Sunday, 6 October 2013

My scanners

I use my scanner a lot, especially for sketches. Even if I like making digital illustrations, I can't help to make the sketches by hand, in the paper, and later to scan it. I like to think there's something traditional in every illustration I create (of course, there're exceptions for which I use my graphic tablet directly, but very few).
It's also useful for traditional illustrations, and especially for those, to know your machine is essential. I have used... three scanners so far.

One of them is a multifunction device that still works, but that I don't think to use ever again to scan any drawing (but it's ok for documents and similar). Ever. It made me understand the importance to get a good one for you. Scanner or printer, both together never.

The first one I owned an HP scanjet 3670, that lasted me around five or six years? if not more. Not bad, much better than my multifunction device. It could scan to 2400dpi, if I remember correctly...

Photography property of ©HP

The problem I had with it was that I always had troubles to "control" it, I think I didn't learn correctly how to use it. Even after the first day, I had problems with its software. It didn't appear in my computer even after installing it, or it appeared but rarely worked. The first times I couldn't control which dpi I wanted, and it always scanned to 72dpi. It started working correctly when I bought a new computer tower, but still couldn't use all its software, but the essential appeared.

But during my photography's final project, it started giving me problems, this time, in every drawing, photo, document, anything I scanned, all over it, appeared some colored vertical lines. Thankfully for this work, it wasn't too noticeable (and it was at the end of the project, anyway, so not too big deal). But as I kept scanning the lines were more and more visible.

I was told it was a problem of its lantern, and that it would be cheaper to buy a new one. So bye bye old scanner!

The one I use now is an Epson Perfection V330 Photo as a present from my parents. I decided to buy it because I used another Epson in class while I was studying photography and loved its quality and also because of I could scan negatives with it (tried it recently and I'm quite happy with it). It can scan to 12800dpi.

Photography property of ©Epson

I'm quite happy with it, now I know how to use it more or less correctly, but at first it can result a little difficult to use, because its software, I mean. At first I used the easy mode, but now I always work with the professional one. I don't recommend it if you haven't tried another lower before.

The bigger quality of it is much better than my last one for sure, sometime maybe too much, because it shows every little detail and texture. It won't be too much of a problem once you know who to use the software and maybe a little of photoshop ;). Also, it gives you more freedom to scan bulkier materials thanks to its cover.

Right now I can't say anything bad about this one, I hope it'll be with me for years!

Here I show you a little detail of the same illustration (a fast one done with acrylics from my Moleskine). I scanned first with my HP and days later with my Epson.

  - The first one was with my HP, you can see a little those vertical lines over the drawing. I remember I retouched later its color with photoshop (and sadly I can't find its original photoshop file), so the color it has now isn't the same it had when it was scanned at first, but at least it gives you an idea of the detail it could capture.

  - The second one is with my Epson. Here I didn't know how to use too well the software, but you can see the detail it can capture. Now I know how to conceal it a little and how to intensify its texture more. The colors closer to the original in my Moleskine are the second's.

The complete illustration of this preview can be found here.

With this I'm not telling HP is a bad brand or anything. Keep in mind the HP I'm writing here about is way older than my actual Epson. It's true it is told Epson offers better quality, but I think newer HP could work just fine! It depends on the way you use them, as always :). The problem I had with the lines could also appear in my newer scanner, it's quite common and there's no way to know when the lantern will stop working correctly... Again, I'm just talking about my experience with these two.

Long post for today!. Have a nice day!

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