4 Steps in Preserving Your 35mm Slides

For many of us, images of our family are on a variety of media (photos, films (8mm, super 8mm, 16mm), video tape and slides). In this series of blogs, we’ll be discussing how to organize, clean, identify, and store slides.

Here’s a few of the popular slide film formats and viewable image sizes, mounted on 2’x2′ cardboard or plastic frames, that were available:

110 13 mm x 17 mm
126 28 mm x 28 mm
127 40 mm x 40 mm
135 24 mm x 36 mm
135 (half frame) 18 mm x 24 mm
135 (square) 24 mm x 24 mm
135 (stereo) 23 mm x 24 mm

Of these, the 135 film used in 35mm slides, was the most popular format that photo enthusiasts used during the late up 40s through the early 90s.


So now you ask “What are we going to do with all those 35mm slides?”.

You know, the slides you inherited from grandpa? You remember watching them. Grandpa would set up the slide projector and the screen, the family would sit down, turn off the lights and all would sit back and watch the vacation of the century. All the while grandpa would relate to where he took that shot of Mount Rushmore or the many different angles he took of Old Faithful and how about the images of those chipmunks being hand-fed in Yellowstone National Park.


Protect your family’s visual history.

Just like the photos, I have to ask “Are your slides organized and neatly filed by date with all the people and events identified, or are they jumbled together without names, dates or places?”. If you’re putting off the process of identifying slides, the harder it will be to remember who was in the photo, what was going on or where it was taken. Hopefully, your family’s slides are stored in archival-grade storage boxes. If so, good for you, part of your battle over. For those of you that find your slides still in the slide projector’s carousel, the original boxes or stuffed in shoe-boxes or drawers – follow the next series of blogs and we’ll discuss organizing, identifying and storing you slides.

It’s Your Family’s Visual History

With a few simple steps, you can preserve your images so they can be enjoyed by current and future generations. Next up – finding a work place for organizing your slides.

Until then, convince yourself that this needs to be done.

–Joe Padavic and Teardrop Video, where we transfer 35mm slides to DVD.

About Joe

Joe My name is Joe Padavic, Owner of Teardrop Video. One reason I started this venture was out of personal guilt for not saving photos of my mom's family. My aunt had passed away and my brother and I went to help mom collect her things at her apartment. While there, we found literally hundreds of photos my aunt had taken while she was a WAVE in the Navy. We started looking at these photos and although we recognized the places we didn't recognize all of the people. To be honest we didn't look at that many and neither my brother nor I wanted to take them with us. So, we left them. Looking back, I'm sure there were many images of my mom's side of the family that with a little effort we could have saved. Another reason was the loss of my family's 8mm films from the 40s, 50s and 60s. We always dreaded the spotlights blinding us while my stepfather took films at family get-togethers. But, due to poor storage techniques these films became un-viewable. Even though the films showed everyone grimacing at the lights, it would be nice to be able to reminisce every once in awhile and enjoy those events again and remember those family members no longer with us today. Anyway, that is why I started this business.

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