Re[2]: Query-Color Scanner (#272316)

Subject: Re[2]: Query-Color Scanner (#272316)
From: Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- COM
Date: Thu, 5 Dec 1996 11:23:00 -0600

2. HP ScanJet 4C

We have one of these now and are very happy with its

I've worked with several different models of HP scanners, and I have only
one complaint with them: HP's software is entirely too "helpful."

If you're scanning a picture with high contrasts, it usually adjusts the
contrast of the scan for you. Nice feature, but it does it IN THE MIDDLE OF

I had to bring a photo of a car from a Japanese showroom into a
presentation. The photo was taken against the outside window of the
showroom, while the floor was a darker color. (This didn't matter much to
me, as I was going to remove the background, anyway). But the scanner saw
the change, and changed the contrast in the scan, making half the white car
white, and the other half a light grey! It ended up taking longer to
convince the scanner to scan the image successfully than it did for me to
remove the background after I finally got it into Photoshop.

Of course there's no clue in the documentation how to turn off this
"feature" (or if there is, I *still* haven't found it). I get best results
by arranging the photo to be scanned so that the largest changes in light
level run perpendicular to the path of the scan. Then I rotate the image
after the scan is complete. But even that isn't always successful.

(Then there's also the wonderfully helpful feature that makes it quite
tedious to tell the scanner what resolution you want the image scanned at.
"Don't worry your pretty head about the details," it says. "Just tell me
what you're printing it on, and select from this list of nebulous phrases
what kind of scan you want, and I'll do the rest." Maybe I'm just a
Luddite, but I think *I* know that even though I'm printing this on a 300
dpi laser I'm going to need the higher resolution because I want to do some
image manipulation first, while the software doesn't. I ended up creating a
custom list entry that always gives me 24-bit color and 1600 dpi scans, and
I just reduce everything later. Would you believe that there *isn't* an
entry in the default table for highest possible quality scans? Everything
is relatively low-res. I was scanning for output to a laser typesetter
once, and there wasn't a single setting which would scan at higher than 300
dpi on the list! I guess HP doesn't think people who use their scanners
need to do quality work! Grrrrrr. I *hate* it when clowns who don't know
what I do decide to force me to accept their "help.")

I just wish someone else made a driver for the HP scanner, so I could use
some pretty decent hardware without having to tolerate their software.

Have fun,
Chief Managing Director In Charge, Department of Redundancy Department
DNRC 224

Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- Com
In God we trust; all others must provide data.
Opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.
If JCI had an opinion on this, they'd hire someone else to deliver it.

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