A slide scanner is a type of film scanner that’s specialized for scanning 35mm slides and negatives. It connects to a computer and with the help of a software, it enables you to scan your slides and upload them. The resulting files will be saved in a folder automatically. This is where it gets interesting because you can treat your old slides like any digital file on a computer. For example, you can remove red eyes if the original image had this issue. If there’s someone or something that you want to get cropped out of the picture, that’s possible too. You might also be interested in our articles about the best instant cameras and the best label printers.
One of the greatest benefits of converting physical slides is that you now have a backup of your pictures. Digital copies will remain the same even if the image quality of physical slides starts to degrade. The last advantage of slide scanners that’s worth mentioning is the fact that you can view your photos without relying on a projector which, as the technology is so old, is much rarer to find nowadays.
The scanning process can be a bit daunting if you are not familiar with these type of devices so here are some useful tips to use slide scanners more efficiently:
1. Be patient
Getting the best image quality requires some patience. If you want to scan several photos at once to save time, it’s not recommended because this can result in different highlights, shadows, and mid-tones on each converted photo. Scanners have a histogram on the preview screen and you can use that to check the light and dark measurements of the photos.
2. Clean the glass
All types of scanners, including slide scanners, require the cleaning of the glass on a regular basis. The reason why this is important is that dust in your flatbed will most likely appear in the images and there’s even the danger of damaging the original photo.
3. Choose a good file format
Save the archived files as TIFFs or PNGs because these are best formats to fully preserve the integrity of the scanned images. If you wish to send these files to someone you can make duplicates as JPG to email them more easily.
The market for slide scanners is quite diverse and if you want to make the right investment it’s essential to choose only from the best products available. This is where this list comes into play. It only contains those slide scanners that are considered worth the money so that it doesn’t matter how much you’re willing to spend, you can discover something that suits your needs and budget.
Best Buy Slide Scanner
With the help of a powerful scanner like this one from Jumbl, you can better organize and keep a backup of your old films or slides. This model comes with a highly capable sensor (22MP maximum quality) which will read all the important details found in your 35mm, 110, 126, and Super 8 slides and negatives. It comes with a very reasonable price tag for what it offers so it’s definitely one of the best options out there for a film and slide scanner.
This machine scans and converts images with ease and the great thing about it is that it doesn’t require a computer connection. This scanner is a very portable and accessible solution and it can save the images to the internal memory or to an SD card if you insert one into its dedicated slot.
Thanks to the speed-load adapters, the scanning process is very simple and straightforward. Just push the adapters into the device and feed each slide or negative one after the other. There’s no need to remove and reload the adapters, which is quite convenient. When you’re done, press the ”Scan” button and watch as your old memories turn into sharp and vibrant digital images which can be viewed on a computer or printed like regular photos.
The 2.4-inch LCD screen will display your image once the scanning is complete and with the help of a smart software you can flip and mirror the image around. Jumbl provides buttons to directly work with the machine and compensate for user error that inevitably can happen during scanning. This makes the whole image conversion process more flexible too. Additionally, you can also adjust various parameters such as scanning resolution, coloration, and brightness using an intuitive menu.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to convert old slides and negatives into digital images, this Jumbl slide scanner should do the trick. The ease-of-use, the fact that it can handle lots of different kinds of media and combined with the solid resolution makes it a recommended product for the money.
- Speed Loaders
- Software Interpolation
- 22 Megapixels maximum quality
- Saves to Internal Memory or Optional Memory Card
- Video Out for TV Connection
- Mac & PC Compatible
Best 35mm Slide Scanner
The Wolverine F2D Mighty is a powerful device for converting slides and 35mm and 110 films to beautiful digital images. It’s simple to use even by those not familiar with this kind of devices and one of its greatest advantages is the large internal memory. As it also has a solid resolution for the price, this is definitely a potential candidate if you’re in the market for a quality slide scanner.
This slide scanner is not very difficult to use thanks to the intuitive quick start guide which will take you through the process of setting up the machine and start converting images. Due to the fact that there aren’t lots of possible settings, they are clearly marked and navigating the menu is a breeze.
