How to Convert 2 1/4 Slides to Digital

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Medium format cameras were the camera of choice for most studio portrait and fashion photographers prior to the late 1990s. Medium format cameras used 2¼-inch slide negatives and were known to create sharp, colorful images perfect for high fashion shoots. Some passionate medium format enthusiasts still prefer the images they can capture with these film cameras over their digital alternatives. For these photographers, converting 2¼-inch slides to digital after processing is the way to get the best of both worlds.

Things You'll Need

  • Film/slide scanner
  • Computer or laptop
  • Image editing software
  • Connect the film scanner to your computer. Computers and laptops with newer Windows or Mac operating systems should recognize the software automatically. If your computer or laptop does not, use the manufacturer's installation disc to install the correct drivers.

  • Open your image editing software. Again, most current software will automatically recognize newly installed scanning hardware. If your software does not recognize it, you may need to configure the software under the "Import" option usually located under "File" or "Tools/Options."

  • Place your first slide into the correct slide slot on your scanner. Begin scanning by pressing the "Scan" button on your scanner or by using the "Import" option in your image editing software. The software should launch a dialogue box that will show you how the job is progressing. When the scan is complete, your digital image will appear on screen.

  • Edit the image as needed. After you've completed your adjustments, click "Save" to launch the "Save as...." dialog box. Name the file and select the correct location to save, then click "Save" or "OK." Your image is now converted to digital format.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be sure to review your negatives before scanning to ensure that the image is not scratched or dirty. Clean the negative softly with a lint free cloth--dust and scratches will show up in the digital file and can be difficult or impossible to remove.
  • If you have a large number of slides to convert, you may consider using a slide scanning service. They have professional level machines which can scan several slides at one time. Call to verify that their equipment can handle medium format film first; some companies only handle 35mm film and slides.

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