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Old 05-04-2008, 01:44 PM   #1
RJ Emery
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Default Book Scanner Recommendations Sought

I seek to purchase a scanner that would facilitate the scanning of oversized bound material -- in short, a book scanner.

What should I be looking for in terms of specifications, features, functions and bundled software capabilities?

What brands are there for book scanners?

What distinguishes a book scanner from other flatbed scanners?

   
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Old 05-04-2008, 01:57 PM   #2
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RJ:

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What distinguishes a book scanner from other flatbed scanners?
You want a scanner that scans up to the longest edge; if it is text that you want to record, the resolution is not so important. But I think such scanners are dear: the was a review published recently of a bunch of flat-bed scanners, and the only one suitable for books was among the dearest.

   
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Old 05-04-2008, 02:24 PM   #3
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RJ:

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But I think such scanners are dear: the was a review published recently of a bunch of flat-bed scanners, and the only one suitable for books was among the dearest
It is not as dear as I thought; I meant the OpticBook 3600, which costs about £135:

http://www.digitise-it.com/sales/flatbed/index.html

   
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Old 05-04-2008, 02:36 PM   #4
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michael: I meant the OpticBook 3600
That's a pretty nifty scanner...I never knew they made anything like that...

If found it here in the States...sold by Amazon for $280.99 with free shipping...

Amazon also carries other Plustek scanners and Plustek has other book scanner models on that page...

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Old 05-04-2008, 03:39 PM   #5
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Terrie:

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That's a pretty nifty scanner
The magazine did not care for its interface or the software supplied, but liked the job it made. Professional book-scanning is done differently, of course.

   
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Old 05-04-2008, 06:32 PM   #6
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Terrie: The magazine did not care for its interface or the software supplied, but liked the job it made. Professional book-scanning is done differently, of course.
I was going to say you could dump the software and use VueScan (www.hamrick.com) but it looks like that scanner isn't supported (or at least it's not listed), unfortunately. The scanner looks like a great idea.

A few years ago I had a project in which I needed to scan an entire 600-odd page book--an old 19th-Century tome with a brittle binding. I ended up buying one of the Canon LiDE USB scanners (an N1240U to be precise), which scans to within 1/2" of the edge. The book had 1" or wider inside margins.

Since the scanner was smaller and lighter than the book, I placed the book on a table, near the edge, with one side propped up, so the binding was never opened more than about 90°, which also allowed the pages on the table side to lie flat. Then I flipped the scanner over and ran it upside-down, lying glass-down on the book. I scanned each of the odd pages to single files, then turned the book around and scanned the even pages.

I couldn't figure out how to remove the scanner lid without breaking it, so I just positioned the book on the table so that the lid hung down over the edge.

It worked quite well, though the LiDE was slow as molasses, so it took a long time to complete the project--I scanned a few dozen pages every day. After OCRing the text, I just merged all the files into a single text document.

   
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Old 05-05-2008, 03:58 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Michael Rowley View Post
RJ:

It is not as dear as I thought; I meant the OpticBook 3600, which costs about £135:

http://www.digitise-it.com/sales/flatbed/index.html
RJ Emery also asked in PCHardware on CIS and I had to reply that I did not know what a "book scanner" actually was except it needed to scan without breaking the binding and so would perhaps need a good depth of field.

He has done some research and it would seem that the Opticbook 3600 is in fact a Plustek 3600 .... or vice versa <s> The Plustek MSRP is $299 according to their website.

   
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Old 05-05-2008, 04:15 PM   #8
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Hugh:

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He has done some research and it would seem that the Opticbook 3600 is in fact a Plustek 3600
The OpticBook 3600 is made by Plustek. Book scanners are generally larger (up to A2)—and dearer—it seems; and a lot of them are not ‘scanners’ in the usual sense, but apparatus for photographing the pages of books, which of course is essential with books that are fragile or very valuable (e.g. the Book of Kells).

The sailor has returned from the sea, I see! Are you now fasting?

   
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Old 05-06-2008, 03:08 PM   #9
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The OpticBook 3600 is made by Plustek.
So it would seem but the UK website first referred to here did not seem to mention this, at least not up front.

Yes, we had a great time doing nothing except watch the scenery come to us.

Haven't weighed myself yet but I don't eat all that much here at home anyway <g>

   
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Old 05-05-2008, 06:22 PM   #10
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Unfortunately, I do not know where I saw this — and it may be way beyond your means — but somewhere recently I saw an article about a $2,000 (or so) book scanner.

It had a cradle that placed the book so that the spine was protected (the pages were perhaps 45 degrees apart), and it cost something under two grand.

Now you might not want to pay that much but a service with such a machine might be useful to you. I am sorry that I cannot provide more specifics …

   
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