How does a flatbed scanner work?

The flatbed scanner is the most common scanner

A flatbed scanner consists of a housing in which a glass plate is fixed horizontally. The material to be scanned is placed on the glass plate, the so-called bed. the illumination and scanning unit then moves under the glass plate, over the whole picture. During the whole scanning process, the picture is fixed and the unit moves past the object to be scanned. With a drum scanner it is the other way round.

Quality of the scans

A flatbed scanner can scan originals up to a size of DIN A0. “The main advantage of such a scanner is that you can also scan bulky originals. For example, books,” explains our photo technician. “However, they are often curved and the curvatures and edges become blurred. This can also happen when scanning photos, by the way.”

With such scanners, blurring can also be caused by the glass plate where the object to be scanned is placed. Various manufacturers often advertise extremely high resolutions.  Sometimes the resolution of the scanner is actually as high as advertised, but to save money the glass plate used in the scanner is of inferior qulity. This is especially the case in cheaper scanners. In contrast to cameras, where the glass used is specially reimbursed, the difference in quality is sometimes enormous. One of the reasons for this is that the glass plates needed for a scanner have to be much larger, which would drive up the costs. Therefore, cheaper glass is often used in order to keep the product altogether affordable.

Scanning slides and negatives with a flatbed scanner

Dias scannen mit dem Flachbettscanner?Unfortunately, slides and negatives cannot be scanned quite as comfortably with the help of a flatbed scanner. Unlike photos and other documents, they are transparent and must be scanned from the back instead of the front. Today, there are often scanners that have such a special transparency unit. It is often built into a kind of drawer. However, there are now also slide and negative scanners that are often called film scanners and are specially designed for these media. You will find out how these work in a following part.

Saving memories with MEDIAFIX

Why not put your valuable memories in the hands of professionals and let MEDIAFIX digitise them for you? Save time, nerves and money! With us with a best-price-guarantee.

Start a non-binding request now.

Do you have any questions? Our friendly customer service will be happy to advise you in a personal conversation.
Simply call 020 3904438-0

Our phone hours are:

Mon-Fri 10.00 a.m. - 3.00 p.m.