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What Is the Best Way to Convert 35mm Slides?

Digital Camera FAQ: Questions on Working With Images

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What Is the Best Way to Convert 35mm Slides?

The CanoScan 8800F from Canon is a digital slide scanner.

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Q: What is the best way to scan about 3,000-5,000 35mm slides into digital images? --D.K.

A: That sounds like quite a large task. You have a couple of good options.

First, you may want to purchase a digital slide scanner, which connects to your computer and can scan your slides. (They also sometimes are called film scanners or negative scanners.) Just make sure the digital slide scanner can scan at the resolution you want, and stick to major manufacturers to achieve the best results. (Canon, Nikon, and Epson are among the leading scanner manufacturers.)

The problem with scanning that many slides yourself is the amount of time involved. For example, the CanoScan 8800F from Canon, which costs $200-$250, can only scan 12 slides at a time. You'll spend a long time scanning slides using this device.

You may want to just pay a photo scanning service to scan the slides for you. Shop around for a good price per slide ... many services might give you a discount on such a large order. A scanning service may be able to scan all of the slides within a week or two.

However, some people prefer scanning the slides themselves, because it gives them a chance to look through the photos, which can spark some fun and enjoyable memories.

Find more answers to common camera questions on the Camera FAQ page.

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