Scanning with “dust removal” might alter parts of your baseball card scans

What type of scanner do you use for digitizing your baseball cards?

When I’m feeling a bit lazy, I resort to photographing them. However, on occasion, I opt for the flatbed Epson scanner for a meticulously detailed scan with accurate color representation. Typically, I leave the “dust removal” setting at the “middle” level, thinking it will take care of any stray dust particles on the card or the scanner glass.

Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that the dust removal feature has the potential to inadvertently remove certain card details.

High-res scan, comparing with dust removal OFF (on the left) and dust removal ON (on the right). The dust removal option removes parts of the Cubs logo.

On the left is the scan without the dust removal setting, while on the right, you can see the scan with the dust removal set to “middle.”

Take a look at the “B” in the Cubs logo; it should have two white dots within the letter. However, the dust removal function removed these two white dots!

Scanner settings

For those curious, I am using Epson’s native scanning software, Epson Scan 2 (version The setting appears as follows:

Screenshot of "Epson Scan 2" software. Close shot of the "Dust Removal" setting, showing options for: Off, Low, Middle, High.

The low setting preserves the white spaces within the letter “B” (the typographical term for that white space within a letter is known as a “counter”). Surprisingly, the high setting didn’t seem to provide any additional benefits compared to the “Middle” setting.

The next time you undertake the task of scanning baseball cards, remember to either disable the Dust Removal option or use a low setting to avoid unintentional alterations to your card scans, preventing any inadvertent “error cards” from being created!

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