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Larger Flatbed Scanners?

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the illegal-sizes-are-cheap dept.

Hardware 34

An Anonymous Coward writes: "I work for a University department and we're looking to find an affordable flatbed scanner with a scanning area of 11x17". Affordability is critical, and it's surprising how hard it is to find one of these... Some basic models I've found range from $1,000 to $4,000. Can the Slashdot community suggest any scanners? Will they?" I settled on a smaller scanning surface after finding the same thing, but my scanner (an Epson Perfection 1650 Photo) is supported nicely by the excellent Xsane. What scanner advice can you offer, especially when it comes to cross-platform support?

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Good color Printer too..... (0, Offtopic)

jsimon12 (207119) | more than 12 years ago | (#3353704)

Along the same lines can someone out there recommend a GOOD color printer?

Re:Good color Printer too..... (3, Funny)

fm6 (162816) | more than 12 years ago | (#3353921)

My printer is pretty good.

(A vague question deserves a vague answer.)

Re:Good color Printer too..... (1)

bluGill (862) | more than 12 years ago | (#3358031)

Sure, anything dye sublimation is fairly good. Better than my ability to spell the technology anyway. :)

Also expensive, but you didn't say anything about that.

Re:Good color Printer too..... (2)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 12 years ago | (#3365390)

Ain't nothin' wrong with your ability to spell the technology!

DEATH to KATZ. Taco, you should die too, fag. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3353784)

Katz, the master producer of pedophilic computer art breathes a sign of relief.

He likes to draw 6 years boys being buttfucked by a clergyman while the boy pisses on the camel toes of infant girls.

Suck fuck, Katz, you disgusting pontificating asshole.

Pontiff... Yeah, you are a crypto-priest, you fuckface I hate you Katz, Death to you, death to Jon Katz.

Hate to say it, but... (4, Informative)

realgone (147744) | more than 12 years ago | (#3353910)

...the $1K+ figure sounds about right for what you've described. Seriously, scanning is one of those times when you really do get what you pay for... especially at larger flatbed sizes, when controlling vibration of the scanning elements becomes more of a problem.

However, if you're dead-set on going down that low-cost road, your best shot would probably to pick up a few Plustek OpticPro A3-i scanners on clearance somewhere. (Here [] for instance.) The company's not around anymore, so you'll be on your own for support, but at $175.00 per unit, that might be a risk you'd be willing to take.

I am curious as to what the university so desperately needs to scan at 11x17, though...

Maps (2, Informative)

Shook (75517) | more than 12 years ago | (#3354489)

My university used to have 11x17 scanners in the Geography department's computer lab. We used them (of course) to scan maps. Even then, it often wasn't big enough. The scanners we used were made by Umax, and they were bought circa 1999. The were probably similar to this [] .

Re:Hate to say it, but... (2, Informative)

svindler (78075) | more than 12 years ago | (#3357023)

What do you mean "The company's not around anymore"?

Re:Hate to say it, but... (1)

realgone (147744) | more than 12 years ago | (#3357929)

What do you mean "The company's not around anymore"?

Ugh, my bad. I'd read reports at a few different design sites -- here's one [] -- that the company had tanked and future purchases were going to be at-yer-own-risk (much like buying 3DFX cards; god I loved my Voodoo 5500...).

Seems like they had a reversal of fortune. =)

Overpriced (2, Insightful)

Picass0 (147474) | more than 12 years ago | (#3353941)

Holy Price Gouging, Batman!

A letter size USB flatbed goes for US$90-120 at most stores around me.

For $3800 you're getting a few extra inches of rubber tractor, glass, and plastic.

You would think somebody would try to fill this market void with a larger scanner at an affordable price.

Re:Overpriced (2, Interesting)

cryptor3 (572787) | more than 12 years ago | (#3355181)

Yes, perhaps some of the models are overpriced. However, in some cases you also get what you pay for in better color sensors and truer color management. Take, for example, the color sensors mentioned in a slashdot article [] .

