I was getting tired of taking pictures of my cards with my cell phone. It works, but it wasn’t giving me the quality I wanted. I’d been reading some forum posts and a lot of people suggested getting a CCD based scanner for cards. The Canon Canoscan 9000F was one of them that was recommended. I have a Mac, so I wanted something compatible with the latest macOS which sometimes doesn’t work with older peripherals. I searched for a couple of models on eBay to see what a used one would cost me. I found one with 900F in the title. Thinking it was a typo, I opened the description and sure enough it was the 9000F. The Apple website had the 9000F as one of the supported scanners in the latest macOS Sierra (10.12).
They wanted a measly $35 + $16 shipping for it. However, they had a best offer option. In the past, I have not had much success getting much of a deal with this but figured it didn’t hurt to try. I offered $25 and it was immediately accepted. So I got it for $41 shipped which I was super happy about! I also noticed the person was in northern Illinois and I dropped them a note asking if they could send it out on Thursday so I might get it Saturday. (usually only takes 2 days via USPS to get stuff from up there)
I didn’t hear back from the seller, so I assumed it wouldn’t ship until after the Labor Day holiday weekend. However, on Saturday afternoon I got a knock on the door and it was USPS with the scanner! I opened it up and it appeared to be in brand new condition. I went to the Canon website, installed the macOS driver and opened up Photoshop. The scanner showed right up when I did an import so it was time to scan some cards.
The first noticeable thing I noticed about the scanner is that it is fast. It can preview scan the whole 8.5″ x 11.7″ area in a few seconds. The next thing I noticed is that it has some sort of edge auto-detection. If you put multiple cards on the scanner, it will attempt to find the edges and only scan that part of the page. Even if the card is rotated, it is able to scan it in straight. This also lets you scan multiple cards at the same time. You just select the card area in the software and the scanner will scan each card into its own file. Note: This is using Photoshop CC and other software may or may not offer this functionality.
Now the downsides of the scanner. I don’t really blame the scanner for this but have to mention it. If you scan in a card that’s in a toploader and/or penny sleeve, there is a glare/shine on one or more edges. (usually the bottom of the card) It’s a bit frustrating as I have a lot of cards at the minimum in a penny sleeve. If I take them out of the sleeve/toploader, then it scans just fine. I guess it’s something I’ll just have to get used to. I just worry about damaging the card when I remove it from the sleeve.
As with most scanners, the background color is white. I noticed if I scan with the lid open, I get a nice black background which makes the cards look better in my eyes. I suppose I could get some black paper and put it on the scanner, but this works for now. The edge detection doesn’t work with the back blackground, but it’s not a big deal since you can manually select the card edges.
A lot of folks recommend 300dpi resolution, but I kind of like 600dpi. It helps you see the corners and edges better. The files are a bit bigger in size, but for selling and the personal collection I want the best quality I can get. Now if I’m just uploading to my blog, I can downsize the images. That way I can keep my original 600dpi file but make a smaller 300dpi for web consumption.
Overall I really like this scanner. I don’t have any graded slabbed cards to test in it, but it should work for those too. For the price on eBay for used models, I think this is a great investment if you collect, buy or sell cards.
What scanner do you use for your baseball cards? Any other tips and tricks?
Click here to check out current eBay listings for the Canon Canoscan 9000F scanner