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Scratching my head

Discussion in 'General Family History Queries' started by Philb-c, May 16, 2017.

  1. Philb-c

    Philb-c Well-Known Member

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    Many thanks Chimp :).
    (the link worked today but no, I'm not a member)
     
  2. Philb-c

    Philb-c Well-Known Member

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    If everything falls into place, I now have a microfiche of the above winging it's way to me via snail mail :).
    Obviously I will be more than happy to share this resource.
     
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  3. Philb-c

    Philb-c Well-Known Member

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    I understand that there are ways to digitise a microfiche using a flatbed scanner, black card and a bright light.
    Anybody tried it ?
     
  4. arthurk

    arthurk Well-Known Member

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    You've inspired me to have a go. My best results came from simply putting the fiche on the glass and using the scanner's own white background. I used manual settings with the scanner driver rather than anything automatic, maximum resolution (1200 dpi for me), and grayscale allowed me to tweak the contrast etc.

    Some of the results were just about readable, but not what you'd call brilliant. Also, I was working with a cropped single frame, and wouldn't want to have to repeat the adjustments for very many of them. I don't know if you'd be able to work on several frames at once, but you might than end up with some seriously large files.

    If you've got a scanner, all I can say is give it a go and see what you get. For me, once I'd adjusted the scanner settings there wasn't much difference between positive and negative images. I also found it helped to add a bit of sharpening in an image editor afterwards, though I might also have been able to do it with the scanner driver first. I think the fiches I tried would need a reader with a low magnification lens (25x?); there are some that need more (40x?) and I doubt my scanner would manage those.
     
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  5. Philb-c

    Philb-c Well-Known Member

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    Hi Arthur K,
    They arrived safely this morning, 9 sheets with 60 images per sheet - each one very small indeed (about 10x15mm).
    I have tried a variety of settings right up to my maximum of 9,600dpi in 24bit colour, B&W and greyscale but for some strange reason they all appear to be blurred/out of focus.
    I'll try the local library (either way, I will get there in the end) :)
     
  6. arthurk

    arthurk Well-Known Member

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    Hmm, I think a trip to the library will be in order. As I said, I managed to improve some of my images with a bit of sharpening, but they were still some way off perfect.

    What I'd really like to have is a compact fiche reader that links to a computer, so you can view your images on screen without the need for a whole separate machine, and ideally save them as digital files (subject to copyright issues). I think there are such things, but whenever I've gone looking for them they've been "price on application" - which I always take to mean very expensive.
     
  7. Philb-c

    Philb-c Well-Known Member

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    Just back from the local (and very helpful) library. After much research they advise me that there is not one single library in Dorset that still has a microfiche reader. A photo shop and a scan/print shop were also unable to help.
    However, a family history society just 5 miles away has one that I can use all day for £3. It won't save to memory stick or anything "modern" but they can print "for a modest fee" :).
    Plenty on eBay for £10 upwards but unfortunately nothing local.
    Ones that will save to a memory stick cost an arm and a leg.
     
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