How Can I Convert Kodachrome Slides to Digital?

By Mark Spowart
Scanning Kodachrome slides will convert them to a digital file.

Before digital photography, when photographers needed to capture a scene and record it with a high degree of color accuracy, they would select Kodachrome slide film. Known for its accurate color reproduction over print film, Kodachrome was used by many professional and advanced amateur photographers. Over time and even when they are stored correctly, Kodachrome slides can begin to fade. Converting these slides to digital files will preserve them for years to come.

Turn your home computer and film scanner on. Open the software for the film scanner. In the program, create a new folder where the scanned Kodachrome slides will be saved to.

Arrange the slides before you begin to scan them. Decide how you want to organize your archive. There are a number of ways to do this, either by the date the photos were taken, by the event or by the subject.

Prepare your Kodachrome slides for scanning by carefully cleaning them with an “anti-static” cloth. This specially treated cloth will remove dust and debris from the slide’s surface and will help prevent dust from collecting on the slide during the scanning process.

Load the slides into the scanner carrier tray, insert the carrier tray into the scanner and press the “Scan” button on the scanner or click the “Scan” button with your computer mouse.

Review the Kodachrome slide in the preview window after it has been scanned. At this point you can make minor adjustments to the slide for exposure and contrast. Save the scanned slide to the folder you created earlier. Repeat the process until all the slides have been scanned.

About the Author

Since 2002 Mark Spowart has been working as a freelance writer and photographer in London, Canada. He has publication credits for writing and/or photography in Canada, The United States, Europe and Norway, with such titles as "The Globe & Mail," "The National Post," Canada News Wire, Sun Media and "Business Edge" magazine.