The process of taking a film or printed image
and converting it into digital information is called scanning.
Scanning thus bridges the world between the film camera and the
There are several basic types of scanners. The most expensive
is a drum scanner, which uses vacuum to curve the film around a scanning
head. With such perfect alignment, the drum scanner is able to achieve
the highest resolution. Needless to say, we don't have one.
Nearly as good is a film scanner. We have one of the best, a
Nikon LS-2000. It accepts 35 mm film and mounted slides.
With it, you can take the information from a 35 mm frame and produce a
file of about 30 mb (this of course can be reduced through compression).
For material which is not transparent (or which is larger in size) a
flatbed scanner is used. Not as precise as a film scanner, a
flatbed scanner can still achieve good results, especially if your final
output will be to the web. The department has a number of
good-quality scanners, all of which can be adapted (with varying
success) to scan film and other transparent media.
Finally, of course, it may be possible to "scan" material
into the computer by photographing it with a digital camera.
You can use one of these links
for details on how to
use the scanners available in the department.