Nearly every photo I have that started life as film is already digitized (or, digital) and stuffed into Photos, so why a scanner? It’s a generational thing. My parents also have a Mac. And Photos. And an iPhone.
And, about 5,000 analog-type photographs. As in film. As in developing and printing photos that need to be scanned to get them in Photos on the Mac. Scanning their photos is my way of paying them back for college, room and board, and more than a few sleepless nights.
The scanner app that came with the new scanner has three basic qualities. It’s slow. It’s featureless. It’s free. In this case, you do get what you pay for. Oh, and I didn’t pay much for the scanner, either. Even inexpensive consumer scanners run rings around those scanners of the past.
Instead I downloaded and upgraded VueScan. This is the Mac scanner app that works with a gazilion and twenty different kinds of scanners, both flatbed and film. VueScan did something unexpected.
The problem with my old scanner was simple. It quit working. VueScan on my new scanner is easier to operate than the scanner app that came with the old scanner. VueScan is a bit like the scanner function built-into OS X, but with more features. And, it’s a mostly self explanatory app.
There’s less than a dozen buttons to figure out how to use VueScan.
What do you suppose these buttons do? Crop. Filter. Color. Output. Prefs. Or, Preview and Scan. See? VueScan’s scan can be saved in PDF, .JPG, and .TIFF There’s also a built-in Optical Character Recognition component, but I’ve never had a need to try that. Maybe after I’ve finished scanning my parents photos.
First, VueScan is faster at scanning than my old scanner’s app. Second, colors are easier to calibrate, therefore look better on screen than my old scanner.
Older versions of VueScan had a decidedly Windows-like look and feel, but the latest for OS X El Capitan looks and feels like a true, red, white, and blue Mac app. I don’t know of a Mac app that gets updated as frequently as VueScan, and seldom do apps work with so many external attachments from the past. The only real negative with VueScan is the same with any scanner app. Lots of trial and error to get the settings just right.
One more thing of note. There’s a VueScan Mobile version for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices.