Our Process

This photo was taken in 1985.

Here at ScanMySlides we use the utmost care, the finest hardware, and the best software to ensure that your original 35mm slides and negatives make it safely through our scanner and back to you as ultra high-quality digital images.

Scanning Hardware
We use a Nikon CoolScan 5000ED, which incorporates Digital ICE technology that allows the scanner to make beautiful images even when the original images may be scratched, spotted, or have other physical problems. This technology is incorporated into the scanner and works by doing an extra scanning pass with an infrared light to detect the physical deformities in the image, telling the scanner exactly where the problems are. This is more than just a software process. Even the best software based dust and scratch remover cannot come close to the quality that is obtained by Digital ICE. If you are thinking about doing your own scans, make sure that your hardware has Digital ICE. Here is a section from an image as it comes out of the scanner before and after Digital ICE has been applied.

Before Digital ICE After Digital ICE

You can click to zoom in to see the difference in finer detail. It would take hours of meticulous work in photoshop to obtain the same result which is applied automatically to every slide that we scan. This example has not yet been color corrected, to view the full, finished, color corrected version, click here.

Scan Quality
We always scan at 4000 dpi, which is the highest quality our scanner is capable of. DPI stands for dots per inch and is a measurement of how much digital information is used to store a picture on the computer. Other companies use the exact same scanners that we use, but they crank down the quality on their lower-priced options and only offer the best quality at an inflated price. At ScanMySlides we only scan at one quality level, the best we can do, and we still keep our prices well below even the economy prices of other companies.

Post Processing
At ScanMySlides, we always crop each image to remove black borders that are associated with scanning. We also indiviudally rotate each image to ensure that slides taken in portrait stay that way. Unless you would like us to do otherwise, we also color correct each image. Over time, slides and negatives can fade. Slide fading often results in a red or blue tint. Here is another example showing the effects of color correction.

Before Color Correction After Color Correction

You can click on either photo to zoom in to see the difference in finer detail. You can also click here to view the full Digital ICE example picture from above after it has been color corrected.

We scan all our images in TIFF format and then after they are cropped we convert them to JPG. We can easily deliver the pictures in TIFF format or even uncropped. You can also opt to have us not use Digital ICE or color correction. We are willing to work with you on any special needs you may have, and we live by this principle: if it should be free, it is! We then burn the images to data DVDs and deliver them to you. Each DVD can hold roughly 500 frames.

The images that you receive will be of the same type used by most digital cameras. You can take the images and share them with family or friends, email them, edit them, print them, or whatever you would like to do.