Tech Savvy: How do you transfer photo slides into prints?
Recently we had an inquiry for Tech Savvy:
"We have a few old-fashioned slides which we would like made into photos. We've checked and (the) price for one negative was over $20. Any other options that you may have?"—Chris
Thanks for the question, Chris. It got us thinking: Do people really print photos anymore?
With the age of the smartphone, it seems that we take hundreds of pictures and never print any. Not like the good days where we had the ability to take 24 photos on a roll of film - and we printed 24 photos.
Nonetheless, we still have that "old technology" of photo slides. And these are items we
cherish, deep fond memories of loved ones, special occasions. Memories WORTH preserving.
So of course when we got this inquiry, we had to start digging into it.
The do-it-yourselfer in us starting looking for the home kit. You know, the kind you can sit at
home and convert all your images digitally so that you can preserve them for years to come and
to be able to print (if you should actually WANT to print).
There were a slew of options out there.
Not all were equally built. Some only accepted certain size slides; some stored the image as
a 20 MP (megapixel is the size of the photo in digital form; the larger the number, the better)
and some only saved the image as a 5 MP.
Some had a large amount of storage to save these new digital images, some had a small amount. The items to consider were almost endless. Plus, we wanted to find one within a budget that everyone could afford. Some of these scanners can range over $3,000.
Then we found one that seemed to fit the bill. The Wolverine F2D. This ranged from 139-199
depending on the site advertising the item. It had the ability to scan a multitude of slides,
had one of the highest MP ratings (20 MP), and had a large screen to preview the photo.
Keep in mind though, when you go the route of do-it-yourself, you also get the burden of
giving up time—time to scan, time to label, time to organize. It does start to become quite a
We reached out to a friend, big into photography, and asked his opinion in the matter
as well. His recommendation was that if you have the time, and a "good" image is what you
are after, a DIY scanner will work.
However, if you are looking to preserve and potentially restore some of these cherished memories, he recommended doing some research and mailing out your photo slides to be professionally done.
We did a quick search online and found a few options to choose from—thedarkroom.com offers
the mail in service, ranging from $1- $4 per slide.
In our opinion, this may be worth it for the time saved to consider a mail-out service.
Send in your questions
This question from a reader was a great reminder that Tech Savvy is willing to research issues and answer technology questions. Just email email@example.com and we'll endeavor to put the team behind finding answers.