Q. I want to convert some of my father's 35mm slides to digital photos. I scanned some slides myself and sent some to Wal-Mart. I set my scanner to 550x781 pixels at 600 dots per inch (dpi). Wal-Mart scanned the slides to 1,228x1,818 at 96 dpi. Will the slides scanned at Wal-Mart provide satisfactory prints if my children decide to print them some time in the future?
A. Itís great to hear that you want to pass on those precious family photos! Getting those slides into a digital format will save them. Scanning your slides protects them from scratches and fading. You can save the images and pass them on to all your children.
This tip is only for scanning 35mm slides. Scanning photos is a different ball game.
It sounds like Wal-Mart scanned your slides for viewing on a computer monitor or television. An image scanned from a slide at 96 dpi might not make a satisfactory print. But it would be fine for a computer or television.
It is possible that the person at Wal-Mart did not give you the correct dpi. Stores often ship this work out to a photo lab.
The best way to find out if the images will print well is to test them. Get some images printed to at least 4x6 inches. Ask Wal-Mart to print some photos from the images on the CD. Or print them yourself with your home printer.
Slides that you plan to print are generally scanned at 2,000-4,000 dpi. The minimum dpi that I would use for scanning slides is 600.
Let me explain dpi resolution. A standard computer monitor has a resolution of 72-96 dpi. This is why a photo at 96 dpi looks good on your computer but blurry when printed.
Your printerís maximum resolution has nothing to do with the resolution you should use when scanning. Slides that you plan to print are generally scanned at 2,400 dpi or higher.
Todayís inkjet printers produce photos at 300 dpi or higher. It is commonly thought that the higher dpi the printer has, the better the quality of the print. Truth is, a 300 dpi printer with four separate colors (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) is just fine for photos.
If you want to scan the slides yourself, I can help. You want the photo to print with good quality. But you want to keep the file size small. Remember, the higher the pixel settings, he larger the file will be.
Here are the scanner settings for your 35mm slides. If you only want 4x6 inch prints, then 550x781 pixels is enough. A pixel size setting of 1,024x768 will give a good quality print size up to 8x10 inches. If your scanner has a 2,400 dpi setting, use it. The higher the dpi setting the higher the quality of the photos printed.
Often, a photo-editing program will have a feature to scan slides and pictures. If you have a photo program, use it to scan your slides.
Patience is required; it can take 30-60 seconds to scan each slide. If you are planning to edit the photos, use the JPEG format. If you or your children are going to edit the images, use the TIFF format.
I got this from a friend today and thought it may come in handy for some.Have a nice Roo_day.