A resource for anyone interested in photography with special attention to better understanding the process of converting your 35 mm slides to digital images.

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Posted by on in My Favorite Pics


05thebrownsisters ss-slide-ZKLJ-master675

Terrific photos and article about 4 sisters by the New York Times.

                                    New York Times

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The dvd created is primarily designed to store the scanned jpg images for viewing on your computer. However, many newer dvd player have the capacity to read these files and display on your television. You also have the option of creating a dvd that is specifically made for your dvd player. Usually it will also include music, menus and special image features like transitions. Checkout this great article on the subject from Scantips.

 dvd player

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Customers often ask how should I send my slides. Here are a few tips that may help. The most economical option is to remove your slides from carosels and other containers. Place your slides in a zip lock bag. These bags will keep your slides airtight, moisture free and make fitting into boxes very efficient. After your slides have been scanned, pack your slides in a box in the bags and seal off from any light. Ambient light and moisture are the two worst conditions for any slide over time.



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What’s better: A CD/DVD or USB flash drive

This question is not easily answered without understanding the basic differences between these two technologies. All things concidered, I recommend a USB stick as my first choice for data storage and transfer needs. Here are the the basic considerations; capacity, speed, and durability reviewed by 









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Many slide scanning services post your images to the internet for you to review and select your images. Not a good idea... I have posted just one of many articles cautioning of the dangers of this company practice. Our recommendation is to only have your confidential images copied to a DVD or thumb drive. Here are some specific concerns.

  • Most services use third party vendors to host online images. No matter they say, control of images is lost as soon as they are uploaded.
  • The review process is slow even with thumbnail opies.
  • Although this practice is framed as a customer service, the online process only benefits the service at your expense.



 Read Article

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This is the most common question asked by our customers about their scanning project. Unfortunately, this is one of the most confusing topics. So lets look under the hood with a "Keep It Simple" approach.

My recommendation is not to try and understand the technical differences between DPI and resolution. If you won't sleep until you understand every technical nuance of this subject, I recommend you go to the link below and read the article by Wayne Fulton. His explanation of resolution is the best and worth reading. However, the core issue remains how to meet your printing and monitor size requirements. That is what were talking about. So if your looking for advice, here is my recommendation based on 20 years of experience.

  • 24-bit RGB image (8-bit color)
  • 3600 DPI
  • JPEG (Approximate file size 6-8 megabytes)


With these settings you can re-print your slides at 10X12 with excellent quality and view them as HD quality on your computer monitor or HDTV. I would also recommend sending a couple test slides to your service provider to lock in your decision.



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Cleaning slides is about removing dust from the film surface nothing more.

The more success you have in removing dust results in fewer artifacts and higher quality images. However this is a delicate process and can ruin your slide. Consider the following ..

  • Never use any water or cleaning fluid on your slide.  As careful as you might be, in most cases the liquid will damage the emulsion on your slide. I save you the technical reasons but I highly recommend you don't opt for this approach.  Expensive restoration may be the only option left to fix this damage.

  • The best and only real option is to gently swab the film surface with a lint free clothe. The kind used for your expensive glasses. After a gentle brush, use compressed air to remove the particles.

  • Don't press to hard or scrub the surface of the slide.


That's it for cleaning options. Keep in mind, thumb prints and small surface scratches cannot be wiped away. Scanning service providers can remove much of these problems with software like Kodak Digital Ice. Don't fret if some of your most beloved slides look a little ragged. In most cases the digital copy will look great and preserve the image forever.



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What about TIFF, JPEG or RAW file formats. As if you didn't have enough decisions to make. Well, don't let this important but often over analyzed file selection for your collection send you off to an early cocktail hour. Lets review the three most common file formats in a "Keep It Simple" way and not get bogged down with to much tech talk.

TIFF - These are uncompressed digital files. The major difference with a JPEG is the file size can be 4 times as large. Something to consider if you need to edit your files or have limited space on your computer. If you have any commercial use for the images like print publishing, TIFF format is typically required. Need to make a poster size print? If so, TIFF is your pick. Be aware most service providers will charge a premium for this format.

JPEG - These are compressed files. Much smaller file size and easier to edit. If this is a personal collection and your goal is normal print size and display using your computer or HDTV then a good choice would be JPEG. To the untrained eye and most technicians it is very difficult to see the visual difference between theses formats. If your not sure, send a couple slides to your service provider and ask for comparison of each slide in both formats. Bet you can't tell the difference...

RAW - Are you a professional photographer, an artist archiving the old slide images or a museum cataloging a collection. The RAW format saves every bit of data in the file allowing the greatest control over editing and color correction. These are special use scenarios and a conversation with an experienced provider is a good idea before you start the scanning project

So that's a high level overview of each format. If you want more detailed information the internet is loaded with pages of technical information on the subject. For most people, JPEG is the best choice.


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Posted by on in My Favorite Pics

Medium 640

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Damage to slides are typically caused from water or mold. Correcting these problems depends on the skill of the technician and time needed to make the image look new again. Restoration is a rebuilding of the image process and can be very time consuming. Therefore the repair costs can vary significantly from one vendor to another. Always select a vendor who will give you a firm written estimate of the repair costs. Leaving this open ended is not a good idea and move on if only  SWAG prices are offered. 


Remember, many slides loose their color with time. Correcting color is not a restoration process and should never cost as much. Qualified vendors can make these changes, so don't throw away any of your slides.

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There is an easy and simple option for packaging your 35mm slides is in almost every kitchen. Slides measure 2X2 inches and fit perfectly into the boxes from used wax or aluminum paper  holders. A suggestion would be to tape over the metal cutting bar before closing the box. Each box can hold around 150 slides. Similar storage can be purchased but these work great.



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