New Economy; New Rules: Discounted Microfilm Scanning, Microfiche Scanning, Aperture Card Scanning, and Imaging Services

Author: G.I. Partners

Convert microfiche to pdf

Generation Imaging provides the best quality microfiche scanning services at the lowest prices in the industry

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Microfilm scanner costs

Depending on your needs you may be in the market to buy microfilm scanners. I’m sure you have noticed that Mekel, Wicks & Wilson, NextScan, Sunrise, and other microfilm scanner companies don’t go out of their way to publish the final cost of microfilm scanners (for 16mm roll film or 35mm roll film scanning). Here’s a nice rule of thumb: $60,000 for one.

If you are looking for microfilm scanner resellers or want to buy a microfilm scanner on eBay- I’m praying for you. With no maintenance plan, support, or lisenced software it truly is buyer beware. Trust me, if you’ve been around microfilm scanners for the decades that I have been, you would know how a used microfilm scanner needs a lot of mainetence or may not even work at all. You can pick up old  microfilm scanners from $10,000 to $30,000- at your own risk.

If you have microfilm that needs to be digitally converted (no matter how big or small), contact Generation Imaging in Florida; you don’t have to worry about buying microfilm scanners from ebay or direct- Generation Imaging will convert the 16mm or 35mm roll film for you at a cheap price when compared to the time, labor, and maintenance that goes into buying a microfilm scanner on your own.


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Microfiche Jacketed Cards Duplication

Microfiche Jacketed Cards are the 4 inch by 6 inch index cards that contain frames of 16 or 35 mm film inserted into the jacket of the cards.  These cards are a special type of microfiche cards. They are made of two layers of film in such a way that it allows for frames of microfilm to slide between the two layers. The strips of microfilm that are place into these slots are sometimes made up of separate and individual frames.

These frames are not secured in the slots and thus individual frames can slide sideways and may even overlap each other.  When this happens, the frames would need to be moved back to their separate position.  Sometimes, frames can slide and fall off of the cars.  If care is not taken immediately, these frames can get lost.

In the process of digitizing microfilm jackets, is is important that the frames are not touching each other because the scanning system require some space between frames to separate the images from each other. This is referred to as image detection.

When jacket fiche cards are duplicated, the resulting duplicates look similar to the originals but they are no longer cards of jackets frames. Instead, they are a one piece of 4 by 6 film with pictures of the original frames embedded into the film.  In these new duplicated cards, the images are fixed and thus they can no longer move out of position.

If the event that the duplicated cards require microfilm scanning, as stated before, the images need to have some separation to facilitate frame detection.  So make sure that images are not overlapping, before duplicating the original microfiche jackets,  is is important to make sure that the frames within the jackets have to moved out of position, and if they are, they should be move so that frames are not overlapping or touching.

Although images are scanable even if they are touching, a more time consuming and costly process may be required to separate the frames from each other.


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Microfilm Scanning Quality

When performing a microfilm scan, there are many issues that need to be considered to assure that the resulting quality is the best possible scan.

To start, you need to determine how much information you want to capture from the film.  At first,  this may seem to many like a dumb question, thinking that the more the better.  In many instances that is the case, but there is a limit to this benefit and at one point there is a cost to pay that counteracts some of the benefit.

The two question to answer before starting the microfilm conversion process with respect to ultimate quality are Film Scan Resolution and File Type.

The film scan resolution is often refer to as DPI or “dots per inch”.  The DPI is important because it determines the size of the dots or points that make up an image. If you look at a one inch by one inch square of an image and zoom in on it so that you could see the dots that make an image, you would be able to see rows of dots that change color.  A resolution of 100 would have 100 dots going across the one inch.  A 300 DPI image would have 300 dots in this same row. To fit more dots in the same distance, they would have to be smaller and more compact.  More dots means that the image would have better chances of been higher quality.

More dots also means that there is more information.  More information also means that the image is bigger in terms of file size.  This is the down side to a higher DPI.  End users are sometimes affected by this issue for a couple of reasons. One is the hard drive space that will be needed to store the images. If the project is large, the difference in drive space may be significant. The second issue has to do with the end users system and  its ability to handle the images quickly. The larger the files are, the more information the system needs to process.  If going with larger DPI, the end user needs to make sure that the operating system, the processor in the computer, the network, and all other components, are ready to deal with the larger images and can achieve the desired results.

In addition to the DPI scan resolution, determining the file type is also important.  There are various image types, including gray scale, j-peg, tiff, and others, and some various compression types withing these selections. Grey scale images offer the possibility of generating very high quality images with lots of details but it is usually much higher in file size.


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