Overhead scanning

From UA Libraries Digital Services Planning and Documentation

Betterlight Scanback overhead scanning station:



The BetterLight Overhead scanning station is comprised of a large format viewcamera with a hi-res digital scanning back. The scanning style digital imaging is slightly slower than a capture style digital back, however the difference in speed is made up for with a higher amount megapixels.


The Betterlight scanback can be used for large format materials upwards of 40 to 50 inches, all the way down to very small materials like coins or stamps. Our scanning group relies on this scanner to take on all different types on materials. some materials that are scanned on this scanner are; newspapers, manuscripts, maps, photos, large format negatives (on a lightbox). Large collections with many objects that need scanning are completed much more rapidly with the scanback as apposed to a flatbed scanner.

Technical Information:

Default Setup

  1. Betterlight super 6k scanback
  2. Cambo large format viewcamera body
  3. Kaiser motorized column
  4. Rodenstock 120mm macro lens at f11 with an open shutter

Default File/Output Settings

  1. files are output as lossless *.tif files by the Betterlight Viewfinder software.
  2. 600 DPI
  3. ISO variable

Associated Hardware

  1. Buhl Soft Cube series SC-150 lights, 4300k

Associated Software

  1. Viewfinder 1.4.2


Resources and Links:

  1. BetterLight Scanning Guide: step by step tutorial
  2. Scanning vocabulary: glossary of terms
  3. BetterLight FAQ: answers to common problems
  4. BetterLight Yahoo Usergroup login information: