A scanner for art
March 24, 2011 8:47 PM   Subscribe

"Anyone have any recommendations for a normal-sized scanner that is good at scanning artwork? All my stuff is small, so no need for huge." (Asked for a friend. Reposted as the last time asked was apparently a couple years ago.)
posted by Ardiril to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Nowadays a good digital camera can be just as good as a scanner; something to consider. My work is small too and I haven't actually scanned anything in ages.
posted by Calzephyr at 8:58 PM on March 24, 2011

Depends on your budget. Afaik, the Epson V750 is very good. I've certainly seen great scans of photographic prints made from one. It might be a bit overkill for your needs, though. If your work is strictly 2D and will always be small, a flatbed scanner will give you much higher quality images than a camera, in a smaller space and, most importantly, with a high level of consistency. I've seen and taken some great artwork photographs, but there's no question that it's a non-trivial process.
posted by Magnakai at 9:04 PM on March 24, 2011

I've been using the Epson Perfection V300 to scan my weird little collage-drawings, and have been very happy with it. (Those images are obviously sized for the web, but I've made prints from the high-res originals, and they turned out great.)
posted by D.Billy at 9:30 PM on March 24, 2011

Depends on the artwork. To what purpose do you want to digitize your art?

Stuff like graphite or ink might be better with a scanner (and nowadays, anything "decent" is "sufficient" - most any $60 flatbed will do 1200+dpi in 16 million colours and give good enough results) but stuff with texture like oils would be better off with a good camera and great lighting.

What is the purpose of digitizing the artwork - to show for sale online? To transfer it online (in which case, one'd be better off creating the art digitally in the first place)? If you're just doing a web gallery - an el cheapo scanner is going to be good enough - people will show up to see the real thing at the gallery. Even if you're doing it as a portfolio... any commercial scanner these days is sufficient, employers will want to see the originals.

A potential problem with scanning graphite or ink work could be unlicensed use. If there's a high quality digital version available, it could be used without attribution or reimbursement. A low-ish quality representation of the work in question might be the most prudent way of digitizing art that has economic value.
posted by porpoise at 9:33 PM on March 24, 2011

I like my Epson Perfection. I think it cost $60 and has a very low profile.
posted by gohlkus at 2:32 AM on March 25, 2011

I love my Canoscan LIDE 200 (which has since been superseded by the 210). It's a slim scanner, and its powered by the USB connection. It scans quickly and with great results.

If your friend does opt for a camera instead, remember lighting is key. Set up a good staging area, and it'll be a breeze to take a bunch of pictures quickly.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:57 AM on March 25, 2011

I'm using the CanoScan 9950f and it's been great. It can do negatives too if needed.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 5:13 PM on March 25, 2011

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