How to Use CanoScan to Scan Slides


CanoScan is a line of flatbed and film scanners manufactured by Canon. CanoScans have the ability to scan 35mm and medium format color negatives, slides and black and white film in high resolution. The CanoScan can scan slides in 35mm strip format, 35mm mount format and 120 strip format.

Things You'll Need

  • Glass cleaner
  • Lint-free cloth
  • Antistatic orange cloth
  • Clean the glass before scanning to get rid of any streaks, fingerprints, hair or dust. Be sure to use a glass cleaner that does not leave residue, and a lint free cloth to wipe. Do not spray glass cleaner directly on the scanner glass. Spray the cloth instead, and use it to clean the glass.

  • Wipe your slides with an orange antistatic cloth. Orange antistatic cloths are an essential element of darkroom printing and negative scanning. Orange antistatic cloths are used to remove dust from negatives for easier printing and scanning, and their soft texture will not scratch negatives. Reducing dust before scanning will save you a lot of time in touch-up work.

  • Cut slides in strips of five, or place mounts in the provided carrier. If you are scanning mounted slides, the CanoScan provides a slide mount scanning carrier that holds up to six 35mm slide mounts at a time. Place the carrier in the scanner, and put your mounted slides in the available slots. Mounted slides can be scanned vertically or horizontally. If your slide film has not been mounted, cut 35mm film in strips of five images and 120 film in strips of three or four images (depending on image size). Place your slide film into the appropriate negative carrier and put the carrier on the scanner glass in the position indicated on the CanoScan.

  • Open the scanning software dialogue box using your photo editing software (such as Photoshop) or the ScanGear software that is provided with your CanoScan. The scanner will require a minute or two to calibrate and display a preview of your slides.

  • Choose your format, resolution and output size in the preview dialogue box. If you are scanning 35mm slide mounts, choose "Color Positives," and then "35mm Mount." If you are scanning 35mm strips, choose "Color Positives" and "35mm Sleeve." If you are scanning 120 format slides, choose "Color Positives," and then choose the appropriate image size, such as "6x6" or "6x9." Now choose your desired resolution from the "Resolution" menu. Each time you select a different resolution level, the scanning software will indicate the output file size in memory and pixels. Keep in mind that higher resolutions require more time to scan.

  • Depending on the exposure and density of your slides, you may want to adjust some of the settings to get the best image quality possible. If your preview appears faded compared to the slide, adjust the "Fading Correction" by choosing "Low," "Medium" or "High" from the drop-down menu. If your preview appears too dark compared to the slide, adjust the "Backlight Correction" by selecting the appropriate strength from the drop-down menu. The CanoScan also offers an "Autotone" feature, which automatically optimizes your slide's exposure.

  • Once you have made your adjustments, press the "Scan" button. When your images have finished scanning, you can save them using a photo editing application or directly within ScanGear.

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