a variety of specialty media and fine art papers. The new PIXMA Pro 9500,Professional 10-colour, A3+ photo printer with pigment inks for studio quality, colour monochrome prints with exceptional image permanence. Supports photo fine art papers with full colour control and will be available 2007

Epson Stylus Photo R260 and R380 photo printers The Unofficial Canon IPF5000 Printer Wiki created and maintained by John Hollenberg. I can really recommend it to all current and prospective iPF5000 owners.

HP Pro B9180 The photographic printer market has been dominated by Epson for most of its 12 year history, and especially since 2000 with the introduction of pigment-based inks. But no marketplace can remain secure for just one vendor for long. Earlier this year we saw the introduction of the first of a series of pigment printers from Canon, the iPF 5000. Though announced in the spring, HP's entry, the B9180 has now finally started to ship as well. The in depth review of that company's first challenger, the HP Pro B9180, is now online at
köpa bläckstråleskrivare According to a Canon press release I found at Steve's Digicam, two new photo papers. -- Photo Paper Plus Glossy and Matte Photo Paper.

köpa bläckstråleskrivare The truth about photo ink-jet running costs. A test made by Ian Burley at Digital Photography Now, an UK-based digital photo Web magazine. Tested printers were HP psc-950, Canon S800, Epson Stylus Photo 895 and Lexmark Z43. Part 1 looks at the cost of running your printer. If you've ever wondered how much it costs to print photos with an ink-jet printer, read on. Part 2 looks at how good the prints are. Not only do we judge the print quality by eye using the manufacturers' recommended printing papers, but we also put them under the electronic eye of a Gretag color profiling analyzer.
Second opinions: Overall, the S800 narrowly beat the Epson 895 to the popularity crown with our panel. Comments revealed that the high quality media, lack of grain and general color quality were highly appreciated. Also a similar review from imaging resource.

red bullet gif image Learn about the frequently asked questions from a printer newsgroup! What to buy? Clogging and print head problems! Running costs?

red bullet gif image Vilken upplösning skall jag skanna in ett foto för för att få bästa utskriftskvaliten? ( Only in Swedish for the time being)

red bullet gif image is an other knowledge source. is a official comp.periphs.printers website that hosts user posted questions and answers (FAQ) retrieved from the comp.periphs.printers usenet newsgroup by Worldwide Imaging Supplies, LLC, as well as ratings, tips, and bug reports regarding various brands and models printers, copiers, and fax machines, and printer related software, posted directly to the website by visitors.

The Next Generation. Interesting reading!

red bullet gif image Anyone opening the Epson printer driver for the first time can't help but ask which option is best. The documentation doesn't exactly give any clear advice on how to produce good quality prints other than to say - "choose Automatic". This short step-by-step should give the new/novice Photoshop 6 user some better guidance.

Word of advice: If you are printing exclusively to a desktop inkjet printer, it is generally best to use a resolution of between 200 and 300 dpi. You will rarely notice any improvement with higher settings.
If you are doing prepress work (which I know very little about) I will simply quote Len Hewitt from the Adobe's Photoshop User to User forum. He knows what he's talking about.
" When you halftone an image, the best resolution you can get is the frequency of the halftone screen. So if you use a 1:1 over sampling ratio, your image resolution, (at 1:1), should be that of the halftone screen. 100, 120, 130, 150 ppi. However, this is only going to work really well if the halftone screen is aligned with the pixel grid. If it's turned at an angle, you'll get dropouts and really bad averaging. So you need to get between 1.16 and 1.18 pixels per dot as a minimum to get good averaging and to compensate for screen angles. You can improve the quality of output on any image to an over sampling ratio of about 1.25:1. Problem images, (herringbone tweed, for example), can require as much as 1.4:1. Beyond that, nobody can tell the difference. "
Michael Reichmann at says March 01, 2002 :
Make a print at 240 dpi, 280 dpi, 300 dpi, 320 dpi etc, etc.
Sit down and look at them, by eye and with a loupe. I believe that what you'll see is that below 240 dpi there is a visible degradation and above 360 dpi no visible difference can be seen.
Motto of the day... Test things yourself and trust your own eyes!

archival information on ink-jet inks and papers If you are interested in getting the best photographic prints possible from your printer, take a moment to read the information on this page. It will point out some key concepts in printing and should lead the way to an understanding of what it takes to produce a true professional quality print from a digital image

bläckstråleskrivare The "Printer Repair Board" will keep you on top of the nuts and bolts in the industry. Technicians from around the world post collective answers on the toughest printer problems out there. Response is anywhere from immediate to 1 business day.

bläckstråleskrivare Pixels, Dots, and Inches: How Big Can I Print It Go to "Printer" and then " Getting Started " and you will find this document!

bläckstråleskrivare Making fine prints from negatives or slides in your digital darkroom by Norman Koren. In this tutorial he will share his techniques for making fine museum quality prints, both color and black and white, starting from negatives or slides. This part tells you what you need to get started. Part 1A tells you how to calibrate your printer with your monitor, part 2 discusses scanning and part 3 discusses image editing. You will learn a lot from here. At least I did

red bullet gif image This issue presents a visual comparison between the various print outputs produced by Canon, Epson, HP, Kodak, and Olympus photo-quality inkjet and dye-sublimation printers. Most of these printers have the identical parts used in other models, usually wide-body version of the regular width printers, and all printers in the same line have the same print quality.

17 and 19 inch monitors To top of page

This page was last updated: April 1 , Year 2007

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