How to View 35mm Slides

By Marlene Inglis

Updated September 22, 2017

Items you will need

  • Slide projector

  • Carousel

  • Lint-free cloth

  • Scanner

  • DVD disk

  • Screen

  • DVD player

It's possible to view 35mm slides in color or black and white.
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Because of their ease in transporting and production, the 35mm slides were popular as far back as the 1950s. If you are the lucky beneficiary of a collection of these slides, and you don’t have the foggiest idea how to view and enjoy them, there are several options open to you. With the advancement of technology, you can now bring slides into the 21st century by digitizing them and sharing them with family and friends around the world or you could use them for your private viewing.

Insert your slides upside down into the slots on the carousel tray, working clockwise around the tray. Place the tray onto the slide projector lining up the first slide (No. 1) with the arrow on the projector. Gently press the tray down until it locks onto the projector and insert the inner circle portion of the tray which locks to keep the slides in place. Insert one end of plug into the projector and other into an electrical outlet. Turn the power button on the back of the projector to "On," adjust the lens, and advance the slides either by pressing a button on the right side of the projector or by using the remote. View slides on a wall, on a ceiling mounted screen or on a portable screen.

Scan your 35mm slides and view them as photographs. Use a flatbed scanner that has a built-in photo negative and slide scanning capabilities as well as a transparent materials adapter (TMA). This allows the scanner to import transparent materials such as slides. Connect it to your computer and turn on both your computer and scanner. Clean the glass on your scanner with a clean, lint-free cloth, open the scanner, remove the TMA cover and place your slides right side up and side by side on the glass. Lay the template on the glass, align the arrow on the template with the arrow on the glass. Close the scanner lid and press the "Scan Film" button. Various dialog boxes will appear asking if you want to change settings, scan negatives, and set resolution. Save files with a high resolution if your computer has enough memory available. Choose the appropriate options until all the images are scanned to your satisfaction. Save the scanned files on your computer and print the photographs as digital images when you are ready to view them.

Create a DVD slide show with your scanned 35mm slides by copying all images to the hard drive on your computer. Using the file manager on your computer, view the images as thumbnails, sort images into appropriate folders, format the digital scans to the required specifications and save the files as .tiff or .jpeg files. Once the files are in an appropriate digital format, import them into your DVD slide show program and add background music if you like. Burn the files onto a DVD data disk or CD to be viewed as a slideshow. You can either view the slides on your computer or use a DVD player and a television set to enjoy viewing the slides.