Capturing images from the slides is done with a high-resolution fixed digital camera which obtains pictures quickly and efficiently. This is nice if you have a huge amount of slides to convert. The sensor has a 20-megapixel resolution which is pretty decent in terms of quality.
Wolverine went for a compact design with this device and its lightweight build will definitely come in handy when it’s time to move it around. It weighs approximately half a pound so it’s easy to maneuver. Another plus is that you can use this model without having to rely on a computer and the 20MB of integrated storage is really impressive compared to similar models. If this is still not enough for you, there’s also the option to use an SD card.
This slide scanner does a good job of rendering shots of both your slides and negatives and the exposure controls can be very helpful. An image editing software would have been nice but this isn’t really a problem if you already own Adobe Photoshop or other programs like that. Besides the slide converter, in this bundle, you will also find three original Wolverine 135mm/127/126 slide trays so this is quite the value pack.
Considering what it can do and the reasonable price of it, this is a nice machine to have at home if you need to convert lots of film and slide formats quickly and without too much hassle. Everything from the high output resolution to the decent storage capacity makes the Wolverine F2D Mighty a winner on the market for slide scanners and that is why it’s strongly recommended.
- Speed-Load adapters
- Internal memory
- SD/SDHC card slot
- 2.4″ Color screen
- TV-Out jack
With an outstanding 22 megapixel quality, the Magnasonic All-in-One film scanner is a great solution to bring your film, slides, and negatives more up to date in the digital age. It offers very attractive features while keeping the price affordable so it represents a powerful choice for a high-quality slide scanner.
To view your photos instantly, the manufacturer equipped this unit with a vibrant 2.4-inch LCD screen. If you’d rather use a larger screen, you can use the supplied Video Out TV cable to reminisce memories together with family and friends more comfortably.
This slide scanner is compatible with lots of films and slides. By pressing a single button, you can convert 35mm negatives, 135 films, 126KPK film, Super 8 film, 110 film, slides, and negatives into high-quality digital files. Besides versatility, you can also enjoy a superior level of image quality thanks to the 22-megapixel sensor of this digital scanner.
Something that you will like about this model is the huge potential it has for saving a decent amount of time. Thanks to the included fast-loading film trays and the fast five-second scanning, you can get through a large collection of film, slides, and negatives much quicker.
In terms of storage, Magnasonic equipped this machine with 128MB of built-in memory which means you can store up to 100 photos with ease. This is nice but it probably won’t be enough if you want to store more images. Thankfully, there is an included SD card slot which accepts cards of up to 32 GB.
You don’t necessarily have to use a computer with this slide scanner because all the common settings you need for editing brightness, rotation and more, are directly available. On the top of the unit, you will discover the buttons that are used for doing various adjustments and operations. For more accurate color rendition you can also try one of the film profiles that come pre-installed on the unit.
Considering everything about the Magnasonic All-in-One film and slide scanner, the final verdict is a highly positive one. Make sure that you switch from the default resolution of 14 megapixels to the scanner’s maximum, which is 22 megapixels. At this price, there aren’t really any complaints as you can get some solid results with the help of this machine.
- Converts 126KPK, 135,110, Super 8 and Negatives
- 2.4 inch LCD screen
- Video Out TV cable
- SD card slot expansion
- 128MB memory
- One-touch scanning software
Pyle is a reliable brand in the electronics industry and they have some cost-effective options for slide scanners too. This model is a converter for old films and slides that offers a decent 22MP resolution to get clear and detailed scanning. It can handle multiple formats and is pretty intuitive to use so this one is definitely a device that you shouldn’t miss if you need a very capable scanner for your slides and negatives.
Similarly to other models on this list, this one is equipped with a 2.4-inch LCD screen that can be useful to instantly look at your scanned images. Before you scan it you can check out the image to make sure that everything looks right. After hitting the ”Scan” and ”OK” buttons, you’ll get your photo quickly scanned and saved to an SD memory card.
The push button controls are easy to use and you can convert the films, slides, and negatives up to a good 22 megapixels resolution which is definitely a considerable improvement for all of your treasured photos and memories. Pyle included a video cable if you want to connect the device to a TV and view the images on a larger screen.
