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Thread: Microfiche Reading - Part two (flatbed scanner)

  1. #1
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    Microfiche Reading - Part two (flatbed scanner)

    how to digitalise microfiche simply without a microfiche reader and all sorts of other equipment.

    Flatbed Scanner

    There are two methods which can be used to scan microfilm. Method one uses a specialist scanner and method two uses a normal flatbed.

    Method one

    Use a scanner with a backlight and a microfilm holder. These can vary in price.

    For instance, the Microtek ScanMaker i900 Flatbed Scanner is a more expensive model which has a microfiche adapter with it.

    Epson Perfection 4990 Photo is mid price and can handle various film formats

    A cheapo version would be Epson Perfection V100 currently at amazon for 59.99 which holds slides and films.

    Method two

    This is for people without a fancy backlit scanner with negative holders and comes from this website http://www.abstractconcreteworks.com...ed-method.html.

    Remove scanner lid (or lift up, just don't scan with the lid down)

    You need a black peice of paper, the thicker the better which will cover the scanner glass. Cutout a peice the same size as the microfiche.

    You now need something to reflect the light back. You can use a desktop lamp, a flourescent one has the best results.

    Place the black paper with the microfiche in the hold on the scanner, cover with a translucent whitish plastic (you can use white paper although it may result in speckles)

    Place the lamp about 2 or 3 inches above the translucent plastic

    Scan


    You may have to play around with the scanner settings to get a good result.
    Coming in part three...
    ... How to scan fiche using a digital camera.

  2. #2
    Member Cloggie's Avatar
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    Abby, I have a Canon all-in-one machine with backlight, which does a great job on 35 mm negatives and slides. I tried scanning microfiche with it yesterday, and no matter what I do with the settings I can't get results that are as good as viewing with a fiche reader. It's close, but although I can make out a name here and there, it's just not sharp enough to be of any use.

    You mention a "microfilm holder". Do you know if there is also such thing as a "microfiche holder"? And would that make any difference?? Obviously I can't put the fiche into the film or slide adapter without cutting it up.
    But I don't know whether this should make any difference anyway? - the holder does raise the film/slides about a mm (if that) above the glass.

    Or possibly the resolution may just not be high enough? My scanner's max. resolution setting for film/slides is 3200 dpi.
    What do you think?

    Thanks, Sarah
    Last edited by Cloggie; 27-10-08 at 08:49.

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    I have read on a website that one bloke did cut up his fiche to fit the holder and it worked great.

    You can buy a microfiche holder for some scanners, HP and microtek do, from what I can see, the holder is mainly to cut out the scanner glass which may be reflected back via the backlight.

    You could try, and this is just a thought, using a dark peice of paper with a hole the size of the microfiche and slot the microfiche in there. Always scan on preview and adjust the settings as you go (best results are at the highest DPI and as light as you can).

    Best of luck.

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    Member Cloggie's Avatar
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    Thanks Abby. I'll give the dark piece of paper a go.
    It's not a big problem for me anyway as I do have a microfiche reader. Just wanted to try it out as one set of fiche I have is very faint in places and very difficult (sometimes impossible) to read. So I was hoping to be able to achieve a sharp enough scan to enable me to play around with the contrast/brightness and make it more readable.

    I'll let you know if the dark paper trick works.

    Thanks again for your help!!

  5. #5

    Scanning microfiche

    Hello

    New to the forum but I am very interested in scanning mirofiche using a flatbed scanner.

    Cloggie and AbbyW seem to have the basics sorted ( Jan 07), have you any other information to offer

    Regards Aztec

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    Member Cloggie's Avatar
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    Hi Aztec,
    Welcome to FTF!
    I'm afraid I haven't had very good results scanning microfiche with a scanner - just can't quite get the scans sharp enough. I bought myself a second-hand microfiche reader and find that much more useful.
    You might be be able to get better results with a higher-resolution scanner (mine goes up to 3200 dpi for slides/film, which seems to be almost high enough but not quite).
    Last edited by Cloggie; 27-10-08 at 08:49.
    Sarah

  7. #7

    Scanning microfiche

    Hello Cloogie

    Thanks for the rapid response. I have been looking for a microfiche reader but I live in Spain and there seems to be a no readers for sale and shipping almost doubles the cost
    Regards Aztec

  8. #8
    Member Cloggie's Avatar
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    You may well get better results with a higher-resolution scanner. With mine the scans were not sharp enough to be able to read everything, although I could pick out a few words here and there. So I think a higher-resolution film scanner would probably work, although you won't know for sure until you try it.
    Sarah

  9. #9
    Truth is, no domestic scanner can scan from microfiche because the reduction used on the microfiche is just too great.

    After much searching, I recently found a company that was able to scan my fiche to DVD without breaking the bank. If anyone wants to know their contact details, send me a PM.

    I believe they can also supply microfiche readers at a good price.

    For the record, I am in no way affiliated with the company, just think a lot of people will find this helpful.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Genealogy Simmons View Post
    Truth is, no domestic scanner can scan from microfiche because the reduction used on the microfiche is just too great.

    After much searching, I recently found a company that was able to scan my fiche to DVD without breaking the bank. If anyone wants to know their contact details, send me a PM.

    I believe they can also supply microfiche readers at a good price.

    For the record, I am in no way affiliated with the company, just think a lot of people will find this helpful.
    Hi I'm interested to know the company Please!
    Mario

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