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Scanner purchase recommendation ASAP

Need recommendation for purchase of scanner.  Will be scanning old photographs from small (2 inch) to 8x10 size.  Have PIII w/ Win98.  Willing to add SCSI card or whatever necessary--must have good results.  


Want to print decent copies.  Will I be able to take files to a print shop and have good ones printed from scanned files?  Or would I do as well with my own printer - Epson 750?  Understand that paper choice is critical to results.

Thanks and thanks for EE being here -it's helped me with many different things.
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1 Solution
1. for reliability and speed purposes you will want to go SCSI, I would steer clear of usb if you look in here under the hp scanners section you will see why i say stay away from USB just about every posting regards usb and some of the postings are unresolveable because of USB chip type incompatibility.

because of all the problems the HP scanners have I could not recommend those to you i do not know your price range but i will give you a few scanners to look at


company homepage http://www.umax.com

Mustek Paragon 1200FS SCSI scanner

then click on link for scsi scanner for specs

here is a listing of other manufacturers and brands

  MFG. SKU: SNAPSCAN1236SART • Computer type: PC • Type: Flatbed • Interface: SCSI    $242.99 - $303.74  
 SnapScan 1236s Mac     Check Prices
  MFG. SKU: SNAPSCAN1236SMAC • Computer type: PC • Type: Flatbed • Interface: SCSI    $159.95 - $205.61  
 Scan 620ST     Check Prices
  MFG. SKU: 9169524A7A • Computer type: PC • Type: Flatbed • Interface: SCSI    $134.95 - $169.44  
 Expression 636 PC     Check Prices
  MFG. SKU: 636PPCTPU • Computer type: PC • Type: Flatbed • Interface: SCSI    $1016.99  
 Expression 800 Executive    Check Prices
  MFG. SKU: E800EXEC • Computer type: PC • Type: Flatbed • Interface: SCSI    $562.00 - $699.99  
 Expression 836xl     Check Prices
  MFG. SKU: 836XLPC • Computer type: PC • Type: Flatbed • Interface: SCSI    $1975.75  
 Perfection 1200S     Check Prices
  MFG. SKU: B104021 • Computer type: PC • Type: Flatbed • Interface: SCSI    $223.23 - $299.99  
Genius 2000 Software
 CP-SP2 FBSCAN COL 4800DPI 24 BIT     Check Prices
  MFG. SKU: CPSP2 • Computer type: PC • Type: Flatbed • Interface: SCSI    $269.18  
Microtek Lab
 ScanMaker 6400XL PC     Check Prices
  MFG. SKU: 110803360110 • Computer type: PC • Type: Flatbed • Interface: SCSI    $930.08  
 ScanMaker 9600XL PC     Check Prices
  MFG. SKU: 110803360030 • Computer type: PC • Type: Flatbed • Interface: SCSI    $1378.13  
 ScanMaker III    Check Prices
  MFG. SKU: 110870231013 • Computer type: PC • Type: Flatbed • Interface: SCSI    $1108.64  
 ScanMaker X6 PC     Check Prices
  MFG. SKU: 110803410010 • Computer type: PC • Type: Flatbed • Interface: SCSI    $73.95 - $99.99  
  MFG. SKU: KVS6045W • Computer type: PC • Type: Flatbed • Interface: SCSI    $386.85 - $5337.09  
  MFG. SKU: KVS6040W • Computer type: PC • Type: Flatbed • Interface: SCSI    $215.16 - $3901.18  
  MFG. SKU: 4540 • Computer type: PC • Type: Flatbed • Interface: SCSI    $665.95 - $1467.45

A lot of the scanner manufacturers have gone over to USB my suggestion is that if you do not have a Intel based USB port then i would not go USB PC containing non Intel based USB ports do not seem to work well. Also if your PC does not currently have USB ports on the motherboard then you would ahve to buy an add in card those give you about a 60% chance of failure. 40% success rate, and they are very problematic to setup.

With USB you are going to get more choices and options with SCSI it is going to be limited, SCSI is considered basially old technology at this point but I myself do not like USB I find it hard to configure and way too proprietary, you shouldn't need to have certain chipsets to run the scanner the scanner should run on all chipsets so until they computer consortium makes USB standardized i would stay away from it

Parallel port would be your slowest choice and most likely cause communication problems with your printer resulting in having to get a seperate parallel port - this would be the worst way to go it is the slowest.

As far as printing good copies "good" can only be defined by yourself everyone has a different opinion.

Most printers support 600 x 600 dpi some go up to 700 something to 1200 dpi and some newer printers are now pushing 1200 x 1200 DPI.  

If you were using these scans to be able to create photo reproduced copies and 100% quality was essential then you would want to scan the photos or what not and then save them on disk and take them to a Kinko's copy center or something like that where they can run the final off of the laser printer which obviously would be the ultimate quality.

or you could run it off an inkjet but if the document has to be water proof / water resistant forget this option. also with inkjet some can reproduce very well on photo paper i had an hp 870cse and that was able to print a picture of person on photo paper from a foot away it looked kinda like a printout from a printer from 2 - 3 feet away and more it looked like I took a picture of the person myself and that was 600 x 600 dpi set for best color mode and using hp's automatic colorsmart setting.

The paper is essential, for the best looking quality it would be either Photo Glossy or Kodak Photo Matte paper personally i like the kodak paper but it is $35.00 for 50 sheets then again the glossy is $20.00 - $25.00 for 10 sheets !!!!

if you took the images to kinkos or another copy center that had a color printer you would have to pay approximately $1.50 per sheet for laser printing (they may charge though for computer time in other words make you rent one of the pc's there to send your printjob from which is $6.00 per hour  there policy on this changes all the time). Instead of them sending the printjob from the pc direct connected to the laser printer.

it would all depend on what you are looking for realize if you plan on keeping these for a long period of time i would go the color laser printer way.

If you were to go inkjet and then store these photos in your basement or your attic the ink will be exposed to humidity and also to heat & cold seasons of this could cause the ink to become runny  ... Inkjet printers ink never really dries you can always use a page printer by an inkjet printer as a water color page :) no matter how long the ink has been there... some companies have developed anti smearing ink and water resistant but it is not 100% foolproof

hopefully this has answered all of your questions

also go to http://www.zdnet.com and click on the link for buyers guide and then select scanners this may also help out your buying decision.
scpascoAuthor Commented:
to briancassin

just the info i needed.  i will accept your answer, but wondered if you also had any software advice.  
If you are looking to modify photos the best would be adobe photo shop but that carries a $400.00 - $700.00 price tag to it.

Corel makes some decent programs when they work corel draw corel photo paint but they are not reliable, there programs tend not to play with others too well.

also another decent program is
Paint Shop Pro

As far as general scanning is concerned Adobe can do that too, you can retouch photos the program looks simple but it can do all sorts of stuff professional photographers and multimedia artists use it on a regular basis a lot of graphics on high end web sites are created in it.  

if you are looking to scan in text and modify it your best bet would be Textbridge Pro OCR software (optical character recognition) see the software at there website Pagis Pro is decent too but Adobe kills it by far.


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