Scanning 35mm Slides – Not As Hard As It Sounds

scanning 35mm slidesSlide scanning can be pretty daunting the first time you do it. After all, most of the time, you’ll need special equipment and some photo processing software to do a good job. However, scanning 35mm slides doesn’t have to be scary. Let’s take a look at what you need to do a scan, the basic techniques you’ll need to know, and what the scanning process is.

One of the first things you’ll need to have if you’d like to scan slides is a slide scanner. After all, your scans are only as good as your equipment. Fortunately, high end scanners are a lot cheaper than they used to be, and you’l be able to get a good scanner for under two hundred dollars or so. Lower quality scanners will give you a blurry or low quality image, which isn’t worth your time. Since one of the biggest benefits of scanning negatives and slides is the high amount of detail and rich color they can offer, you need good equipment. Some of the tools may include photo slide scanner, 35mm slide scanner, film slide scanner, 35mm film scanner with transparencies adapter, slide transparency scanner, flatbed slide scanner and alike.

All your slides need to be clean, and you’ll want to have a slide holder or TMA (transparent materials adapter) in order to get a good scan. Some people make their own out of thick paper or cardboard. For a better image, however, a dedicated slide scanner or a scanner with a slide attachment is the best choice. These scanners are able to get the best out of your old film, and can even skip the dust and scratches that many old images pick up.

Remember to scan slides at a high resolution – a minimum of three hundred dpi, and more if you’d like to blow your slides up later. Back up the original version of all files on disc or on a backup hard drive, in case you need the larger image later. Most of your slides will probably need a little editing in a program like Adobe Photoshop or the GIMP after you’ve brought them into your computer. Many programs are available to help you, at all levels of expertise and expense, so you’re not likely to have a problem finding one.

Slide scanning isn’t for everyone – it can be tedious, and you’ll need a few computer skills to get it done. Some will prefer paying a slide scanning services to turn their slides into digital files. However, if you have access to a good scanner, and the knowledge to do it, scanning 35mm slides can be rewarding and worthwhile. Those old pictures won’t be sitting around in a box doing nothing anymore. Take the time to scan them, and you can print them, email them, or put them online for the whole world to see.