The World’s Worst Advice for Scanning Slides

When you’re looking into scanning slides, be sure not to make these big mistakes! They’re a recipe for disaster.

  • Don’t bother storing your slides any special way. Slides are toughbad-advice and resilient! They’ll scan in as good as new, no matter how they have been stored.
    Real advice: Store your slides in a box or case designed for slide storage, or in a carousel (not, for instance, loose in a paper bag). That will protect them from dust and damage. Scanning slides simply copies the existing image into a digital format. If those slides are damaged or bent, the image that gets scanned will be affected.
  • Expect pictures to come back better-looking than they were the first time around! Of course a slide scanning lab will fix any photography errors that may have been made at the time the picture was taken.
    Real advice: If a slide is badly discolored, we will do our best to fix it up. But photos that are blurry, dark, or taken with the wrong type of film (for instance, if indoor film was used outdoors on a sunny day) will still not look perfect when they are digitized, without some in-depth correction work. We can do that for you at an additional fee; please ask when you are dropping off your slides. But, of course, no one can do anything about any unfortunate haircuts or outfits you may have sported in the 1980s!
  • Most importantly, slides last forever. There’s no rush to scan them – they’ll still be just as good in a few more years as they are today.
    Real advice: Slides, like all film, will deteriorate with time, no matter how well you store them. The color can fade or discolor, necessitating additional work to make them look good again. Save yourself the extra time and money on fixing up preventable image problems, and bring your slides in as soon as possible.

The best advice we can give you to counter any bad information you may have gotten is to treat your slides carefully, and don’t let them rot away in a closet or attic. If these pictures are important to you, preserve them! Ask us about our slide scanning services today.

Slide Scanning – Slide Storage Tips

What are the shelf life of slides? Like everything else, you take care of it, it will take care of you.
The slides customers bring here to scan range from 10 to 50 years old. We’ve seen slides in all kinds of condition: Warped, wrinkled, taped-up, mouldy.

The best way to store slides in special designed slide containers. The most common is slide carousels or slide boxes.
Slides that come into our store in carousels – unless they have been stored in damp basements – are sturdy, sharp corners, not warped.

The condition of the slides affects the scanning quality and speed.
Although we use a dedicated Nikon 5000 CoolScan slide scanner, warped slides cause jams in this delicate equipment. Mouldy slides need to be wiped and cleaned with special Kodak cleaners – that adds cost to your slide scanning bill.

The only better alternative to storing your slides in specially designed slide container is…. to Digitize them. No matter how well you store your slides, environmental factors and time will cause them to fade eventually. The colors won’t be as vibrant, little white spots start appearing … When you digitize them, not only do you preserve that degradation, it makes it so much easier for you to share your slides: email them, create a photobook, print the digitized slide image at your local CVS or Walgreens. Share the memories – it does nothing for the slide to lie hidden in some dark closet – even if it’s carefully stored in a slide carousel.