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Flatbed Scanners? Recommendations....

Discussion in 'Technology' started by Janster, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. Jul 1, 2010 at 11:05 AM
    #1
    Janster

    Janster [OP] Old & Forgetful

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    Hey Gang,

    We've had this USB flatbed scanner forever and we don't use it very often, but its nice to have. We upgraded to Windows 7 a while back and now there are no device drivers for this thing. I've tried searching, hooked it up and the computer tried updating the drivers....Can you say, FAIL? It's time for an updated one anyway.

    This thing is a Visioneer 4400 and it's been a really nice scanner. I don't need anything fancy, just something similar to the capabilities of this one.
    Here's the specs on this thing
    http://support.visioneer.com/products/4400/spec.asp

    Have any suggestions? We want something simple, easy to install, easy to use, nothing fancy, basic flatbed. We use it primarily for scanning basic documents, old photographs, etc. We use Photoshop CS3.

    Thanks for the tips!!
    Jandy
     
  2. Jul 2, 2010 at 7:58 PM
    #2
    Janster

    Janster [OP] Old & Forgetful

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    I guess not a lot of peeps have flatbeds? Oooooooo bummer!
     
  3. Jul 2, 2010 at 10:17 PM
    #3
    humanoid

    humanoid bite me

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    My scanner recently crapped out on me and was looking to get another one like you. What I found was that not a whole lot of companies make them anymore with the advent of all-in-ones with fax, printer, scanner etc. I picked up the Canon PIXMA MP560 from Amazon and have been pretty happy with it. The scanning surface, although, is smaller than your normal scanner, but that's fine with me.
     
  4. Jul 2, 2010 at 10:21 PM
    #4
    SlurpeeBlueMetallic

    SlurpeeBlueMetallic FFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU...

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    Same deal for me, except my flatbed died due to lack of driver support when I switched to Vista. I couldn't find a reasonably priced dedicated flatbed scanner so I went with a combo Canon MP610 which works well for 8.5x11 or smaller stuff.
     
  5. Jul 2, 2010 at 10:29 PM
    #5
    MountainEarth

    MountainEarth Well-Known Member

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  6. Jul 2, 2010 at 10:48 PM
    #6
    Janster

    Janster [OP] Old & Forgetful

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    Already tried that... The computer recognizes the scanner but when I tried to get an updated driver, came up empty. Windows did the searching for me and didn't come up with anything.

    If there was a way to get this to work....I'd be really happy!!
     
  7. Jul 3, 2010 at 1:12 AM
    #7
    Manlaan

    Manlaan Well-Known Member

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    I have a Canon CanoScan 8400F and it works with Win7x64. Its a few years old now, but I haven't hated it. Did the job I originally bought it for (scan in many family photos) and I still use it about once a month for other stuff, so I haven't been disappointed.
     
  8. Jul 3, 2010 at 7:05 AM
    #8
    Janster

    Janster [OP] Old & Forgetful

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    Wow, I didn't think this was gonna be so difficult. I guess the market for flatbeds isn't all that great. We definately want a flatbed - as I've been known to scan off shape objects before. :D

    Thanks for the recommendations gang!! Keep 'em coming!

    Since all of you guys mentioned Canon - I started looking around a bit.
    I found the Canon Canoscan LiDE100, which appears to get really good reviews compared to most. It's cheap!! Or, the CanoScan LiDE 200 (faster) and just under $100 also with very good reviews. Still looking....
     
  9. Jul 3, 2010 at 3:10 PM
    #9
    MountainEarth

    MountainEarth Well-Known Member

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    Canons are great. The 9000F I mentioned is awesome. If you go beyond document and photo scanning and want to also scan things like slides and negatives, or achieve the highest possible resolution, it's the flatbed scanner of choice. Great for large photo scans (8x10's, 8x12s).

