Reproduction Guidelines

Camera, Lens, Flash

Both the digitization center at St. Gall and the one at Geneva have been equipped since October 2012 with Hasselblad model H4D-50MS (50 Megapixel, Multi-Shot) cameras. We normally use a Hasselblad HC Macro 4/120 mm II lens; for manuscripts with larger page dimensions we use an HC 2,8/80 mm lens. Both cameras are equipped with Elinchrom BRX 250 flash systems.

Previous Cameras:

  • May 2005 – September 2008: Canon digital SLR camera, model EOS-1Ds Mark II (16.7 Megapixel)
  • October 2008 –  September 2012: Hasselblad medium format camera, Model H3DII-31 (31 Megapixel) 

TIFF Master Image Files

Proprietary RAW files created by the digital cameras are converted into TIFF files. These master files are archived in three copies at different locations and are validated annually (for additional information see Data Security). The uncompressed TIFF files are created with a resolution of at least 300 ppi and a color depth of 16 bits and include all data required for color management. 

  TIFF Files Image sensor 300 ppi 600 ppi
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II ~ 48 MB 3328 x 4992 28.2 x 42.3 cm 14.1 x 21.1 cm
Hasselblad H3DII 31 ~100 MB 4872 x 6496 41.2 x 55.0 cm 20.6 x 27.5 cm
Hasselblad H4D-50MS (8 bit / 16 bit*) ~150 MB / 300 MB 6132 x 8176 51.9 x 69.2 cm 26.0 x 34.6 cm
* since April 2016

TIFF files may be ordered from the respective libraries for reproduction (see Contact – Manuscript Library or Collection).

JPEG 2000 Files

For the web application viewer and for the image server, TIFF files are converted into JPEG 2000 files with a size of roughly 5 MB. The JPEG 2000 standard is an update of the JPEG standard, and in comparison to the earlier standard the new one offers better compression (based on Wavelet technology) as well as higher derivative image quality. JPEG 2000 files contain more information than normal JPEG files but are smaller with regard to file size. A great advantage of this JPEG standard is that it enables the display of the same image in a variety of resolutions and sizes.


In the area of new technologies and image file standards, e-codices has benefitted greatly from the rich in-depth knowledge and experience of the Digital Humanities Lab at the University of Basel.