Thursday, September 04, 2008

Scanner Review -

After much research and deliberation, I had about given up on the idea of a 'good' scanner of my own. The smaller ones didn't seem to be able to do enough of what I wanted (small beds, made for photo scanning, etc...) and the larger ones cost significantly more. I called my local Mom & Pop copy shop who have done most of my larger scans the last few years to see what they used, and was informed that they had just sold the place and were no longer able to do that for me -

- so, Agh! I broke down and ordered an Epson Expression (Graphic Arts) 10000XL. It is a loverly, large piece of equipment and actually very, very wonderful!

It has a bed slightly larger than 11x17 - which is truly flat on 3 sides, the 4th has a bit of a lip. The cover comes off for when you need to scan even larger pieces. It came with a bunch of software, and boy, is it sensitive! I can't believe the nuances this thing can 'see'!

-So sensitive, in fact, that I need to spend some not insignificant time cleaning up the scanned sketches. Every little smudge shows up. I am adjusting the brightness and contrast to knock down some of that, but haven't figured out how to take care of it all without having to manually go in with a virtual eraser...

But the scans are still incredible, and give fabulous variations for my various printed comps.

My new printer and I are still working out our relationship - it's a little crabby about allowing the heavier watercolor paper to feed if it's not cut perfectly square. But it prints out *everything* that the scanner picks up. This bodes really well for the archival art prints it's supposed to excel at. I am pleased and excited. Someday I may actually get a bit of downtime to work out the logistics of printing and selling my own stuff. I do have the set-up now.

So! It took 2 days of fiddling with the scans and the printer to get these four covers transfered, but that's still about 4 days faster than it takes to transfer them by hand. The learning curve is definitely on the downside now, so things ought to be even quicker from here on out.



Anonymous said...

Cool! Isn't modern technology wonderful. It would also be wonderful to have the mind of a teenager and their time for about a week. A person would probably making their equipment do things the designers never dreamed of! Have fun with that learning curve.

d. moll, said...

Sounds like you are on the down side of the learning curve, enjoy the ride ;~D. And wow, still four days faster, I see your down time coming.

Maddy said...

We're still working on that one ourselves!

Jennifer Rose said...

*jealous* :p
Anything that cuts down on the time things take is good

Jeff said...

Neat. I like your printer too... I hope to meet them someday. ;)

Seriously, that's a nice setup. I'm "saving up" for a new rig here. My 4-year-old PC is about at its limits.

natural attrill said...

Wow! that looks like a fab piece of equipment.

Britt-Arnhild said...

Good luck with your new scanner. I am sure the two of you will develop a great friendship :-)

kkincaid said...

Again, I so appreciate you sharing this info. Though I'm not in a position to make these investments yet, your insightful comments have been most helpful.

Anonymous said...

Well, it's light years from anything this pygmy can cope with, but I delighted for you. Seriously,an artist/writer working "from home" needs the best available.

PG said...

Ouch, I just checked out the price on Amazon UK! It has gone (optimistically) on my wish list, for when I get that mega dream job and can justify it.
Your delicate work needs that kind of care to detail, and it sounds like a wonderful piece of kit (I am trying not to be too jealous...)

roz said...

I had to invest in one also when my photography wasn't working out well with the felt.
I call mine Olga. =o) And you're right, they pick up EVERYTHING.