Scanner recommendations?

  • @NessIllustration my illustrations are mainly watercolor with some colored pencil, and I tested the scanner out with light watercolors (it's a WIP scan, so is lighter than what the final will be). With the default settings, the whites scan really bright, making the artwork look overexposed. I'm fiddling with the settings to see if I can finetune that more and get a really clear, true-to-color scan.

    I've also found that it makes a difference how and where you scan from -- scanning from my computer as opposed to scanning directly on the machine to a USB drive has completely different results. It's not a simple "push the button" default scan like my previous Epson was. But like I said, maybe after adjusting settings, I'll find that sweet spot and fall in love with this scanner too.

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    @Melissa-Bailey-0 Thank you so much for the detailed response Melissa!

  • @NessIllustration you're welcome! (Glad you appreciated it. I can get longwinded sometimes!)

  • This thread got me sidetracked from illustrating to scanning! 🤦♀️ So I thought that it might be helpful to share some results and visuals.

    Below are some test scans that I've done with the Epson WF-7820. There are several different ways to generate a scan: using the default scanning app on my Mac, scanning direct to USB from the scanner, using the ScanSmart app provided by Epson, and more.

    So far, the scans closest to the original artwork are the 'scan to USB' and 'ScanSmart - adjusted' scans. The ScanSmart was the closest, I think, but it's slightly not as sharp as the original artwork. Doing some adjusting in Photoshop will probably do the trick. (None of these scans were edited or adjusted.)

    Red is a tricky color to scan, and both the ScanSmart and USB handle it pretty well. The color of the paper & its texture even shows up on both too. (This illustration was done on Arches 140 lb, bright white, hot press watercolor paper, so there's not much texture or color to begin with.)

    Now, after spending some time doing some test scans, I'm fairly certain I can scan finished illustrations so that they're very close to the originals and deliver high res artwork that my clients will be happy with. It'll take some Photoshopping and perhaps some digital touchups, but I always do that anyway. This is shaping up to be a nice little scanner. (Little? Ha! It's 21" wide x 16" deep x 11" tall and weighs about 40 pounds.)

    Test Scans Epson WF7820.jpg

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    @Melissa-Bailey-0 said in Scanner recommendations?:

    Wow, thanks for all this helpful info! Reading through the recommendations I could find, I realized that most of them were for Epsons, and my recently defunct one, which I hated, was and Epson MX14 scanner/printer which I bought when I first came to Italy because the shop owner recommended it. It did nothing but jam paper and beep at me most of the time 😆. The problem is that it won't scan when it thinks it's jammed, and now it thinks its jammed even without paper!

    Reading this thread has made me realize I had developed an anti-Epson prejudice, and that I should get over it and just buy a better one. I'm going to look for the European version of this one. Thanks!

  • @LauraA you're welcome!

    Yes, some Epsons are known to be glitchy. My previous all-in-one, the WF-7610, was known to be glitchy but it was so affordable I bought it. The first one had to be returned, but the second worked like a dream for 4 years. Having spent $150 USD on it, I figure that getting 4 years out of it is really good! It scanned beautifully until about a month ago when it got a scanner error message and gradually stopped scanning.

    Epson is known to produce some of the best scanners in the industry, which is why I decided to stick with them for my new all-in-one. (But I did make sure that where I bought it offered free returns for at least 30 days.)

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    @Melissa-Bailey-0 Thank you SO much, this is amazing!! I think I might get that one!

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    @Melissa-Bailey-0 I found a local chain that sells it, but I've been looking at the product details and I can't find anywhere what's the size of the scanner flatbed :oAll the websites I've visiting mention the max printing size and say nothing of the scanner functions. Frustrating! What max size does it scan?

  • @NessIllustration you're so welcome!

    The scan bed is 12 x 17 inches. It might do a smidge over 17" wide, but I wouldn't risk it for a single scan (stitching together is always an option for a really big piece). The illo I scanned was 9.5" x 17" and it just fit on the longest side.

    The WF-7820 is on the large side. It sits on my Alex rolling drawer unit from Ikea and it fits perfectly, with some room to spare all the way around.

    You can find specs here.

    Hope this helps! ❤

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    @Melissa-Bailey-0 You're an angel!!

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  • @NessIllustration it's this one and I love it! Waited over 6 months for it to come back in stock and so happy with it.

    Just revamped my studio to add some much-needed storage and also got the one that you linked to, just without the casters. I don't think the WF-7820 could fit on top, though.

    Love the clean lines with the Alex storage units and put them together myself -- only took a couple of hours! 😂

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    @Melissa-Bailey-0 Thanks for the suggestions! My studio could use some updates and since the Spring's been busy I have some extra money to play with 😃

  • @NessIllustration and they're affordable!

    If it helps, here's how they're set up:
    Alex setup.jpg

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    @Melissa-Bailey-0 That's lovely!! so much storage!
    Oh Melissa I just thought of something: do all ink cartridges need to be inserted and functioning for the scanner to work? Last time I had an all-in-one, if even one color was out the whole machine would refuse to work including the scanning, it was a huge pain!

  • @NessIllustration you know, I'm not sure. I always keep them filled. And I know from experience that you need to buy Epson ink. The printer will not work if you put off-brand or no brand ink cartridges in the unit. So far, I've bought my ink directly from the Epson site as that's been the most affordable. Since it's a business printer, I chalk it up to being a business expense.

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    @Melissa-Bailey-0 I'm not surprised only Epson inks would work, since the printer is much cheaper than it should be, so it makes sense that they're actually making the money on ink!

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    @NessIllustration @Melissa-Bailey-0 Usually there is a bypass, do a search. They are trying to strongarm you into buying ink. On my canon, I hold the stop button for 10 seconds, and it bypasses the alert, allowing me to scan and print again.. Also when they give that alert, you still have a lot of ink left, you can even pull out the cartridge and tilt it around to get the last bit sucked into the foam.

    Also printer ink is a giant scam. I just had 30 cartridges delivered today, for my canon pixma MG 5320. They have the chips, great ink. $18 + free shipping for 30 cartridges I've been buying these for years. That's compared to one 5 cartridge set for around $100.

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    @CLCanadyArts Yeah it really is strong-arming!! But in some cases it can be used to our advantage. I don't use the printer a lot (in fact I don't currently have a color printer at home). I just have a scanner, but buying the all-in-one printer with a great scanner in is cheaper than an equivalent scanner! Since I don't print a lot, I shouldn't have to replace the cartridges in a long time and this is much cheaper for me than buying just a scanner (I wish I'd realized this before!)

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