Few questions for Opticbook 3600 users
Hey there. I recently started scanning a few books in my personal library and hit a snag with my flatbed scanner. It was the typical problem people have - the curve of the pages when you get close to the binding of the book. While I'm not scanning text, just the illustrations in the books, these are books that range from modern reprints to a few that're close to 100 years old - so damaging the books is out of the question for me. I've heard of the Opticbook 3600 and while it looks like it's physically the right scanner for me with the ability to lay the book flat on the scanning bed, I still have some questions before I buy one. Hopefully someone might be able to answer a few of these:
1) In at least one of the reviews I've read it was mentioned that the lamp in the unit ceased to function after a year (or 200 scans - reviewer mentioned that they used it sporadically). Has anybody had any issues with the hardware after longterm use?
2) It was mentioned repeatedly that some of the software that comes with the unit is "buggy" and that the patches from the manufacturer's website did little to fix these problems. Normally I wouldn't care seeing as I access my CanoScan LiDE20 scanner via Photoshop's import option, but when I was comparing the 3600 unit to the "Plus" model on Plustek's website I noticed that it was implied that the 3600 model would only function with the bundled "PageManager" software. They list the "Plus" model as "Custom your own image editing application", but I'm leery of spending an extra 50-100 bucks without knowing if this is in fact true or not. My question here is, are you restricted to JUST using PageManager with the basic 3600 model, or can you import directly into graphic editing programs like Photoshop with it? I know some companies try to sell you on their software, but in the end I'd rather stick with something I'm familiar with.
3) Finally, what're the results you're getting with the 3600 when it comes to illustrations? I've heard several folks say that it's great, but then I've heard folks talk about artifacts showing up as well as color loss and overall loss of quality over time. My main concern here is that I'm trying to scan these books with the idea of preserving the rich quality of these illustrations. There's no point in scanning a book filled with vibrant colored illustrations if in the end they end up looking flat, distorted and with muted colors that no amount of tweaking can correct.
If anybody has any information about the above mentioned questions or know of a cheap alternative to the Opticbook 3600 which would be better suited for what I have in mind, please feel free to reply.
Thanks in advance for your time and patience,