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35mm Microfilm Scanning

Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:50 pm

Anyone have a 35mm microfilm scanner or know of a cost effective method of getting 35mm microfilm digitized?

Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:20 pm

Will a 35mm slide copier work?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 0126846933

Otherwise you can just use a scanner, but it will take a long time if you have a whole roll to digitize.

Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:37 am

I've got around 50 rolls+ to do, so I just broke down and bought a Canon Microfilm Scanner 400 on ebay just now. Once I get this thing working I'd be happy to offer microfilm scanning to any WIX member. If it's interesting microfilm, I might even do the scanning for free. I like to read engineering drawings.

Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:24 am

BW: If your rolls are anything like mine, it will be a tedious and long process. Of the sets that I have, orginal print sizes run from A, B and C sizes to ones that are C height and triple E lengths. All of mine have sizes mixed pretty much in a random fashion as they tend to be organized in part number sequence. My P-66 set though does have some sections where there are long sequences of same sizes.

Depending on the quality of the originals, a good estimate is that it will take approximately 1-2 minuets per drawing to set up for a good, usable scan. I've got some that are so poorly done though, that I am going to have to go back and recreate them in a CAD program. One thing that will help is prescreening the film before scanning it all if you are using a manual scanner. There are bound to be drawings that you do not need to scan. I've got some in the Fairchild stuff that apply only to XA versions, so I have no need for them. With almost 2000 feet of film to scan, every frame that isn't needed, won't be done.

BTW, with the reductions commonly used, you can figure somewhere around 6-7 C sized drawings to a foot of film at 75 volts, 2:1 reduction. You can figure for the A, B, D and E sized drawings from there. If you can find a drawing index in you film, I'd scan and print it so that you can flag the ones that need recreating and mark off the ones that you've scanned. After staring at thousands and thousands of prints going by, it's easy to get woozy......BTDT........

Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:13 pm

Good info. One of the things I made sure I got when I ordered the microfilm was the index. It'll come in handy.

In my previous career I worked prepress at a printing plant, so I'm used to mind numbing scanning and printing issues for years on end. :lol:

Mon Feb 16, 2009 10:04 pm

BH: Your scanner show yet? Curious to see how well it works out.

Fri Feb 20, 2009 2:23 am

As luck would have it, the Canon MS-400 I purchased didn't have the SCSI interface card installed in the scanner. I'm waiting for one to show up on ebay so I can scan with it. I had some issues with shipping damage on it, but I managed to fix it once I found a copy of the service manual. I can read 16mm, 35mm microfilm rolls and microfische at least with it now. I just wish it could scan. It's sort of irratating the person who sold it listed it as a microfilm scanner, but without the scsi interface card, it's just an expensive reader.

Micofilm Scanning

Sun Mar 08, 2009 5:45 am

It cost (from memory) EUR 6,000 to scan the P-51 Mustang Microfiche. Flugwerk GmbH stumped up the cash for it - that's the remanufactured Fw 190 fuselages from Germany:


There are firms that specialise in document scanning and we sometimes can get the price down a bit by buying blocks of "down-time" so that the job gets done when there's no other work. Though Claus did not use this technique for the P-51 project because of "need now" constraints for a live parts fabrication project. We've even used photo labs where you go and get your holiday snaps turned into photo. They often need to sell down time.

Various digitised blueprints sets can be found on the link below:

http://stores.shop.ebay.com/Flug-archiv ... ec0Q2em309

Those of you who have invested time and / or money in digitising microfiche or microfilm can get some of their money back by contacting Peter. He's honest and straight and the relationship has worked for us.

Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:59 pm

Small update, I have the scsi interface card in shipment to me. I'll be able to start offering microfilm scanning as an option to WIX users soon. I'll keep everyone updated. IMHO, standard pricing is ridiculous for scanning services. You can buy the scanners cheaper than that. Overall, I hope this'll help WIX users. No reason why I shouldn't use my hardware to help other projects too. :)

Thu Mar 12, 2009 1:29 pm

I've got it setup and working now. It can scan 400dpi B/W. It's really fast scanning in only issue will be the carrier isn't an autocarrier, so I need to manually crank it through a roll for scanning. I timed a scan and it takes about 11 seconds per tiff. That could give everyone a rough figure of scan time per roll. It's not as time intensive as I thought it would be. I could easily knock out a few rolls a day as needed with cleanup in Photoshop.

Thu Mar 12, 2009 7:22 pm


Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:11 pm

BH: What file format capability does your scanning system have? I'm starting to keep my eyes out for a system for here. I'd like to be able to drop scans into .pdf format as well as something that could be imported into AutoCad or some clone of it.

We have all of our manuals online at work in searchable .pdf form and it's a great help. I'd like to get all of mine online at least.

Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:10 pm

Can scan it into about any format, pdf included. My only issue with the scanner is it's B&W not Grayscale. Grays are done as dithers. Prints out just fine on laser, but zoomed in on screen it's kinda ugly. I guess that's what made this a $600 400dpi microfilm scanner and not a $6000 1200dpi one. :wink:

Re: 35mm Microfilm Scanning

Wed Jul 28, 2010 1:05 am

I put a small blog post on my blog page about the equipment and process I use to microfilm scan.


Re: 35mm Microfilm Scanning

Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:09 am

These people scanned my microfilm for me for free:


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