Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Card Scan Test and (maybe) Tip

I've got a lot of baseball cards scanned and have been scanning cards for a number of years. About 2 years ago, I replaced my Epson CX5400 with an Epson CX6000. Although the 6000 had some nice features that the 5400 did, I noticed right away that it scanned differently. My practice is to scan the cards at 150 dpi. This gives an image which is about twice the size of the card and makes for a good on-screen image. The file size isn't too large either. When I started scanning with the 6000 I noticed that some cards came out like this 2002 Fleer Platinum. You'll probably have to click on the image to really see what I'm talking about. There are fine vertical lines visible on the uniform and the grass. At least I think there are. I've never been sure if the lines are just an artifact of my monitor or are really there. That's where the test comes in. I'd appreciate it if you would leave a comment about what you see.This next card is a 2002 Studio card. In this scan, there are horizontal lines which are a bit wavy and further apart than on the Platinum card.
This phenomenon is does not happen on all cards. It usually doesn't happen on non-glossy cards (although 1988-1992 Score cards are an exception). Sometimes it happens on the front and sometimes only on the back. If it happens with one card of a set, it will happen with all cards of the set.

I have seen scanned cards on other blogs which show this problem so I'm pretty sure it's not my monitor. Is there a solution to this problem?

The solution I have found is to scan the card at a higher resolution. 300 dpi seems to do the trick. The problem is worse at lower resolution. To end up with a file the same size, I then reduce the resolution to 150. No lines. Here are the same two cards scanned at 300 and reduced to 150. If you click on them you'll see that the images are the same size as the above images.

These two cards, by the way, came from a large lot of Phillies and Astros sent to me by Jim at gcrl. I owe him a box of random Dodgers in return. I've gotten through most of the 200 or so Phillies in the box and I needed about half of them. But even the cards I didn't need were pretty good cards. I'll be posting more cards from Jim in the coming weeks.

I will not be posting for about a week. After a long and fruitful life, my wonderful mother-in-law passed away last week. My wife and I will be heading up to Philadelphia tomorrow to spend Easter with her family and to attend the funeral on Monday. We'll be back early Tuesday and with any luck I'll have a post up on Wednesday.


Ben said...

Have you tried descreening?

I feel your pain. My first scanner was an HP Scanjet 4200C that I got sometime my freshman year of college (1999). When I got my nice new printer/scanner/copier/fax/can opener/fire extinguisher/thing none of the scans looked anywhere near as good as the ten year old scanner.

It took some toying around and resolution changes before I was happy with it. I still don't think it scans as well as the old one though.

Paul said...

Yes, I see the scanning artifacts that you refer to.

The only thing I hated about having Windows Vista installed on my new computer was that my old scanner wouldn't work with it. The new one I bought doesn't do nearly as good a job and doesn't have a "descreen" option.

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deal said...

I can totally see the lines on the Duckworth card, not so much on the first card.

The Duckworth looks the way a TV does when you take a picture of it with wavy lines in it.

Jason said...

I've been scanning for about a year now for At first, I was scanning at 150dpi, but ended up getting too much distortion on certain brands of cards, so I switched to scanning at 300dpi and resizing down and all the visual artifacts are gone. Takes a tad longer, of course, but seems to be working. I've been using a Visioneer OneTouch 7300 (an LiDE scanner, which has its own issues).

Now my main problem are some streaks that have developed along one side of the scanner glass on the underside.

--David said...

Definitely see the marks, but a very good catch on the fix for it!

What I'd love to have is a scanner with a feeder that would auto-feed my cards for scanning. Thick cards would be done by hand, but regular thickness cards would be fed through. A boy can dream can't he?