Photography with a flatbed scanner

Faltbed scanners, even cheap ones, have ample capacity to make useable scans of large objects. When I say large, I mean anything that is significantly bigger than small detail in a frame of 35mm film.

Some say we may have reached the limit of quality for consumer-grade flatbed scanners, with the appearance of such models as the Epson V700 or V750 or the Canon 9950F. For detailed reviews of what they are capable of, take a look at photo-i which is a very good site.

While those scanners might be able to resolve the details in frame of 35mm film adequately, you would think that an old Epson 1660 flatbed scanner would not be up to the job. And of course that is correct up to a point. But here is a scan from an Epson 1660 that I bought a couple of years ago secondhand for a few dollars. I downloaded the driver from the Epson site and cleaned the glass with window cleaner, and scanned this old photograph.

Japan

The next shot is small crop of a significantly larger object – a clump of dried grass, scanned at 500dpi and 48bit colour.

grass

So next time you want a change, and want to put away the camera, try a flatbed scanner for anything that doesn’t move and is flat enough to be considered more or less two dimensional.

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