Stupid computers. Dear Lazyweb, I'm scanning prints now, using a borrowed Epson Perfection 1670 (and Intel iMac). What's the easiest software to use for this (that doesn't cost money)?

I'm using the Epson Scan plugin for Photoshop now, but it makes Photoshop crash about one time in five. It also means a lot of clicking (defaults to saving as PSD instead of JPEG every time; makes me type each file name instead of it just incrementing a number).

The standalone Epson Scan program crashes at startup.

Apple's Image Capture program makes me manually select the crop region every time, plus pick the file name. And it doesn't do dust removal, and seems to scan too light.

Other options?

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23 Responses:

  1. brad says:

    You can use SANE:

    Then you can go all command-line on it if you want.

    • jwz says:

      You're funny.

      • hatter says:

        It was really worse than the pointy-clicky for you ? Or are you just trying to avoid piling all the fink/gnu/etc junk on your machine ?

        • jwz says:

          How many times do you think I need to poke myself in the eye with that stick before growing a clue? You assholes just suggest these things because my misery entertains you.

          • hatter says:

            We're easily entertained - especially by 21st century slapstick.

          • transiit says:

            Clearly not enough times yet, as you keep asking ye olde lazyweb for the answers rather than actually just getting your shit together and researching it yourself.

            Bitch about computery all you want, you should've known by now that going for "it just works" (mac or linux or sgi or whatever) wasn't yet ready for prime-time. If you're wanting something resembling problem-free, the only platform the hardware manufacturers are testing against is the blight that is winders. And then think about the brainfuck that is trying to get shit working on a "supported" platform.

            So here comes the ban-stick, I just know it. Doesn't matter much if the big heart-breaking consequence is that I won't get to comment on your usual regimen of tentacle porn.

            Look, grow a spine. Technology (or at least the companies that promote it) hasn't progressed to the point of recognizing standards, so shit that should be easy still ain't. Regular complaints about open-source/free-software/whatever (licensing bullshit aside) isn't the slightest bit productive. Splitting hairs over this shit isn't making your borrowed scanner any more useful.

            So someone made the suggestion of using SANE. Maybe it'll work, maybe it won't. But boo-fucking-hoo if you won't even give it a try.

            You spend so much time degrading your so-called fanboys, but then you keep calling on them to wipe your ass. Brilliant.

            • rmitz says:

              Jesus, you're an asshole. Is it that much to ask that the solution be tried before it is suggested? And why the hell were you reading this in the first place?

              • transiit says:

                Oh, I don't know. Several years of reading this sort of thing has left me jaded?

                He wrote this off before he'd ever try it, same as it ever was.

                You must be new here.

                • jwz says:

                  Please be advised that the passive-agressive tactic of "oh now I guess you'll ban me" doesn't mean that I won't ban you. Or that you're interesting, clever, or useful.

                • rmitz says:

                  Actually, no, I'm not new at all.

                  I see no problem with the fact that it's his journal, so he can do what he likes, and you can quit whining.

  2. christowang says:

    But, But, the commercial said it will work right out of the box and talk with the new camera from Japan.

    Have you tried File -> Automate -> Batch and selecting Import as the Source in Photoshop? I'll give this a one in a million chance of working.

    • jwz says:

      You know, after some flailing around trying to figure out how that Automate/Batch shit works (since it's utterly undocumented, even in the paper manual) it turns out that that is not-entirely-horrible. Photoshop still crashes every tenth time or so, but it makes for much less of the clicky-clicky. Thanks.

  3. pnendick says:

    VueScan lists your Epson in its list of supported scanners. Download here.

    • blasdelf says:


      The software that comes with scanners is mostly written by shitheaded dumbassed contract-coders. It's not really meant to be used by anybody, it's just there to have a CD in the box. But Vuescan was written by someone who has actually used a scanner! What a concept! I've used it a bunch with film scanners

      It was recommended a lot in your post about your film scanning adventures, I don't know how you could have not found out about it during that scanning binge, or at least realized it existed afterwards.

      • pnendick says:

        I've written scanning software and utterly resemble your remark. Imaging from paper is an industry dominated by fools and even relatively enlightened coders are subject to the dominion of the dolt. Just like the rest of the world.

        JWZ: Vuescan isn't free but at $50 it's price versus pain ratio is very favourable.

      • jwz says:

        Vuescan utterly fails to auto-detect the crop region. Also it tries to hide from me such details as "DPI". Also I'm not paying $50 for it unless it also fellates me. *plonk*

        (I ignored just about every comment in the negative-scanning post, because I'm done scanning negatives, and had no interest in hearing about what I should have used instead.)

        • pnendick says:

          AFAIK if Vuescan doesn't do it, you're fucked and certainly not fellated. Scanners suck. Scanning software blows. And lumping together a cheap scanner, TWAIN drivers and Mac shareware isn't likely leading anyone to the fountain of youth.

          FYI: last I used Vuescan, the DPI appeared in the status bar of scan preview and automatic cropping worked for me once I set the option in the "Input" tab. I doubt all scanners are created equally in these matters.

          I'm afraid you've now used up as much good will as anyone who's written TWAIN-related software could ever hope to retain in this matter. If you find an ISIS driver for this doorstop, call me.

  4. boyofish says:

    What is your preferred storage format, and how do you tag and add metadata the photos?

    • jwz says:

      I talked about it a bit here. Basically, I store everything in e.g., ~/Pictures/2006-07-28-rednosedistrict/, and under that are two directories: RAW/ (everything I shot, from the camera) and EDIT/ (color-corrected and cropped large versions). I pick the best ones from EDIT/ to make web galleries out of.

      I shoot JPEG in (what Canon calls) "highest" quality, and when I edit, I save as JPEG in (what Photoshop calls) level 8 or 10. I've tried using RAW files a few times, and they're a big pain in the ass for no tangible benefit that I could perceive.

      I use Bridge to rate/select photos out of the EDIT/ directory. I guess Bridge stores the star ratings in the EXIF data in the JPEG files. I don't use symbolic tags at all, though I think Bridge lets you do that. Haven't tried.

      • boyofish says:

        Thank you for the detailed reply. I now realize I should have looked for a 'photography' tag and gone looking through there first.

        One morning about a year ago, I thought about starting a grand project that involved coding up a work flow to import images, tag regions in each photo to label people and places, then have metadata files in XML using RDF and/or a personal dictionary so that I could make specific searches in the 8000 plus photos I had. What a great idea!

        But then the caffeine wore off.

        I thought about my appalling programming skills. I thought about the amount of time to tag all those photos. I thought about my exponentially increasing rate of taking photos - by the time I'd have completed the tagging, the Sun will have evolved off the Main Sequence. Since I have a similar method to the RAW and EDIT directories, I'll adapt and go more in that direction.

        Thanks for all the interesting articles - I'll go back to being a lurker now.