Digitising and Reproduction


Digitisation of photo and graphic collections, paintings, posters and plans

Museums and archives protect analogous collections of irreplaceable value which, despite the best precautions, are exposed to a progressing deterioration depending on the material or can even be destroyed by sudden events in the worst case. Most of the treasures are kept as safe as possible and therefore difficult to access. Every withdrawal from the depot involves risks.

Thanks to high-quality digitisation, the inventories can be made accessible to permitted user groups for the majority of all applications without having to remove the analogue original from the secure storage. Accessibility in suitable databases does not only mean

  • easy access to copies of the digital original or to application-specific working copies, but also
  • simple and complex search in millions of digital assets for scientific work and public presentation in a global context.

Although the analog original is irreplaceable, the digital original also serves as a welcome additional backup.

The compelling arguments for digitisation increase the pressure to integrate analogue stocks efficiently, cost-effectively and in the highest quality into the digital world. Highest quality means capturing the originals losslessly as a digital original and making them ready for use:

  • Reasonable optical resolution without interpolation, so that all details are captured without generating superfluous amounts of data
  • Complete color management for all digitisation steps
  • Digitisation with a color depth of 16 bits per channel (48 bit RGB)
  • allocation of the file names and, if necessary, capture of metadata in the course of digitisation in accordance with later usage logistics.
  • Work in air-conditioned rooms and interim storage in air-conditioned F90 safety storage facilities
  • Immediate ingestion into suitable databases (Digital Asset Management Systems, preferably integrated with collection databases) and, if necessary, incorporating into long-term digital archiving

Efficiency and cost optimisation are directly related – the more efficiently the lower the costs. In the meantime, CCD and CMOS sensors of medium format cameras with optimised lenses have achieved a quality standard, to get digitising results from all originals on film or glas plates and for non-transparent originals up to A1 comparable with results from scanners but in a much shorter time.

The time required for digitisation is almost exclusively reduced to manual operations and extra work such as exporting, trimming, etc. Larger formats can be digitised at 300 dpi in one piece with state-of-the-art scanners up to 2.20 m x 1.35 m – even on site if the originals are not allowed to leave the house.

We digitise originals of various types, including

  • 35mm film, roll film 120, sheet film, microfilm / negative and slide / single frames, film strips, whole films, framed / color and b/w
  • Glass plate negatives and slides, also special formats
  • Photos and graphics / large formats / paintings, any size up to 2.20 m x 1.35 m at 300 dpi in one piece (larger formats are assembled from several scans via image montage), contact-free, also on site
    Our workrooms are air-conditioned and for temporary storage we have separate air-conditioned stores for film material and paper documents as well in accordance with fire protection class F90.

Our services include among others

  • Resolution / image size from standard to high-end beyond “DFG Guidelines Digitisation”
  • Indexing according to specification (allocation of file names)
  • Archive scan without retouching, fine scan with retouching possible on request
  • File formats for original and possibly working copies according to customer requirements
  • ICC colour space according to customer requirements
  • Delivery via download link, rented hard disk, hard drive to remain with the customer or ongoing online delivery of data for long time projects
  • Ingesting assets and adding metadata into the database

With its roots in a traditional photo lab, some of us have lived through the ups and downs of digital technologies as service providers for many years. We are well acquainted with the challenges of the intersection between photo, graphics and computer.

  • ``We see our services as a contribution to an all in all concept - workflow, color management and data management included in suitable databases.``

Large format scans on site

Digitisation of large format originals with Rencay SuperFineart Scanback

Digitisation of large formats up to 2.20 m x 1.35 m at 300 dpi in one piece without montage

CDS Gromke e. K. has invested in the ultimate scanning technology Rencay Super Fine Art to digitise special formats in high resolution without digital image montage.

  • 26,000 x 16,000 pixels corresponds to approx. 2.20 m x 1.35 m at 300 dpi
  • non-contact scanning
  • portable equipment allows digitisation on site
  • no color fringes due to real color capture in each pixel (no Bayer matrix)
  • consistent color management

With Rencay Super Fine Art and Phase One IQ in parallel operation, mixed stocks of engravings, graphics, plans, paintings, textile patterns (tapestry etc.) and special formats can be digitised in best quality in one batch without having to sort out “problematic cases”. We do our work either in the air-conditioned workrooms of CDS Gromke e. K. or on site in the collection, if the originals are not allowed to leave the house.

Digitisation of historical glass plates and sheet film negatives far exceeding the requirements of the DFG Guideline on Digitisation

Historical glass plate and sheet film negatives are often larger than the film formats up to 4 “x5” that are commonly used in later times. They contain valuable detailed information, which requires high-resolution scanning technology in the macro range. With the Rencay Super Fine Art scanning system, CDS Gromke e. K. offers digitisation with the ultimate technology that goes far beyond the requirements of the DFG Guideline on Digitisation 2016:

  • Original 9×12 DFG Requirement 1,200 dpi
    -> with Rencay SFA max. 4.500 dpi
  • Original 18×24 DFG Requirement 600 dpi
    -> with Rencay SFA max. 2.250 dpi

This maximum achievable resolution does not always make sense. Depending on the quality of the originals, the best resolution has to be selected, which captures all details but does not generate any superfluous data ballast.

High end digitization of large formats

Digitisation e.g. of plans, paintings for highest requirements

High-quality historical large-format originals require special scanning technology. In particular, problematic surfaces and fragile originals require special recording methods in order to digitize them in a high-quality, contact-free and extremely gentle manner.

Particularly noteworthy is the special light control, which illuminates even originals with poor flatness extremely evenly with the lowest possible light exposure.

With our digitizing station, we can scan originals up to a size of 2.20 mx 1.50 m at 170 dpi or A0 at 300 dpi in one go.

Larger templates are partially digitized and the individual files are then assembled into one file. Sufficient space and additional side tables to support significantly larger templates are available.

Reproduction, facsimile and fine art prints

Reproduction, to protect the original from damage

Many a valuable original has already been damaged by light, heat or moisture, by decomposition or even by touch and incorrect handling. Today, reproductions can be produced with astonishingly good approximation to the original and, where the presentation of the original is not acceptable, can morally justifiably replace the original.

Committed to the quality standard of professional photography, we digitise your originals, process the emerging files and output them in true-to-original quality. Printed on the finest Hahnemühle papers or textile materials, they delight museum visitors and viewers of all kinds, without exposing the original to damage potential. For creative artists, fine art printing itself becomes an art. Limited editions of personally signed facsimile prints are sought-after by collectors and art lovers.

It is only the matching framing that really sets the scene for the printed graphic, photo or facsimile. In cooperation with the best framing professionals, we will gladly complete the work for you.

Consistent ICC colour management ensures that we have the colours under control throughout the entire process, from image generation and processing to printing or photo output. We only print with pigmented inks for which the manufacturer states long-term stability of over 200 years.

There is something for almost every wish from a wide range of print materials.



Photo matte

Paper for fine art printing

Representative selection

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