Help me find an awesome flatbed scanner!
August 14, 2007 11:18 AM   Subscribe

I'm on the hunt for a flatbed scanner in the good-image-quality-under-$600 range to scan negatives and photos/documents. I've found that scanner software is frequently awful or overly complex -- I really want a simple workflow. Help?

Separate recommendations for OS X scanning software and/or quality scanners welcome. I need a scanner that's Mac OS X 10.4 compatible and lets me scan things in three easy steps:

1. stick something in it
2. select the scan area I want (if I don't want to scan the whole glass)
3. output the image in a variety of file types (PDF, JPG, TIFF) and qualities (variable DPI, color, grayscale, B&W)

I would love a bed large enough to fit a LIFE magazine (10 x 14) -- double points for that. I don't need OCR functions, but I don't mind them.
posted by whitelight to Technology (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'm going to suggest that maybe you're actually looking for two different scanners. I had a flatbed scanner that had a doohicky for scanning negatives, but I was never very happy with the results. A few years ago I bought an older version of the Pacific Image Primefilm scanner specifically for scanning negatives. I was very happy with the results and I believe it still retails for under $300. (PC/Mac compatible)

So, over the course of maybe a few weeks, I scanned in all of my negatives and when that was done, I sold it on Ebay and recouped most of my money.

*Then*, maybe look around to for the best flat bed scanner you can buy for the money.
posted by jerryg99 at 12:07 PM on August 14, 2007

In terms of software, I've really been impressed by VueScan.
posted by hamfisted at 12:10 PM on August 14, 2007

The Agfa Duoscan is really nice, works with both OSX and System 9, does both negatives and reflective media, and you can get one on eBay or craigslist for between $100 and $200.

I know because I sold mine right before I moved, and we use the same model here in the office.
posted by klangklangston at 3:10 PM on August 14, 2007

I just got a Canoscan 8600f which seems pretty decent. It has two applications for scanning, Silverfast LE and Canons own, the former a nudge more professional but both easy to use. It is pretty okay.
posted by KimG at 5:28 PM on August 14, 2007

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