Scanning microfiche

From: Clint Wolff <>
Date: Sat Jul 29 08:36:18 2000

Hi Tim,

I am looking into the same problem, and the only solution I have
found that seems reasonable is a microfiche scanner. You can get
a used Minolta MS-1000 (not Y2K compliant) with a proprietary
PC interface card for ~$2000 (US$). A new MS-2000 with a SCSI
interface has a retail price of ~$6000.

You can also get a funky thing that attaches over the screen of
your microfiche reader and scans directly from that.

Finally, you can buy a reader/printer. My only experience with
these is the quality of the printed output is quite poor, and
scanning it afterwords wouldn't improve matters.

Let me know what you come up with...


PS When (if) Cirrus Logic stock (Nasdaq CRUS) ever gets above
$25 I'm going to buy an MS-3000 (11x17) and a wide selection
of lenses.

On Sat, 29 Jul 2000 wrote:

> Not so much related to classic hardware directly, but instead the
> *documentation* for classic hardware *and* software:
> OK, let's say I've got a couple thousand sheets of microfiche, 4" x 5".
> Each sheet contains ~200 paper pages of text and drawings. I want to digitize
> at least part of this, possibly OCR'ing it too.
> Each 8.5" x 11" printed page on the microfiche is about 0.15" x 0.2",
> so the magnification factor is about 50. That means if I want the equivalent
> of a 75 DPI scan of the full-size version, that I need to scan the microfiche
> at about 4000 DPI. The el-cheapo (i.e. a couple hundred $) scanners I see
> on the shelves here seem to top out at 2400 DPI.
> And 4000 DPI is the "minumum acceptable" number in my above calculation. If
> I can do 4 times better than that, so much the better. In my experience
> most 75 DPI scans of 8.5" x 11" text don't OCR well at all, you need more
> resolution.
> So what are my choices for higher-resolution scanners? My *other* hobby
> happens to be large-format photography, so if the resulting scanner is also
> good for 4" x 5" negatives and/or transparencies I won't complain :-).
> It looks like there are 35mm film scanners with 2700 or 3000 DPI resolutions
> available for a few thousand, but I think I need to do better than that.
> Of course, I can go in the darkroom and enlarge the microfilm, but doing
> that for each of the thousands of sheets is going to be tedious. Yeah, I
> know, it's already a tedious job!
> Finally, do *any* scanners have documented interfaces? i.e. say I find myself
> a nice SCSI-connected high-speed high-resolution scanner. Am I going to be
> reduced to point-and-drool with Windows 98, or can I actually hook the
> scanner up to a real computer? We're talking about many tens or hundreds
> of gigabytes of data here, so I'm willing to invest some effort to automate
> the acquire/compress/archive process.
> Tim.
Received on Sat Jul 29 2000 - 08:36:18 BST

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