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    Username Post: Scanning Knives        (Topic#762232)
    Master Member KnifeNut!
    02-28-06 11:46.33 - Post#872516    

    Does anyone have a copy of Bernard Levines instructions for scanning knives? I cant locate the copy that I downloaded. Thanks

    Master Member KnifeNut!
    02-28-06 14:13.19 - Post#872629    

        In response to knifeaholic

    • Quote:
    Use a flatbed scanner, not a camera. Use a camera only for items too big or heavy to fit on a scanner (for example, your mother-in-law).

    Set resolution at 96 or 100 dpi - NO HIGHER!!!

    unsharp masking ON

    scan actual size or smaller. 75% usually works well. But scan tightly cropped closeups of tang stamps or other details at 300%.

    crop out all extraneous background in the scan preview, before making the scan.

    either save as or convert to .jpg JPEG format

    For a pocketknife sized object, the JPEG file should be no larger than about 50kb. If it is larger, then start over, but this time follow the instructions.

    Master Member KnifeNut!
    03-02-06 05:08.19 - Post#873554    

        In response to knifeaholic

    I am constantly revising these instructions, based on my own experience, and on the images people send me. Here is the latest version (subject to future revisions).

    Scanning knives:

    Do NOT use the scanner's own cover when scanning knives or other 3D objects.
    Instead use a large piece of paper, to cover the knife and the *entire* glass.

    Usually white paper works best. Or light gray. Or sometimes tan.

    DO NOT EVER use colored papers, or textured materials. Same rule applies to photography, unless you are a professional advertising photographer and know how to light the background separately.

    Also try varying the angle of the knife lying on the glass, since the light of the scanner is directional. Make sure shadows do not fall on important details, such as markings.


    If you are ambitious, raise the paper above the knife and glass on a frame, to darken the background and put it out of focus. Downside: requires much more dust spotting of each scan.


    Scan at monitor resolution, either 96 or 100 dpi, NOT HIGHER (unless the scan is for magazine publication -- then follow their specs). 96 dpi is the maximum that any monitor can display; some older scanner offer 100 dpi, but newer ones offer 96 dpi. Use it!

    Unsharp masking ON (usually a checkbox). This improves figure/ground separation.

    Descreening ON (usually a menu item). This minimizes 'jaggies.'

    Scan full knives at 100% size or larger. For very large knives, make multiple overlapping scans WITHOUT rotating the knife.

    Always crop out empty background in the pre-scan, before the final scan.

    Scan TIGHTLY CROPPED closeups of details such as markings at 300% size or larger, big enough to read easily.


    Save each scan to disk in its original format (my Epson scanner makes .TIF files).

    If posting pictures to a website, or sending them by email, DO NOT USE .TIF or other raw files.

    Convert them to compressed JPG format, using any image editing program.
    I use ThumbsPlus, free download from
    These programs let you do color and contrast corrections, dust spotting, and other fixes. They even let you add captions and labels to the photos, and create composite images.

    When saving JPG files, you will be offered compression options.
    Choose 2:2 subsampling and 75% quality. These are the maximum settings that a monitor can display. Any higher setting wastes bandwidth. Any lower and you'll start seeing 'tile' artifacts.

    Use the corrected and CROPPED JPG files for websites and email.

    * * * * *

    A digital camera can work, too, if you use it correctly:

    For knife photos:

    1. plain smooth light gray background.
    2. diffuse light -- cloudy daylight or a white ceiling. Do not use on-camera flash.
    3. use a tripod or other solid camera support.
    4. use low resolution, suitable for monitor, not print
    5. Do NOT use "electronic zoom." It only makes the pixels larger, not the image.
    6. CROP OUT empty background!

    As with scans, convert image files to .JPG format, 75% quality, 2:2 subsampling.


    My Knife related links page

    Master Member KnifeNut!
    05-06-06 03:02.49 - Post#923277    

        In response to bernard_levine

    Thanks for making all of the above info available. Now one more question....any advide on brand and model of scanner to use?

    I set up my Canon scanner and tried it, but it does not have any of the features mentioned(unsharp masking, descreening, or the ability to zoom for closeups)

    Thanks Again!!
    Master Member KnifeNut!
    09-28-06 07:39.30 - Post#1046754    

        In response to knifeaholic

    Epson Perfection.

    The entry level model around $100 is plenty good enough.


    My Knife related links page

    Edited by bernard_levine on 12-25-06 11:51.57. Reason for edit: No reason given.
    09-26-07 03:14.42 - Post#1323443    

        In response to bernard_levine

    BRL, many people are more familiar with editing features in PowerPoint than on their scanner. If so, they can open the photos in Powerpoint, crop them, and reduce the size of each photo (by simply grabbing the corner), before saving the photo to a file (right click, Save As).
    Master Member KnifeNut!
    How to add images to a thread...
    11-28-07 15:36.16 - Post#1377463    

        In response to knifeaholic

    Two ways to add pictures:

    1. Go to the reply window, look below the text space for Manage files link, and click it. Use this utility to upload images from your hard drive to this site. Follow the size limitations. Shrink your images if they are too big.

    2. Upload images to your own webspace, or to photobucket. <CTRL>C copy the URL of an online image. Go to the reply window and click the picture postcard button, the 4th in the 2nd row. <CTRL>V paste the URL into the popup. Repeat for more images.

    My Knife related links page

    10-28-12 03:48.10 - Post#2505888    

        In response to bernard_levine

    Thanks for this info, I have never done this but will try and also add a few pics for proper color display since my scanner is B/W.

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