Author Topic: IRIScan Book 2 & 3 handheld scanners  (Read 2373 times)

Offline Robert Fletcher

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IRIScan Book 2 & 3 handheld scanners
« on: Sunday 09 February 14 12:39 GMT (UK) »
Hello

Is anyone out there using an IRIScan Book 2 or 3 handheld scanner? The practicability of carrying one of these around is pretty obvious. I would like to know some other members experiences with these devices. My purpose would be to scan documents and photos particularly where say relatives do not have a computer or to go to the library or the County records office to scan documents there with permission of course. The other need I have is when scanning from a book using a flatbed scanner the the book has to be flat where the handheld scanner can follow the curve that the paper near the spine.

I am particularly interested in the two models as the more recent one scans at up to 900 dpi but is this really needed? On my flatbed scanner I usually scan at 300 dpi. The IRIScan Book 2 uses a self-contained lithium battery where the more recent models seems to have dispensed with that preferring to use AAA alkaline that does give me some concern.

I would welcome any comments.

Robert…
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Offline Midase

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Re: IRIScan Book 2 & 3 handheld scanners
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 09 February 14 15:29 GMT (UK) »
I don't have the models that you have listed but I do have the Magicscan wand scanner. I would say that they do all that is required and you will be pleased with a purchase of such a scanner. The Magicscan has options of colour & black and white and resolutions of 300 and 600dpi. With Iris you obviously do not have to scan at such a high res if you do not wish to. I suspect that the lithium battery may be needed for the hi res. work. I would consider a scanner that uses AAA or AA  batteries as you can carry spares with you. I would also advise good quality batteries rather that the £1 a packet jobs.

Offline scotmum

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Re: IRIScan Book 2 & 3 handheld scanners
« Reply #2 on: Sunday 09 February 14 15:45 GMT (UK) »
Can suggest the Skypix Handheld Scanner (up to 900 DPI version - lower 600DPI version also available, as well as a version with preview screen) sold via Amazon (various sellers, so if making purchase best to choose one that dispatches from UK or better still, uses 'fulfilled by Amazon').

Extremely easy to use and transfer pictures to PC.  The 900 DPI is good if you want to scan colour documents, but 300 and 600 DPI are fine for basic scans. Good results when scanning from books too.

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Offline Robert Fletcher

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Re: IRIScan Book 2 & 3 handheld scanners
« Reply #3 on: Sunday 09 February 14 16:04 GMT (UK) »
Thank you Midase & Scotmum, basically what you are saying there is no real problem with any of these scanners. As I mentioned before when I use a flatbed scanner I usually keep to 300 dpi and I don't have any problem with that. Is this scan resolution that you both use or do you find it necessary to go up to 600 dpi.

How do you find the scanning of old newspapers this always seems to be a problem when you try to use OCR?

On the question of batteries, how long do you find your batteries last in the scanners you have. How many pages can you scan before the battery starts to lose power. Yes I agree that any of these sorted devices are best used with the best alkaline batteries. And I only ever use Duracell Ultra for anything that needs a battery around here.

Thanks,
Robert…
BELL - Nottingham
FISHER – Hinckley Leics
FLETCHER – Louth (District), Lincolnshire
HALLETT - Grimsby Lincs
MINKLEY - Notts & Leics

Offline Guy Etchells

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Re: IRIScan Book 2 & 3 handheld scanners
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 09 February 14 16:49 GMT (UK) »
When scanning items such as newspapers and documents with bleed through it is often better to scan at a lower resolution than normally used, reducing the contrast setting may also help.
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Offline Robert Fletcher

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Re: IRIScan Book 2 & 3 handheld scanners
« Reply #5 on: Sunday 09 February 14 17:36 GMT (UK) »
When scanning items such as newspapers and documents with bleed through it is often better to scan at a lower resolution than normally used, reducing the contrast setting may also help.
Cheers
Guy
Thanks very much that feedback. I think I'll go and purchase one of these gadgets now.

Robert…
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FLETCHER – Louth (District), Lincolnshire
HALLETT - Grimsby Lincs
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Offline suegill

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Re: IRIScan Book 2 & 3 handheld scanners
« Reply #6 on: Sunday 09 February 14 18:31 GMT (UK) »
I have a handheld scanner and was always pleased with the results, however, I've started using my digital camera to take photographs instead.  I recently was allowed access to a cemeteries record books and was able to photograph all the pages very quickly and the results were superb. I've found it much more convenient to carry a camera.
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Offline arthurk

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Re: IRIScan Book 2 & 3 handheld scanners
« Reply #7 on: Sunday 09 February 14 20:05 GMT (UK) »
Like suegill I've sometimes found I get good results just as easily with a camera - though it does depend on the camera, and you need to have a good light source.