Re:Overpriced (1)

johnpaul191 (240105) | more than 12 years ago | (#3356323)

if you notice most scanners can't even do legal paper anymore. i got my first scanner, in (i think) early 1997, a SCSI Umax for about $200. it was a cconsumer model and could do legal paper. since then i have not seen very many scanners that can do leagal size, let alone something bigger. just for the extra 3 inches i keep the scsi one around. i still need it for scanning artwork for 7" covers. in short, i run an indie punk record label (more of a hobby, not a job). when i say record, i mean we still press records. we lose money all the time, and we don't have $1,000 for an oversized scanner. honestly if i get an oversized one i would want to be able to scan artwork for a 12" jacket anyway. i guess the general public spends most of their time scanning snapshots they took before they got a digital ccamera, so 8.5x11 is bigger than they often need anyway.

anyway rambling aside, if you notice those $1,000 scanners generally are much higher qulaity than the ones that come in cereal boxes and whatnot.
picking up an old oversized overstock on ebay would probably be a mess for me, i'm a mac user and still waiting for Umax to support the scanner under OS X.

Re:Overpriced - NO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3364373)

What you're getting is a decent dynamic range. You want at least 3, close to 4 is noticably better.

The $90 scanners don't list dynamic range, they're around 2. A laughably low value, but good enough to scan in text.

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3353950)

5th post!

HP (2, Insightful)

deggy (195861) | more than 12 years ago | (#3353956)

Love or hate HP I find their more expensive (i.e. SCL [scanner control language] based) scanners are pretty much the best supported under Linux. They are quite open about the SCL specs and usb models are well supported - my 5200C has been working perfectly with Xsane since I got it.

A retort to Malda's Omelette analogy.(Peaceful) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3353965)

"The Omelette" - A retort to Malda's Omelette analogy.

Let me try to give you an analogy for Slashdot's homepage.
Yes, please liken something to something in a cliché staid analogy because we the reader are too stupid to understand any overly complex and high level reason why you can't explain yourself properly. Either that or you are full of crap, don't know what you are doing and are lucky as hell to have what you have.

It's like an omelette: it's a combination of sausage and ham and tomatoes and eggs and more.
It is a motley collage, a miasma, a montage or eclectic and seemingly unrelated things. It may be a myriad of unrelated things, related at only the most abstract levels. It certainly isn't an omelette.

Over the years, we've figured out what ingredients are best on Slashdot.
What critical acclamations have you had that makes you think this is so? Just because you get a lot of hits, and subsequently subject your readership to unwanted bandwidth consuming detritus, doesn't mean you know what's best. It is just like a Reynolds family member claiming they know what's best for them, nicotine and smoke are not unhealthy, and then they die of lung cancer. You are an egotistical megalomaniac. If this site was run based on a meritocratic method rather and juvenile selfishness, it would have serious potential.

The ultimate goal is, of course, to create an omelette that I enjoy eating: by 8pm, I want to see a dozen interesting stories on Slashdot.
The ultimate goal is to please yourself, to feed your id. You have no desire to please the community by which you make your living. You are selfish, sheltered and removed from your community. You are on a one way soapbox, a pulpit, and you talk at people. I would probably include you in a list of people I would kill if I could get away with it.

I hope you enjoy them too.
I do not.

I believe that we've grown in size because we share a lot of common interests with our readers.
Mobocracy is good? You would rather collect people without regard to quality. This means nothing. Budweiser is the most consumer beer, but its garbage. This is analogous to Slashdot, to stoop to your food and beverage analogy. Bud beer. Its good because a lot of people drink it. No, no. Don't bother trying to get critical acclimation. Don't bother, you know as long as you "control" Slashdot, you never will.

