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Types of scanners

From: Scanning Techniques for Photography, Art, and Design

Video: Types of scanners

Let's discuss the kind of scanners you're likely to have access to and to use. Here before us we see three very common types of scanners. We have a flatbed reflective scanner, we have a dedicated film scanner, and then we have a multi-purpose scanner. There is a fourth kind of scanner called the Drum Scanner, we don't show you here and that's a very large and expensive scanner that you are unlikely to encounter. So we are going to focus on these three scanners here. Let's break down each one of these three and talk about how they work and what they are most likely to be used for. This is the flatbed scanner also known as a Reflective Scanner.

Types of scanners

Let's discuss the kind of scanners you're likely to have access to and to use. Here before us we see three very common types of scanners. We have a flatbed reflective scanner, we have a dedicated film scanner, and then we have a multi-purpose scanner. There is a fourth kind of scanner called the Drum Scanner, we don't show you here and that's a very large and expensive scanner that you are unlikely to encounter. So we are going to focus on these three scanners here. Let's break down each one of these three and talk about how they work and what they are most likely to be used for. This is the flatbed scanner also known as a Reflective Scanner.

It's called a Reflective Scanner because of the way in which it works. A Reflective Scanner like this has three primary elements. It has a cushion top that holds the image in place. It has a glass platen on which you place your image to be scanned or your document page to be scanned. Then there is a scan element that's underneath that glass platen. And that scan element has two elements to it. It has a lighting element and it has an image capturing element. After you place your image on the scanner and you close the top that scan element moves underneath the image, the light shines, reflects off of the image and then it's captured by that same element that's moving across, hence the name Reflective Scanner.

This type of scanner is really optimized for doing this kind of scan. There are some options that you can get for this kind of scanner to extend its usefulness. One of those is you've got some film holders, this one holds slides, but you can also do this with negatives as well and these are holders that you can put inside and when you use these you take off that from top and then you see that there is another glass platen up here and there is another scan element. And the way this works is, when you close this scanner top, both of the scan elements move.

The top one provides the light and the bottom one provides the capture of the light, and this allows you to scan film of both positive and negative types. So the scanner then becomes a film scanner. It's really not optimized for this but it can be used for that. Some of these types of scanners you can also get them with a document feeder option which is similar to the ones that are built into the multi-purpose scanner, more on that in just a few minutes. But again, this kind of scanner is really optimized for scanning reflective art. If you are going to be doing primarily film then a dedicated film scanner is something you probably want to consider.

As you can see this is a smaller and simpler device. It works very simply, you put your film inside of a holder like this either positive or negative, then you slide it inside the scanner and typically fix into place and then you scan your image. Even though this is a smaller and simpler scanner, it actually results in higher quality scans, why? Because it's a very simple and elegant light path that your light follows, there is a light source which goes through the film and then it's captured by the capture device underneath. Unlike, for instance film scanning with a flatbed scanner like this where the light has to go through two glass area interfaces, two film area interfaces, and then two more glass air interfaces, that's a very complicated light path, and you can get things like dispersions, and reflections and things like Newton rings, dedicated film scanners typically don't have those kinds of problems or challenges.

So you can't do reflective art here. This is not a flexible scanner like this one, but it does a very good job of scanning film. Now the third kind of scanner is the multipurpose scanner. I call this a Swiss Army Knife of Scanning. This is actually a modified version of the reflective scanner, of the flatbed scanner. It has a cushion-top and has a glass platen like this. Typically, these don't have film scanning options. they are primary used for reflective work. But what they are really dedicated for is scanning documents.

That's what they are really optimized for. You can do an okay job, moderate quality in terms of graphics, but if you are scanning lots of documents and converting them into the PDFs and managing those documents that's what this kind of scanner is really optimized for, you would purchase that for. So your choices of scanners are basically these three in the graphic arts and business world. Which type of scan you get is really going to depend upon your scan challenges that you have, and of course your budget, that's always going to come into play. If you primarily need to scan a reflective art, like this, then flatbed scanner is going to be the scanner for you.