    The LiDE series on the other hand is a basic home consumer series .. and it too does a great job with documents and family photos. If you mostly do documents and occassionally a snapshot or two, the LiDE 100 is fine. It has a resolution of 2400x4800 max. If you can spare the extra $30, go for the LiDE 200. It has a top resolution of 4800x4800. You will get better photo scans.

    --->>

    On the attempt to install the Visioneer, your system scanned for the hardware change and identifies a "42-bit USB scanner" ... correct?

    And then you scanned for an updated driver and it found none? Did you check to allow your computer to look online? Did you check the c:\windows\system32 folder?

    Just want to make sure on this (I'm an IT consultant BTW).

    ----->>

    Here's another set of instructions to try if you choose...

    1) ---removed - not relevant ---
    2) Download the driver executable
    http://support.visioneer.com/downloads/drivers/4400/4400.303110.EN.exe
    3) On your local machine, whereever you downloaded the file to, right click on 4400.303110.EN.exe and select properties
    4) Select compatibility tab
    5) Select the run this program in compatibility mode for Windows XP (Service Pack 2)
    6) Privilege Level select the box "Run as Administrator"
    7) Select OK or Apply. You MUST set compatibility before you install the driver pack.
    8) Run the 4400.303110.EN.exe and install the driver
    I saw a pop up on the screen about some missing twain.dll error. I just dismissed it.
    9) Plug in scanner and driver should load correctly.
    10) Go to Start -> All programs-> Windows fax and scan application and test it out.

    This is know to work with Vista (which also didn't have a driver) and Vista is much more finicky than Win 7 is. So it could work
     
  10. Jul 3, 2010 at 3:14 PM
    #10
    MrGrimm

    MrGrimm Mall Crawler

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    Well I can see that the problem is Windows 7 and not the scanner...
     
  11. Jul 3, 2010 at 3:56 PM
    #11
    Janster

    Janster [OP] Old & Forgetful

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    Thanks for the info! That stuff is over my head and I don't even wanna attempt at trying it out of fear of screwing something else up. Believe me, I'm capable of it. :D I'll let my husband know.... but he probably won't wanna mess with any of that either. The Visioneer is probably 9+ years old and to replace it for only $80 is a drop in the bucket.

    I haven't seen the hubby all week and I'll finally see him tomorrow. I'll let him know.
     
  12. Jul 3, 2010 at 4:03 PM
    #12
    Viet2100

    Viet2100 Well-Known Member

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    Why have a flatbed when a scanner comes with almost all printers $60+
     
  13. Jul 3, 2010 at 7:37 PM
    #13
    MountainEarth

    MountainEarth Well-Known Member

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    That's true. The Canon Pixma MP560 is a very nice all-in-one printer/scanner/copier for $149.99. It will handle household duties well.

    But if they have a good printer, and jus tneed a basic scanner, it would be a waste of money. Or in my case I run higher end printers and scanners because I do a lot of digital photography, and all-in-ones have their limitations.

    But sure .. if your printer sucks too, check out the Canon MP560. It's a 2400x4800 scanner like the LiDE 100.
     
  14. Jul 3, 2010 at 8:15 PM
    #14
    Janster

    Janster [OP] Old & Forgetful

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    When it comes to printers - we're more likely to spend higher dollar on a good printer (printer only). Photos that we print are usually directly off our digital camera.

    The scanner isn't as important to us. We might use it a few times a year to scan documents and old paper photographs. I also like the flatbed scanners that can accomodate thicker items - like folded over books, magazines, or off-shaped items.
     
  15. Jul 25, 2010 at 4:51 PM
    #15
    Janster

    Janster [OP] Old & Forgetful

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    So, I bought a Canon LideScan 100. Neat little thing. Followed all the instructions for installation. That was easy. It works great with Windows 7 and Photoshop CS3.

    Now....I scanned my first photo and ...not so good. It's much crisper than the old scanner (300dpi) but the dark areas have white dots in them. It looks horrible. I tried on different dpi settings, different photos, still getting white spots.

