The Best Way to Scan Slides

Scanning slides can be quite involved depending on the format that you have and your scanner. First of all most scanners are set up to scan 35mm slides. These are rectangular negatives mounted in a 2×2 inch cardboard or plastic mount. The old instamatic cameras were often 126 mm, these are a square positive mounted in a cardboard or plastic mount. These need to be individually cropped on scanners that will let you do this. Many companies scan these 126mm slides with 35mm set ups so the tops and bottoms of your images get cut off. Thats because the square images are bigger then the 35mm. We hand crop so that no slides get cut off.

When looking for a slide scanner the software is as important as the scanner. It is the software that will give you the clearest image and a good color correction. Slides should be scanned at least with a 2400 resolution. This will allow large prints and if you modify the image after scanning you will still have enough pixels for a good image. Remember, everytime you modify a jpg photo the size of pixels are reduced, so save the original and modify a copy. Make sure your scanner is set to crop your slide exactly so that you don’t get the mount or cut off images.

While scanning slides and photos it is very important to keep your glass clean. You can blow dust off your slides with an air pump or canned air. A dust blower is also good on cleaning scanner glass. We also use a plastic cleaner like ‘Brillianize’ because it works on plastic and glass.j Brillianize also adds a dust resistant element to your scanning glass. This product is the same as ‘Rain Off’ so check your garage, you might already have some.

There really isn’t a fast way to digitize slides. Well, the fastest for you is to give them to a professional company to digitize them for you. Digitizing is like painting. It looks like you just paint the wall but there are so many details involved before, during and after, that it does take a long time to scan slides correctly.

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