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New to the forum... and any suggestions about scanners?

Posted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 4:43 pm
by smaragddrache
Okay, so I figured since I love the Flight anthologies and want to do this whole comicky-thing myself, it was about time I became a part of this forum. I really like the fact that everyone here has such good suggestions for comics-in-the-works, but I am without a significant piece of equipment that would allow me to take part: a scanner. I'm fairly computer savvy, but scanners I don't know as well, and I would like to save myself the hours of trying to find reviews online for the 89348745 different models available. Any suggestions would be most appreciated!

Posted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 5:21 pm
by Blom
I have a Canon scanner, and I canĀ“t say other that I am very happy with it, it works fine. If you get one where you have a good dpi range (high numbers on dpi is good) ;)

Posted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 8:09 pm
by Tony
I will directly disagree with Blom. Resolution is not the main concern. Colour accuracy is. My scanner supposedly scans up to 1200dpi, but I've never used anything higher than 600, which is bog-standard for all scanners.

HOWEVER, the chances of you finding a scanner with good colour accuracy for an affordable price is almost nil, from my experience. Knowing this, and also knowing that I'd be almost exclusively scanning line art, I just bought the best scanner that fit into my budget and was immediately available at the time. Turned out to be a Canon "LIDE 80".

It's alright, it's not super-hot, but it does the trick. I've also had excellent experiences with Epson scanners, so I would say pick a Canon or Epson that fits your budget, and don't be swayed by mystical numbers on the boxes or features you'll never need (transparency adapter? That's why I have a digital camera!).

Posted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 1:18 am
by Vince
With a little embarrassment, I admit I use the Dell A90 scanner/printer thing that came with my computer. Then again, I don't usually scan color... :?

(On the other hand, this thing has lasted me a few years without breaking on me, so maybe I shouldn't feel so bad.)

P.S. Welcome! :D

Posted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 9:11 am
by goRaina
Those Canon Lide scanners are definitely cheap--and the one I had was AWFUL. I couldn't get a good lineart scan out of it to save my life, there was some problem with it and the scans always came out digi. I knew other people who had the same problem with that scanner, although I've talked to other people who said it was fine. For about $80, I guess you get what you pay for.

I now have a Microtek, and I love it to bits. They come in a range of sizes, but for the money, you get a very good quality scan (comparable to the Epson and Agfa scanners, but for much less money).

Posted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 12:26 pm
by smaragddrache
Thank you for all of your suggestions! As I haven't gotten the tablet-usage down quite yet, most of the stuff at first will be in color. Though, because of the cost of printing, that will almost definitely change... but having color being scanned accurately is probably still important... argh! so many things to keep in mind.

Posted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 12:33 pm
by jdalton
goRaina wrote:Those Canon Lide scanners are definitely cheap--and the one I had was AWFUL. I couldn't get a good lineart scan out of it to save my life, there was some problem with it and the scans always came out digi. I knew other people who had the same problem with that scanner, although I've talked to other people who said it was fine. For about $80, I guess you get what you pay for.
I've got one and it's fine for line art, but it does nasty things when I scan in colour that I just don't know how to undo. I wish I could afford to replace it.

Posted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 2:42 pm
by Josh-Ulrich
I would stray from some of epson's scanners, especially low end. I bought one and it was faulty and had to take it back. I also ready many reviews about the lid breaking, and the glass is held on by a piece of tape, so it can get loose easy and interfere with the scanning process.

I now own a CanoScan 8400F and it works great. I scan mostly line art at 300dpi and it does everything I need it to.

Posted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 4:17 pm
by Tony
The one I have is, I presume, a higher-end model. Cost about 180$ at the time. It also has a little PS2-style standy-base so that you can put it on end to free up desk space (which turned out to be more useful than I would have thought).

I would avoid anything less than about 150$.

Posted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 7:50 pm
by maxoid
The Epson "Perfection" line has always done well by me, but at ~$400 it may be a bit pricey, I don't know. They also can scan transparencies, which is cool if you have any photo-negatives or slides around, but not much use for anything else.

Color accuracy is great, but you should always do some correcting of the original scan, and for that 16-bit color is really important. I believe this is also referred to as 48-bit HDR color. Essentially it gives you twice as much image data, but not in pixel resolution; twice as many "steps" between pure black and pure white for each channel. Color-correction is far more versatile and satisfying when you've scanned it 16-bit, and once you have a look you like you can convert it to 8-bit for normal use. It's like how you'd make originals at 200% final size to lessen the magnitude of possible errors, only here we're talking color-space rather than physical space.

If you can find a cheap scanner with 48-bit (a.k.a. 16-bit-per-channel a.k.a. HDR) color, it's likely to have decent resolution. Hopefully it will be reasonably well-built, too.

Posted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 9:19 pm
by jshamblin
For what it's worth, I have a CanoScan. It's a little over 4 years old, but still works fine. It's not great with color, I admit. Works wonders with line art if you know how to work the settings. If I ever need a color scan, I take it to a print shop. They'll do better with the scan than anything you can sit on your desk.

I had a Microtek scanner once. Not sure how great they are now, but back in the day, you were better off drawing on your computer screen with a felt tip marker.

Posted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 9:54 pm
by smaragddrache
So I realized I have a big problemo... maximum scanning area. I'm drawing on 11x17 pages right now, and finding a scanner that scans that size has been difficult. All I could find that was not thousands of dollars was a Mustek A3... how are these?

Posted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 10:37 pm
by goRaina
Most people scan their art in pieces. Scan the top half of the page, scan the bottom half of the page, and composite them in photoshop. It's not as tricky as it sounds, especially with a lineart scan.

Whatever you do, DON'T get a large-format scanner with low optical resolution (anything under 1200 dpi). High optical resolution is necessary for any work that will see print! And if you're going to invest the $$ in a scanner, have it be one good enough to produce print-quality work on, otherwise it's a waste.

Posted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 2:23 pm
by Nofret
I'm with Raina on this one: scan your page in pieces. It's a slight hassle compared to scanning your page in one shot, and you'll definitely save on the money front.

Posted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 4:07 pm
by Kazu
I still scan a lot of my stuff in pieces. With Amulet, however, I began doing my pages on 9x12 bristol so it would fit on my small scanner. I'm definitely going to invest in a large format Epson someday, but the 2600 dollar price tag always scares me off...