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Cheapest Way to Use Slide Film With No Projector

View slides with a handheld viewer.
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Slide projectors can be expensive and difficult to find, as well as complicated to set up. You need a dark room and a viewing screen to view slides using a projector. Fortunately, you can find other ways to view your slide film or mounted slides without using a projector. Handheld slide viewers are relatively inexpensive, and you can find a variety of different models for sale online and at used camera equipment stores. These devices illuminate and magnify individual images, allowing you to view slides without the hassle of a projector.

Things You'll Need:

  • Batteries
  • Slide Viewer

Purchase a handheld slide viewer. Viewers with internal lights will allow you to see your images more clearly, but viewers that work with natural light do not require batteries. If you want to be able to view the images on your film without having to make mounted slides, look for a viewer that works with unmounted film strips.

Load batteries into the slide viewer to power the internal light, if the viewer contains one. Most slide viewers take AA or AAA batteries.

Carefully load your slide film or mounted slides into the viewer. Depending on the model you have, you will be able to load film or slides from the side of the viewer or the top of the viewer.

Switch on the viewer’s internal light to illuminate the image.

Focus the viewer if necessary.

Turn the internal light off when you’re finished viewing slides to conserve battery power.


Protect your slide film or slides in clear plastic sheets, available at most camera supply stores.

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