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Tuesday, 26 July 2011


Just a thought, maybe you can lay a piece of 1/8" glass on top to make it flat across?

At one time there were these hand rolling scanning devices. With one of those, you could probably use a panoramic stitching program to stich sevral scans together...just a thought.. Good luck in your quest.

Try a copy shop link Kinos or UPS. Often, their copiers will do double duty as scanners. Their large glass area might help in your case, or, their surface might even be flat.

Of course this is useful only if you have occasional jobs and are not doing it as part of a permanent workflow

What about having a piece of optically flat glass cut so that it exactly fits over the recessed glass. You would then have a surface proud of the scanner bed which you could put the artwork on. Painting the edges of the class black might be a good idea too.

I'm not 100% sure if the scanner would focus on something that far off the scanner glass, though.

Mike - have no idea which brand/model would do that. But, I'm sure art schools, galleries, museums etc, have similar problems. Why not talk to people there.

Have you considered photographing the art rather than scanning?

Hi Mike,

I had the same problem myself - you may fit an additional glass plate that compensates for the recess, and you may remove the scanner lid so you can move the print around freely. Worked with an old Epson scanner (can´t remember the model though)

Best regards


Wouldn't that be better accomplished with a camera with a macro lens for the flat field and stitching the images rather than a scanner?

Me thinks you want a digital camera.

Mike, you don't need the artwork to sit completely flat with the edge for 99% of your scans--Scan in two or three passes with plenty of overlap and stitch from ~25% of the way into the print, not at the edges. Alignment issues can be minimized that way. I scan LP covers and posters on an 11x17 scanner that way.

For the handful of images that you feel need a higher quality scan, you could always outsource it to someone like Artscans (who have a custom made large format scanner.)

If you do fine a scanner with flushmount glass, please, let us know the make and model!

Or any scanners out there where the offending lip can be removed? I'm assuming that packing the surface with a sheet of clear glass will cause Newton's rings or somesuch malarky?

Mike, just as a postscript to my last comment, here is a large (14x17) charcoal drawing of my greatx3 grandfather that I scanned in two passes on an A3 scanner with a recessed platen. The drawing suffered no damage from the scan and even looking at the 300dpi final tiff, I can't see where the stitch was.


This doesn't answer your question directly, but have you thought of using a cut sheet of glass of the proper thickness to overcome the recess? I'm not sure if that could have any effect on "focus" or any other parameters, but it might be a potential workaround that you could try. There's probably a picture frame around the house somewhere with a potentially correct thickness glass sheet just waiting to be tried.

I'd look for a used scitex or creo. Although they may be cost prohibitive. If you go this route make sure you get the software with it. As the software alone is very costly and difficult to get.

Good luck.

You might want to look at an oversize Microtek, like the 9800/12x17. Used they're not too bad, about $500 or so. And plentiful.

The Epson 10000XL glass is flush with the plastic support on the long sides (the short sides have some plastic ridges stuck on, which you might actually be able to detach). The Epson 1640XL is flush all the way around, except for a very thin ruler stuck on one edge of the glass with adhesive. Both of those are also oversize scanners to start with, so that would help as well.

Have just been looking for the same thing but haven't found one yet. At the moment I just scan without the lid in a dark room and don't use the entire scan bed. I can remove the top of mine though so I'm considering going glassless or making an oversize platen to support less rigid media.

If you use a scanner that has "focus" control, then you could replace the flatbed glass with a thicker pane that is made from anti-Newton glass.

Try here:


I don't recall seeing anything like that at B&H , so putting on my "Internet guy that doesnt answer the question but comes up with something else" hat:

Scanners have pretty meager depth of field , so raising the glass won't work unless you build an entirely new case for the scanner ( which is what I'd do , but I'm crazy that way) or refocus the scanners lens (but I'm not that crazy) . If the print is larger than the glass in only one dimension, scan in sections avoiding the long sides of the scanner bed which often aren't so good anyway. This assumes the print can bend a bit . If it can't or it's short dimension is longer than the scanners long dimension, go with the custom case , or a digital camera on a copystand. Shoot in sections if you need to.

To those who suggested using an additional pane of glass on top of the scanner: Consumer and prosumer scanners generally have a fixed plane of focus, or perhaps a very limited set focus planes. This is guaranteed to create a blurry scan.

Mike, if your application permits, have you considered using a copy camera setup instead of a scanner? These can often be had economically on the used market. I'll also note that some enlargers (e.g. the LPL 7700) can do double-duty as a copy camera mount with an optional accessory. Mount the DSLR-du-jour on it, and away you go.

I hate to point out the obvious, but have you tried calling B&H?

My scanner (Epson V750) will focus several mm above the glass. This is because it supports wet scanning which requires a layer of glass under the film. So, as far as I can see, the use of a pice of thin, optically flat, glass should work.

Wasn't there a link about photo restoration a few weeks back that strongly recommended a copy stand rather than a scanner.

Here is a snap of my son scanning a Gutenberg Bible for Indiana University using a copy stand.

(just to add to the scanner vs camera train of thought)


This scanner just got announced where one glass edge is flush. Mainly for scanning books, but might work with large artwork.


Mike I do mind that your Epson does not work (since I'm more then happy with it). As I recall from earlier posts of yours it is well within it's warranty and Epson should do someting about it but then you should let them get their hands on it (and yes you should be able to find the purchasing bill in the cupboard, next to a few old never used beerglasses you "liberated" during your high school days as I did with my "rekening" from the GF1 :-) which was repaired under warranty). Since if it works it could solve your trick with the software bundle included. I'v scanned whole albums of the not to A4 variaty with it and no hassle at all. It will focus above the glass just fine in my experience, and a simple sheet of glass from the wet mounting kit could help you out (if you don't trust it's focus). So get on your hooves, pack the misfortunate V750 in a box and ship it to the Epson dealer (B&H in your case I guess) and they will fix it for you, trust me they are more then happy to. Instead of bying new and letting the V750 clog up some attick space for the next decennia until you kick it out when you go into a retirement home :-).

Greetings, Ed

plustek optibook 3600 plus and 4600 both have glass going to the very edge of the scanner and are designed to scan books right into the gutter, don't know any technical details but at a a glance they look perfect for your needs

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