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

Tag: roll film

Things Your Boss Expects You Know About Microfilm Scanning

So you are going about your normal workday when all of a sudden your boss has a new priority for you from left field- get pricing for microfilm scanning! You probably haven’t even heard about microfilm, your office never even uses it, but your boss has an opportunity or need to get microfilm converted- whatever that means! So you politely say “okay” and start your search online. Hopefully we can clear up some confusion with this article!

microfilm questions

Confirm and Get the Microfilm Specs

Your ultimate goal is to get a price for microfilm conversion, but the first thing you have to do is actually identify and get details about the microfilm. Now, I know this may be hard if your boss just dropped a request for a roll film quote on your desk without telling you. But you can show off your knowledge to your boss by turning the tables and asking about what type of film it is. The two main types of roll film are 16mm and 35mm roll film. These look like small versions of movie reels. 35mm reels usually have newspapers, drawings, blueprints, or maps on them, while the more common 16mm reels usually have all other types of documents, like medical records, payroll records, school records, criminal records, land and deed records, marriage certificates, lawsuits, etc. If you have any specifications, let us know: DPI resolution (200, 300, or something else), pdf or tiff, bi-tonal or greyscale, and how are the files named?

A common misnomer is to call microfilm “microfiche”. Microfiche is actually flat plastic cards which contain a few frames on them. A microfilm roll is a spool of film.

Once you get the microfilm type, you want to get an estimate of how many rolls are in the collection. The reason for all of this fact-finding is to help us give you a free microfilm scanning quote. The price varied by type and volume. Without this information, it is like contacting a car dealership and asking for a car price without saying which year, model, or spec you desire.

What is Microfilm Used For, Anyway?

As far as why microfilm is still relevant today, there are still hundreds of thousands- if not millions- of rolls that have not been converted still. Governments still produce them to store their records on them because paper takes up too much space. You would think they would just scan the paper to digital image, but it takes too long and is costly. So it is possible that your boss is helping am existing client who also has microfilm but does not know how to convert it to digital image. Your boss may be trying to respond to a bid which has microfilm scanning requirements and your office can perform all of the other tasks but not the microfilm portion. There are dozens of reasons why your boss came across the microfilm scanning opportunity.

Other Important Questions

Your boss probably wants to know if it is cheaper to buy a microfilm scanner and do it yourself vs outsourcing microfilm scanning. We can give you price ranges for both. Generally speaking, it is more inexpensive to subcontract microfilm conversions. Microfilm scanners are very expensive to buy or lease, and you have to figure in the cost to train and maintain. In many ways getting your own microfilm scanner is like setting up a new business. Regardless, we will give you numbers to work from so you can give them to your boss.

Your would probably be expected to know how much it costs to ship the microfilm back and forth. The best way to get an estimate for that is to fill a banker’s box with paper and weigh it, or look at previous UPS, Fed-Ex, or USPS shipments you’ve made and extrapolate.

Other questions include turnover time: how long does it take to finish a microfilm scanning project? What are the images delivered on: external hard drives, USB flash drives, DVDs, FTP transfer. CONTACT US

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What Are Microfilm Scanning Services?

At the most basic level, microfilm scanning services refers to digitizing roll film. In other words, it is the transfer from analog media to digital format. To break it down even further, it is roll film to tiff, pdf, jpeg, or other image format. The two types of roll film are 16mm and 35mm, not to be confused with movie film.

So in addition to the actual roll film conversion, is another component of microfilm scanning services?

Quality control. Some companies don’t actually check their work, or simply do a quick spot check before sending the project out. What happens is that he burden would get put on you to perform your own in-depth quality check. If you don’t have time or labor to perform a check, there would be a great chance that the images are incorrect, which is a nightmare. Generation Imaging performs four phases of quality control, which are including in our standard microfilm scanning services.

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  • Phase 1: Generation Imaging’s scanner operators actually check their work during scanning. They check their settings. As a failsafe, each project has a project manager and supervisor to verify that the microfilm machines and specifications are correct.
  • Phase 2: Another worker or workers will audit the scan. The scanner will create a ribbon of the entire roll, and the auditor will manually verify, modify, and- if necessary- adjust quality or rescan the roll.
  • Phase 3: This is an intense quality control process that meets industry standards. It is performed by a separate quality control team. A significant percentage of images is checked. 100% QC and/or manually adjusting or manually cropping or manually splitting images are add-on microfilm scanning services.
  • Phase 4: The CD, DVD, or hard drive is checked and image counts are matched.

