Avoid inflated claims of interpolated dpi; what you want are the facts on actual optical dpi. 600 dpi is not enough for a flatbed if you intend to enlarge your scans and print them at letter size.

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Tips on how to preserve (and increase) the value of your coin collection by making a full record with a simple flatbed scanner

flatbed scanners and investment grade gold coins, coin collecting

The person who did this scanning had never used this scanner before. She had never used any other scanner before either. She had no training in digital imaging, or graphics (she was a recent law school graduate).
Yet these scans helped document a major coin collection and increased its sales value by over $135,000 (on top of what it would have gotten without the inventory made by scanning).

It is easy. Don't buy a cheap flatbed scanner. Get a flatbed scanner with at least 1000 true optical dpi, or better, with 1200 dpi (you can get up to 4000 dpi on flatbed scanners but those cost up to $30,000).

User friendliness are important aspects of today's digital imaging equipment. Not everyone is a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology or has attended courses on prepress color management technology. Thus once you have your scanner you might consider trying out other software. Your scanner came with one brand of software, but if your bundle did not include SilverFast scanner software from LaserSoft Imaging, then you should order this; www.silverfast.com.

Every dollar you invest in a flatbed scanner can potentially be returned a thousand-fold when you sell your coin collection. We were paid a whopping fee for the sale of the coin collection which was entirely made possible by the booklet we put together with the flatbed scans and a Lexmark color laser printer. But you can do this yourself, and save $27,500, enough for a new car.

You can order your UMAX flat bed scanner from DTP Direct, ask for Scott Olson. You can also get a comparable scanner with more sophisticated software from Linotype-Hell, Heidelberg CPS. Unfortunately we don't own any coins at all, otherwise we would show pictures of the entire scanning process. Just place the coins on top of the glass and press the SCAN button! Of course you have to have the scanner connected to a computer.

While on the subject of coins, during the several months that we cataloged and prepared this coin collection for sale we ran into all kinds of coin dealers. Several scam artists called and tried to take advantage of my elderly father. Other coin dealers wanted us to send the entire collection to them, so they could make an offer. But we were dubious that they might switch low cost coins for the valuable ones we had. Thus we scanned both sides of every coin (and decided it was safer not to send the coins to someone we did not know. If they really wanted to buy the coin collection, then should come in person and look at them).

We finally found a completely honest coin company and two totally ethical coin dealers, Leo Frese of Heritage Numismatic Auctions and David Mayfield, tel 1 800 872 6467. This company is associated with Heritage Capital Corporation. We recommend these two individuals and the company they represent. Besides, they paid a fair price for the coin collection and we got their check in full before they even took the coins.

 Reports on scanners by the senior review editor, now available.
Just send in the inquiry form and the reviews will be sent to you by return e-mail.
Which scanners are best for digitizing your slides or negatives for digital printing, especially for large format inkjet printers. Includes mention of which digital cameras are best for direct digital photography.  No reports available on cheap scanners. If the scanner you intend to buy is sold by CompUSA then it is not covered in a FLAAR report.
 FLAAR report on drum scanners (in preparation but you can go ahead and order the work-in-progress version now). Discusses whether drum scanners are still worth the extra cost. Pros and cons of drum scanners vs flatbed scanners. Tips on whether you should buy a used scanner.  Drum scanners cost between $20,000 and $140,000. You can get an excellent drum scanner for $40K to $60K. The newest models are easy to use (yes, you don't have to have a technical background). Ideal for photo labs, museums, fine art giclee studios, and advanced hobbiests.
 "Overhead scanners," (repro stand scanners), a list of all the various combinations of copy stands, large format scan backs, or dedicated scanners mounted on a repro stand.  For museums to scan objects of any size or shape; for fine art giclee printers to scan paintings of any size; for technical photography; for general studio photography.
 List of the various wide format sheet-fed scanners which are available.  For scanning maps, large drawings, GIS, CAD; the better wide format scanners cost from $5,000 and up.

 Please note: no reviews on cheap desktop scanners; no reviews on HP scanners for example. No technical help on scanning available.
We do not cover older, obsolete, nor used scanners.

This free service is exclusively to assist individuals, studios, and companies who would like to know which of the new breed of scanners is best for your needs. Contact: Nicholas Hellmuth, e-mail ReaderService@FLAAR.org

The FLAAR reports on scanners are suitable for photographers, artists, and pre-press professionals. The reports are suitable for beginners if you are prepared for the reality of professional digital imaging. FLAAR is a nonprofit research institute so there is no cost for the reports.

Showing actual 3-D objects (rabbits) and then showing the resulting scan.

Scanning 40 35mm slides all at once.

Comparing a 3-D object scanned with a 1200 dpi scanner and the Fuji 5000 dpi scanner. The Fuji is large enough to scan an object up to 45 cm long. Here we show how this scanner handles a large 3-D object, a carved wooden effigy of a jaguar.
Enlargement of a scan of a native Mexican handicraft to reveal the full detail in depth of focus that the Fuji C-550 Lanovia can achieve (horse). Two especially beautiful scans done with the Fuji scanner, on the bottom of this page of all the internal links to this site. Scans of architectural history (Missouri Ozarks) done with Fuji scanner. Bottom of the page.
Scanning 4x5 chromes with the Fuji results in ability to enlarge small details to poster size (jade). General discussion of the Fuji Lanovia flatbed scanner. Mention of the drum scanners which Fujifilm also makes.
Now being prepared, FLAAR reports by the Senior Review Editor on flatbed scanners for prepress, photo archives, and museums. Additional reports evaluate what scanner(s) are best for digitizing your slides and photos for digital printing, especially fine art giclee. 


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Posted March 20, 1999, updated July 21, 1999; links added May 7, 2000; links added Mar. 2002,

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