Tag Archives: scanning service bureau

Convert Microfiche to Digital Images (PDFs, TIFFs, JPGs)

Did Your Reader Printer Break?

When should one convert microfiche to digital images, such as PDFs, TIFFs, or JPGs? How about right now! Just recently the Mt. Vernon Clerk and Recorder office has suffered extensive water damage, and their microfiche machine no longer works. Generation Imaging has received numerous inquires from many government entities, school systems, and insurance companies that were using reader printers or Canon scanners which broke down.

If they don’t convert microfiche before an accident or mechanical failure, they would be unable to service the public or digitize the data. The huge advantage of using a microfiche scanning service bureau is that a company like Generation Imaging can convert microfiche to digital images much more quick than a slow reader printer or Canon scanner.

convert microfiche to pdfGood Microfiche Scanners

G.I. uses NextScan high speed microfiche scanners to convert microfiche to PDF, TIFF, or JPG, at various DPI, bi-tonal (black and white) or grayscale. Images can be converted through OCR (proprietary software) or indexed by directory or at the filename level. In other words, G.I. can create an image retrieval format for you to match your existing organization or create an entire new way to organize your images.

The key to avoiding disasters and getting involved in the tricky business of disaster recovery is to be proactive. The first step is to convert microfiche to digital. You may be surprised just how affordable the cost of microfiche scanning is with Generation Imaging.

Go Digital

The benefits of digitizing fiche are numerous: increased productivity, easy file transfers via e-mail, internet, FTP, networks, and printing; and the ability to copy images quickly.

Governments, private organizations, and individuals (researchers, veterans, genealogists, hobbyists) that have fiche should convert microfiche to digital images as soon as possible. CONTACT US

Microfiche Scanning Cost: Ugly Truths

How much does it cost to scan microfiche?

How much does it cost to scan microfiche? What is the price to convert microfiche to digital images? The cost of microfiche scanning depends on the microfiche type. 

Step 1 is to identify the type of microfiche to be digitized.

Step 2 is to determine the estimated volume of the microfiche digital conversion.

  • COM fiche has around 208 to 270 frames and is computer generated.
  • Jacketed microfiche generally contain under 70 images per card (usually they have a few rows of 16mm film strips).
  • Step-and-repeat microfiche can fall under either fiche category depending on the image layout on the fiche card. The same can be said for rewritable microfiche.
  • 35mm microfiche jackets have a minimum fee per card since there are only 1 to 6 images on them.

Published Microfiche Scanning Prices

Taking a look at four microfiche scanning companies who advertise online, we get varied pricing structures:

cost to scan microfiche

Company A’s microfiche scanning price


microfiche conversion quote

Company B’s microfiche scanning price


microfiche scanning cost

Company C’s microfiche scanning price


how much microfiche scan

Company D’s microfiche scanning price


Let’s pretend you have a collection of 1000 35mm microfiche, containing 6 images each (ergo, 6000 images), and want them to be scanned. Granted the price lists seem a bit confusing, but this is the best we could interpret them to be:

Company A: $2,000
Company B: $1,800
Company C: Doesn’t say 35mm fiche, but let’s hope it’s less than $6,000
Company D: $2,160

Our microfiche scanning company, Generation Imaging, would be way under all of those prices.

Why is there such a variance in microfiche scanning costs?

Not Knowing the Microfiche Market

It is possible that a document scanning company simply does not know what the current microfiche scanning prices are because they are not focused on the microfiche industry. Many large corporations sell software, document scanning, or equipment sales. They may not have done their microfiche fiche scanning market analysis.


Microfiche scanning is a niche market, and many companies which advertise microfiche digitization services may use a subcontractor to perform the work. There is nothing wrong with this, however since the corporation  assumes the risk of the sale, they mark-up the microfiche scanning price. Salespeople work on commissions. An independent salesperson may set up a website which advertises microfiche scanning but may actually not have microfiche scanners. They get their commission, which increases your price.

Cost of Labor to Convert Microfiche

Worker salaries vary by jurisdiction and is based upon microfiche scanner operator experience and skill. Every project needs a client representative, microfiche preparer, microfiche scanning operator, quality control auditor, supervisor, manager, shipper, and accounts payable.

Microfiche Scanner Speed Times

If a microfiche scanning company has scanners made by respected manufacturers such as NextScan, Mekel, Sunrise, and a couple of others, they have the ability to convert more microfiche per hour than a lesser known scanner. The high production microfiche scanners cost tens of thousands of dollars and require expert technical skill to operate. The lower-end microfiche machines still could run you up to $15,000 but the time it takes to scan one microfiche is time consuming. A microfiche machine like reader printer is slower, especially if you are forced to save out one frame at a time manually. There are also “mid-level” microfiche scanners which cost tends of thousands of dollars but do not have superior scanning speed or quality enhancers. CONTACT US