Frequently Asked Questions about Microfilm

In this article, we answer all the common questions we receive from customers regarding microfilm. Read on to find out.

Frequently Asked Questions about Microfilm
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MSI Team
June 23, 2022

In this article, we answer all the common questions we receive from customers regarding microfilm:

Is microfilm available in different lengths?

When you plan on having your microfilm scanned, you should determine which type of microfilm you have. As the digitization of 100' and 215' rolls of microfilm requires different levels of effort, the price of your project may vary significantly. In general, a microfilm reel that is twice as long as another will require more labour, which is why it will cost a bit more.

What is microfilm?

Microfilm is a type of electronic record-keeping medium created by photographing documents and then reducing their sizes. This allows you to store a lot of images and data in a small amount of space.

While aperture cards and microfiche are often used interchangeably, the terms should not be confused. All of them are related to microfilm, but the type of microfilm found on reels and rolls is the real microfilm.

Is my microfilm 100' or 215'?

There is a good chance that many of you reading this article will not have calipers at your disposal. Due to the difference in price between 100 and 215 foot rolls of film, it may be more cost-effective to purchase a caliper if you have a large collection of microfilm. A caliper can be purchased on Amazon for about $10 to $20. By squeezing the gauge of the caliper against the flat surface of the film, you can measure microfilm.

You can determine the reel length using a gauge or the information provided by determining if you have thin-base film (2.5 mil) or thicker base film (5 mil). Thin base (2.5 mil/.0025) = 215’ in length Thick base (5 mil/.005) = 100’ in length  

What's the point of knowing if I have 100' or 215' of microfilm?

In order to convert microfilms to digital format, they must be scanned and converted to digital images or digital data. The price difference between a 100' roll of film and a 215' roll of film can be significant. Generally, the number of images on a roll of 215' is twice as many as that on a roll of 100'.

Knowing how many rolls in your collection are 100'  215' will be helpful when getting an accurate estimate for your project, so you are prepared and ensure you have sufficient financial resources to support the conversion.

Next steps

If you have come this far, you must have some microfilm. You may also contact one of our consultants to discuss your existing microfilm requirements.

Alternatively, if you only wish to know whether the film is 100 or 215 feet, that is fine as well. Feel free to reach us and we will be happy to discuss your project and see how we can make it happen.

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