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Missing VG&CE Mags

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I have 3 VG&CE issues that I'd like to contribute as scans:

October 1989

February 1992

October 1992

I don't want to de-staple (damage) my issues.  Do you have any recommendations on the best way to scan these and what the best scanning software to use is (windows or mac)?  I tried the default mac scan software and canoscan for the mac, both of which were sub par.  I'm also curious what criteria you guys have for accepting new issues.  I was going to try and adhere as close to what the current VG&CE issue specs are to keep things consistent. 

I apologize if these questions are already answered elsewhere, I was unable to find adequate answers.

 

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We have some info in the support section at the top under both "tutorials" and "scanning guide."

Short answer:

There is no way to get a quality edge-to-edge scan without damaging your issue.  That simply isn't how magazine scans are made.  First the pages are de-bound, and then they are scanned.

If you can't bring yourself to debind your magazines but really want to scan them anyway, that's not a problem.  Just because they wouldn't be high enough quality to be allowed to be hosted here doesn't mean they wouldn't be perfectly readable.  The Internet Archive (archive.org) doesn't have any quality standards, so you would be able to upload them there yourself.  And please post about it here if you do - just because we can't host them doesn't mean we don't want to read them!:)

As for scanning software, I'm not aware of any reasons that one would be any better than another.  Perhaps if your scanner came with software specific to your scanner there might be some convenient options for things like cropping, but in general, outside of selecting what dpi to scan at, they quality of the scan is dependent upon the scanner itself, not whatever software you use.  At any rate, I'm not familiar with flatbed scanner software, so I can't suggest any alternatives.

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13 hours ago, Phillyman said:

I forget if they are staple bound or glued, but you should be able to get decent scans.

I disagree, but then I believe in scanning the entire page.  As I said above, there's no way to get a decent edge to edge scan with a still-bound mag.  You'll simply never be able to capture the area near the gutter without distortion.  If you're OK with cropping off 5% of the page near the gutter (thus cropping away the distorted area), then obviously you would be OK with this.  But the way I see it, cropping part of the page away, whether in debinding or in editing, should never be encouraged.

The only time cropping away the gutter to eliminate distortion would not compromise the entire page is if there was nothing but white space or a solid background extending to the edges, like in the page below (full-page scan followed by the same page with the left-side gutter cropped away):

c.jpg   d.jpg

But as soon as we start to encounter advertisements or editorial content pages that have images which are printed right up to the edge of the page, cropping ANYTHING becomes a problem.

The following ad has had 5% of the image cropped away from the left side of the page.  I'm sure there are many people who would say it's an acceptable loss.

a.jpg

And likewise, this is totally acceptable, right?:

b.jpg

Both crops delete about the same amount from the image.  One on the left, and one in the middle.  Neither crop deletes any text, so they're both the same, right?  No problem, right?

I hope you can see my point.  A full page scan is a full page scan.  There's no room for cropping on any pages that have an image extending from edge to edge, because then you aren't preserving the page, you're only preserving part of the page.  Just because it's the far left or far right of the page doesn't mean it matters any less than what's in the center.

Well, that's my 2 cents, anyway.  But then I've been accused by some of being a perfectionist, though I like to think of myself as a doingitrightionist.:)

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Thanks so much for the detailed responses!  I'm a big fan of VG&CE, so I plan to be buying up a bunch more (and eventually have a complete collection).  Even though I'm not going to damage the issues I have (they are ones I've personally saved that were deliver to me back then), I'm sure I'll buy some lots that have dupes in my collection and I can debind them.  Would love to contribute eventually.  Thanks!

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Cutting up a dupe sounds like a good way to break into scanning.  I think the first mag I ever debound was a dupe (of an issue I never even scanned since it was far too new to be allowed here.)  I guess I just needed the practice slicing apart a magazine before I did it to something I would actually scan.  The first cut is always the hardest, but once you've passed that point of no return, it's actually quite painless and even cathartic.

However, lest anyone think by my above posts that I'm trying to discourage anyone from jumping into the scanning game, I'm really not.  When I something like, "that scan wouldn't/shouldn't be allowed here, but you could upload it to archive.org," that isn't a slight against the scanner, their scan, or archive.org.  I upload stuff to archive.org myself whenever it doesn't belong here, like demo discs included with the mags I scan.  I believe Retromags releases should be held to a higher standard, but that doesn't mean that I think everyone should have to abide by those standards if they can't or don't want to. 

Retromags doesn't release a great many mags, but that's OK.  We aren't a file repository.  We don't gather all the scans out there just to have as many as possible.  We're part of a larger community - we have some scans, while other sites have different scans.  All of our members are encouraged to visit all of the different magazine-hosting sites to get whatever mags they're interested in, including archive.org. 

So I think it would be perfectly fine to give it a go scanning a bound mag and uploading it to archive.  And as I said before - let us know when you've finished, so we can all visit that site and download it ourselves.  It will be good to get the experience under your belt, and after all, the most difficult and time consuming part of the process is the editing that comes after scanning anyway.  It takes a lot of work and dedication to see a scan through from start to finish, so you should start out in whatever way you're most comfortable with.

 

*Also, keep in mind that this is all just my opinion.  Despite how it irks me, other scanners on this site DO crop away parts of the page.  Not to remove distortion from still-bound mags (I'm pretty sure everyone here de-binds first), but because they can't be bothered to properly de-bind the mag and simply chop away the entire spine and the gutter side of the page along with it using a guillotine cutter in order to save time. 

I hate to see potential new scanners start out by falling into bad practices, but the sad truth is that the number of people releasing cropped scans far outnumbers the number of people doing edge-to-edge full-page scans.  So if you've done everything else well, there's every possibility that you could scan a still-bound (stapled) mag on a flatbed and still have it approved for release here, even with the gutter cropped away.  I might not like it, and wouldn't be able to use any of the advertisements for our ad Gallery (especially unusable would be any two-page ad spreads), but the majority of our members would probably find the scan perfectly acceptable.

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The reason I originally posted was because I was frustrated with the results I was getting.  The distortion was a problem and getting a consistent crop seemed to be impossible with the software I was using.  I'm sure I can get a useful scan done, but the amount of time to do it will be prohibitive beyond one issue.  Add to that my OCDs will be in high gear at any imperfections.

Appreciate the feedback kitsunebi77.  

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Yeah, the very first mag I ever scanned was done on a flatbed.  It took ages and I wasn't happy with the results.  I decided to invest in the scanner I use now, and rescanned the mag I had originally done on the flatbed with my new scanner so it would be of the same quality as the rest of my stuff

One of the cool things about the Scansnap (other scanners probably can do this as well) is that the paper size can be set to "automatic detection," and the scans will come out already cropped (some straightening may be required).  It makes the editing process a bit easier.

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19 hours ago, kitsunebi77 said:

Yeah, the very first mag I ever scanned was done on a flatbed.  It took ages and I wasn't happy with the results.  I decided to invest in the scanner I use now, and rescanned the mag I had originally done on the flatbed with my new scanner so it would be of the same quality as the rest of my stuff

One of the cool things about the Scansnap (other scanners probably can do this as well) is that the paper size can be set to "automatic detection," and the scans will come out already cropped (some straightening may be required).  It makes the editing process a bit easier.

Nice, the iX500 goes pretty cheap on eBay, might consider doing that at some point.

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Just be careful if you're buying a used ADF that it doesn't have any scratches on the scanning glass.  I'm sure it could be replaced, but that would probably be more trouble than it's worth.

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