What is the Best Handheld Slide Viewer for Viewing and Converting 35mm Film?
We looked at specialty photography and film brands that know the ins and outs of photo and slide technology, comparing the price of each slide viewer to find the best options in a variety of price ranges. Now that you have read through our guide, go ahead and find out about our top choices in more detail.
Our Top Choice
The Wolverine Titan 8-in-1 Slide Converter really can do it all and it also comes with a free 32GB SD card which can store thousands of pictures. If you don’t quite need 8 functions on your converter, then maybe the Wolverine F2D Mighty 20MP 7-in-1 Film to Digital Converter
is the right pick for you!
Wolverine Titan 8-in-1 20MP High Resolution Film and Slide to Digital Converter with 4.3” Screen, 32GB SD Card
Wolverine specializes in digital conversion products, so you can trust things to go off without a hitch. Their products are made for easy-use so anyone can save their photos, videos and other media to view whenever they like. They also offer audio tech and LED desk lighting products. Wolverine is passionate about delivering professional quality with ease, and without breaking the bank.
The Wolverine F2D Titan Bundle easily converts a range of film, negatives and slides into a digital JPEG file which you can then copy to your computer, save on a memory card or showcase on the TV. The converter doesn’t require any set-up out of the box, just simply plug it into any AC outlet or USB port.
There’s a lot more to this converter than that. Let’s see what other features it offers:
- Converts images in just 3 seconds
- High resolution of 20MP
- 4.3-inch LCD screen
- Converts 35mm, 126Kpk, 127 (1.5x1.5"), 110, Advantex, negatives & APS slides
- Simple to use; just push one button!
- All pictures are saved to the internal memory or you can use the free 32GB SD card that’s included
- In the box: film to digital converter, 110 slide insert, 135 mm slide adapter, 135 mm negative film adapter, 110/APS negative film insert, USB power adapter and cable, multi-voltage 110V/240V AC adapter, cleaning brush and user manual
The LED Slide Viewer from The Imaging World will magnify any 2x2 slide or 35mm negative 3x. It does this using 4 tru-color LED’s for a bright, clear image. If however, you don’t need quite that magnification, you could go for the Pana-Vue 2 Illuminated Slide Viewer
which has a magnification of 2x.
The Imaging World 35mm Desk Top Portable LED Negative and Slide Viewer
The Imaging World is a photography store in Brooklyn that sells all things necessary for photographers and filmmakers. Whether you need a backdrop, lights, filter, camera or lens then The Imaging World has what you need. They’ve even got a portable slide viewer or two!
The LED Slide Viewer from The Imaging World is a fantastic portable slide viewing device. It fits 35mm negatives and film strips as well as 2x2 slides. The 2x2 slides should be mounted in the back of the slide viewer and there’s even a quick ejection button and collection tray for convenience and speed. The portable device measures 9 x 7.5 x 5.3 inches overall but the diagonal measurement is 4 inches, making it easy to take with you wherever you need to put on a show, be it in a studio or at home.
This slide viewer has been upgraded recently to now feature 4 tru-color LED lights. This makes for an even illumination of filmstrips or slides and a great viewing experience. Each slide is projected at 3x magnification and all you need to power this is 4 AA batteries which are even included in this package! A microfiber cleaning cloth is even thrown in for good measure too.
The Magnasonic All-in-One 22MP Film Scanner can scan slides, film and negatives in 3-5 seconds and then convert them into a 22MP JPEG file. If you’re in need of a Super 8/8mm film scanner, Magnasonic has one that converts film into digital video
. It works with 3", 5" and 7" Super 8/8mm movie reels,
Magnasonic All-in-One High Resolution 22MP Film Scanner with LCD Screen – Converts Slides into Digital Photos
Magnasonic has been around since 1954 creating top-quality electronics. Their mission is based around their customers, aiming to make their everyday experiences extraordinary with a heavy focus on customer service. They base their motto on six fundamental qualities; performance, quality, style, simplicity, value and customer service. Magnasonic’s product range includes projectors, jewelry cleaners, clock radios and film scanners.
