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High Quality Desktop Scanners

Epson 3700

"Best Flatbed Scanner for
under $200."

Epson Perfection 3170 Photo Scanner

My choice for the best flatbed scanner available for under $200. today.

For many years UMAX was the scanner of choice for everyone in the graphic arts industry. At first we thought anything close to $1,000 was a pretty good deal. The the competition started developing and scanner prices fell very rapidly to about the same level as we have now.

Canon and Hewlett Packard were pretty quick to dominate the office computing scene, and in time Epson took over the home user and garphics industry largely due to the popularity of their color inkjet printers.

I have to admit that I am also mostly swayed by look and feel. For many years I really got off on that heavy no-nonsense look of the UMAX scanners, and their software had a lot more manual controls (at a certain point the software became more automated, UMAX became more mainstream, and I lost interest).

Actually with the availability of digital cameras I lost most of my interest in flatbed scanners. There are some things that digital cameras don't do as well as flatbed scanners though, so I do still use them when necessary. Lucky for all of us the flatbed scanner technology has improved so much, that you can now get away with an under $200. scanner for most jobs.

The last couple of times I was in the market for that under $200. scanner, either for a client or myself, the best choice ended up being an Epson scanner. The present recommended model being the Epson Perfection 3170 Photo Scanner.


    * 3,200 x 6,400 dpi resolution, 48-bit color, 3.4 Dmax
    * 1-touch color restoration with Epson Easy Photo Fix technology
    * Fully automated operation, plus 2 advanced manual modes
    * Built-in 35mm filmstrip/slide and medium-format adapter
    * Hi-speed USB 2.0 connectivity, PC and Mac compatible

Epson Perfection 3170 Photo Scanner

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Pacific Image Electronics
PrimeFilm PF1800U USB Film Scanner

One of the fun things about photography is buying a lot of equipment, sometimes usefull, sometimes not. When I was very young and worked in a Professional Photo Supply Store in Los Angeles we would throw a lot of junk that we couldn't sell into a bin and sell it at a low price just to get rid of it.

Well as the saying goes, one persons trash is another person's treasure. Photographers would go wild digging the little odd bits and pieces out of the pile, which would enhance their photography in one way or another. Making good use of junk is an old photographic tradition.

A lot of photographers also pay a lot of money for exotic soft focus filters and buy elaborate contraptions to contain these filters. But one of my old friends, a Playboy photographer, made his fortune using a cheap black scarf that he found by accident and bought at a  five and dime store checkout counter.

So what I'm getting at, is that every once in a while we all need to convert 35mm film into a digital file. A good Nikon scanner can cost thousands of dollars. So I searched around on Amazon and I found a 35mm film scanner for US$ 149.99 (that is the price today anyway). At that price this is practically a disposable item. It has to be better than a flat bed scanner and probably does a fairly decent job. Or maybe it does something strange that will create your next masterpiece.
  • Scanning type: 35mm film scanner
  • Image sensor: Linear Array Color CCD
  • Color mode: 36 bits per pixel
  • Grayscale mode: 12-bit per pixel
  • Optical resolution: 1800 dpi (or 4.2 million pixels for a 36 x 24mm image)
  • Maximum resolution: Software enhanced to 19200 x 19200 dpi
  • Light source: Cold cathode fluorescent lamp
  • Scanning buffer: 512 K byte
  • Preview speed: 10 seconds for color
  • Scanning speed: 35 seconds
  • Max scanning area: 36mm x 24mm
  • Interface: USB
  • Power adapter: Output -12V DC /1A , Input - 100VAC or 240VAC, Frequency: 47Hz to 63Hz
  • Width: 6.54 inches
  • Height: 2.60 inches
  • Depth: 10.55 inches
  • Weight: 1.65 pounds
  • In the box: Power cable, USB cable, user's guide Pacific Image Cyberview twain-compliant driver for PC (plug-in for Mac), Presto Page Manager Deluxe (with image folio), and Mr. Photo Gold (with photo album)
  • Compatibility: PC and Mac
  • Warranty, labor: information not available
If you are interested, I would check it out immediately because there seems to be a limited supply.

Nikon 9000 ED

Nikon Super CoolScan 9000 ED

Engineered to meet the exacting standards of imaging professionals, the SUPER COOLSCAN 9000 ED is designed to handle a broad range of film formats such as 35mm, 120/220, 16mm, 6 x 7, 6 x 9 film, electron microscope and more. True 4,000 dpi optical resolution, 16-bit A/D conversion of the input signal and a 16-bit output combine to deliver brilliant, color-true images.

Users in fields such as advertising and studio photography who regularly work with 120/220 format films will value the SUPER COOLSCAN 9000 ED’s versatility and superior scan quality. Photo enthusiasts who own medium-format cameras will also appreciate this high-performance, high-quality scanner.

A true optical resolution of 4,000 dpi and 16-bit A/D conversion allow the SUPER COOLSCAN 9000 ED to produce images of incredible overall quality, and a broader dynamic range helps reveal the details concealed within the darker portions of a scene. Multi-sample scan capability of as many as 16 passes ensures faithful reproduction with smoother gradation. Newly developed high-quality 3-line CCD sensors contribute to high image quality, as well as fast scanning (35mm: 40 seconds; 6 x 9: 185 seconds).

Nikon - http://www.nikon.com

Thailand - http://www.niksthailand.com

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