Secrets of direct digitizing

Pierre Zagatti zagatti at
Tue Sep 30 04:38:55 EDT 1997

Doug Yanega wrote:

> As I commented to Ken Philip at one point, it looks more like the main
> problem is COST. You're describing a complete system that requires about
> $10,000 - given that the cost of taking slides (even if you take several
> per specimen to ensure good focusing, shadows, and color balance) and
> scanning them is around $1.50 per finished image, you'd need to take
> something like 7,000 images before you'd be just breaking even on the
> purchase of the system (and you won't have the original slides in hand,
> either, if something happens to your files). I have no idea what your final
> number is going to be for this project - do you think you'll eventually get
> your money's worth?
> Just curious as to the economics of such high-tech investments,
> Peace,
> Doug Yanega    Depto. de Biologia Geral, Instituto de Ciencias Biologicas,
> Univ. Fed. de Minas Gerais, Cx.P. 486, 30.161-970 Belo Horizonte, MG   BRAZIL
> phone: 031-448-1223, fax: 031-44-5481  (from U.S., prefix 011-55)
>   "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
>         is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82


You are absolutely true about the cost of such a system, but we NEEDED a
color video camera, for scientific and academic purposes (the camera mounted on
the microscope is linked to a video monitor to show some dissections to our
students...). Obviously a mono-CCD camera would work, but this recall to me
the discussion with my wife to explain why I bought some Leica Trinovid
for my butterfly/bird watching hobby against Nikon binoculars, 2 times cheaper
but not 2 times worse.
More seriously, after discussion with Nikon specialists at Apple Expo in Paris,
it appears that digital photo cameras using all the Nikon lens series will
available in 98-99, for less than 1500 $. Here is the future of digitized
for the entomologists, either professionals or not.

INRA Unite de Phytopharmacie et Mediateurs Chimiques
78026 Versailles Cedex
Tel: (33) 1 30 83 31 18
e-mail zagatti at

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