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

Tag: 16mm roll film

Computer Output Microfilm

Computer Output Microfilm is the rarest of 16mm roll film types (ironically Computer Output Microfilm is a very popular form of microfiche). Because of the nature of most COM reels not having regular edges like normal 16mm roll film, converting COM rolls into digital image can be quite a challenge. Thankfully, Generation Imaging has tons of experience working with all kinds of Computer Output Microfilm.

COM microfilm

An example of Computer Output Microfilm

If the COM roll is blipped (small markers on the outside of the frames) and the frames have fixed sizes and are equidistant from each other, although the scanner operator must be highly experienced and the setup time is lengthy, it is theoretically possible to scan the Computer Output Microfilm without problems.

If the COM roll does not have blips, the highly skilled scanner operator must used advanced detection algorithms to attempt to find a sense area and setting to capture each frame by itself. Again, the Computer Output Microfilm must pretty much be perfect to pull this method off.

If none of the above methods will work, the expert scanner operator will have to scan the COM images as strips of frames. By padding an overscan and setting the backup, the operator can assure that no frame is missed. However this method requires post-processing: the frames must be manually cropped or split to create individual frames.

Generation Imaging offers scanning solutions for converting COM reels to PDF, TIFF, or JPEG. Please contact us today if you need this type of roll film to be converted to digital images. CONTACT US

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Convert Microfiche vs Convert Microfilm

A mistake that occurs from clients or organizations who are not familiar with micrographics is mixing up microfiche and microfilm. Every industry or niche has its own lexicon, and in the micrographics industry there are major differences between microfiche and microfilm. The purpose of this article is to describe the differences between microfilm and microfiche.

Microfilm- It’s rolled.

In the most simplest terms, microfilm is rolled and microfiche is flat. Microfilm is also called roll film, and microfilm reels, microfilm rolls. Sometimes the width of the film is used to describe the types, such as 16mm roll film or 35mm microfilm.

Microfilm is usually stored in plastic or metal spools.  Some old microfilm is stored in metal pans. Yes, microfilm generally looks like small versions of movie reel film, except without the classic sprockets.

Microfilm cartridges look different that the standard reel spools- but only on the outside. The film is enclosed in a hard metal square casing to protect it. Kodak and 3M were innovators in producing microfilm cartridges.

There is no such thing as a 35mm roll film cartridge; there are only 16mm microfilm cartridges.

The actual microfilm frame placement and types vary, such as duplex film, positive, negative, duo, fixed, blipped, variable, etc, however that is a different topic and is unrelated to identifying microfilm vs microfiche.

Microfiche- It’s flat.

scan microfiche

A jacketed microfiche

Microfiche are flat “cards”, usually 4.13 x 5.83 inches, containing a few frames on them. Whereas a microfilm may hold 500 (35mm) to 20,000 frames (duplex), a microfiche card may hold as many one one frame to a couple of hundred (COM fiche).

Jacketed microfiche are simply roll film cut up into strips and inserted into plastic sleeves. Some people get confused if they don’t see the jacket sleeves, but it could be that the microfiche was duplicated. If it was duplicated, the copy may still have faint lines highlighting the border of the jackets. Since jackets are created from microfilm strips, they can come in the 16mm microfiche or 35mm microfiche varieties. A 16mm jacket has more rows and columns, and thus can hold more frames that a 35mm jacket (1-6 frames).

COM microfiche is computer generated and contain very small frames (usually with a 42x or 48x reduction ratio).

Step-and-repeat microfiche were created with a step-and-repeat camera. Many times they contain manuals or books and can hold hundreds of frames. CONTACT US

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Microfilm Scanning Bureau

Microfilm scanning

Generation Imaging is a scanning bureau that uses the right kind of digital microfilm scanner to convert your microfilm, microfiche, aperture cards, and Kodak slides. Generation Imaging’s staff has decades of experience with using different types of digital microfilm scanners from various scanner manufacturers, like Sunrise, NextScan, Wicks & Wilson, Canon, Minolta, E Image Data, and others.

Generation Imaging is able to keep your microfilm scanning price down because of their low overhead. G.I. is an ideal partner for other scanning bureaus who wish to outsource microfilm scanning projects.

Why would other scanning bureaus that have scanning equipment outsource to Generation Imaging? There are quite a few reasons:

1) Scanning Costs- Depending on the volume, time-frame, and labor costs of your microfilm scanning project, it is very possible that G.I.’s scanning costs may actually be lower. Some scanning bureaus don’t have a smooth microfilm scanning production set up and it can really be a hassle sometimes.

2) Scanning equipment- not all digital microfilm scanners are created equal- some name brands are better than others, some scanners have additional modules, higher resolutions, more imaging filters, and faster image output rates. At the most basic level, some scanning bureaus don’t have a microfilm scanner, microfiche scanner, aperture card scanner, or Kodak slide scanner.

3) Work Overflow– there are some microfilm scanning projects that are so big, that a scanning bureau needs to either buy a new digital scanner or partner up with another scanning bureau. Some scanning bureaus can be hit with a bunch of smaller projects that need to be outsourced as well.

4) Film Scanning service– at Generation Imaging, co-founders Damian Hospital and Dan Gandul are trustworthy, efficient, productive, technically orientated, and practice outstanding customer service.

5) Corporate pricing– some scanning bureaus get handcuffed by their corporate office when it comes to giving low prices for an internal microfilm conversion. Subcontracting the film scanning service to G.I. is an excellent alternative.

6) Microfilm government RFP bids- in addition to offering low microfilm, microfiche, and aperture card scanning prices so scanning bureaus can be in a better position to win government RFPs, G.I. also provides other micrographic services, such as microfilming, archive writing, Florida document scanning, microfilm duplication, paper blowback printing, and more. CONTACT US

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Creating Microfilm: Microfilming Services

create microfilmGeneration Imaging provides microfilm services, such as film processing, creating roll film, and Kodak microfilm.

G.I. can provide you with excellent microfilming services. When it comes to archiving document services, we will have the right business solution for you.

Here’s a list of our microfilm processing services:


  • 35mm Planetary Microfilming
  • 16mm Planetary Microfilming
  • 16mm Rotary Microfilming

Microfilm Processing Services:

  • 35mm Silver Roll Film Duplication
  • 16mm Silver Roll Film Duplication
  • 35mm Diazo Roll Film Duplication
  • 16mm Diazo Roll Film Duplication
  • 35mm Microfiche Jacketing
  • 16mm Microfiche Jacketing
  • Microfiche Diazo Duplication
  • Aperture Card Jacketing
  • Deep Tank Microfilm Processing
  • All meet ANSI Standards

Partial listing of some document types:

  • Personnel Files
  • Correspondence Files
  • Manuals
  • Technical Specifications
  • Permits
  • Financial Reports
  • Invoices
  • Bill of Laden Documents
  • Loan Documents
  • Mortgage Documents
  • Commercial and Personal Banking Documents
  • Legal Evidence Documents
  • Police Records
  • Architectural Engineering Drawings
  • Photographs

We can also assist you with your 16mm and 35mm film archiving and roll film needs. Many organizations, courts, cities, counties, governments, and businesses require Kodak 35 mm or 16 mm microfilm.

For Kodak microfilm purchases, we would need catalog number (if possible) and quantities.

Let Generation Imaging preserve your documents with easy access in retrieving documents faster.  Let GI help you save time, effort, costs, comply with government regulations and increase your productivity. CONTACT US

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