But that doesn't mean that I'm gonna mix an omelette with all sausages, or someday throw away the tomatoes because the green peppers are really fresh.
So serving rotten food is acceptable how? Its better to keep your silence and let people wonder if you are fool than to speak up and remove all doubt. "Gonna." Pathetic. Simply pathetic. This is a hick like expression, akin to something on the order of, "I'm gonna open a can of whup ass on him for peggin Mary Joe Susie Lee."

There are many components to the Slashdot Omelette. Stories about Linux. Tech stories. Science. Legos. Book Reviews. Yes, even Jon Katz.
Jon Katz is the worst thing about this place. If it isn't the wasting of my bandwidth that I pay for, its this that bothers me the most. On a sidebar, I would like to hold you and the rest of the scum who send ad banners to my connection legally liable for unwanted bandwidth usage. This crap half the time doesn't even come from your site. It would be less of an affront if you stored you vile ads on your own site, but you took the easy way out and decided to outsource the production of garbage to similarly-devoid-of-ethics people with slightly more intelligence and infrastructure to provide this illegal content.

By mixing and matching these things each and every day, we bring you what I call Slashdot. On some days it definitely is better than others, but overall we think it's a tasty little treat and we hope you enjoy eating as much as we enjoy cooking it.
Grotesque things are often of huge interest to people. This holds true with me in regards to Slashdot. I hate you, I hate Jon Katz, I hate most of the content here. Some of the best stuff is written at -1. You would suppress those who are different while you are "different like everyone else," just another marginally educated half assed "programmer" who on the scale of things lucked out even more so than Bill Gates (reason: I would assume your IQ is probably his divided by 2 or 3 and you aren't working at a McDonald's where you should be). Whenever you have participated in a discussion thread, you are obnoxious, rude and ungrateful. You policies are horrible, you content is basically a smattering of other people's work and you benefit from this. You web page reeks of someone who completes nothing that he starts. Your obsession with anime is a testament to how juvenile you are, your spelling is horrific, you grammar is oft questionable; you are a poor editor Mr. Malda.

I hope only the worst outcomes for any and all of your endeavors henceforth. I hope your fiancée or if you are lucky, your marriage falls apart. I hope your Jubei breaks. I hope you lose your job. I hope that you fail because you are displacing true talent.

Answered by: CmdrTaco
Last Modified: 6/14/00


deggy (195861) | more than 12 years ago | (#3353987)



Original AIDS Monkey (315494) | more than 12 years ago | (#3354048)

Gee, thanks for the warning. For a second there I mistook the parent post as a legitimate comment about larger flatbed scanners. Thanks for clearing up the confusion.


soxthemonkee (573133) | more than 12 years ago | (#3385806)

I am sox the monkey and I have rabies and AIDS... Do not come near me....

+1, Insightful (-1)

egg troll (515396) | more than 12 years ago | (#3379528)

This post is the most insightful thing I've read on Slashdot all week. Please mod it up appropriately.

There are some things money can't buy (4, Funny)

DeadMeat (TM) (233768) | more than 12 years ago | (#3353999)

Epson scanner: $100.
Epson scanner: $100.
Roll of duct tape: $2.
The look on your department head's face: priceless.

Re:There are some things money can't buy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3363423)

Holy fucking shit! I didn't know worthless assholes like you were actually allowed to live past birth. You fucked up jackass - why can't you think outside of your goddamned motherfucking television for a few seconds? Listen, take your fucking stupid pinhead out of your ass, wipe the shit off your eyes and look at what you've become. Your life is worthless. I really dislike you - I mean, strongly. I honestly believe that you have tried to lick your own anus. Now, given the fact that you are gay, I understand your desire to lick the anus of a man but to lick your own! That's just too gay; there is a line that you faggots should not cross. But you people have been crossing it for decades now. Don't think you're getting away with it. The glorious victory of the real Christians is coming. With AIDS to aid (get it?) us, we will destroy all of the Sodomites and once again allow Christ to reign from a throne of skulls. Christianity will crush not only the infidels but also the shit-packers, the teepee Indians and anyone who gets in our way. The Pope has told me that the end times are near and that I should prepare by having three hearty shits a day, on your mother! What a slut! Fucked-up disgraces always spawn more fucked-up disgraces. Looking at your parents, I know this is true. I mean, wow! Your father is a janitor. He actually works at the high school and eats the jock straps of young boys. What a fucking goofy faggot. I think he should be locked up for the general good of society. And stop jacking off in the library! Fuck you. You're Asian. God once said to me, "Fags are gay." Think about it.

