Introduction: Copy Your Old Slides the Easy Way!

About: Retired, doing art work now. Great. Have the time and the money to spend doing what I want to do.
I have many slides from years ago and have enjoyed viewing them from time to time. But I always came away wishing I had them on disc, a CD, Flash Drive, or whatever so that I could see them more often. In those days, slides were much cheaper than prints, so I took a lot of them. Checking on line for transfer services, I found that they seemed pretty expensive, and wanting to be frugal, I worked out a way to do the transfers myself. I have a scanner but don't have the slide attachment for it, and it seemed when I did use the scanner, it took a very long time. This instructable solves that problem as well, as the copying goes quite rapidly.

Step 1: Items/Supplies Needed

First, a slide projector. I have one that I have had for years, so cost was nil. Next, a diffuser element, which for me is a sheet of white acrylic. It came off of a light box I use, so no cost here, either. I tried to get by with using plain white paper, but paper has fibers in it and gives a definite pattern to the projections. We need a holder for the diffuser, in this case simply a piece of two by four with a groove cut in it. I did this on the table saw, which makes it very easy to do. Two small clamps to hold a piece of wood which is the slide holder. A black piece of paper is cut to accommodate the slide being copied, and prevents light reflecting back and forth and affecting your shot. A tripod, and a camera.

Step 2: Place Diffuser in Place.

This is determined by trial and error. I mounted the plastic in the two by four, and just moved it back and forth until I found a light pattern that was satisfactory.

Step 3: Add Black Paper

Again, this is determined by trial and error. Just position the hole in the best fit position so that you get a square of light for the projection.

Step 4: An Alternate Mount for Greater Simplicity

I wanted to make the slide holder/mount simpler, so came up with the pictured solution. Everyone doesn't have acrylic sheets lying around, but should have some small pieces of white plastic, or vellum paper. The small piece of glass is cut from an old picture frame no longer in use. Updated Oct. 2, 2009.

Step 5: Align Camera on Tripod.

See the picture for proper alignment. The tripod is adjustable, of course, so it is an easy matter to line the camera up with the projected image. I set the camera to super macro, and from there, the focus is taken over by the camera.

Step 6: On Crossbar Slide Holder, Mark Slide Position

Self explanatory, I did this so as to be able to positon each slide without undue manuvering.

Step 7: Start Copying Slides!

I got satisfactory results using this method after having worked out the little kinks in the procedure. I probably copied about 100 slides in a short period of time. And the best part is I saved the money and the time and effort of shipping and waiting for a service.

Step 8: Gallery

Enjoy the slides from yesteryear!
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