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How to Make Prints From 35mm Slides

There are several ways to turn your slides into JPEG files.
Robert Kirk/Photodisc/Getty Images

There are several ways to make prints from slides: You can scan your slides and print JPEGs onto photo paper; you can use a standalone digital image converter; you can shoot high-quality images of your slides with a digital camera; or you can give them to a slide conversion service, who will scan them at a very high rate -- say, 3200 pixels per inch -- and give you the files.

Things You'll Need:

  • Photo Printer And Paper
  • Scanner And Scanner Software
  • Slide Stand Or Copy Stand

Scanning and Printing Your Photos

Turn on and open up your scanner. Clean the glass beforehand with a soft, lint-free cloth that has been sprayed with a mild glass cleaner. If it has a transparent materials adapter cover, remove it.

Place your slides or negatives into the appropriate template. Follow the orientation indicated by the icons on the template. Place the template on the scanner glass, aligning the arrow on the template with the indicated mark on the scanner bed.

Close the scanner lid and press your scanner's "Scan" button (or select the appropriate "Scan" option in the software). In the software, select the appropriate settings, including scan type and where you'd like to save the images.

Turn on your photo printer. Load the paper and ensure that the printer's settings are correct, either by using the accompanying software or the printer's on-board controls. Print the images.

Using Your Digital Camera

Choose how you'd like to shoot your slides. Although there are many ways to take close-up, high-quality digital pictures of your slides, many photographers make or buy copy stands like the ShotCopy, which hold the slide in place while you take the shot.

Set the pixel resolution of your camera. If you plan on making prints greater than snapshot size, you might want to consider a much higher pixel resolution for your camera. Your camera will have to have the ability to macro-focus to within one inch of the lens to copy a 35mm size film image.

Shoot the picture. Put the picture in the holder. Crop the picture to the size you desire using your PC's photo editing software. Using your photo editing software, rotate the image to the vertical position. Clean up the image.

Using a Standalone Digitizer

Place your slide into the machine or into its tray.

Use the built-in LCD screen to preview images. Choose whether you'd like to save it as a TIFF or JPEG file. Press the button.

Save your new digital image to the unit's preferred storage method (memory card or internal memory).

Transfer images to your computer using a card reader or USB cable. Send them to your printer from the computer.

Sending Your Slides To a Slide Scanner Service

Choose a slide company that you trust. Some factors to consider are scan dpi (dots per inch), turnaround time, price, and format in which you'll get your scans back. (Some services offer you a choice of DVD, scan and online gallery.)

Pack your slides well. Make sure they are secured and won't shift during shipment. If they are in a box, stuff the box with paper to fill the empty spaces. Some labs recommend wrapping them in plastic to protect them against moisture and dust during the shipment process. Avoid using packing materials that generate dust or debris. Use a sturdy box that will be able to withstand shipping and won't be easily crushed.

Ship your slides and stay in touch with the scan service. Be ready to answer any questions by email or phone regarding your order. Call and check in if you don't have your order by the original, projected date.

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