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Microfilm Reader/Printer Cheat Sheet for Salem State University : Using Ultrafiche

How to use the microfilm reader/printer.

Don't panic if...

Is your text backward?  Your film is in the machine incorrectly, pull the carriage out and reverse your ultrafiche.

Is your image white text on a black background?  It will scan and print with black text on a white background.  This will be covered in Using Capture Perfect Software.

Can't see anything clearly?  Are you using the correct lens for your format?  Microfilm and microfiche use the same lens, ultrafiche uses a separate lens.

Use the correct lens!

To use ultrafiche, you need to use the lens that is specifically for ultrafiche.

Ultrafiche

Ultrafiche, like microfilm and microfiche, is content that has been photographed and reproduced in a space-saving, condensed format.  Ultrafiche are flat, slightly rigid sheets of film, rather than the rolls of microfilm.  These flat sheets are placed in between the glass of the reader, but instead of using the reels to advance to the next image, you will manually move the film forward and backward.  Note in this photo, the title of the ultrafiche is facing forwards.  Also note how much smaller the ultrafiche is, and how much smaller the pages (the small rectangles) are compared to microfiche.

Loading ultrafiche

Loading ultrafiche:

PLACE THE ULTRAFICHE IN THE READER, IN BETWEEN THE GLASS PLATES WITH THE "BACKWARDS" SIDE OF THE FICHE FACING UP.  Push the carriage to close the glass.

Save

Save

Moving carriage

Once your ultrafiche is in the machine, and under the lens, you are ready to start looking for what you need.  In the same way that you push and pull the film "carriage" towards and away from yourself to open and close the glass, you will use the same motion to orient each row under the lens for viewing on the screen.  You will also move the carriage to the left and the right to move from page to page (little rectangle to little rectangle).  The carriage will also move at "angles" if you have placed the film in a little crooked, or if the original was photographed askew you can "correct" the image by adjusting the carriage.  You can use one hand, or both hands by the arrows on the carriage.  Don't over-think which direction you need to move.  Watch the image on the screen, and move in the direction that works with what you are seeing.


Ultrafiche lens quirks.

Additional quirks have been labeled on the ultrafiche lens.  The "sweet spot" for focusing an image from ultrafiche is very narrow.  This means you will need to use very small movements when focusing the image.  It is easy to miss the spot and end up with a blurry image.  This will seem a bit fiddly at first, but it will get easier.  The ultrafiche lens also lacks the ring that allows for expanding or contracting the image for size. See the tab above for Using Capture Perfect Software for detailed information on lenses and imaging.

Ready to go

Go to the tab for Using Capture Perfect Software for help with orienting, formatting, scanning and printing from microforms.