Slide Scanning Services | ScanCafe

Color slide scanning, by hand

We scan 35mm, 110, 126, 127, and 120 slides; and medium and large format transparencies.

Your slides are in jeopardy. Minute by minute, even in the dark, they are changing color, scratching, and possibly developing fungal stains. Slide scanning with ScanCafe can save them:

  • Scanned and repaired by hand, one-by-one
  • High 10MP resolution allows enlargements.
  • Safe, guaranteed. Door-to-door tracking, too.
  • Amazing value: $0.35 per 35mm color slide, and Value Kit available from $0.21/scan.
  • 10 Business Days* processing available.
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Handcrafted quality

Hand Scanning

Chances are, your old slides are some of the most precious things you have. So when you send them off to a slide scanning service, you expect them to be treated carefully. At ScanCafe, we understand that. We never run them through some automated correction process, where a piece of software guesses its way through a batch of your most important memories. Yet with most services, that happens all the time.

We think there's a better way. We think that every single slide you send us should be examined by a highly trained technician with a good eye and a terrific set of hands. That's why we've designed our service from the ground up around the idea of a technician individually processing and correcting your slides as needed. This way, you don't have to make a hard choice between being able to afford to preserve all your memories, and being able to preserve them well. At ScanCafe, you can do both.

Before Photo ScanningAfter Photo ScanningPhoto: LTC Kane.

Individual image adjustments

Converting slides to digital images is just one part of our slide scanning service at Scancafe. Every slide we receive requires some correction for the effects of time, since color slides inevitably shift color and scratch over time (unless you've stored them in archival-quality, subzero conditions). For every slide we receive, we will manually perform:

  • Re-orientation
  • Cropping
  • Scratch and dust removal
  • Color correction
  • Red-eye removal
  • Other minor damage

In short, for our standard level of slide scanning service, a technician will spend approximately four minutes per slide addressing all of the problems above, and then some. In our experience scanning millions of slides, this produces amazing quality almost all of the time, for just pennies per image. (Some slides may be so damaged they require our photo restoration service, but that's relatively rare).

How it works

Photo Scanning Process

Frequently asked questions

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» Do you scan medium format slides?
Yes. We scan 120/220 medium format slides. We also scan 35mm, 110, 126, 127 slides.
» What is resolution or dpi and which dpi should I choose?
For purposes of comparing technical aspects of scans, we often use the measure "dpi", which stands "dots per inch". While not precisely accurate, it does enable you to begin to understand two important things about your scanned image: 1) how sharp it will look when printed, and 2) how large it can be printed before it begins to look a bit fuzzy. It is not true, however, that a higher resolution is always the best solution--sometimes a more finely detailed scan can pick up the grain of the underlying material and give results that are inferior to a scan at a lower dpi. So in general we recommend scanning 35mm slides and negatives at approximately 10 megapixels ("MP"), which should give you a very nice print up to about 13" x 9". If you plan to print larger than that, then you may want to think about our Pro Resolution feature, which will enable you to print even larger, up to 16" x 20" and beyond.
» My slides are very old. Can you remove mold from my old slides?
If you have mold build up or crusted dust that is difficult to get off with a jet of air, we will use a special film cleaner such as "Rexton Anti-Static Film Cleaner for Black & White and Color Film". A lint free cloth will then be used and we will wipe gently along the length of the slide. We will not apply the cleaner in a swirling motion because this will scratch the surface. In certain cases, the mold build up will be so extreme that we will need to do advanced photo restoration.
» How do you know the correct orientation for scanning slides?
Most slides will bear a brand logo or the phrase "this side facing the screen." It is this side of the film that the scanner detector should read. The actual insertion procedure will vary from scanner to scanner.
» Many of my slides are extremely faded, how are you able to restore the colors?
ScanCafe's service is unique because we provide free, manual color correction and restoration for each slide although a small number of slides require more advanced restoration work. It works the same way as our photo restoration, but the image comes from the slide. Color restoration can be done during the scanning process using the scanner hardware or after the scanning process using an image editing software like Adobe Photoshop. At ScanCafe, we do both. We use Kodak Digital ICE which is built into our Nikon scanners, and we use Photoshop photo editing software after the image is scanned.
» I scanned my own slides, but I noticed the image is getting cropped and I don't see the entire slide image? How does ScanCafe do it?
Most slides are of the standard size and the film is rectangular. Some slides are square in shape (super slides) and some are rectangular in the vertical direction. This can cause problems for some scanning equipment--for example, the old Nikon 5000ED machine does not scan the entire area of these non-standard sized slides. But for us, we use equipment that can capture all of the image area for these types of media.
* Processing time is calculated from the day your order is received at our Indianapolis facility to the day we post your scans for online review. The number of days indicated here is good for 1000 or less standard photo media (without pro-options).
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  • Experts Agree

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    “The attention to detail was impressive. And so were the scans... pro-caliber work…”

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    “Best quality and cheapest…The best scanning service.”

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    “Bottom line? Good quality and, at $0.24 per slide and $0.27 per print, the price is hard to beat.”

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  • Our Customers

    When I got my DVD back with the photos, I could not believe the quality of the scans! It was like I was transported back in time....It was truly an emotional experience reliving those photos on my computer with such startling clarity and quality.

    - Matthew C., Columbus, GA (Dec 2007)

    The images I received were amazing quality - just like the original pictures...I loved that ScanCafe had great prices and that I could choose which images to purchase after they had scanned them all - what a deal!

    - Connie S.,Toccoa, GA (August 2008)

    I am a full time professional photographer for 17 years. I recently sent an equal amount of slides to both ScanCafe, and a major USA competitor. The scans came back from Scan Cafe, and every single one of them was 100% perfect. 20% of the scans from the competitor were completely unusable, and 50% of them required adjusting in Photoshop. And to make it even better, Scan Cafe was one third the price of the competitor...

    - Brian S., Baltimore, MD (July 2007)

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