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# Wednesday, 18 February 2009
How to Convert Old Slides to Digital
Posted by Diane

Q. I have some 35mm slides that I want to put on my computer. Also, the color on these pictures has turned red. What’s the best method to save these slides?

A. If you have a flatbed scanner, you may be able to find a special attachment for scanning slides, but these don’t always produce good results. Nowadays, you can get a slide converter, such as VuPoint’s film and slide converter or the Imagelab Instant Slide Scanner, for around $100 to $150.

See a demo of a converter here.

Alternatively, your local photo lab may be able to convert the slides for you, or you can use a service (great for large quantities) such as ScanDigital or ScanMyPhotos.

Color shifting in slides is common, says photo expert Maureen A. Taylor. “To slow the process, store color photographic materials such as prints and slides in a dark, cool place that is not subject to fluctuations in temperature and humidity. Large archives actually store their color materials in refrigerated vaults.”

Though it may not be possible to return the images to their brand-new appearance, most professional services can correct the color and remove scratch marks. Do-it-yourselfers can use photo-editing software such as Adobe PhotoShop Express (free online).

Make sure you save the unedited scans as TIF files, a format that does the best job of preserving image quality. Make copies of the images to edit. Store the edited copies as high-resolution TIFs, too. For sharing or posting online, copy the edited files as JPGs (which reduces file size).

Finally, be sure to back up your digitized images. The best way is with an online storage service.  Mozy is one; see more back-up services in PC Magazine’s online review. You also can save the files to an external hard drive kept in a location away from your home. Give copies to family, too.

Preserving Heirlooms and Photos
Wednesday, 18 February 2009 16:58:33 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #  Comments [5]
Thursday, 19 February 2009 21:24:28 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Will the same process for the slides work for 35mm negatives as well? How do you convert old black & white negatives to digital? Is it better to just print them and scan the print into the computer. I have lots of negatives and slides from my parent's photo collection and haven't been able to find prints from them. I'd like to go digital with all my photos as another means of preservation and sharing for my grandkids.
Jean Foster
Friday, 20 February 2009 00:19:18 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Shutterfly is now offering scanning of slides at an amazing price. They do it with ScanCafe and my 1000 slides are now on a DVD and also online on Shutterfly
A fabulous service
Friday, 20 February 2009 03:17:05 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
It used to be that Hewlett Packard made a small scanner for scanning 35mm slides and negatives. It was about six inches square and you fed the media into a slot and it scanned it. The design wasn't like a flat bed scanner. The model number was G4050 or something like that and sold new for around $400 but they quit making them. They show up on eBay from time to time but they do a fine job of scanning 35mm and negatives.

If one has some time each week to dedicate to scanning and then editing the photos before saving them, then they can
get great results to pass on to future generations. Still
a person can spend loads of time on doing this.
Friday, 20 February 2009 03:40:36 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
While I'm here I should mention this also. Consider saving
each of your scanned/edited photos as a .tif (tagged image file) so there will be very little compression. Then save it as a .jpg (jury of photo experts file) where there will be compression.

Why ? The .tif image lends itself to editing and re-editing
better than than the .jpg image. Alaising is more of a problem associated with the .jpg image. You may have seen the little wrinkly puddles that build up around edges of facial features in photos. Some may disagree with this but it's a matter of what works for you. In your software it's easier to enlarge your image to work on it and then use the resize function to scale it down to preview it prior to saving it. But keeping your original scanns saved as a .tif
as masters may be quite valuable later. Who knows what tomorrows tech may give us.
Friday, 20 February 2009 17:51:57 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
With over 4000 slides to scan of family memories I decided I did not have the time to spend scanning my slides at home. I sent them to Larsen Digital Services in Ogden Utah ( They are more expensive than Shutterfly but they give you more options on resolution and other features. The do the work in their own labs (some labs send your slides to off-shore locations). I have been extremely happy with their work.
Joe Lindsey
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