Stamp Community Family of Web Sites
Thousands of stamps, consistently graded, competitively priced and hundreds of in-depth blog posts to read
Stamp Community Forum
 
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

Welcome Guest! Need help? Got a question? Inherit some stamps?
Our stamp forum is completely free! Register Now!

Yet Another Hands-Free Magnifier/Imaging Option...

Next Page    
 
To participate in the forum you must log in or register.
Author Previous TopicReplies: 21 / Views: 4,705Next Topic
Page: of 2
Pillar Of The Community
Learn More...
United States
5170 Posts
Posted 10/04/2015   12:08 am  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add revenuecollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Over the past several years, I have tested a zillion hand-held magnifiers,
optical visors, digital microscopes, and low-vision devices, looking for
the "perfect device" for going through large quantities of stamps.

Some of my previous threads on the subject:

One of my early threads on hand-held magnifiers:

http://goscf.com/t/24456

My review on Eschenbach hand-held magnifiers (still my go-to device
for taking to shows, along with the tiny 30/60x black magnifier in
the thread above):

http://goscf.com/t/28837


My review of a Merlin low-vision standalone magnifier (ended up being
too bulky for my needs):

http://goscf.com/t/31208

I have also evaluated the Lighthouse Macro Cam, the VTiny Pro10 USB
portable microscope, as well as the Optelec 5HD portable low-vision
magnifier. None were suitable for stamps and coins.

I'm finding that "Low Vision" is a euphemism for "Stupidly Expensive"
as if equipment created for the medical or assistive fields should
automatically cost insane amounts of money. Most of the devices with
HD cameras cost in the thousands of dollars.

So my next venture was into the area of presentation/document cameras.
Now a stamp is a much smaller item than a typical letter-sized document,
so the camera's zoom becomes important. Most only have a 2x-4x optical
zoom, with the remainder being digital (interpolated) zoom, which is a
bad thing. Optical zoom is what is important.

I did research on eBay, seeing what used units of various models went for,
looking for 3-10 year old models that one can get at a bargain price.

Enter the AverVision SPB350+. Here is the brochure with specs:

http://presentation.aver.com/Downlo...odelBrochure

This is a portable presentation document camera. Basically a camera,
light, and copy stand all in one foldable 12-pound unit.

It is a now-discontinued model from 2012, so still relatively recent
technology. 16x optical zoom makes it worth checking out for working
with coins and stamps. The software allows you to make brightness,
contrast, and color adjustments beyond what you can do on the unit's
control panel.

The unit also comes with outputs to hook to a standard television,
if you don't want to use it with your computer.

It also has a "light box" meaning lighting from below like you would find
on a microscope, so the unit may be able to be used for watermark or fault
detection. My unit just arrived yesterday, so I've only used the overhead
camera thus far.

Brand new, these were in the $1,000 range, which is just too dang expensive
for hobbyist purposes.

Enter eBay. I found a seller with multiple units for $99 + $17 shipping.
He started with 6 and now has 3 left.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/AverVision-....m3641.l6368

The description says no RGB output (analog VGA), but when I asked, the
seller had not tested the DVI (digital VGA) unly the analog, so it may
work. He said the USB worked fine, which is really the most important
part for my purposes. No accessories except for the power adapter, so
you will need to buy a USB cable. The manual and software are free
downloads from the manufacturer:

http://www.averusa.com/classroom-te...b350plus.asp

My unit arrived 3 days after payment, VERY well packaged in multiple
layers of bubble wrap. The unit had no visible marks or flaws. I installed
the software, hooked it up and powered it on, and it works exactly as promised.

The software will take still pictures at 1600 x 1200 pixels. I have
not tried using the video capture feature.

See pictures below. While I purchased this primarily for working with
stamps, I was surprised by the image quality on coins, and I think it
has applications for coin collectors. While it will not replace professional
SLR cameras, macro lenses, lighting, and copy stands, for the money involved
it produces images perfectly fine for selling on eBay.

At the low end of the cost spectrum, coin collectors frequently use
flatbed scanners, but as we know, flatbed scanners are horrible with lustre
and color. This unit, while not at the level of pro equipment, does a much
better job than a flatbed scanner with coins.

For a single-piece portable unit, you cannot go wrong at the price. It would
be a perfect unit for someone to dabble without spending a lot of money.


Here is a picture of my setup, with a stamp being captured and displayed
on the monitor. the image is large enough and clear enough for me to
do flyspecking without squinting or dealing with hand-held devices.




Here is the unit folded down for travel (Puppycat not included).
A carrying case and some sort of lens cap would be good things to obtain.




Here are some images captured from the camera.

First a stamp image. Personally, I would not use this to capture stamp images;
a good flatbed scanner will provide better quality images; what this device
does is allow you to quickly examine stamps on your monitor without having
to wait on scanner passes.




Now some coin images. This unit does much better on coins than I expected.
Dark copper is a problem, but it's that way with traditional camera setups
as well; it's a lighting issue, not a problem with the device. As with any
other device, imaging coins in 2x2s will suffer from glare off the plastic.
Raw coins do the best.





















Send note to Staff

Pillar Of The Community
Learn More...
United States
5734 Posts
Posted 10/04/2015   12:15 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bookbndrbob to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Nice images!

