Color vs. Quality.
If you are one of the few who has color film you may have realized you’re facing a dilemma when it comes to choosing the best type of microfilm scanner for your collection. A microfilm scanner utilizing white light and a color image sensor to scan color film will result in a blurred image due to chromatic aberration.
What is Chromatic Aberration?
Do you remember in school when you observed how a rainbow is formed as light passes through a prism? Just as your favorite paint color is made by mixing different colored paints, white light is formed by mixing light of many colors. As shown in the illustration below, as light passes through a lens, each color of light focuses at a different point causing the image to be blurred. This color separation is referred to as chromatic aberration. This same phenomenon occurs when white light on a microfilm scanner moves through even the highest quality lens
Which Do You Choose?
Back to your dilemma — do you accept poor image quality so you can scan color slides or do you ensure best image quality (clarity) for your entire film library by choosing a microfilm scanner employing monochromatic (one color) illumination and a monochrome image sensor?
See a comparison of a scanner using monochromatic
illumination and a monochrome image sensor with a scanner that doesn't
Microfilm scanners cost thousands of dollars and are optimized for microfilm, not for scanning color slides. Scanning color slides on your microfilm scanner also can tie-up your investment for extended periods of time.
If image quality is most important, which it is for most people, then choose a microfilm scanner employing monochromatic illumination and a monochromatic image sensor. If your need for color is driven by a desire to scan color slides, we recommend purchasing a slide scanner which is optimized for that very purpose, for around $150.