ESSEX-UK-L ArchivesArchiver > ESSEX-UK > 2009-02 > 1233604100
From: Charles Fuller <>
Subject: Re: [Ess] Scanning Microfiche
Date: Mon, 02 Feb 2009 19:48:20 +0000
If anyone would like more information on this subject, please e-mail me
off-list and I can give more information about my research and actual
Here's a summary of my experience:
1. The registers I hold were recorded on microfiche at 1/29th. of their
2. For registers after 1813 (1837 for marriages) a resolution of 2400dpi
gives very good results.
3. For registers before 1813 a resolution of 4800dpi usually gives
"acceptable" (see 4 below) results. If the ink is very faded then it
will probably be necessary to edit the image or leave it as a negative
(white text on a black background).
4. "Acceptable" results means the same picture quality as you get on the
really big screen high-magnification machines in a record office. I
believe that I will be able to read some baptism entries in a particular
parish which a Family History Society has been unable to transcribe. For
this task I will need to take a little more care and time than simply
putting the fiche in the scanner and clicking on the "Scan" button.
5. Not all scanners are capable of coping with microfiche. The two key
questions are: (a) can the scanner manage film acceptably; and (b) can
it manage an object which is the size of a microfiche? The Canon 600
LiDE 600F has a special film holder which contains the light. This has
absolutely no way to manage anything as large as a microfiche unless you
cut the fiche into pieces.
6. Microfiche Reader/Printers with a computer connection are
ridiculously expensive - about USD 1,500 to 3,000 (GBP 1,200 to 2,400
Taylor, Keith wrote:
> Is this the voice of experience? I have had readable results from
> microfilmed (not microfiche) documents, each page of the document being a
> B&W positive image on the film (This is essentially the same as scanning a
> 35mm slide). I found that shining light through the film didn't work at all
> well but having a white paper 'background' did reflect enough light back
> through the film to 'see' the document. I scanned each frame at varying ppis
> from 1200 to 4800 and they are just about readable.
> The microfiche images I have are somewhat smaller than the microfilmed ones,
> that's why I suspect more optical dots per inch might just do the trick.
> Keith Taylor
> Somerset UK
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Charles Fuller [mailto:]
> Sent: Saturday, January 31, 2009 4:45 AM
> To: Taylor, Keith
> Subject: Re: [Ess] Scanning Microfiche
> As far as I can tell (the manuals for the product have been removed from
> the UK site, so my reply is based on the product sold in the USA) - NO,
> it won't do the job.
> To scan a piece of paper or a photographic print, the scanner shines a
> light at the piece of paper and records the reflection. To scan a film
> negative/slide or a microfiche, the light must be shone THROUGH the
> film. This means that the scanner must be able to accept an object about
> 14cm x 10cm (5.5" x 4") in size and be able to shine light through a
> good area of it (otherwise you'll be forever trying to get the right
> part of the fiche).
> Page 7 of the "Quick Start" guide for the Canon 600F scanner shows that
> there is a special attachment made explicitly to hold 35mm film which
> provides the light. So the only way you could use this scanner would be
> to cut the fiche up into 35mm squares. You would not be able to scan all
> parts of the fiche since the edges would fall outside the scan-able area.
> The Epson V700 (and V750 which simply has more software in the box) has
> a light in the lid of the scanner which can scan an area about the size
> of an A4 piece of paper. The Windows version of the scanning software
> auto-focuses on the film/fiche so you don't have to use the film holders
> Charles Fuller.