In terms of compatibility, things are looking good as this unit is able to scan from 35mm slides and negatives, 135 Film, 126 KPK Film, 110 Film, to Super-8 Film Stills. What’s great about this model is how it’s capable of doing the right exposure and color balance adjustments automatically so you don’t need to waste time in pressing buttons.
This slide scanner is compatible with both Macs and PCs and can connect to them with the included USB cable. If you select the USB Mode from the scanner’s menu you can now review and edit your images directly from the computer.
A very user-friendly machine, the Pyle film and slide scanner is a powerful digital converter and is relatively inexpensive for what it can do. Reviving your old memories can be simpler than you’d expect if you choose a product like this. If you’ve finally decided to get rid of all those old films and negatives that linger somewhere in the basement, then this slide scanner is one of the best solutions to turn them into high-quality digital images.
- SD Memory Card Reader
- 2.4’’ Digital LCD Display
- Necessary cables & adapters
- Image Interpolation
- 22 Megapixels maximum quality
If you want to get started more quickly with the process of converting all of your old slides and negatives to digital images, maybe purchasing a bundle that contains the machine with all the useful accessories can be a better choice as you can save more money. The Wolverine Titan is a high-resolution slide scanner that will be a huge help to preserve those old memories.
This device is capable of handling lots of films formats like 35mm, 110, 126, 127, 8mm and APS. Versatility is one of its strongest points but Wolverine made no compromises on quality as it equipped this unit with a 20MP sensor which can deliver scans up to 5472 x 3648 pixels in just a few seconds.
Users can look at the resulting images on the 4.3″ color LCD screen that’s quite generous in size compared to other models reviewed on this list. It has a few settings to make some adjustments including for color balance and brightness tweaks.
To speed things up during scanning, this converter makes use of speed-load adapters dedicated to each compatible format of the slide or negative. It saves the images as JPEGs to its internal memory but optionally, it can save the pictures on an SD/SDHC memory card. In this bundle, you get an included Sandisk 32GB SD card which should be enough to store large collections of images.
One of the best aspects of this device is the user-friendliness. It’s easy to use by anyone as it only requires to press a button and it can operate as a standalone unit without having to rely on a computer if you don’t want to. This bundle offers besides the memory card lots of films, negative, and slide adapters as well as a cleaning brush to make sure there’s no dust or other debris on your photos.
All things considered, this is a very easy-to-use slide scanner and even though some of its competitors offer better resolutions, the Wolverine Titan is still a strong candidate on the market for slide scanners. For fast and efficient conversion of slides to digital photos, this could be the machine you were looking for when you also take into account the fair price.
- SanDisk 32GB SDHC Flash Memory Card
- 20MP resolution
- 135 mm Slide Adapter
- 110 Slide Insert
- 110/APS Negative Film Insert
- Cleaning Brush
Delivering an outstanding image quality, the Plustek OpticFilm 120 film and slides scanner is geared towards professional photographers and other enthusiasts who have more demanding scanning requirements. If you look for a professional-grade converter for your slides, this model can deliver superior quality though it’s considerably more expensive than other units on this list.
The way this machine achieves the superb image quality is thanks to the advanced optical and electronic systems which include a high-sensitive color CCD with 10,600 dpi resolution, an 8-element glass lens with 5,300 dpi measured resolution, and stable light sources. It has a high dynamic range of 4,01 and thanks to the maximum density of 4.8 (theoretically), it can provide more accurate color representation and shadow details.
This model comes with patented 120 film holders with an adjustable pitch to create a flat film for in-focus scans. Besides the 120 roll film (6×4.5 up to 6×12) it supports the 35mm format – 135 film strips or slides. Thanks to an automatic motorized film transport system, the scanning workflow can be sped up significantly which can be a real time saver for batch scanning.
In terms of design, this scanner has a stylish metal case which offers a good level of isolation and stability for the lens. It’s a fairly compact machine and this means it doesn’t take too much space on your desk.
