5 Tips to Digitally Scan 35mm Slides

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Let’s face it. There is absolutely no way those 35mm slides sitting in those cardboard boxes in your attic are ever going to find a new purpose in life. The days of those slides being projected on a wall to get a home-theatre-like feeling are gone, and it seems highly improbable that they are going to come back.

So trust that blabbering friend when he tells you to get those slides digitized. Or in other words, scan them in a way so that you have digital copies of those slides. These digitized versions can be saved in your computer, hard drive, CDs or you can upload them online to a photo storage service.

It might sound like a daunting task to scan those slides, so we are here to make life simpler.

1. Before you think of how to go about scanning those slides, you need to clean them. Slides can accumulate dirt and dust, or marks like finger prints. If the amount of dust reeks of storage negligence, then grab a soft brush and dust off the contaminants. Other specks and minute dust particles, the scanner will take care of using the Digital Ice process which comes with most of the film scanners.

2. Now get hold of a good slide scanner. It is a scanner specially meant for scanning photo slides and come in various levels of quality. Pick the one which gives you a decent photo quality within your budget – from $50 to $250. The megapixel of the scanners usually ranges from 5 to 9, and just like in cameras, the higher the megapixel count, the better is the quality of your final product.

3. Use an adapter to enlarge the photo a little bit so that you don’t end up with a tiny image of the slide. An adapter will increase the size a notch up and let the scanner do it’s work.

4. If getting a scanner is not an option you want to try, then how about clicking a picture of the slide itself? Switch off the lights, find a clean white wall, or a white screen and use the projector to get the slide’s image up on it. Now put your photography skills to some good use and click a steady picture of the image on the wall. Use a tripod if necessary. The clarity would definitely be nothing compared to scanning the slide, but it is one cheap option at hand!

5. Get rid off all the above mentioned points and the hassle involved in doing it. If you do not have the time to do all that, simply outsource the process. A quick search on the net will tell you of slide scanning services in your area/country. You can simply ship off the slides to them, they will use high-end scanners to get the images to you.

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