Reliable capture of rolls of microfilm requires top of the line equipment, technology and expertise. Some of the challenges to expect include broken or damaged film, short leaders and trailers, extreme film densities, overlapping frames, imperfect blips, mixed polarities, mixed sizes and orientations, poor filming and/or film developing, unavailable or deficient lookup indexing tables (CAR files) and more. Proven methodologies include grayscale scanning in whole ribbons, adequate pre-scan prepping, creative CAR file matching and editing, sophisticated frame detection and extraction, sophisticated image processing and comprehensive production workflow software. We provide load files for bulk importing into designated document repositories. If the digitized film is not to be hosted in a document management system, we offer creative desktop solutions at no cost that can also save fortunes in massive indexing efforts.
Myth #1: Ribbon scanning is the only way all images are scanned.
Reality: It is. Traditional and on-demand frame by frame methodologies are ok, but subject to human distractions, on the fly human judgment and other error sources during the scanning of a roll of film. Conversely, ribbon scanning goes unattended end to end yielding an image of the entire roll.
Myth #2: Ribbon scanning reliably captures all images.
Reality: It does, as the entire roll is a monolithic image end to end. It is also true that during ribbon scanning the entire roll is scanned using a fixed brightness and contrast setting, but capturing grayscales allow these settings to be played with after capture, which is the right thing to do to eliminate physical rescans. Even in very odd circumstances, where a roll is known or suspected to have extreme changes of film exposure, if grayscale adjustments are feared insufficient (unlikely) the roll can be ribbon scanned twice with different settings in just a few short minutes per scan.
Myth #2b: Ribbon scanned images are frequently unreadable resulting in the need for re-scanning.
Reality: Not true at all if captured in grayscale.
Myth #3: Ribbon scanning is the fastest technology to digitize microfilm.
Reality: It is. See myth #4 below.
Myth #4: Ribbon scanning is a “do-it-quick, fix-it-later” process.
Reality: True, but in the good sense. To understand why, we must differentiate production scanning versus on-demand scanning. In every methodology used (ribbon scanning, on demand, etc.) there are automatic, semi-automatic and manual adjustments to be made. The difference is where and when they are made, but the aggregate time spent on manual adjustments is about the same in all cases. In one case (ribbon scanning) manual adjustments are made after capture, while on-demand does it during capture. Furthermore, post capture editing allows critical tools to be used such as statistical digital metrics, project-specific business rules and blackout (“lights out”) displays to catch weak frames that could otherwise be missed.
Myth #5: Using ribbon scanning is archaic thinking.
Reality: It may eventually be so the minute something much better comes up. If that ever happens, then calling it archaic thinking may be fair. As of now, not true.