Can you recommend an automatic document feeder (ADF) photo scanner for usual 6" x 4" / 5" x 4" / A6 / postcard size photos?

I want to stack up say 25 or 30 at a time and leave it running to scan those to a SD card.

I already have a Epson SX600FW all-in-one with auto-document feeder (ADF) scanner, however the guide only slides to a minimum width of A4 portrait dimension. I was thinking of using some blu-tak and cardboard to make a smaller guide for photos however.

Any suggestions?

And do you think putting the photos through a roller in an ADF would damage them and therefore the quality of the scan? Photos are not as flexible as paper.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Do you have the negatives? You can get better results by scanning those, rather than the prints. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 12, 2011 at 18:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rowland Shaw yes I do have the negatives. Can you suggest an automatic-feed negative scanner? \$\endgroup\$ Sep 12, 2011 at 20:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rob - I don't know if an auto-feeder is necessary, as you can scan a lot of negatives at the same time (depending on your scanner). \$\endgroup\$
    – Fake Name
    Sep 15, 2011 at 22:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh, also, you can have feed issues scanning documents smaller then the ADF guides supposedly permit. It won't damage the ADF, but your pictures may get stuck/torn as they are fed through, requiring you to manually pull them out. I have scanned things as small as cheques on my scanners ADF, but you have to have some care, and generally guide them into the scanner feeder manually. \$\endgroup\$
    – Fake Name
    Sep 15, 2011 at 22:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Flimzy: PhotoSE "concluded" several times (via discussions in chat as well as numerous meta threads), the last time some time ago now, that equipment recommendations are on topic here, so long as they fall within certain guidelines. See: meta.photo.stackexchange.com/questions/1037/… \$\endgroup\$
    – jrista
    Sep 17, 2011 at 22:05

4 Answers 4


Since you're open to a negative scanner consider the Nikon Super Coolscan 5000ED, it can scan whole rolls of negatives, individual 6-photo strips of negatives or up to 50 slides (in a slide hopper) at a time. I use the 6-photo strip adapter and slide hopper.

The 50 slide hopper and negative roll adapter are extra attachments you need to purchase but the negative strip adapter comes w/the scanner.

Its not cheap but it does what it does really well both in quality and speed.

  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 though its a bit expensive and not widely available in UK. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 12, 2011 at 14:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ I believe the Coolscan V also offers the whole-roll feeder as an optional extra. But it only works, obviously, if the negatives are not cut into strips. If the negatives are cut into strips, you can use the Nikon SA-21 film strip feeder, which comes with the Coolscan V. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 27, 2012 at 14:51

Sometimes, outsourcing this particular job is best, especially if it involves a large volume of material. I'm pretty sure there are lots of them offering these services in your area.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ +1 Thanks @Jah Cibero - I would agree, particularly if the job is one-off. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 5, 2011 at 13:20

I'm in a similar boat (looking for a photo scanner with automatic photo (document) feeder). But in my case I do not have negatives.

So far the only candidate I have found which:

  • Appears to be available to purchase in the UK
  • Definitely supports the automatic scanning of a "stack" of photos

...is the HP ScanJet 5500C.

I'm going to try and pick one up cheap/secondhand and see how I get on- at which point I will provide an update.

  • \$\begingroup\$ i've now ordered one and hope to receive in a week \$\endgroup\$ Feb 27, 2012 at 12:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ it's been dispatched- hoping to receive in the next few days :) \$\endgroup\$ Mar 1, 2012 at 20:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ damn- i've got the scanner but can't get it working :( will update when i make some progress \$\endgroup\$ Mar 6, 2012 at 16:22

Think I'm going to consider getting a shop to produce them, at 10pounds per 40 images, with the amount I have, I think that might be favourable compared to buying equipment at 100s of pounds.


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