Stay Focused

Like us on Facebook

voi.ci - url shortening

Recent Posts

More Places to Go

Archives

Tags

Scanning Made Easy with the Epson FF-640

If you’re old enough to drink (alcohol that is), then you may remember the shoebox in the closet stuffed with family photos. They sit there collecting dust until someone brings up a past event that has you digging through hundreds of prints looking for the time that Uncle John took you fishing and you caught your first keeper.



Our family has been taking and collecting photographs since the 1920s. As the unofficial designated keeper of the archives, I’ve been slowly scanning these photos with the goal of organizing, documenting and distributing them to the many relatives and friends among our (very large) extended family.


About the year 2000 I acquired my first flat bed scanner similar to this one.

Although a flat bed produces good quality digital images, it is slow and laborious to operate. Each photo is carefully placed on the glass top, the cover is closed and then the computer is instructed to start the scan. Owing to my lack of patience, I can scan only a couple of dozen prints using the flat bed at one sitting. Afterwards, I have to take a break. At this pace, it will be a long time to complete my archiving obligation.

NOTE: The flat bed scanner to the right is a newer advanced model that can produce very high resolution digitized images from your photos. It can also produce digitized images from film negatives (do you remember film?) and transparencies (slides).

For the many shoeboxes full of old photos that I have to organize, I’ve decided that speed is more important than high resolution. At this year’s WPPI Conference and Expo, I found a solution that is now helping me make progress dealing with the thousands of prints that have been collecting dust in the closet – the Epson FF-640 FastFoto scanner.


The FF-640 scanner connects to your computer with a USB-cable. The computer here is a MacBook but the scanner is compatible with Windows PCs as well.

Photos are stacked into the feeder face down. The guides on the feeder are adjustable and accommodate up to twenty or so photos of the same width.

The Epson software lets you specify the level of resolution – either the lower 300 dpi or the higher 600 dpi. While you can save hard disk space by using the 300dpi setting, I’ve always scanned at the 600 dpi setting since I’m not concerned about conserving hard disk space. You can also select a folder for storing the scanned images.



The photos are loaded into the feeder face down. The gray guides are adjusted to the width of the photos.

Here I’ve specified the name of the destination folder for the scanned image.


You can start scanning your stack of photos by clicking on the FastFoto software start button. Alternatively you can press the blue button on the FF-640. This is another nice feature since you can take as much time to load subsequent groups of photos into the scanner without having to reset the software.

When you’ve completed scanning one or more stacks of photos, the FastFoto software displays the digital images on screen. The software lets you enhance the brightness and contrast, remove red eye and restore faded colors of the original photo if you’d like to save editing time afterwards.


My mother often wrote “notes” on the back of the photos. The FastFoto has a built-in feature that lets you scan both sides of the photo so that you can keep the notes with the digitized image.

This is an example of a scanned image from a photo with a note written on the back.

The note refers to Steven’s school grade when the photograph was originally taken.


This is an old photo from the shoebox. The original was quite faded.

Thanks to the ingenuity of this scanner I can digitally record the imprint on the back of the original. The photo was processed in 1951!


Here is another old vintage b&w photo.

Conveniently annotated from 1950.

Below is a short video of the FF-640 in action. I can scan four or five dozen photographs with the FF-640 in about ten minutes. It’s an amazing time saver.

 


 

 

The FF-640 sells for about $650 – a considerable investment. However, I’m thoroughly happy with this scanner. It has saved me countless hours of time on my quest to archive the thousands (tens of thousands) of family photographs.

For more information, please visit Epson.

 

 

 


 

 

CES 2015 – 3D Printers

22nd January 2015

The Consumer Electronics Show – 3D Tech

As I mentioned previously, I started this New Year flying from the cold and snowy Midwest to a warm and sunny Las Vegas to attend the CES 2015 industry event as I have been doing for thirty-something years.

I’ve participated at CES on both sides of the aisle. For many years we exhibited our computer software products. For the past several years, I’ve been attending as an industry member. Now I have the opportunity to find out what new gadgets are coming down the tech turnpike.

All things 3D have been progressing at an amazing clip for the past three or four years. An entire section of South Hall was devoted to the 3D technology.

Here’s a few of the neat items that I found at this year’s expo.


Artec Eva 3D Scanner


The 3D scanner is mounted next to a rotating disk on which the subject is standing. The lights fully illuminate the subject.

A couple of minutes later, the completed 3D scan of the subject is displayed on the monitor for everyone to admire. The result is a full body digitized model.

As I was asking the Artec representative questions about how the scanner works, he picks up the scanner and proceeds to give me a “face-on” demonstration. As I stand in place, he walks completely around me, all the time pointing the hand-held device at my head.

About 90 seconds later, my face pops up on the monitor.

This scanner is a high-end model with a high end price – $19,800 to be exact. For more information, please visit The Artec Group.


Innovative Printers from 3D Systems

3D Systems “invented” 3D printing in 1989. Their large booth had several remarkable and innovative products.

 


perhaps “on demand” shoes are in the near future

a full size handbag, 3D produced

Modeling a lengthy 3D garment

One of the 3D chefs

deserts “baked” with 3D printer

making music – guitar and drums made with 3D printer

To find out more about their many different 3D printing devices, please visit 3D Systems.

 


Several New and Lower Priced 3D Printers


MakerBot Replcator Mini – a smaller version of their well-known Replicator printer. This unit sell for $1375.

This model was produced with the Makerbot.

For more info, please contact MakerBot



This is the Robo 3D. Maximum object size is 10″x9″x8″. Sells for $799.

Dave holding a model produced with the Robo. For more info, please visit Robo 3D.


New Matter Mod-t is scheduled for Q3 release with suggested price of $400. For more info, please visit New Matter.

For those who believe that 3D printers are for plastic products, here I spotted a few “wooden” 3D objects.

 
 

Yes, 3D printing technology is advancing rapidly and I look forward to faster, better and less expensive products in the near future.

Stay tuned for a few more reports on other gadgets that I found of interest at this year’s CES. They are coming soon.
 
 
Written by: Arnie Lee