What to do with Slides and Negatives

It may be daunting enough to organize prints, but what if you have slides and the projector has long ago stopped working, or worse yet, what if you only have negatives?

The biggest difficulty with these media is that you cannot actually clearly see the images.

Working with the 35 mm slides that most of us are familiar with is not impossible if you use a light table to help you view the slides.  A light table holds the slides and shines a light from behind. You can use a loupe or a magnifying glass to help identify the image or the people in the image.

But what about negatives? You can hold them up to a light and try to discern the image.  Negatives are very fragile and should be handled with gloves, so that the oils and dirt on our hands don’t smudge the image.

All this is well and good, but how to get the images viewable?  This has to be done with a special scanner that can scan in very high resolutions.  Negatives should be scanned in 1200 dpi, and slides should be done in 2400 dpi.

You have three options for completing this:

  1. Purchase a scanner and scan your own
  2. Send your original slides and negatives to someone through the mail or a delivery service
  3. Hire a local professional photo organizer to scan the slides and negatives for you

Technical Stuff

Slides and negatives actually have different sizes, and need to be scanned at different resolutions.

Slides come in different sizes:

The most common format is 35mm. The smaller the film, the higher the resolution in which it should be scanned.  For instance, 35mm slides should be scanned at 2400 dpi. 

Many slides have faded over time, so after scanning, they need to be enhanced.  This is an example of the original and the enhanced versions of the same slide:

Negatives also come in various sizes.  The older negatives are non-standard:  They do not have holes along the top and bottom of the film, they are often cut unevenly, as could be seen in the picture.

Standard 35mm negatives, shown in the lower left of the picture, should be scanned at 1200 dpi.

The old medium format negatives, shown in the middle of the top row in the picture, often reveal treasured moments that have not seen the light of day in many years.  Here are some examples:

Once the slides or negatives have been digitized, your imagination is the limit for how to share these moments from the past with family members in the present and into the future.

If you need help or guidance or someone to hand this task off to, please do not hesitate to contact me at www.PreciousMems.com

No Comments

Post A Comment