I have a question. Is the depth of field such that you don't have to adjust focus for minor variations of thickness (bends, paper backing, etc.) on stamps?
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Pillar Of The Community
Learn More...
United States
5170 Posts
Posted 10/04/2015   12:19 am  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It uses autofocus, so with each movement in either position or zoom level, it takes a second or two for the camera to focus. There is manual focus available through the software, but I have not found it necessary.

Since the device is sending a live video signal to your monitor, you will see some pulsing/pixelating of the image on the screen. However, there is a "Freeze" button which eliminates that and is handy for doing analysis without having to resort to taking a still picture.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Edited by revenuecollector - 10/04/2015 12:20 am
Pillar Of The Community
United States
1608 Posts
Posted 10/04/2015   06:24 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Mike33 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
WOW - that's really nice!

love the cat too :)
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Pillar Of The Community
United States
599 Posts
Posted 10/04/2015   08:44 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add SPQR to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Dan - what is the maximum image area? Just wondering if it would be useful for images of oversize documents.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Pillar Of The Community
Learn More...
United States
5170 Posts
Posted 10/04/2015   10:27 am  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
According to the specs, the shooting area is "A4 Landscape" so roughly letter size. About the same area that a regular flatbed scanner will do.

No, for oversized documents you want one of these:

http://goscf.com/t/36704

It's at a bit higher price point and you need a place to put it, but I love mine.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Edited by revenuecollector - 10/04/2015 10:28 am
Rest in Peace
United States
4052 Posts
Posted 10/04/2015   11:51 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ikeyPikey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Finally! A hands-free magnifier/imaging system that works at your level!
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Pillar Of The Community
Learn More...
United States
1226 Posts
Posted 10/04/2015   12:36 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add JLLebbert to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Very nice! And I noticed that now 4 have been sold ... 2 still left.
Added: Saw a couple of other eBay sellers marketing what seems to be the same model ... at around $200 and $300.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Edited by JLLebbert - 10/04/2015 12:46 pm
Pillar Of The Community
United States
1917 Posts
Posted 01/02/2016   4:18 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add shermae to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Briefly resurrecting this post. Thought about this device since Revenue posted about it a few months ago, and finally decided to buy one. So now there is only one left on eBay. Shipping to Florida is a bit higher than posted - $22. Very excited to see what I can do with both stamps and coins as coins cannot be scanned and are very difficult to photograph (due to lighting challenges).

Thanks again Revenue for taking the time to post such detailed info and examples to your fellow philatelists.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Valued Member
Learn More...
United States
188 Posts
Posted 02/29/2016   3:04 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add vinman to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I ordered my AVerVision SPB350+ from eBay back in October when this thread was started and now finally got around to using it. I had to get the program from the company sent to me as a file because my scanner didn't come with the disk for operating it.
I wish I started using this months ago. It will be a great help in identifying the Washington/Franklins.

Vince
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Pillar Of The Community
Learn More...
United States
3697 Posts
Posted 10/28/2018   8:41 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Partime to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Bumping this older topic. I just received my Avervision spb350+, and it works amazingly well. This may actually replace my well used scanner. I'm glad I went through the older threads to find this.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Pillar Of The Community
Learn More...
United States
3697 Posts
Posted 10/28/2018   8:53 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Partime to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Here's a quick picture, and a quick closeup. Auto-Focus solved a lot of problems. Fun!

Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Pillar Of The Community
Learn More...
United States
3697 Posts
Posted 03/07/2019   9:51 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Partime to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Bumping this thread, I just wanted to show how the AverVision does with watermark detection. Admittedly, it is quite easy to see Australia and Australian States watermarks with the naked eye, but this system allows you to capture them for display quite easily. These are both taken from the front of the stamp, the first with top lighting, the second with back lighting.

Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Bedrock Of The Community
Learn More...
Australia
32170 Posts
Posted 03/07/2019   10:32 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Great thread.
Still unavailable in Australia, that I can see.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Valued Member
Learn More...
United States
466 Posts
Posted 03/07/2019   10:45 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add codehappy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
When I showed my digital microscope setup (which I also use for stamps and coins) to the nieces, they went outdoors, caught a couple of live insects, and wanted to see 'em under the scope. Zooming in on the rapidly-moving mouth parts with them was pretty wild.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Edited by codehappy - 03/07/2019 10:46 pm
Pillar Of The Community
Learn More...
United States
5170 Posts
Posted 03/08/2019   06:07 am  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Partime, excellent job on the watermarks. I hadn't even considered using the backlight to image watermarks. This approach may be good for capturing stitch watermarks, something that has been a pain to image. I might try it on embossed cancels as well.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Page: of 2 Previous TopicReplies: 21 / Views: 4,705Next Topic  
Next Page
 
To participate in the forum you must log in or register.


Go to Top of Page
Disclaimer: While a tremendous amount of effort goes into ensuring the accuracy of the information contained in this site, Stamp Community assumes no liability for errors. Copyright 2005 - 2021 Stamp Community Family - All rights reserved worldwide. Use of any images or content on this website without prior written permission of Stamp Community or the original lender is strictly prohibited.
Privacy Policy / Terms of Use    Advertise Here
Stamp Community Forum © 2007 - 2021 Stamp Community Forums
It took 0.73 seconds to lick this stamp. Powered By: Snitz Forums 2000 Version 3.4.05