My solution (2, Insightful)

limited (17574) | more than 12 years ago | (#3354641)

I've got a Microtek XL6 (i think- too lazy to go check the real name) The scanner has a SCSI interface, 11x17, supposedly 600x1200 dpi and works great for me. I received it as a gift, so I'm not sure of the cost. It's a bit on the noisy side, but thats not an issue considering all my cooling fans. Also, I know it works in Windows using Microtek ScanSuite, not sure about any other platforms.

Mustek A3 EP scanner $100 (3, Informative)

markwelch (553433) | more than 12 years ago | (#3354753)

I paid $99 for my Mustek A3 EP scanner (11x17) a couple years ago, at Fry's Electronics. I used to see them frequently on eBay in the $50 to $150 range.

I believe Fujitsu makes scanners in this size, priced around $1,000 - $1,500 (that may include a sheet feeder), and Kodak makes a very expensive ($23,000) but VERY fast scanner in this size (we had some technical problems with one we had in on evaluation in mid-2000). My consulting client needed to scan about 50,000 11x14 color images, along with about 20,000 poster images (mostly 27x41 movie posters), and ultimately decided to buy a couple of $25,000 52-inch Contex sheet-fed scanners.

I don't need my A3 EP scanner any more, so perhaps I should post it for sale on eBay. But then I guess I'd need to set it up. It does have a small crack in the glass. Maybe I should just put it out at my condo complex yard sale this Saturday. ;-)

Hey, Anonymous Coward: if you're in the Bay Area, give me a call, maybe I'll donate it to your insitution. I think it uses one of those pass-through parallel port connections.

Before you select your solution, you need to determine the actual application before buying anything. How fast does it need to be? (Trust me, manually positioning 50,000 pages on a flatbed scanner is going to take a long, long, long, long, long time.) What resolution, and what kind of color range? How accurate must the color mapping be?

Finally, note that there are service bureaus that will scan a bunch of documents, sometimes even come to your office and scan them right there, for prices ranging from 50 cents to $2 or more per image (depending on condition, size, color/monochrome, etc). One firm in Vacaville was doing this for government agencies: send in 3 guys with 3 wide-format scanners ($10,000 each) and scan for a few weeks, then deliver the document images on CD-ROM or tape.

As a university, you might find some alumnus or other supporter who would lend you this kind of equipment for a specific project -- ask around. Check if another department (engineering? public planning?) might have a scanner, or maybe there's even a scanner like this in the basement of the bursar's office.

Re:Mustek A3 EP scanner $100 (1)

Bistronaut (267467) | more than 12 years ago | (#3359078)

We also have a Mustek A3 EP scanner where I work. We use it pretty often to scan 11x17 prints, and it works well for our needs. Be aware that it does not do very high resolutions, and I have never tested it with any OS other than Win98 (on an old computer we keep in the back).

Cheap, cheap, cheap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3356731)

Why is everyone pushing bargain basement cheapness? Obviously if he simply needs to scan 11x17 documents for OCR, his ideal scanner would be 600dpi greyscale and an $1000 color flatbed targeted at desktop publishing (not prepress, not graphic design----desktop publishing)

but if he's in charge of requisition for an art or graphic design department, $1000 could be considered skimping on an 11x17

What ever happened to Handheld Scanners? (1)

bacchus612 (168559) | more than 12 years ago | (#3357003)

