What is the best ADF scanner?

Book scanning methods that involve taking books apart.

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Scanallthebooks
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What is the best ADF scanner?

Post by Scanallthebooks »

What's currently the best ADF scanner in terms of quality? Speed is not *that* important (although flatbed scanning is waaay to slow...it does need to be ADF!), quality is what I'm after. Lots of people recommending the Fujitsu ix500...but is there a better scanner?
jera2
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Re: What is the best ADF scanner?

Post by jera2 »

I cannot say what the best is, but I've picked up a couple of used Fujitsu fi-5120c models from my local government surplus outlet, and they work great! The images are very good, they are fast, and do both sides simultaneously. The prices were great too: $25-$30 each! About 10% of the price of a new ix500.

The ix500 is the latest model, and so is probably an improvement in various ways.
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Re: What is the best ADF scanner?

Post by cday »

jera2 wrote:The ix500 is the latest model, and so is probably an improvement in various ways.
The fi-5120c specification shows that it used CCD imaging sensors which are normally considered superior to the CIS sensors shown in the ix500 specification...
Scanallthebooks
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Re: What is the best ADF scanner?

Post by Scanallthebooks »

cday wrote:
jera2 wrote:The ix500 is the latest model, and so is probably an improvement in various ways.
The fi-5120c specification shows that it used CCD imaging sensors which are normally considered superior to the CIS sensors shown in the ix500 specification...
Aw dammit, and I just got hold of a cheaper demo version of the ix500 (nowhere near $30 though! :shock:). Anyway it looks like the fi-5120c aren't being sold anymore anyway, and there are no used ones available near me. So...any other current ADF scanners with CCD sensors?

Another problem with the ix500 is that it can only scan in jpeg format, not TIFF. So no RAW format. The software is a bit "simple" tbh considering the price.

What about the other brands...Epson, Canon etc. Are their offerings superior to the ix500?

EDIT: Found this great ADF comparison document: http://www.xeroxscanners.com/downloads/ ... 062714.pdf (full disclosure, it's from Xerox). Lots of scanners with CCD, some even with dual CCD whatever that is. Seems all the mobile scanners are shit, and the office scanners are crazy expensive.
cday
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Re: What is the best ADF scanner?

Post by cday »

Scanallthebooks wrote:Aw dammit, and I just got hold of a cheaper demo version of the ix500 (nowhere near $30 though! :shock:). Anyway it looks like the fi-5120c aren't being sold anymore anyway, and there are no used ones available near me. So...any other current ADF scanners with CCD sensors?
Although the more expensive CCD sensors would generally be considered to produce higher quality output, for your use case of scanning black and white pages using an ADF you might not notice any real difference. CIS sensors require the material being scanned to be in very close contact with the sensor, which would be expected to be the case with an ADF feed mechanism, and the possibly inferior colour rendering again might not to be an issue.
Scanallthebooks wrote:Another problem with the ix500 is that it can only scan in jpeg format, not TIFF. So no RAW format. The software is a bit "simple" tbh considering the price.
Although in principle the JPEG format is inherently unsuited to rendering images like text that have sharp edges, in practice it usually produces quite acceptable images provided that the compression level is not too high, and when file size is an issue it will normally be about the only practical option for colour or grayscale. If the ix500 interface is limited you might lack the degree of control you would like, though.
Scanallthebooks
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Re: What is the best ADF scanner?

Post by Scanallthebooks »

cday wrote:Although the more expensive CCD sensors would generally be considered to produce higher quality output, for your use case of scanning black and white pages using an ADF you might not notice any real difference. CIS sensors require the material being scanned to be in very close contact with the sensor, which would be expected to be the case with an ADF feed mechanism, and the possibly inferior colour rendering again might not to be an issue.
Let's say I was to get hold of a Fujitsu fi-7160 with double color CCD sensors and was able to compare it with the ix500 CIS sensors...which comparative scannings would be useful? ;)

I'm thinking paperback page with text, page with greyscale photo, page with color diagrams, page with color photo. Anything else that would be interesting? Let me know. :lol:

EDIT: Btw some epson scanners are listed as using a "CISM" sensor. This is the same as CIS, right? I'm thinking the additional "M" is just for module...which, if I understand correctly, all CIS are.
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Re: What is the best ADF scanner?

Post by Kjarrval »

I've had great results with Brother ADS-2400N (and I'm using Linux). It can scan up to 600 dpi on both sides and even at 600 dpi it can seem quite fast (scanning black/white). On normal page thickness I can put around 50 sheets of paper at a time into the document feeder.

There can be some vertical lines ocurring which can be either grey or a white thin line which can in some cases be hard to detect (depends on how much one zooms). Since I care about those, I do need to check each page and rescan the faulty pages before I publish the results. These seem to be caused by dust particles (from the pages) and as a countermeasure it might be a good idea to vacuum the sheet feeding area of the scanner every 200-300 pages.

