How To Convert 35mm Slides to Digital Format

picture slides

Getting closer to your loved ones involves sharing memories with them. Looking at old photos and slides is one way to share those precious memories. It’s a great opportunity to make each other laugh and spend time together to reflect on memorable moments in each other’s lives.

However, photo mediums, such as slides, can deteriorate and lose quality over time. What are the best processes for converting 35mm slides to digital format? This post contains everything you need to know about your old slides and a few things you should learn so that you and your future generations can enjoy your old images.

Everything To Know About Slides

Prior to the widespread use of digital photography, prints and slides were the two main ways to take pictures. Slides were tiny, transparent pieces of film in a cardboard sandwich, whereas prints were developed on a sheet of photographic paper.

A 35 mm photographic image made up of chromogenic dyes on a transparent substrate kept inside a plastic or card mount is referred to as a “slide“. It is often meant for projection onto a screen using a slide projector. When projected, the transparent film material cannot slide from one image to another inside a magazine or carousel without the aid of this mount.

A 35 mm slide can be 100 times magnified (from 35 mm to 3,500 mm) and still produce a clear, detailed image. The size of what you see on the screen depends on how close you setup the projector. The size of the image will increase as you move further from the screen.

In the 1950s, Kodak advertised its 35mm color slides with the tagline “For glittering pictures big as life.” Processing slides to produce high-quality projected images were reasonably inexpensive for the 35 years they were popular, from the 1960s to the mid-1990s. They were frequently utilized for household and commercial purposes like in the advertising, arts, and fashion industry to document performances, journeys, and the lives of artists.

Slides are the only medium that can produce large-scale projected images of such quality. For instance, certain video slides could only make very low-quality outputs.

Alternative technologies, like 16 mm film, require a complex production procedure. Only 8 mm film, created for the home movie market, was easily accessible on a comparable budget and did not require a professional post-production process. Both 16 mm and 8 mm films are moving image formats; hence their image quality is extremely different.

Slide-based artworks are still referred to as slide tape by many art historians. This phrase first appeared in the 1970s, when magnetic audio cassettes in the cassette format were utilized to contain a tone that signaled slide changes in addition to the audio track or spoken word that accompanied the visuals.

What Is A 35mm Slide?

A 35mm slide, in contrast to negatives, typically refers to a positive image that was recorded on film. To aid in protection and enable projection, the film is divided into separate frames and placed in cardboard or plastic. Compared to black-and-white slides in any size format, color 35mm slides are more popular.

Slides were first intended to be a photo storage method that took up less room. Additionally, this convenient format made it simple to project images onto a screen for a group to examine simultaneously rather than having everyone go through an album one at a time. Slides lost popularity over time as digital formats and online sharing spread.

Many amateur and professional photographers helped the format survive a little longer due to their preference for the superior features obtained in a film image over those of early digital images.

Today, most 35mm slides are now being converted to digital format, and old slides are mostly consigned to gathering dust in boxes because digital photography and high-quality cameras on phones have now taken over.

History of 35mm Slides

Even if you have no knowledge of slides or projectors, at least you are aware of their extensive history. 35 mm slides have existed for more than 85 years.

The 35-millimeter slide was created in 1935, two years after the Great Depression (a fitting name for a fitting year). As a result, it changed the way that image projection was done, particularly in the aspect of education. Anyone who attended school in the 1990s or earlier is likely able to remember watching slideshows in science class.

Kodak created 35mm slides in 1935, and by the 1960s, their small size had made them the most widely used photographic format. Kodachrome was particularly well-liked because it provided Ektachrome with better colors. With the advent of digital cameras, slides’ popularity significantly decreased, much like negatives.

However, finding photographic slides in old photo collections is quite common. Photographers from the pre-digital period will likely have several photos saved in this format. Some people might have received a few cartons of slides along with their other family artifacts. Regardless of how you received your slides, one thing is certain: if you don’t digitize them soon, they risk degrading and being lost forever.

  • 35mm Slide Projectors

Prior to the 1950s, larger-format magic lanterns that used different kinds of mechanical slides served as projectors. A method of seeing pictures that had been around since the 1850s, or a full century before 35 mm was developed.

Slide projectors, on the other hand, became the main form of home entertainment as a result of the success of 35 mm slides, which were then widely available. Most friends and family would assemble around to watch their memories displayed in larger-than-life proportions.

  • The End Of 35mm Slides

A digital alternative subsequently appeared and took market share from analog media, as with every other media. Slide projector production ended in the mid-2000s as digital images took over as the standard medium in homes and educational institutions.

The three-color Kodachrome technique led to the invention of the 35 mm slide, which changed everything for photographers. Prior to the invention of 35 mm, color photography required bulky glass plates, tripods, long exposures, and a drawn-out development process, all of which increased the risk of a poor image.

Kodachrome, which required far less light, the 35 mm slide, and the electric projector all contributed to a dramatic improvement in quality.