Does anyone else remember the old greyscale logitech handheld scanners? I've often lamented the fact that no one sees fit to make an updated version (HP had a pretty sweet one that didn't even need to be plugged in to work w/ ~ 50 pages worth of memory - but for some reason the discontinued it). A handheld would be perfect for all your odd-sized scan jobs (and books, which is why I want one)

Re:What ever happened to Handheld Scanners? (1)

johnpaul191 (240105) | more than 12 years ago | (#3358794)

good question? the problem i always have with multiple passes in graphics is tiling them together. maybe my photoshop skills are just weak, but if it's for the web i am fine..... trying to do a 300dpi color image that will go to the printer is another issue though. too bad kinkos never seem to have a big flatbed scanner. that would be swell for the occasional use. then again most of the ones around here (Philly) stopped being 24 hours, so late night copier fun has declined.

the closest thing to those old handhelds i have seen are the "pen" scanners that they sell everywhere (staples even). not the same as what you speak of, and i think they really are only for text. one of my housemates has one and can scan passages of text from a book. it's wireless, and you just sync the pen to the machine. he can take it to the library or a bookstore and basically copy a passage of text, take it home and sync it to a text document or webpage.. he said the text recognition is pretty good, but i never used it. he's a windows user, and i don't think the devices are supported on other platforms, but maybe they are now......

Re:What ever happened to Handheld Scanners? (1)

Honig the Apothecary (515163) | more than 12 years ago | (#3362812)

That HP one was SWEET! You scanned ran it down the lefthand side of the page, pivoted it at the bottom then ran it up the right hands side. The software automaticly tiled it together and it worked beautifully. It had an infrared port on it so you could beam it straight to a printer to print it out if need be. It worked well with large deed records for a company I used to do consulting for. They went in with a list, scaned what they needed, and walked out without paying a dime for the county's copier.

The deed books are large, so it would most likely do 11x17 without any problems.


Try AGFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3357596)

I used to service scanners for AGFA and they had a unit called the Horizon which scanned up to A3. Other than it had a SCSI 1 interface and was built like a brick outhouse I can't help you but there should be units available on the second-hand market.

Peter Jones

Epson 1640XL (2, Informative)

jub (10089) | more than 12 years ago | (#3360067)

Our production department just got one of these, after much research. A transparency adapter was important for us, and that helped drive the decision, but that alone added $1k to the price (about $3k total).

It's a very nice scanner though, and includes lots of items you could easily pay a few hundred for alone: Silverfast software, color calibrating software & plates, fast SCSI + Firewire + USB interfaces.

The preview and scan speed is fantastic (we use it on fast SCSI). We're still nailing down the color on transparencies. The reflective quality is wonderful right out of the box, though it tends to want to 'help' by saturating soft colors.

I agree with the earlier poster about using a service bureau - if you don't need the large size very often, they can be very cost effective. For us, we scan enough that this should pay for itself in about 3 months (vs using a scanning service)

Digital Camera? (1)

mobrien (85642) | more than 12 years ago | (#3360589)

Heck for that price, you could get a pretty nice digital camera. With a little fiddling, you could get a pretty nice scan I'm sure.

Of course, OCR would be more challenging.

How about a digital photocopier? (1)

goodEvans (112958) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374382)

We just rented a Minolta digital photocopier (DiALTA Di351f) for our training department. It is a 35ppm copier, with stapling, punching and sorting, a network printer and a scanner that ftp's or emails TIFFs and PDFs. Obviously it is B&W only, but it does a very passable job on text. If you wanted to buy one, they are quite expensive, but when you consider that you are also getting a photocopier, fax and A3 printer in one, it starts to look attractive.

Same Here (2)

Servo5678 (468237) | more than 12 years ago | (#3436078)

I also work for a university and we're also looking for a 11x17 flatbed scanner. We've done some pricing and everything is very expensive (one scanner vendor wanted $9000 for such a device!) and way out of our budget. We're a Windows-only office (goodbye, karma) so if anyone knows an affordable Windows 11x17 flatbed scanner solution, please pass it on.


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