[sane-devel] Scanner recomendation

Dwight Tovey dwight@dtovey.net
01 Sep 2002 09:19:29 -0600

I'm sure I just heard a collective groan from the list as yet another
newbie asks for a basic recommendation.  But after looking through the
archives a bit it looked like the only recommendations recently have
been about film scanners, so I thought I would ask again.

I'll admit to being fairly ignorant about scanners.  I used to have an
old Umax 1200S scanner that I used on an old Win95 box, but I didn't use
it much and I got rid of the whole package a few months ago.  I now have
a need for a scanner for both the kid's school projects and so that I
can archive old photographs.

I have a system running Red Hat Linux 7.3, as well as my laptop (also
R.H. 7.3) and the kid's system running Win2K.  What I think would be the
ideal setup for us would be to have a scanner connected to the first
Linux system and the other machines accessing it over the network. 
Looking through the Sane documentation I get the feeling that this would
be fairly easy as far as Linux <-> Linux is concerned, but there might
be some issues with Linux <-> Win2k.  For that reason I think that I
will probably want a scanner with a USB interface to make it easier to
move the scanner between systems when necessary.  I do have an Adaptec
1542 SCSI card that I can install in the main R.H. system dedicate to
the scanner.

As far as scanner properties, I figure I want the highest resolution
that I can afford (I'm currently thinking around $300).  I think that I
would like to be able to scan film negatives (using a scanner with a
built-in film adapter) as well as prints.  I realize that the quality of
negative scans won't be as good as would be possible from a dedicated
film scanner, but will it be acceptable?  Should I just forget about
scanning negatives altogether unless I'm willing to shell out big bucks
for a dedicated film scanner?

It looks like Epson and HP scanners would be the most compatible with
Sane.  How about Canon?

>From looking at the compatibility list, I have the feeling that the list
is a little out of date (kind of hard to keep up with all the new stuff
coming out all the time).  Will I have any luck if I get a new Epson or
HP scanner even if it isn't listed?  Are there really any "new" features
in these scanners?  On the other hand, it may be difficult to find some
of the older models without hitting the used market.

As I said, I'm completely new to scanners, so I would appreciate any
advice that you all could give.


Dwight N. Tovey                          Unix SysAdmin / Developer
League of American Bicyclists            Idaho Transportation Dept.
       Certified Instructor #750-K-C     3311 W. State St.
Email: dwight@dtovey.net                 Boise, ID.  83702
(208)334-8166 / fax: (208)334-8121       http://www.dtovey.net/dwight
Over the Hill?  What Hill?  I Didn't See Any Hill!