The Magnasonic All-in-One 22MP Film Scanner really can do it all. Convert your negatives, film and slides into an impressive 22MP quality digital image in just 3-5 seconds. You can even edit your photo right on the LCD screen with no need to learn a new image editing software. The film scanner will turn any 126KPK film, 110 film, 135 film, 35mm negative, Super 8 film, negative or slide into a JPEG file with just the push of a button.
There’s far more to this all-in-one converter than that:
- 128MB built-in memory – store up to 100 photos
- Space for an optional 32GB SD card
- 2.4-Inch color TFT LCD screen
- Automatic and manual exposure control (-2.0 EV~ +2.0EV)
- 3200 dpi and 4000 dpi (interpolation) scan quality
- Multiple languages available; English, French, Spanish, Chinese, German, Italian and Japanese
- FCC, RoHS, CE, UL/CUL certified
- Compact size: 3.4 x 3.4 x 4-inches and weighs just 0.66lbs
- Included in the box; film scanner, USB cable, video out TV cable, AC-DC adapter, range of film holders, cleaning brush, user manual, customer support and 1-year manufacturer’s direct warranty
With all these great features it’s easy to see how this could be your one-stop all-in-one film scanner.
The Zonoz 22MP Film & Slide Converter can convert 35mm film and slides into media files in seconds. If you don’t need the entire bundle that comes with this slide converter then you can get the Zonoz Film and Slide Scanner
without the bundle and save a few bucks in the process.
Zonoz FS-ONE 22MP High-Resolution 35mm Negative Film and Slide Scanner and Digital Converter
Zonoz is a brand that wants to produce technology that goes where you go. They put a lot of effort into a small product range to ensure you get only the best quality possible. Their products include waterproof Bluetooth speakers and film and slide converters as well as a couple of negative and tray slide sets.
The Zonoz 22MP Film & Slide Converter can easily convert your 35mm film or slides into a digital file within seconds. It uses a 14MP sensor, however with the use of its unique software, this can be converted into a 22MP image. All you need to do to get going is insert your slides or film into the correct holder and insert into the machine. You’ll see your image on the 2.4TFT color LCD display and then all you need to do is press the “Scan” button.
All images scanned can be saved to the built-in memory or to a separate SD card. Zonoz throws in a 32GB SD card into this bundle so you can store thousands of your precious memories without worrying about storage space.
What’s in the box you ask?
- FS-ONE 35mm Film & Slide Scanner
- 32GB memory card
- 1 negative film tray
- 4 positive slide holders
- 38” USB to mini-USB cable
- Cleaning brush
- 56” TV cable
- User manual
- AC adapter – multi-voltage 110V/240V
The ClearClick Film2USB Slide Converter easily and quickly converts your slides or negatives into 10MP quality JPG files. If you would prefer a more advanced slide scanner, you should take a look at the ClearClick 22MP Virtuoso Film & Slide Scanner with PhotoPad Software
. It comes with an 8GB memory card and can convert 35mm, 110, 126 and Super 8 film into digital format.
ClearClick Film2USB Film To USB Converter - 35mm Slide and Negative Scanner with 2.3” Color LCD Screen, 2GB Memory Card
ClearClick has been around for almost 10 years, providing easy-to-use, fun and unique software and products to their valued customers. ClearClick are so confident about their products they offer a full 1-year manufacturers warranty with every purchase and also offer free USA-based technical support. Their products include photo scanners, record converters, cassette converters and slide viewers.
The ClearClick Film2USB Slide Converter can convert your 35mm negatives or slides into digital images in just a few easy steps. It scans at 5MP (10MP interpolated) and will then convert the image into a JPG file. All you need to do is load the negative or slide into the appropriate holder and load it into the Film2USB converter. You do not need a computer to scan the images and if you don’t want your images on your computer at all you can simply store them on the free 2GB SD card that’s included in the package. Alternatively, plug the provided video cable into your TV to see your pictures on the big screen!