If you are primarily scanning film, then this is the kind of scanner. If you really want to mostly do documents, then this kind of scanner. Now most people have more than one thing they need to scan. So if you are primarily doing documents and modest quality graphics are okay, you can go with this device, but if you really need high-quality scans of reflective art, then this is going to be the scanner. If you need to do good quality of both, then you may really need to get both scanners. If you can do modest quality on your film, get good results but not the very best then maybe this is the scanner if you have budgetary issues.

By the way what are these scanners cost? Well, these scanners, depending upon your options are between $500 and a $1000 for the good quality ones. The dedicated film scanners are anywhere from like $200-$600 and then the multipurpose scanners are in the $100 to $200 category. Now if you are lucky just get one of each and then you have optimized scanning for all the things that you need. But otherwise you have to make a choice based upon your budget.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Scanning Techniques for Photography, Art, and Design
Scanning Techniques for Photography, Art, and Design

58 video lessons · 8309 viewers

Taz Tally
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 6m 48s
    1. Welcome
      1m 11s
    2. What you should know before watching this course
      3m 54s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 43s
  2. 1h 0m
    1. Scanners and digital cameras
      3m 6s
    2. Types of scanners
      5m 2s
    3. Scanner location
      3m 19s
    4. What scanners and digital cameras create
      7m 22s
    5. Understanding grayscale values and channels
      3m 19s
    6. Understanding pixels and vectors
      4m 1s
    7. Choosing pixels or vectors
      2m 27s
    8. Resolving resolution
      6m 32s
    9. Working with interpolation
      3m 31s
    10. Understanding the effects of compression
      2m 4s
    11. Evaluating and correcting images with histograms
      8m 26s
    12. Saving to different file formats
      7m 4s
    13. Color management
      4m 23s
  3. 33m 22s
    1. Cleaning your scanner
      7m 31s
    2. Cleaning your images
      7m 47s
    3. Calibrating your scanner
      9m 13s
    4. Creating and applying a color management profile
      8m 51s
  4. 20m 55s
    1. Evaluating your scan challenges
      9m 46s
    2. Reproducing vs. assigning colors
      6m 20s
    3. Recognizing continuous tone (contone) vs. dot pattern images
      4m 49s
  5. 36m 32s
    1. Understanding bit depth
      8m 49s
    2. Selecting a scan mode
      8m 20s
    3. Sharpening and its effects
      10m 40s
    4. Creating and assigning color management profiles
      8m 43s
  6. 2h 25m
    1. Taking the Tazmanian Oath!
      3m 38s
    2. Choosing your weapon
      4m 2s
    3. Setting up your scanning preferences
      12m 14s
    4. Performing a prescan
      2m 53s
    5. Assigning a scan frame
      5m 40s
    6. Determining scan resolution
      7m 57s
    7. Choosing a scan mode and bit depth
      5m 53s
    8. Naming images
      1m 49s
    9. Scanning simple logos and line art
      12m 21s
    10. Scanning complex line art
      7m 33s
    11. Scanning grayscale contones
      13m 22s
    12. Scanning color contones
      13m 54s
    13. Sharpening
      9m 39s
    14. Scanning printed/screened or patterned images
      7m 1s
    15. Scanning positive transparency film
      12m 33s
    16. Scanning negative transparency film
      9m 11s
    17. Capturing high dynamic range (HDR) scans
      1m 47s
    18. Setting up wet scans
      14m 29s
  7. 1h 48m
    1. Scanning, converting, and using simple line art
      5m 32s
    2. Scanning and using detailed line art
      10m 52s
    3. Scanning landscapes
      15m 50s
    4. Scanning product shots
      11m 58s
    5. Scanning combo/complex images
      9m 3s
    6. Adjusting distressed images
      11m 12s
    7. Scanning images with no neutrals
      11m 57s
    8. Post-scan touch-ups
      2m 7s
    9. Scanning images for multiple uses
      10m 44s
    10. Automatic scanning
      10m 40s
    11. Streamlining big jobs with batch scanning
      5m 22s
    12. Using your manufacturer's scanning software
      3m 14s
  8. 27s
    1. Goodbye
      27s

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