However, my wife and I have fairly recently had experience with a hand-held rolling scanner as well. When researching these we noticed that most of them are unable to scan closer than about 1cm or so from the edge of the unit, and with some kinds of originals, especially books, that could mean part of the text was cut off. Eventually we found one, the Avision MiWand, which is designed to cut off only 2mm, and for our purposes (a large handwritten notebook with writing fairly close to the spine, and which wouldn't fit in a flatbed scanner) this was much better.

I don't know how much this applies to other scanners, but we found that it was sometimes quite hard to keep it rolling down the page in a dead straight line. If one end of the scanner moves faster than the other, the image is likely to be distorted, with some bits squashed together and others stretched out. This was particularly a problem if it was necessary to have one end of the scanner right up against the spine, as rubbing against the spine tended to slow that end down a bit. Having said that, with practice and some repeat scans, we found the end results perfectly acceptable for this kind of document, but it might not have been if there had been pictures, diagrams etc.

We also found it helpful, with this handwritten book where the text often went close to the top or bottom of the page as well as one or both sides, to have a sheet of stiff plastic underneath the page being scanned, so that the scanner could roll smoothly over the whole of the page, rather than dropping off the top or bottom edges.

Of course, being able to use this in a record office will depend on the staff agreeing to it - and with many kinds of document I can't help feeling that they wouldn't because it involves the scanner running over the document itself. In these cases a camera may be the only way to make your own copy.

Finally, while researching we found that there are a couple of flatbed scanners on the market specially designed for books, with the scanning glass extended almost to the edge of the unit, so that you can lay the spine along that edge and get the page flat on the scanner without damaging the spine. However, they are rather expensive.

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Offline Robert Fletcher

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Re: IRIScan Book 2 & 3 handheld scanners
« Reply #8 on: Monday 10 February 14 20:48 GMT (UK) »
I would like to thank everyone for all the tips and advice. And I did order one from Amazon yesterday afternoon and it was delivered this morning. This was actually before Arthur's very informative post.

I think I did mention that the last time I used one of these devices or something similar was back in the 1980s and they were terrible to use. 

Scanning small thick books need a little bit of experimentation and practice. I find by putting the scanner as close to the spine as possible the scan will be successful. What was worrying me here was that as the scanner was in the the of the spine it needed a little extra push to move it along that did not seem to cause any problem it seems to stand quite a bit of uneven movement as long as it's kept straight.

Scanning documents is a breeze. I also have a collection of photographs that my aunt had sent from Australia way she had written on the back of each photograph a descript and ion, that is so lacking on many of our historical photos. I found it a breeze to scan the photo side and then the reverse with the writing on. Doing that on a flatbed scanner can get quite time-consuming and they can easily get mixed up.

If you enlarge a photograph the quite large size,  scanlines become evident, this is not unusual with scanners particularly those on low price bracket but keep in the photos to a reasonable size they are acceptable.

On color photos I did need to do white balance calibration but it is still left a slight green cast. This can be fixed in Photoshop.

The negatives of this defies I would say is primarily the poor documentation. It's only becomes clear apt you've read it several times and the lottery use the scanner is very instinctive. But they could make some improvement there. Bluetooth is painfully slow and so much better to connect a cable. So I'm very happy with the device. The other drawback is the bundled software , ReadIRIS 14 it is reasonable but for me I think I will stick with OmniPage Ultimate.

Arthur mentioned the use of a camera. I have done this but as he pointed out lighting can be a problem. Not the intensity of the light that the evenness of the light. I use a Fuji X 100 which is very light-sensitive. I will only use the flash on very rare occasions and that is only as a fill in. I have add some excellent results taking photos inside churches which can often be quite dimly lit with the natural light available. The problem of getting the light even can be a challenge unless you actually carry diffused lighting with you and that is not a practical option. I recently photograph some parish registers and the artificial light in the room cause a lot of problem so I got the best results by turning off the artificial light. Scanning these registered would have been fantastic that's if the Minister would have agreed to it but as with anywhere else you can always ask. When I'm at home I don't at that lighting problem and I use that for photo restoration work and I'm able to mount the camera on a tripod with the head in the first to allow the camera to point downwards.

Once again thank you everyone and if anybody's interested they can ask me any questions but I would suggest in this thread because as we have seen there are many more people much more knowledgeable than I am.

Regards,
Robert…
BELL - Nottingham
FISHER – Hinckley Leics
FLETCHER – Louth (District), Lincolnshire
HALLETT - Grimsby Lincs
MINKLEY - Notts & Leics