Step-by-step instructions are included in the box and if you have any issues, ClearClick offer free tech support to all its USA-based customers. That’s not all; there’s also a full 1-year warranty to put your mind at ease.
35mm Slide Viewer Buying Guide: How to Choose a Viewer for Photo Slides
Another dull weekend comes by, and you’re sitting at home. The weather is chilly, the kind that turns you away from carrying out any outdoor activities. To make matters worse, there’s nothing exciting to watch on your LED TV—not even a sporting event—to pass your time. As your mind wanders, pondering on what to do to make the day a little more exciting, you remember your old film reels taken by your vintage 35mm camera.
Since time immemorial, human beings have used photographs as a method of preserving the moments they savor the most. There was a time when the presence of a Kodak Carousel Slide Projector
was the norm. If people didn't have a projection screen, they'd use a white wall or hang up a sheet to show off family photos.
In the present-day era of digital cameras
and high-end smartphones, taking pictures is not a difficult task. However, years ago capturing these memorable moments was challenging, as one needed to own a camera. Further, unlike modern gadgets that store photos in digital format, the old-school cameras produced film reel colloquially known as ‘negatives’ which had to be passed through other machines to make them discernible to the human eye. These cameras have since been rendered obsolete, eclipsed by modern technology. As a result, if you still have film reels, turning them into visible pictures may require you to go an extra mile.
Well, you may not need to go so far. Thankfully, slide viewers are available in the market. With these gadgets, you’re able to relive the old moments through recreation of pictures from reels. Slide viewers are not a thing of present times, as they have existed from the 20th century. Nevertheless, like other devices, they have undergone massive technological advancements.
The market offers a myriad of options in this niche, making it a mind-boggling challenge to greenhorns looking to acquire a new product. Our excellent reviewers once again took their time to conduct an extensive analysis of the available options, picking out the cream of the crop, as usual. Indulge in this in-depth guide of ours, and once you’re done, you will be a guru when it comes to choosing the appropriate slide viewer!
Although we’ve featured five awesome slide viewers in this review, there are just so many great options out there that we didn’t have room for all of them! If you’re looking for a basic, low cost slide viewer for your 35mm 126 super slides, then you should check out the Pana-Vue 3 Slide Viewer
. Alternatively, if you want an all-singing-all-dancing-all-in-one slide viewer then you should take a peek at the DIGITNOW Film Scanner
which works with both 35mm and Super 8 films, slides and negatives.
Video: How to View Your Old Slides
Have boxes of slides? Why not see what they are with a slide viewer? | Courtesy of Pixologie Digital Solutions
Just like other electronics, slide viewers’ prices are heavily influenced by the integrated features. Typically, viewers that have superior specifications, such as the ability to convert analog photos to digital format, cost a fortune as compared to barebones, simplistic devices. Likewise, gadgets that generate professional-quality images tend to cost more than their basic counterparts.
As of now, slide viewers are available from $20, going up to $200, following the above-mentioned criteria. For satisfactory, all-round performances, we strongly recommend the premium-priced variants. Cheap slide viewers may compromise on several vital features, thus we suggest you keep away from them.
Built-in features are what separate various models of slide viewers from each other. For this reason, it’s imperative to be keen on the features, as they are the primary determinant of the product’s overall capability and competency.
A significant majority of interested parties look out for the following before shelling out cash on slide viewers:
- Type - Is it a mini slide viewer, a digital converter, or a folding sorter?
- Slide Size - What kind of slides can it accommodate? They can be ordinary 35 mm or multiple-sized reels.
- Display Info - This refers to the size of the output screen, which can be magnified. Some variants can be connected to TVs.
- Capacity – How many slides can be accommodated at a time? Many models accommodate one at a time, with only few possessing the ability to handle multiple pieces simultaneously.
- Weight - This is important, especially if you consider portability as a vital aspect.