Hardware-wise this is a capable machine judging by the way it performs but the software is also important to obtain a brilliant image. This model comes with SilverFast Ai Studio8, which is a professional film scanning software that offers powerful functionality with individually adjusted color profiles and an efficient dust and scratch removal tool.
The Plustek is a product made with careful consideration, optimized for the most professional results, ease of use, and a highly productive scanning workflow. This model gets high marks for scan quality and even though it may seem expensive, it’s actually a cost-effective solution for various professionals in the industry.
- 5300 dpi resolution
- 16-bit Grayscale Depth
- 10600 dpi Interpolated Resolution
- Infrared channel for dust and scratch detection
- Elegant and Compact design
For those intending to buy a top-of-the-line scanner and have the required large budget, the Nikon Super Coolscan 8000 ED scanner is a perfect choice. It deals with a decent variety of film formats including 35mm, 16mm, 120/220, slide glass and electron microscope. It has an impressive true 4,000-dpi optical resolution and due to a 14-bit A/D conversion input and 16-bit output, it provides colors with extremely high fidelity.
The large diameter Scanner Nikkor lens used in this machine comes with very low dispersion glass elements which will drastically reduce chromatic aberration. Sharp images can be achieved as the lens minimizes image distortion considerably.
To complement this powerful lens, Nikon added a high-performance custom CCD and a scene analysis function to automatically correct the tone and color. This CCD is newly developed to provide a clearer resolution and reduce image noise as much as possible. Also integrated is an exclusive rod dispersion LED technology that treats the film very gently and ensures accurate color reproduction. Together, all these elements comprise a state-of-the-art optical system that delivers unparalleled image quality.
This film scanner also has the Digital Image Correction and Enhancement, Reconstruction of Color, and Grain Equalization and Management. These are technologies developed by Applied Science Fiction which specializes in digital image correction.
Thanks to the IEEE1394 interface, you’ll have no problem with obtaining the highest speeds of data transfer and if some users don’t have the interface, Nikon includes an IEEE1394 board and a cable in the package.
In conclusion, the Nikon Super Coolscan 8000 ED is a powerful scanner but it does have its shortcomings like for example, the software doesn’t run very well and it’s more difficult to configure. But, considering how the alternatives, like Silverfast for example, can be pretty expensive, this is still a great solution for all of your professional scanning needs. If you have the budget and need a solid film and slide scanner that’s capable of handle demanding tasks, then this one is highly recommended.
- Large diameter Nikkor ED high-resolution lens
- True 4,000 dpi optical resolution, 48-bit color
- LED technology
- PC and Mac compatible
- IEEE-1394 Firewire interface
In case you are looking for a very inexpensive method to convert your slides and negatives to digital pictures with ease, the ClearClick FILM2USB converter is just what you need. The best thing about it is how easy it is to use as it doesn’t require any software or drivers, not even a computer connection. Simply plug it in, load your negatives or slides and start scanning right away.
This model comes with a 2GB SD card for your convenience and the photos are automatically saved on it in digital JPG format. Each photo only takes about a few seconds to convert and the process to start scanning goes very smoothly even for a novice. You will need one of the included negative holder or slide holder for loading the slides or negatives but it doesn’t take long before you can fluidly scan and convert all of your important photos.
After you finish scanning, you can easily transfer the pictures to a Mac or to a PC or, if you prefer, use the included cable to view them on a TV screen. Due to the fact that this scanner only has a 5MP sensor, the maximum resolution of 2736×1824 is not very high but it’s quite decent for those on a budget.
There’s not much else to tell about the ClearClick converter. It’s a good slide scanner all around, maybe a bit lacking in terms of image quality but if you want an inexpensive solution, this can be very satisfying. The ease-of-use is definitely the strongest point of this machine and it can easily take just a couple of hours to go through more than a hundred slides. All in all, this is a great buy for the money as it’s doing a quick scanning job and it doesn’t take too long to figure out.
- Scans At 5 and 10 Megapixels Interpolated
- Save Photos Directly on SD Card
- 2 GB SD Memory Card
- 35mm Negatives and Color or Monochrome Slides
- Easy to use