  • Digitizing Your 35mm Slides

It’s important to preserve your precious memories so that they will keep existing even when the old-fashioned slide projectors are no longer available because even the 35 mm slides haven’t been made for more than 15 years.

Send your outdated slides to us at, and we’ll digitize them for the digital era with the help of our qualified conversion professionals. The experience of viewing them may not be identical to that of a click-through carousel, but they will be secure and available for future generations to see and appreciate.

Game Changer

Among all the events in photographic history, 1935 is undoubtedly one of the most notable. That’s the year the 35mm slide was invented. The three-color Kodachrome technique led to the development of the 35mm slide, which gave photographers a hassle-free shooting experience.

The methods used to display such images were cumbersome and typically unsatisfactory, requiring intense lights to reveal an image that was still not particularly sharp. Things were different when the 35mm was invented.

In contrast to its predecessors, Kodachrome needed less light but yet produced images that were crisper and more saturated than ever. Along with this enhancement in image quality, an electric light played the lantern’s role. The rest, as they say, is history. Until 2004, 35mm projectors were the industry standard and were treasured by all photographers and videographers.

After the advent of digital photography, projection was no longer as necessary. The speed at which digital technology has advanced over the years has altered how we take still photographs and videos, as well as how we view the content.

For on-demand presentations, we can simply browse through the pictures on our camera and plug them into laptops or TVs. Today, we say goodbye to the 35mm film format and other formats that are on the verge of extinction (although they are still in use among a small, cult-like audience who cherish them).

Most on-the-go, deadline-driven photographers, videographers, and customers no longer need or want the scratchy, virtually antiquated old-school carousels thanks to the ability to digitize earlier formats and playback recordings on a laptop, TV, or HD projector.

How To Convert 35mm Slides To Digital Format

You may be wondering, how can you convert your old 35mm slide to digital format? Don’t worry; you’re in the right place! The good news is there are a few ways to convert 35mm slides to digital format. Let’s consider some of the best and easiest ways. Raring to go? Let’s roll!

  • Using Professional Conversion Services

Professional conversion services are definitely the best option if you’re ready to spend some money on the process of converting your old 35mm slides to digital formats, especially if you want to digitize numerous boxes or carousels of slides.

Professional scanning services provide the tools and know-how to convert slides quickly. They frequently offer digitized photographs in various digital forms, such as CDs, USB flash drives, and internet downloads.

In addition to being faster, this method produces high-quality pictures that can be reproduced and enlarged. Furthermore, a reputable and highly regarded professional service can also expertly recover images that have been tainted by dust or debris stains, both of which are common issues with slides that have been kept in storage for a while.

  • Do-It-Yourself Method

You must start with the appropriate tools if you intend to convert your 35mm slides to digital format by yourself. Several scanners can be used to digitize 35mm slides. These devices take a slide and project it onto a receptor, which records the image and internally digitizes it.

Select the slides you want to scan, then either keep them or throw them away the rest. This method is less expensive than employing a service if you ignore the time involved.

Although there are many 35mm slide scanners on the market, there are also several factors to consider when using this method. Simply put, this process is time-consuming, and you could run into a lot of trouble.

The best and easiest method to save your precious memories with loved ones and preserve them for future generations is to have 35mm slides properly digitized by a professional service.


Many people worry about what will happen when they can no longer play DVDs and CDs, as well as what to do with their old photos, 35mm slides, and VHS cassettes. What will you do when your old slides are rendered obsolete and inoperable?

The practically extinct carousel projector may not be available anymore, but that doesn’t mean you should discard your old slides. After all, those are your memories! We are here in response to this! At Two Squares, we specialize in digitizing the most treasured moments of your life.

Don’t let your memories disappear; save and share them instead. Contact us today and bring in your slides, and we’ll preserve them using the most cutting-edge technology to allow on-demand viewing.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is A 35mm Slide Scanner?

A 35mm slide is a scanner explicitly designed for scanning old films and 35mm slides. The slide or film is put into the machine’s single slot or tray. Slide scanning is a common feature of flatbed scanners.

Do Slides Get Bad With Time?

For different reasons, slides and pictures will fade over time. All dyes have a limited shelf life since they degrade due to exposure to heat, light, and chemical reactions.

How Old Are 35mm Slides?

Kodak created 35mm slides in 1935, and by the 1960s, their small size had made them the most widely used photographic format.

35 mm slides have been in use for more than 85 years, and they were a popular means to produce high-quality projected images for 35 years, from the 1960s to the mid-1990s.

How Should 35mm Slides Be Stored?

Slide storage containers made of plastic are the best and most secure 35mm storage space. Additionally, slides can be kept in cardboard or metal slide boxes or in plastic slide pages (a form of a pocket page that holds 20 slides).

Do 35mm Slides Deteriorate?

Yes, 35mm slides deteriorate with time. 35mm slides should be kept in a cold, dark, dry location. However, all slides and pictures will eventually lose their quality. The best action you can take is to convert them into digital photographs.