Converting slides to digital is one of our primary operations at DiskBank. It is essential to digitise your slides for multiple reasons: to view your precious memories, save them before they degrade, and rather than having a single physical copy of your memories, scanning provides the opportunity to store multiple digital copies in multiple locations. A much safer and robust backup solution for precious family memories.
While you may not be in a rush to get your slides digitised immediately, it should be done as soon as possible. While you can still access it, digitising might not seem as urgent because the memories are still intact. However, there is always the risk of flooding, fires, or losing your collection altogether if they are only kept in physical form.
The ideal storage space for your precious slides before transferring them is:
- A dry sealed environment with desiccant material to absorb moisture
- Cool temperatures (4°C or below)
- Dark, with as little exposure to light as possible
- Acid-free cardboard, or plastic box
While these tips are all critical in ensuring your special memories stay in excellent condition, the ultimate safeguard for your slides is to transfer them to digital. Doing this as soon as possible before any degradation begins to affect the image.
Transparency film, also known as slides, are prone to degradation because of its delicate nature. There are three main components which make up film; The film base, usually acetate or cellulose, the binder or emulsion, usually made of gelatine, and the three layers of dyes, these are suspended within the gelatine, and are what create a colour image when light is shone through them.
- Acetate can become brittle over time, especially when subjected to heat and UV degradation.
- Cellulose contains sugars that mould loves to eat and grow upon. This can result in blotches or spider web type effects all across the image. Furthermore, Cellulose can undergo a chemical reaction that causes it to fall apart. If you have ever opened up an old box of photographic film and noticed a pungent vinegar smell, this is the gelatine rotting, known in the industry as ‘Vinegar Syndrome’.
- The gelatine can rot and become spongy and sticky, it can also develop a yellowing or brown colour cast rather than remaining clear and transparent. Gelatine can also rehydrate if exposed to moisture, or if an inappropriate cleaning solution is used. This can accelerate degradation.
- And finally the dyes can fade or bleach out over time. Resulting in a desaturation and a colour shift.
One of the most common ways to convert slides to digital is through flatbed scanning. A flatbed scanner is an optical scanner that uses a flat surface to scan documents and images.
At DiskBank, we use high quality flatbed scanners; we have evolved our process over decades of practice and experience. All slides are scanned and digitised by hand, and our technicians take the utmost care in digitising your slides. The following is the procedure we use for converting slides to digital photos:
- Inspection and sorting of your slides/negatives
- Where necessary, removal of dust, grime, mould and mildew
- Hi-resolution scanning with professional equipment (up to 4,000 dpi)
- TIFF or JPEG files
- Manual cropping and rotation
- Manual colour and exposure correction
- Digital dust removal
- Manual restoration (Photoshopping) of scratches and damage from mould is available at an additional cost.
With the holidays quickly approaching, transferring your memories to digital creates the perfect gift for friends and family. With your digital images, you can gift USBs and DVDs with your memories or share them through email.
At DiskBank, we will convert your slides to digital with detail and would love to be a part of your experience. If you have any questions regarding pricing, outputs, or any other queries, we are happy to help and offer our expert opinion. If you have any further questions or are looking into getting your old media transferred, feel free to contact us at (08) 9388 0800 or visit us in-store at 4/73 Troy Terrace Jolimont, WA 6014 to get started on your transfers.