Non-binding-breaking Book scanners (Was: Looking for PDP handbook

Fred Cisin cisin at
Fri Feb 19 19:04:32 CST 2016

On Fri, 19 Feb 2016, Adrian Stoness wrote:
> Why does someone just take a photo with their camera

Why does someone just take a photo with their camera?
Because they might not need exceptionally high quality, and not planning 
to do enough pages to justify building a rig for high quality and 
production volume.  Or, they're in a hurry, and are copying stuff that 
they are not authorized to do.

Why does someone NOT just take a photo with their camera?
They might need better quality.  just having a good stable vibration=free 
mount makes a difference.  When you want high quality images, such as of a 
full page of text, a very tiny bit of movement during exposure is enough 
to mess up the quality.
And, there is the issue of volume.  I once created a 10,000 page 
documentary appendix for a report that EPA commissioned us to do about 
state regulatory activities in the great lakes states.  I needed 
portability (not concealment level!), so I used a tripod with inverted 
center post and a Leica IIIa with a focoslide.  Just the knurled film wind 
was enough to give me nasty blisters on my fingers.
If you are doing a lot, then you want a setup that minimizes what you 
need to do for each one.

When working with books, flattening them enough to scan them damages the 
binding.  A rig such as this permits photographic copying with the book 
open 90 degrees, instead of 180.  You might not care, but if you don't own 
the book, then you have a resposibility to not damage it.  It wouldn't 
matter for most of my books, but I have just a few where if you break the 
spine, then I will break your spine.

Some enhancements are to improve the image quality; some are to minimize 
the damage and wear of the source materials; and some are to make it 
quicker and easier to get more done.

How many pages are you going to do?
What materials are you working from?
What quality do you need?

Grumpy Ol' Fred     		cisin at

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