As you can see there is more to microfilm scanning services than just hanging a roll on the machine. CONTACT US

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Generation Imaging’s Microfilm Scanning Services

Generation Imaging is a Florida company owned by Damian Hospital and Dan Gandul that provides 16mm and 35mm microfilm scanning services. They met each other at Lorien Technologies and have been working together since 1998. Prior to Lorien Technologies, Dan worked at First American Real Estate, and in their microfilm scanning services division for 22 years.

Experiencing life is fun, but so is learning from experiences. Damian and Dan have committed themselves to making sure microfilm scanning services provided by G.I. Partners, LLC are efficiently provided to clients with no excuses.

G.I.’s microfilm scanning services include:

-Free quotes and sample testing.

-Creating an Inventory of roll film to compare to your list or database or to build one from scratch.

-Examining the film to make sure it can be scanned or damaged or repaired.

-Digitizing film at 200DPI to 400DPI (and in rare cases higher) as bi-tonal or greyscale images. File formats can be PDF, TIFF, JPEG, PNG, BMP, ad various bi-tonal and greyscale image compressions.

-Images can be split, autocropped, manual cropped, grouped by blips, and named whatever you wish.

-All images are audited/check/modified using ribbon software, which guarantees that every image is detected and captured.

-Roll film projects can be outputed to CD, DVD, external drives, USB stick, FTP’ed, or fileshared.

-While your project is in progress and is it completes, you will be informed about it with updates. We will meet our deadline.

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What is NOT included in our microfilm scanning services: bait and switch pricing, bad quality work, missed deadlines without notice, lack of communication, or sending your project overseas or to other companies. CONTACT US

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16mm Cartridge Microfilm Conversion

Microfilm conversion is pretty much a catch all phrase that describes transferring roll film to digital image, such as PDF, TIFF, JPEG, or PNG. Most people visualize roll film as being like small versions of movie film in a mini-spool. Although the bulk of roll film is indeed like that, reels can also be enclosed in plastic cartridges.

There are a few kinds of 16mm roll film cartridges. Some are completely enclosed in a hard plastic, and are held together by screws and a snap mechanism. These were perhaps made famous by 3M, although other companies have produced and continue to sell these hard plastic film cartridges. Completely enclosed, they provide better protection from air, pests, and shipping.

Other 16mm cartridges are made of a lighter plastic and are open, and were created to be inserted into a large roll film shelf.

Generation Imaging has the capability to perform the microfilm conversion of 16mm cartridges.  Let us know if you have any file format and naming preferences. Otherwise, we will digitize the cartridges using standard microfilm conversion parameters, such as 200DPI bi-tonal TIFFs.

Generation Imaging has expert microfilm conversion scanner operators with the experience and technical know-how to convert roll film to digital images in a timely manner.

Most of the time it is more cost-effective to send G.I. your cartridges instead of purchasing a microfilm scanner. If you prefer to deal locally, and are located outside of South Florida, you may be disappointed in the quality of the final product and microfilm conversion pricing you are offered, so give Generation Imaging a try.

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Microfilm Conversion Steps: How To Start the Process

Getting Your Microfilm Conversion Started

  • Identify the media for microfilm conversion. Roll film can be 16mm and 35mm. You can measure the width of the film to determine this. 16mm can be on spools or cartridges, while there are no 35mm cartridges. Roll film is not microfiche (small flat cards), aperture cards (PC cards with a rectangle cut out for film), color slides, or movie film.
  • The term microfilm conversion refers to creating digital images from roll film. So choose an output format, such as PDF, TIFF, JPEG, PNG, or other standard image file formats. Do the folders or images need to be named a certain way? Will the files be single page or multipages?
  • Get an estimate as to how many reels are in the collection and around how any images are on a roll. To do that, you can use a rule of thumb of 2,000 frames for 16mm or 500 for 35mm, or you can measure an inch and count how many frames are in that inch. Then multiple that number by how long the film is (it may be indicated on the roll label). Otherwise, a rule of thumb could be 100 feet for thick film and 200 feet for thin film.
  • Contact Generation Imaging for your microfilm conversion quote and turnaround time.
  • Pack your film up and don’t leave any room for movement. Use any mail carrier you are comfortable with to send it to G.I. If you are local to South Florida you can drop it off or have us pick it up to perform your microfilm conversion.
microfilm conversion

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