One other caution is that the scanner crops by default a bit of the edge of each page (digitally). So if there is something really close to the edge of the paper you really want to scan, you must switch a separate driver which won't crop anything automatically and in that mode you can only scan one side of the page at a time and crop it manually (which you can in Document Scanner).
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Re: What is the best ADF scanner?

Post by cday »

Kjarrval wrote: 02 Apr 2023, 03:33 I've had great results with Brother ADS-2400N (and I'm using Linux). It can scan up to 600 dpi on both sides and even at 600 dpi it can seem quite fast (scanning black/white). On normal page thickness I can put around 50 sheets of paper at a time into the document feeder.

There can be some vertical lines occurring which can be either grey or a white thin line which can in some cases be hard to detect (depends on how much one zooms). Since I care about those, I do need to check each page and rescan the faulty pages before I publish the results. These seem to be caused by dust particles (from the pages) and as a countermeasure it might be a good idea to vacuum the sheet feeding area of the scanner every 200-300 pages.
One of the drawbacks of sheet-fed scanners is that any dust on the scan sensor results in a fine line in the image produced, rather than a spot as in a flatbed scanner. Scanning at 600DPI rather than at a lower resolution might well increase the chance of a visible line, I suspect.

Presumably you are scanning at 600DPI so that you can minimise filesize through using black and white images, which can be compressed very efficiently. Another approach if the originals have clean backgrounds might be to scan at a lower resolution, and then use Adobe Acrobat to produce vectorised font output. That could have very good quality and also a small filesize. If you are scanning regularly that might be fairly expensive, but there could be the possibility of converting batches of scans periodically using a more-expensive software short rental period.

On many scanners scanning at 600DPI could be much slower, but it is evidently not a significant issue the way you are scanning.

One other caution is that the scanner crops by default a bit of the edge of each page (digitally). So if there is something really close to the edge of the paper you really want to scan, you must switch a separate driver which won't crop anything automatically and in that mode you can only scan one side of the page at a time and crop it manually (which you can in Document Scanner).
Which scanning software are you actually using? My Xerox AIO scanner came with a very basic Linux driver, but I have found scanning (wirelessly) using various SANE softwares rather better, if not perfect. The Brother possibly has a better Linux driver?
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Re: What is the best ADF scanner?

Post by Kjarrval »

cday wrote: 02 Apr 2023, 04:58 Presumably you are scanning at 600DPI so that you can minimise filesize through using black and white images, which can be compressed very efficiently. Another approach if the originals have clean backgrounds might be to scan at a lower resolution, and then use Adobe Acrobat to produce vectorised font output. That could have very good quality and also a small filesize. If you are scanning regularly that might be fairly expensive, but there could be the possibility of converting batches of scans periodically using a more-expensive software short rental period.

On many scanners scanning at 600DPI could be much slower, but it is evidently not a significant issue the way you are scanning.
The reason I scan at 600dpi is to lower the chances I'd need to scan again in the future. I do reduce the PDF to 300dpi to reduce filesize of the files I publish but when/if there's a gain in having a higher resolution version later, I can execute the processing script without the reduction. Since I scan old text mostly in Icelandic (with various printing/inking errors), I'm not very enthusiastic in the OCR capabilities of most software to detect the text and layout correctly. Perhaps I could trust Adobe Acrobat some time later to rasterize the text correctly. :)
cday wrote: 02 Apr 2023, 04:58 Which scanning software are you actually using? My Xerox AIO scanner came with a very basic Linux driver, but I have found scanning (wirelessly) using various SANE softwares rather better, if not perfect. The Brother possibly has a better Linux driver?
I'm currently using Simple Scan (https://gitlab.gnome.org/GNOME/simple-scan) and, IIRC, the Linux driver Brother provides on their website.
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Re: What is the best ADF scanner?

Post by cday »

Kjarrval wrote: 10 Apr 2023, 08:04 Since I scan old text mostly in Icelandic (with various printing/inking errors), I'm not very enthusiastic in the OCR capabilities of most software to detect the text and layout correctly. Perhaps I could trust Adobe Acrobat some time later to rasterize the text correctly. :)
Adobe Acrobat 'ClearScan' (now a renamed output option) as far as possible vectorises a rasterised image, and on good quality scans can produce both very high quality searchable text which does not become pixelated when zoomed, and also potentially very small file sizes coming close to those that might have been obtained if the document had been produced in a word processor.

However, on lower quality images containing text characters that cannot be recognised with a high degree of certainty, an area of the original bitmap image is displayed so that characters are reproduced faithfully on the screen. In some tests that I did, the correct character was in fact sometimes present in the OCR results. My Acrobat XI version is now several versions old and later versions are no doubt better able to identify lower quality characters and vectorise them. But I wouldn't be optimistic about the results that would be obtained with images of the quality you have described, but you might be able to get a free trial to see for yourself.
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