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Topic: Banknote Scanning & Optimization and what has worked for me.  (Read 97 times)
Canadian Banknotes
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Hi!

In hopes of stimulating more conversations around banknotes collecting and trying to help others im writing this article.  I hope you find it helpfull.

I thought I would share not only my process but also the optimization of the actually scanner settings I use so you can get the most out of you're scanner when scanning you're banknotes.  Allot of you guys or gals will know this but im really hoping to help those that are new to scanning banknotes or just need some help on the subject.  Ive seen some really old threads on the topic but most dont go into this kind of detail.

If you currently dont own a scanner they can be bought through Amazon for under $100 tax and shipping included.  They are a really nice addition to the tools we use.  Its nice to have a digital catalogue of you're personal collection.  If you optimize you're scanner the right way you can also enjoy the finer details of you're banknotes without straining you're eyes.  I would also suggest google photo as a means for storing and accessing you're library.  Its private nobody can see you're collection but it can be accessed while you are on vacation on the road, at work or virtually anywhere on the planet with an internet connection and its free!  Now onto the good stuff!

This is quite straightforward, but often when scanning banknotes people sometimes settle for the factory settings and sometimes you get good results and most of the times you dont!  But if you dig a little deeper there are settings that you can choose to get those nice rich and detailed banknotes to sparkle when viewing them digitally.  I have seen some pretty horrendous scan's over the years lets see if we can help fix that.

First things first.  Make Sure you're banknote holder (if they are graded notes) are clean from dirt and dust.  Secondly the glass surface of you're scanner should be clean and streak free.  Use eye glass cleaner or windex with a dust free type cloth.  Ive noticed especially on my scanner that over the years the glass on the inside of the scanner has become dirty.  You can open you're scanner and clean this also.  It will make a huge difference and there are tutorials online.  I recently cleaned my scanner inside and out and all it took was a screw driver, windex a cloth and about 10 minutes.

The settings

There are really only a few settings that you should be considering when trying to get the most out of you're scanner. 

1.  DPI or Dots Per Inch.  Generally speaking 300dpi is the main setting on almost all scanners.  This is the first setting I would change.  I would scan at 600dpi minimum. This will make you're files a little larger but you will get more details in the long run.  So when you zoom in to see the finer details you will be able to see them allot better.  This is one of the biggest changes I would make.

2.  If you have a Tone Correction adjustment setting.  Set it to high contrast.  This creates an S curve.  It sounds complicated but its not.  If you cant find the setting in you're supplied scanning software just contact me and I will try and help you out.  Again this really makes the bill look a little richer without actually changing it all that much.

3. Dust Removal Setting should be set to high.  It will vary from scanner to scanner but this makes a huge difference in the long run.  Nobody wants to see dust when looking at their Banknotes.

4. *Important* When scanning you're banknotes make sure you do it in a medium to dark lit room with you're flatbed lid open not closed!  The black background that this creates really makes you're banknotes stand out even more.

5.  Crop you're images nicely.  I usually crop to the edges of the holder.  Export as JPG format.

Once you have everything setup and ready to go you can usually save you're settings so you dont have to configure it every time.  I would suggest experimenting to see what works best for you.  But overall the settings I have  mentioned above are a really good starting point to work from.  What im writing is a product of hours and hours of testing to see what works best. 

If you have any questions at all feel free to contact me and I will try and help you out as best I can.  Im going to now show you two scans of the same banknote, one on the factory settings one on my optimized settings.  Some may say they dont see the difference but the devil is in the details!

The first image is with factory settings and the second image is optimized with my settings.

Hope this helps. Cheers!



Collector of Canadian Banknotes
Buy - Sell - Trade
C.P.M.S. Member #1903
E: CANADIANBANKNOTESANDBILLS@GMAIL.COM
IG: CANADIAN_PAPERMONEY
walktothewater
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« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2020, 05:01:05 pm »

Wow! That's pretty cool! I can see the difference.  When I started reading this I knew that the black background is a better option (& I have scanned several notes with some goop on the glass! Grr :'() so I will try to take those points into consideration.  Yes- a digital catalogue of one's notes is a must!

-Thanks for sharing!
Canadian Banknotes
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« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2020, 08:50:45 pm »

*IMPORTANT UPDATE*

I was contacted today by a couple fellow Banknote collectors who aren't able to scan their banknotes with their scanners due to CDS in the software or scanner.  There are two work arounds for this.

1 - Use ViewScan scanner software and drivers.  You may have to remove you're old scanner drivers.  ViewScan can be downloaded form www.hamrick.com .  The software has a free trial period so you can try before you buy.  If its works it may be worth registering.

2 - Scan and save to USB stick.  Some scanners have a USB slot where you can save scans to USB.  This would be a last resort as you may not have the options to optimize everything.  Take a look at you're scanners settings if working without a computer.  I would try option #1 first.

If all else fails you would limited to scanning vintage era Banknotes which doesn't sound too bad to me!  If theres a will theres a way! Again if you need a hand or experiencing an issue just send me an email.

Good Luck
« Last Edit: May 20, 2020, 08:59:08 pm by Canadian Banknotes »

Collector of Canadian Banknotes
Buy - Sell - Trade
C.P.M.S. Member #1903
E: CANADIANBANKNOTESANDBILLS@GMAIL.COM
IG: CANADIAN_PAPERMONEY
Canadian Banknotes
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« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2020, 09:02:03 pm »

Wow! That's pretty cool! I can see the difference.  When I started reading this I knew that the black background is a better option (& I have scanned several notes with some goop on the glass! Grr :'() so I will try to take those points into consideration.  Yes- a digital catalogue of one's notes is a must!

-Thanks for sharing!

Its really amazing when you zoom in.  I think the extra details captured by the increased DPI and the increase in contrast really make it pop nicely.  Looking at a zoomed out thumbnail doesn't really show a difference.  I really love the look of Back Panel artwork with this setup.  Im not sure how many of you actually zoom in to really look at the fine line details but it makes looking at banknotes a real treat!

Collector of Canadian Banknotes
Buy - Sell - Trade
C.P.M.S. Member #1903
E: CANADIANBANKNOTESANDBILLS@GMAIL.COM
IG: CANADIAN_PAPERMONEY
Rupiah
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« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2020, 09:53:31 am »

Good tips. The problem with being able to scan and avoid CDS is significant. Are you using Viewscan?

Wonder what paper money would say if it could talk?
 

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