In part 1 of this blog post we discussed the uses and increasing importance of microfilm scanners. In this blog post we will discuss the features and specifications of a high quality microfilm scanner. It is important to choose a scanner that offers the following features:
Proven Precision Optics: A standard 18x-42x magnification zoom lens is preferred.
Ease of Operation: All controls should be close to the seated operator. Film loading and unloading should be easy and all switches should be at the operator’s fingertips.
Accessible to Persons with Disabilities: Persons with disabilities should find the microfilm scanner easy to use. As mentioned before all controls and film loading should be conveniently located near the operator. There should be no need to stand to reach the controls or for film loading and unloading.
Ease of Viewing: A 24” x 24” (609mm x 609mm) is about the largest offered in microfilm scanners and high quality readers feature screens that are angled for effortless viewing. The illumination should be automatically adjusted to provide optimum light throughout the magnification range and all film formats should be accommodated by the 360-degree rotation of the carrier.
Additional features to look for when purchasing a microfilm scanner include:
- Two motor drives with timing belts and pulleys
- DC motors – no tachs or encoders, no sensors
- Torque maintained at low speed for smooth operation
- Dual ball bearings on reel shafts
- Rotary speed switch for numerous positions including: fast forward, fast reverse, slow forward and slow reverse with a variable speed range in the slow position for browsing
- Linear low speed level control from very slow through medium browse
- Rotary switch with hands free auto rewind
- Film tension should be maintained at low speeds for maintaining good focus during browsing.
For more information about our microfilm scanner products, contact MES Hybrid Document Systems