Scanning 35mm Slides, Part 2

Scanning 35mm slides – Part 2.

In Part 1, we talked about scanning a lot of slides.  Thousands of them.

So, what if you don’t have thousands to scan?

You’ve got more options!

For one-off scanning 35mm slides, the Frog has a PrimeFilm 7200 from B&H (information at   The PrimeFilm 7200 uses the same software as the Powerslide 5000 – so that was a major factor the purchase of this unit.  I’m very happy with this unit – it’s got 7200 dpi resolution and can pull a little more detail out of the dark areas than the Powerslide 5000.  It also scans negatives – but that’s another post.

PrimeFilm 7200

Scans using CyberView or Vuescan software can take as little as five (5) minutes if they are run without the noise reduction and cleaning functions – but I’ve come to terms with waiting a little longer for the slide to be scanned and spending a lot less time cleaning up the final product.  As much as you clean your slides before scanning, and as much as you think you do – it’s more amazing what shows up at 7200 dpi than what shows up at 5000 dpi!

The rest of this post is a review from Part 1.  I was going to stop here, but since we’re talking about scanning slides from two different perspectives, I figured I’d leave it be.  Consider it a review or reiteration of things to consider.

As discussed in Part 1, there are flatbed scanners out there on the market that can scan up to 20 slides at a time, as well as having the capability to scan documents, negatives and photographic prints.  Some of these units can produce very high quality scans – and some simply can’t.  These units range in price from $100 to $800.  The main makers of these scanners are Espon, Canon, and Hewlett-Packard.  Check out the reviews at places like Shutterbug magazine, B&H and Adorama for more information on these units.

There are also lower resolution units that, for lack of better words, take a picture of your slide and convert it to a jpeg image.  They’re not scanners in the traditional sense, but converters.  They’re inexpensive and fast to use, and they have their limitations.  These units can be had from $50 to $150.

What’s right for you?

Well, the first question to ask yourself is “what do I want to do with my scans?”  Your answer dictates what you need.  Remember, you can always downsize your image, but you can never upsize your scan…

If you want to make 20″x30″ prints – think dpi, lots of dpi – 4800 dpi or more.

If you’re wanting to make 8″x12″ prints – 2400 dpi can work.

Just want to show them on your tablet, laptop, phone or TV?  a converter type unit can work for you.

There are also slide scanning services that will scan your slides at varying resolutions for varying prices.  They’re an option for you if you don’t have the time or don’t want to do it yourself.

Don’t forget to consult with your local camera store along the way!

Happy deliberating!

If you’ve got questions, post them in a comment and we’ll talk…


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