Skip to Main Content

35mm Slide and Negative Scanning (Station 14)

Using the Plustek slide scanner to scan slides and negatives in the Freedman Center

Video tutorial

Video Tutorial Steps

Step 1:  Please check out a Freedman Center station key at the KSL service desk.

Step 2:  Go to station #14 where you will find the Plustek Slide scanner

Step 3: Put the key you checked out in the station monitor to unlock and open the computer.

Step 4: To scan slides and negatives, you need to use the slide holders.  You will find them sitting in a tray on top of Station 14.  If they are broken or missing, please email us at

Step 5: Before loading your slides or negatives into the slide holder, note that the film has two distinct sides: a shiny side and a dull side.  The dull side (the emulsion) is the side that the scanner needs to scan.  If that's hard to see, look on the slide to find the words "this side towards screen." That's the side that the scanner needs to scan, so it needs to go down when you place it in the machine. (If theres a date or label on the slide, that's the side that goes up.) (Skip to step 9 if you are scanning negatives).

Step 6:  Place the slide in the holder horizontally with the dull/emulsion side facing down. The scanning machine scans from underneath the slide holder.

Step 7: Look at the slide holder before loading your slides. Notice the side with arrows.  This is the top of the slide holder.  Parts of this side of the slide holder look like they might lift up.  They DO NOT. If you pull on them they will break.  The slide holders are spring loaded.  You will take the slide, using the arrows as your guide, and position the slide (shiny side up) underneath the flap until the spring loader holds it in place.  (See also timestamp 2:38 on the Youtube tutorial). 

Step 8: Make sure all of the slides are loaded horizontally. (To continue slide scanning, skip to step 10).

Step 9: The negative film holder looks and behaves a little differently than the slide holder.  This one has a hinge and you need to pop it open to place the negative film inside of it. (see also timestamp 3:23 on the YouTube tutorial). Lay the film in the holder so that the dull side is down and then snap the slide holder shut.  NOTE: It's best to wear nitrile gloves while working with negatives to avoid getting your fingerprints all over them.  We don't provide these gloves, but they can be easily purchased online).  If your film looks dusty, use the camel hair brush mounted to the scanner to clean them before your scan.)

Step 10: Scanning your slides! From the computer monitor, navigate to the D: drive and make a new folder using you Case ID to name the folder. That's where you will save your files.  (NOTE: NEVER save to the desktop.  You run the risk of losing them if you save them there).

Step 11:  The Plustek scanner is next to the computer.  Make sure it is turned on.   If the green light in the upper right corner is shining, then it is already turned on.

Step 12: Insert the slide holder with your loaded slides (shiny side up) into the left side slot on the scanner. As you push the holder through, you will feel it click as it secures each slide in place. Once you've got it in the notch for the slide you want to scan, you are ready scan using the scanning software on the computer desktop. (The same process is true for the negatives in the negative slide holder.)

Step 13:  Words of wisdom.  Scanning slides takes time because you have to scan each one individually.  You will need to be patient throughout the scanning process, but it is worth it because the quality of your scans will be amazing.

Step14:  Navigate to the desktop and double-click on the "Silverfast 8" scanning software. When the Silverfast welcome screen opens, click on "Start."

Step 15:  Select the type of film you are scanning: positive, negative, or Kodachrome.  Let's say you are scanning slides.  You would select "positive" unless your slide has the word "Kodachrome" on it.  Then you would select "Kodachrome."  If you are scanning negatives, then you would select "Negative" from the drop down menu.

Step 16: The scan dimension settings are default and you don't need to change them.  Files we be saved on the D: drive and you can move them into your folder on the D: drive later.. This is a large menu that will allow you to scroll down.  You don't need to make any changes to any of this before you start scanning.

Step 17: Click "PreScan" along the menu bar towards the top. This will generate a preview of your slide.  This process provides the scanner with important information about your slide and it only takes a few seconds.  Don't worry if your slide is upside down or if the color looks strange right now.  These are things that you can and should change later during post processing (opening the slide in imaging software such as Photoshop or iPhoto).

Step 18: Now click the " Scan" button. .  The default scanning size is set to 7200 dpi (the recommended setting and the highest possible resolution at which this machine can scan).  Note that scanning at this resolution will take about 5 minutes to get this high quality scan, which will help you budget your time going forward.  (A lower resolution will not save you much time and you'll probably have to spend more time rescanning it later, so it's important to patiently wait through the 5 minutes scan for each slide).

Step 19: Monitor the scanning process in the lower left side of the screen where it will update you on what percentage of the slide has been scanned so far.  At 100%, it is finished and has been saved to the D: drive. 

NOTE: If you are scanning negatives, follow steps 15 - 19 with the exception of selecting "Negative" in Step 15.

REMINDER: Each scan will take five minutes.  Budget your time accordingly and when you sit down at the scanner, just do the scans.  Do not do any post processing until later after you are done scanning.

Step 20: When you are done scanning slides for the day, upload your files to Google Drive so that you can access them remotely and post process them in a location of your choice.  Adobe Photoshop is available on all of the FC computer stations, but depending on your needs (personal or professional use), you can also rotate and crop images in a photo tool on a personal computer.

For additional questions, please email