Recommendations for a B-sized colour scanner?

I collect a lot of artwork in the form of old prints and such, and I scan it and put it online for others to have as well (since it’s either pre-1923 or else public domain). Lately I’ve run into a batch of oversized prints from the 1800’s which need a B-sized* scanner. My old scanner has been problematic anyhow, so I’m thinking about getting a good, reliable, and accurate scanner. I don’t need fancy software or “photo suites”, just hardware that works good. Would anyone have some suggestions or recommendations for such a critter?

  • 11x17-inch

I have found the Epson large format scanners to be slow hulking behemoths not worthy of your consideration. They seem to be the 1980’s SCSI technology with a firewire card afterthought. They even have the old SCSI connector on the machine (Who still uses that) So it’s really like trying to suck an elephant through a garden hose. Plus, they do odd intermittent problems with OSX, like suddenly disappearing for no reason until you reboot your computer. Sometimes multiple reboots are required.

Sorry I have no recommendations, but at least I can say with some authority which manufacturer you should avoid like the plague.

Oh, and to edit. They weigh a TON and are slow as hell. Just like the scanners in the eighties and nineties were. Coincidence? I think not.

I have a Mustek A3 flatbed scanner - it’s the only one I could find at any kind of reasonable price - it was around £150 I think - after that, there was nothing cheaper than the entry-level Epsons which were 700 quid or more (maybe they’ve all come down in price since then.

I’m not impressed with Mustek - it’s not the quality of the scanner (although it’s far from perfect) - it’s the driver - when previewing or scanning, it pops up a dialog box with a progress bar in it, right in the middle of the screen, which can’t be moved or minimised, and stays on top of all other windows.

We’ve got one of the enormous, heavy Epsons at the London office and it’s been going strong for years and years.