Advice Wanted The Epson FastFoto FF-680W scanner, anyone tried this?

JensM

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This will be somewhat of a braindump of a train of though, sorry for that...

Just stumbled over this one, and by the looks of it, it seems to be quite a nice, if slighty costly way to tackle the hoard of 120 years of family photograpy history I have crated up. Probably not the highest end, running 300 DPI JPEGs, 600 DPI Tiffs and 1200 DPI Tiffs (interpolated).

The reason I find this interesting is the scanners stacking facility, and speed. The stacking facility seems to be about 36 pictures in one go, running one and one through the scanner, which is stated to take about 3 seconds for the 600DPI Tiffs, or 108 seconds for an entire 36 frames film with a basic file size of 2400X3600 off a 10*15cm/4*6" or 8,6 MPs.

Not the highest quality by far, but neither are the input which consists of mostly standard family photo-stuff, IOW Vacations, birthdays and other such everyday things worth a frame or two in the analog days, on almost all sorts of formats from 110s to medium format.

Why I find this interesting is the speed, and the Tiff format, along with some auto correction modes in the scanner software, producing both an exact copy of the picture scanned, but also a corrected one, taken reasonable care of color cast and -balance, red eye reduction and some other things along those lines. Probably the most important thing here is the time. Not entirely sure about how many pictures are in the hoard, but a guesstimate would be somewhere between 10-20K photos.
Going for the worst case scenario and 20K photos or about 556 rolls of 36 frame films, that would be 111 hours worth of scanning if I have done the math right, lets say its realistically between 60-80 hours of running the scanner, which seems to bring a decent quality, but not a high-end finished product, in a archive worthy file format.

My plan for doing the digitalizing so far has been to use a camera with a slide/negative duplicator on the end, but with some experimenting done, it do take quite a lot of time, lets say about an hour pr roll and I think that may be a bit on the optimistic side. Running with it would also leave me without any finished products, all I will have for that effort is basically the digital ground work, which needs to be processed through LR to be anywhere near useable.

Also in the equitation, is that I have several K worth of slides which needs to be sorted as well, but that is a topic for another discussion.

So basically, what I think I would get out of the Epson, is a reasonable quick way to get the picture hoard digitalized to a decent quality without much hassle and somewhat of a jumping off-point for further, but not necessary post processing. Or to summarize it, a good enough product to be put up in a LR catalogue, which can stand on its own, or be further developed if I so fancy, or need to on some pictures.

So, finally to turn back to the initial question, does anyone of you have any hands on experience with the Epson FastFoto FF-680W scanner and if you so have: is it, if not the best, so the better mouse-trap? :drinks:
 
I've got the previous version, the FF-640. It is definitely a time-saver compared to using a flatbed. My original amount of scans is similar to what was presented in the video above. Much less now, but still a lot remaining.

Mine scans prints and paper. Mine can scan both sides in one pass, so it's good for prints where family wrote notes on the back. On mine, the photo is "FastFoto_XXXXa" and the back is "FastFoto_XXXXb". When scanning documents, it can also do front and back in one pass, and allows easy scanning of a stack to be saved as a single pdf in one simple scan. Not sure how the software will differ on the new model. Looks like the software on the new model does a few more things than mine does with some more automation options.

I can't remember the number of images/ pages that it can handle in one pass, I think it was like 30 or so. I'll figure it out again when I start using it after some med stuff gets finished over the space of the next few months.

Quality is good IMHO for the various prints I've scanned.

Observations and tips:

I don't do any corrections, minimizes scan and process time. If the photo is really bad I'll take the ones that need it into post processing. Might not be an issue with your computer and the newer scanner.

I presort images. Big stack of prints to be scanned just front, another stack for those that will need double-side scanning. I then sort each of those stacks into prints of the same width, and then again into smaller stacks the scanner can handle in one run. I'll scan all of the images I'm scanning that session single-side, then double-side. Saves time having to go into the options and changing the settings each stack, or just scanning double-side and then deleting all the blank images for the blank backsides.

Some prints have a very slick plasticized film on the print side. This can slip on the feed rollers. When it does, you end up with distorted scans as the image drags more slowly across the imager in places where the rollers slip. Those images end up getting scanned on the flatbed.
 
Looks very attractive to me.

We have several thousand prints.

While I'm quite happy to scan them as taken, I would then keyword them using Bridge, as most sets of prints are straight from the accompanying film strips of negatives.

I think that I would scan both front and back at 600 DPI. Why duplicate the physical handling?

Again, Bridge really is a fantastic DAM.
 
I still have one 10 gallon storage tub completely filled with prints, slides and negatives. Plus one notebook-sized negative hardcase, three remaining photo albums, and two cardboard boxes with odd-sized prints. That's about 1/4 of the amount of stuff I had after consolidating my personal stuff with family stuff. Should be finished except really large stuff and super-curly negatives sometime in 2025. "... miles to go before I sleep." :coffee-79:
 
I still have one 10 gallon storage tub completely filled with prints, slides and negatives. Plus one notebook-sized negative hardcase, three remaining photo albums, and two cardboard boxes with odd-sized prints. That's about 1/4 of the amount of stuff I had after consolidating my personal stuff with family stuff. Should be finished except really large stuff and super-curly negatives sometime in 2025. "... miles to go before I sleep." :coffee-79:
Struth, Gordo!

I'm not counting the slides and negatives that have never been scanned or printed ... Probably another 5,000+.
 
Struth, Gordo!

I'm not counting the slides and negatives that have never been scanned or printed ... Probably another 5,000+.

It's amazing how much we collect over a lifetime or three. :eek:

Only have a dozen or so boxed rolls of slides left to do, then a bunch of prints. Negs will be the last stuff I tackle.

Time-consuming, but once done, no one else in the family will have to deal with it since everyone is digital now. I can already hear the future wailing and gnashing of teeth when I ask them to provide me with either a hard drive or the money to purchase one, so they can get their copy of the scans. I'm sure they'll expect me to purchase the HDDs, or spend time looking for specific images. Just like they expected me to spend money for scanning since "you have the photos". Offered to pass it off to multiple family members, and got "I don't have time" or "I don't know how to do that". The only one who has offered to help with cost is my older sis, and one of her daughters (youngest niece) might help me sort and maintain the files for family history reasons. Sometimes, family is a lot more work than the scanning.
 
Jens, it appears to me that the Epson FastFoto FF-680W will not scan slides or film, if this is important to you.
I dont think it do, but it is anyhow a quick way to get going on the hoard, which I have been delaying hard for a few years based on the sheer size of it. :drinks:
There was a good video by One Month Two Cameras about this recently:

That video is what turned me onto the scanner. :)
 
I've got the previous version, the FF-640. It is definitely a time-saver compared to using a flatbed. My original amount of scans is similar to what was presented in the video above. Much less now, but still a lot remaining.
Much obliged, your post was just the ticket. (y):drinks:
 
Much obliged, your post was just the ticket. (y):drinks:

My scanners cost a chunk of change. But, probably not more than what it would have cost to send them out for scanning. I can maintain control of the process, and don't have to worry about or deal with irreplaceable images damaged or lost in transit.

You might be able to catch one on sale, or snag a refurb as mentioned in the video.

Have fun. :)
 
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