Adjusting a Slide Photo Scanner for Slide Size

When you purchase a new slide photo scanner, it will be important to make sure you adjust both the hardware and software to fit the specifications of the media you will be scanning. If you do not take the time to do this, the results you will get out of your slide photo scanner will be significantly reduced from what they could be. Below you will find a general guide to adjusting your slide scanner to deal with various sizes of slides. With a little time and patience, you will be well on your way to producing high quality digital scans of your old slides.

Step 1: Adjusting Hardware to the Proper Specifications

In order to ensure that the results you see from your slide photo scanner are as good as they can be, you will need to properly calibrate your hardware to fit the slides you are scanning. Slides can come in various shapes and sizes, and depending on the model of slide photo scanner you have purchased, there may be a number of ways that you can achieve high quality scans. Many slide photo scanners come bundled with a proprietary tray that slides must be individually placed into before placing them in the slide scanner. In order to produce good results, you will want to make sure that these trays are adjusted properly so as to secure your slides in them without the possibility of them moving around while being scanned.

Additionally, there will typically be a knob on your slide photo scanner that will adjust the focus of the device similar to a microscope. You will need to adjust the focus on your hardware so that the slides are properly in focus before scanning.

Step 2: Adjusting Software to the Proper Specifications

Just as it was important to adjust your hardware to fit the specific dimensions of the slides you are hoping to scan, it will also be important to adjust the software that you are using to scan, so that it matches the slides you are scanning. Slide photo scanners typically come bundled with proprietary software that your computer will need to be running in order to create high quality scans of your slides. When you plug your slide photo scanner into your computer and begin scanning, you will be met with a number of options relating to how your computer interprets, displays and saves these images. Once you have your software up and running, carefully examine the default settings selected in the software program you are running in order to determine what, if anything, you can adjust to ensure that your scans are transferred in the way you expect.

Carefully read through the owner's manual or help section of the software program you are running in order to better understand the options so that you are able to adjust. At the very least, you should be able to select the size of slide that you are scanning and the file format that you want to save your images in. As a general rule, JPEG is a suitable file format for most images, while TIFF is a file format reserved for high quality images.

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