With the required features in the bag, next in line is the performance of the desired product.
Construction and Design
Unlike old school slide projectors
, compact designs are the darling of many when it comes to slide viewers you find on the market today. Moreover, the fact that a significant portion are lightweight and easily portable serves their reputation well. Further, they can be placed on a tabletop or be handheld, making their usage applicable for a variety of scenarios.
The display profile of a slide viewer is perhaps its most vital feature. It’s the primary output source, hence its quality should be pristine. The screens of viewers can be split into broad categories: magnified
. Magnified screens enlarge the picture, making it more visible. On the other hand, LCD screens integrate the latest technology
, producing high-quality pictures. They, however, make the slide viewers costlier.
Performance and Ease of Use
Modern viewers are much more complex, capable of handling a variety of media, and hence they’re not limited to reveals. They’re a hybrid, adept at letting you view both old and current formats. Also, they are able to magnify pictures to larger scales or cast them to televisions, making them visible to multiple people in one sitting. Moreover, they offer converting services, allowing you to transform outdated analog formats to digital images.
To make the most of your slide viewer, you should be able to use it at any time. For this reason, we advise going for the backlit devices, as they are fully capable even in environments with limited lighting. This guarantees you continuous viewing, even in the night.
Everybody loves an adaptable device. Thus, to enjoy this unique capability, we encourage buying digital converters. These advanced slide viewers not only allow you to relive old moments, but to immortalize them by converting them into digital formats that can be uploaded to the Cloud where they are stored eternally.
Or, if you only have a few slides, you could make a DIY light box.
Video: How to Make a Cheap Lightbox for Viewing Slides
Simple, straight forward tutorial on how to make a DIY slide viewer. | Courtesy of Dave Robbie
Note: It’s not your speakers, there is no sound for this video.
Get the Best Slide Viewer of 2023!
Consider how often you plan to use your slide viewer. For more frequent use, the higher-end models we chose will last longer even when handled often. You may also want a backlit model that makes it easy to view slides in any condition. Whatever you're looking for, these brands sell a range of options to fit your needs.
Our Top Choice
Wolverine Titan F2D Converter and Slide Scanner
The Imaging World LED Slide and Negative Viewer
Magnasonic All-in-One 22MP Film Scanner
Zonoz FS-ONE 22MP High-Resolution Scanner and Converter
ClearClick Film2USB Converter for Slides and Negatives
Slide Viewer FAQs
Where can I buy a slide viewer?
There are tons of stores and online platforms where you can get a good slide viewer. However, if you are looking for a platform that is both trustworthy and delivers on time, Amazon would be your best option. The site is well established and quick on delivery. It also offers you a wider range of options to choose from at different prices, depending on your budget. We've reviewed 5 options if you are shopping for a new slide viewer.
What is easiest way to use slide viewer?
How you use a slide viewer might vary depending on your slide viewer’s specific design. However, the method is pretty straight forward and common among most devices. Start by placing the film inside the slide viewer through its slot or a film holder. The viewer will then emit light which, shines through your film and projects it on a surface like a ceiling or a wall. Modern designs usually have LCD screens where you can see the digital image as well, and perform edits on it. They also include a scanner that converts the image into a digital format, which can then be stored in its internal memory or an external SD card.
How to build a slide viewer lightbox
A slide viewer lightbox is quite easy to design. You’ll only need a few basic materials that you can find lying around in your house. This includes an inexpensive flashlight, a clean container with a cover, lightweight cardboard that is colored black on one side and white on the other, scotch tape, and a pair of scissors.
The process is quite simple. Start by cutting a hole at the bottom of a small container and insert a flashlight through it. Here, the flashlight’s head should be inside the container. Then line the inside of the container with lightweight cardboard paper. Make sure that the dark side is facing outward while the light side faces inward. Finally, put the semi-transparent lid on it (like the one on margarine containers), and you’re done. Simply put the slide on top of the cover, switch on the flashlight, and view your slide.