Scanning Slides and Color-Positive Films

Methods for Scanning Slides or Color-Positive Films

There are a variety of ways to scan slides depending on the size and format of the slide. The most common and easiest format of slide to digitize is 35mm.

  • Illuminating the slide using a LED light source and snapping a picture using a high quality DSLR camera, like a SlideSnap Pro.
  • Using a flatbed scanner with a transparency option, like an Epson v750
  • A more expensive, but better results can be had with professional scanners with Digital ICE technology, like a Nikon Coolscan 9000
  • Hire a professional scanning service like Memories Renewed

What is a slide or color-positive film?

The term slide pertains to the individual color-positive image mounted in either cardboard, plastic or glass. Specifically used in slide projection units to be viewed by an audience, this popular technology was enjoyed by both amateurs and professionals. Typically, if you were going on vacation or someplace special, you would run out and grab a roll…or three! So you could invite friends and family over to watch your adventures click-by-click.

History of Use

Color-positive film was developed by Eastman Kodak in 1935 with the introduction of Kodachrome. Its first application was used in 16mm motion picture films, later being designed for 35mm format to be used in still cameras. From here, color-positive film was produced by several companies in a wide variety of formats and applications. Below is an example of each format paired with its respective camera as they all have unique properties.


36 x 24mm


110 Format

13 x 17mm


126 Format

28 x 28mm


127 Format

46 x 46mm


Stereo Format

24 x 23mm


120 Format

6 x 4.5cm up to 6 x 24cm

(1901- Present)

Large Format

4 x 5 inches, 5 x 7 inches, 8 x 10 inches