How To Convert Slides To Digital

A photo album

Back in the day using diapositives,- a semi-transparent image on a transparent slide, which were placed in a projector to view pictures on a screen was a common practice. But thanks to digital cameras, that’s all in the past now. Yet people have photo archives brimming with picture slides that remain unused for decades. To enjoy old transparent pictures, many people now use a digitize slides service to digitize slides or do it themselves to preserve memories for years to come.

Digitizing Slides

Although the days of tangible photos are long gone, every household has a treasured collection of old slides as a souvenir of the good times. But despite being safely packed and stored, people never really see those pictures because taking them out and going through each can be tedious. Moreover, as time goes by, old slides become worn-out and turn yellow, especially those encased in cardboard, making viewing them much more off-putting.

However, understandably there will be times when you would want to take a trip down memory lane without inhaling dust particles settled atop your picture box. To save yourself from all the inconvenience, digitize slides or get a convert slides to digital service to be able to view pictures whenever you want.

If you wish to digitize slides yourself and don’t know how to go about it, this guide will help you with the process.

Understanding Slides

Before we move on to the procedure to digitize slides, let’s quickly go over the use of photo slides.

Photo slide is the name given to reversal films that use a transparent base to capture a positive photo, which is then projected onto a screen using a projector-turning them into diapositives. In the early days of film, photo slides were viewed by placing transparencies in a projector one by one. Every time users wanted to look at a different picture, they would change the transparency in the machine, giving the process the title of a slideshow.

But with time, as technology evolved, modern projecting machines could fit in all transparencies at once, eliminating the need to change the sheets every second.

The slides used at the time had different formats in terms of size, such as 35mm, 35 mm half-frame slides, etc. The most commonly used or standard slide was 35mm, which is why today, most photo slides requiring digitization are the standard 35mm, making 35 mm slide scanning services particularly essential among all slide scanning services.

Cleaning Slides

Converting slides is only possible if the photo sheets are stored securely so that no dust particles accumulate over them because that can lead to their deterioration.

When old slides are exposed to dust and grime, they develop scratches and become difficult to salvage. That said, minor wear and tear can be tackled with anti-static wipes. So, when sorting your photo sheets, if you spot smudges or dirt blotches, gently clean them off.

You can also use a brush to remove the debris stuck to your slides. However, sometimes the particles can be too stubborn to clean off, even with a liquid film cleaner. Removing specks attached to a photo sheet is tricky because most people never know how much pressure they should exert. Sometimes they don’t apply enough force, while other times go a little too heavy-handed with it. If you think you also might not know how to do such delicate work, consider contacting a convert slides to digital service provider as they are more likely to have experience with such tasks.

Once clean, move on to the next step of digitizing slides; scanning.

Scanning Slides

There are primarily two ways to scan slides, but both require investment in a scanner.

  • Flatbed Scanner

A flatbed scanner is a regular scanner that you can find in any computer accessory store. However, you cannot use to scan photo slides the same way you would do with a document because photos require extra light for the process. If you don’t have that while scanning photo slides, the produced scans will not be as sharp as you’d like.

To add light to your scanning process, place a glossy white paper on the glass of your machines and then place your photos on top of it. Hit scan, and you’ll begin to get digitized images on your computer.

  • Film Scanner

As the name suggests, a film scanner is specifically designed to digitize old photo transparencies mounted in cardboard or plastic casing. If you have said apparatus, all you need to do to get your photos scanned is connect the device to your computer, install the necessary software and get scanning.


Another lesser-known method to digitize slides is duplicating, which involves an SLR camera in which a duplicator replaces the lens with a T-mount adaptor ring. The lens in the duplicator picks up the image on the slide you place in it and capture it as you hit the shutter button.

Although duplication can get you digitized photos, the result is not as sharp as it is with a scanner.

Ending Note

DIY digitizing is possible thanks to the readily-available gadgets to do the job, but it might not give you excellent results because you don’t have experience with such intricate tasks. Therefore, you should look into getting a digitize slides service to preserve your memories for life.

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