    The other scanner didn't leave spots and I never used any complicated settings or special setups that I'm aware of. It just scanned pictures pretty easily without any fuss.

    Am I missing something? Do these things need to be calibrated? Is there a setting in 'preferences' that I haven't set?

    Here's an example of what I'm talking about:

    I scanned this photo using the Visioneer 4400. I can't even remember when I did it. The scan looks washed out - and I might have lightened it with photoshop. I'm not concerned about that. I cropped it also (to be closer).
    http://www.lieblweb.com/Temporary/RegalVisioneer.jpg

    What I am concerned about .....
    Here is the exact same photo print scanned on the Canon. Surely, it is crisper. However, if you look at the door ....and the black areas of the car, you'll see specs that aren't there in the above picture. If I zoomed in...these specs would get worse.
    http://www.lieblweb.com/Temporary/RegalCanon.jpg

    What the hell? I should be able to scan this without needing to rummage around to find a special setting or process just to scan a photo??

    Any thougts?
    Thanks
     
  16. Jul 25, 2010 at 5:25 PM
    #16
    LostRebel

    LostRebel Well-Known Member

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    They look like dust spots. The original has a few spots that are more defined in the new scan, but it does look like something additional is present.

    Are the scanner's glass and platen clean? Shipping and routine handling can introduce dust to both surfaces. Is the original print clean? :notsure:
     
  17. Jul 25, 2010 at 7:48 PM
    #17
    dogbite

    dogbite Well-Known Member

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    Save yourself some money and just install a linux boot. They have a fairly universal TWAIN compliant tool that should work with the scanner. Boot into linux for scans, save the image and reboot. Bit of a hassle, but free and for infrequent use should be a fine solution.

    Or leave it on an older computer and share it across a network or sneaker net it over to the win7 box.
     
  18. Jul 26, 2010 at 12:16 AM
    #18
    MountainEarth

    MountainEarth Well-Known Member

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    Hey Janster...

    That would be dust ... welcome to the world of the high resolution scanner! Your old Visioneer just didn't have the lens to pick it up. Hence also why your Visioneer scan was so poor. The technology even in the base scanners has vastly improved.

    There should be an "advanced" mode tab that you can choose in Canon's Scangear. Under advanced, there is an option to reduce dust & speckles. It does a pretty good job. Try it on low setting. After scan you can also use the noise reduction filters in Photoshop. Also a photographic blower brush (a brush with a squeeze ball on it to blow air) can help to clear dust off the photo before scanning it. You can also use a microfiber cloth or even forcefully blow across the photo (careful not to spit!).
     
  19. Jul 26, 2010 at 4:06 AM
    #19
    Janster

    Janster [OP] Old & Forgetful

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    Thanks Guys!!

    I honestly 'thought' the platen was clean. But apparently not..... I have special cleansing fluid & towlettes for Prescription glasses that I used to clean it with. The picture got much better (but still not perfect). I tried a few other things.

    Here's the most recent photo - and I'm happy with the results. This is using 150dpi with the *dust & scratch prevention* set on HIGH.

    And that looks pretty damn awesome!!!
    http://www.lieblweb.com/Temporary/regalcanonTEST.jpg

    MoutainEarth - THANK YOU!!! I'm relieved now......
    I thought there was something wrong with it and I haven't really had time to play with it either (working like crazy). There were a couple other things around the house that have started to 'fail' that required making phone calls & such. Seems everything falls apart at once, and I thought this was just something else. It's been a L O N G few weeks.
    Thanks again!!!!
     
  20. Jul 26, 2010 at 6:55 PM
    #20
    MountainEarth

    MountainEarth Well-Known Member

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    Yeah that looks great. :0)

    You'll always get some dust unless you're super anal retentive or wanna build a clean room! But for the remaining spots, try the healing brush in Photoshop. It works wonders.
     
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