How can I scan slides into my computer?

I’ve recently inherited a box full of slides that were taken by my grandfather, an avid photographer and represent a lifetime of his work. I’d love to convert them to a digital format for posterity but when I tried using my flat-bed scanner the result was very poor. Is there a better way to scan them?

Although you can use a flat-bed scanner for scanning slides, you’re not going to get a good result unless the scanner has a special attachment for slides. You can get this sort of scanner, but they end to be a bit more expensive than standard models. There are better ways to scan slides through.

I would recommend something like the VuPoint Film and Digital Slide Converter which is current on sale from at under $50. It’s a dedicated unit that plugs into your USB port and is designed specifically for this task. Just plug it in, pop on your slide, press and button and voila’ you have a perfect scan. Besides slides, it can also be used to scan negatives right into your computer. Some may argue that you get a better result this way than scanning an actual photo, but I’ve found that results vary.

Once you have all your slides in a digital format, check out services like Picasa which will help you sort and store your slides in a digital library.

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