Slides to Digital

Kodak changed photography forever when it introduced its Kodachrome film in 1935. This innovation popularized the use of color in photographs and movies but eventually faded as digital photography took over in the early 2000s.

Many of us still have Kodachrome slides at home. You should know that these slides have a limited lifespan, but you can preserve these precious memories by converting your slides to a digital format.

What Are Slides?

Slides or transparencies are a photography medium that features a semi-transparent image captured on a small piece of glass or plastic film. You’ll typically find a cardboard or paperboard frame that encases the film.

Unlike negatives, slides feature a positive image. There is no need to reverse the colors when developing the picture. This characteristic also allows you to see a magnified version of the image via a slide viewer or projector.

The technology behind slides dates back to the 19th century. The format became popular during the 1930s. It remained in use throughout the 1960s and 1970s thanks to the popularity of 35mm cameras.

The 35mm format is the most common medium, but you can find 35mm half-frame slides and other formats such as 110, 120, 126, or 127 films. The size of the paperboard mounts can also vary, even though the 2x2” mounts from Kodachrome remain the most common ones.

How To Make and Watch Slides

The easiest way to capture an image on a film slide is to use a 35mm camera. Several brands still offer these cameras, and you can also purchase 35mm film.

Once you have captured a slide, you can go through a complex development process with no fewer than six steps to turn it into a traditional 4x6” print. Slide development used to be a common service, but it’s become challenging to find professionals who still have the equipment required to turn slides into prints.

You can also watch your slides with a projector, slide viewer, or light table. These devices reveal the image by placing a light source behind it. Since the film or glass medium is transparent, the light goes through and reveals the colors.

Projectors and slide viewers also use magnification, so you can see a larger version of the slide and appreciate all the details of the image.

You can find inexpensive slide viewers if you have a large collection of slides you need to go through. In some cases, holding the slide up to a source of natural light can reveal enough details to help you identify what the image depicts.

How Long Do Slides Last?

It depends on the quality of the film and the chemicals used to capture the image. Kodachrome slides can last up to 100 years if you store them in a cool, dry, and dark place.

Slides typically use gelatin as a binder. Old glass slides use silver to create black-and-white images, but you can find old color slides with dyed starch granules. Oxidation is a common issue.

Modern film slides can contain chemicals like acetate, polyester, or nitrate. Gelatin is the most common binder, and dyes create colors. Over the years, materials like acetate can shrink and dyes can fade, making the images hard to see.

Why Convert Your Slides to Digital?

Unfortunately, glass and film slides don’t last forever. Even if you store these valuable items properly, the colors and details will still fade over time.

Plus, you could lose these precious memories if something happens to your belongings, such as a fire or a flood.

Converting your slides to digital files is easy. There are several benefits to converting your slides:

  • Digital files are easy to share. You can upload them to social media or email them to your relatives.

  • Digital images are easier to access. Relatives can enjoy these images, no matter how far they live.

  • You can ensure that future generations will have access to these images.

  • You can duplicate your digital files to save multiple copies on USB drives, DVDs, portable hard drives, or in the cloud, so you always have a backup.

How Does Slide to Digital Scanning Work With DigMyPics?

DigMyPics specializes in scanning and digitizing old photographs, films, and tapes.

We can turn your slides into crisp and colorful digital images you’ll be able to save and share for years to come.

Step 1: Clean

Before scanning your slides, we use a compressed air treatment that removes dust and gently cleans the surface of the film. This step ensures that dust doesn’t make the color or details look dull.

Step 2: Premium Scan

Next, we use our 3800 dpi slide scanner to capture a digital image of your slides. To give you an idea, a smartphone screen typically has a resolution of 150 to 350 dpi. Working with a high-resolution scanner allows us to create extremely detailed digital scans that bring all the details of the original slides to life.

We also use High Dynamic Range scanning to emphasize color contrast when working with dark slides. This technology helps bring out the details and colors of these slides.

Step 3: Quality Assurance 

Our experts perform a thorough quality review before sharing the digital files with you. They can apply different image correction techniques, such as color correction or rotation to improve the quality of the scans.

Step 4: Delivery

Next, we’ll send you JPEG or TIFF files for review. Thanks to our Don’t Want Don’t Pay policy, you have the option of deleting up to 20% of the scans if you decide you don’t want them and we won’t bill you for them.

We will treat your slides with care and respect throughout this entire process. Plus, you can count on us to offer transparent pricing. We offer a per-slide pricing model, so you’ll know exactly how much digitizing these items will cost.

Get Started With Digitizing Your Slides

Slides aren’t a medium that lasts forever. Don’t wait any longer if you have some old family slides and other valuable items.

We can turn these slides into digital images you’ll be able to share and preserve. Learn more about our slide-scanning services before you get started!