A site of endless curiosity

Review: 35mm Film to Digital Conversion

with 3 comments

Suppose your parents or grandparent lay on you dozens of boxes of what is shown above.  What are those?  Those are “slides”.  Slides, and the negatives from which they were produced, are a remnant of a past age of photography before the technology disruption to the industry ushered in by digital cameras.

Those slides and negatives hiding in your parents and grandparents closet may have some valuable memories.  But, how to do view those images today, in the age of digital photography?

You can unlock those memories of the past and bring them into the digital universe for less than $100.  A while ago I picked up a very low-end device that can scan these 35mm slides and convert them to digital form.

There are many units on the market that can do this.  This posting is a review of only one.  But the real purpose of this post is to encourage you to go find those slides and negatives from your parents, grandparents, friends, and family and take a look at some history.

Review of the Wolverine F2D 35mm Film to Digital Converter

This is a very low-end device at low-cost.  But, if you want to get your feet wet and take a look at all those 35mm slides and negatives then this might be a good choice for you based on my experience.

The Wolverine is very easy to use.  You don’t need any software to scan the images.  The unit is self-contained including digital storage and a wall wart power supply.  No computer is needed – but of course you will want to use one along with your favorite image editing software after you digitally convert your 35mm slides and negatives.


The Wolverine comes with two trays – one for slides and one for negatives.  Simply open the tray and load it.  Turn the unit on and scan one slide or negative at a time.  The scans are at 5 Megapixel and it’s fast.  It only takes about 2 seconds to scan each image.  You will find that you spend more time loading and unloading the trays then you will spend on scanning the images.

Trivial editing

The Wolverine does allow some trivial editing of the image before you save it.  For example, the device will scan the image and show you a preview in a small color LCD screen,  You can choose to rotate or flip (mirror) the image before you save it to storage.  If you take a quick look at the slides or negatives before you load them and get the correct orientation in the tray then this trivial editing in not necessary.  No other editing is possible, nor should there be.  This unit is purpose-built for converting 35mm slides and negatives to digital form – that’s it.   Editing can be done after you get the images on to your computer.

Upload to computer

After you scan you slides or negatives connect the device to a USB port on your PC.  As with a traditional digital camera the device will show up as an external storage device.  You can then process the images just as you would with a digital camera.

The resolution of my scanned 35mm slides came out to  be 2520 x 1680.  Certainly suitable for viewing on a large monitor or for printing.

Edit as needed

I scanned about 200 slides and negatives.  On many, the color was off.  This may be due the Wolverine digital conversion process, the age of the slides, the slide processing, or the wrong exposure when the photograph was originally taken.  No matter the source of the color error these images are easily improved with digital photography software that can be had at no lost or up to whatever level of sophistication you desire.

The Take

My family has a huge collection of slides and negatives.  I can remember as a kid sitting in the living room watching the “big screen” while images were shown one by one along with commentary and discussion with the assembled masses.  If you were real lucky/unlucky you got treated to a slide show at a friend or neighbors house while they clicked through the 80 slides in the Kodak Carousel slide projector of their vacation or their family event.  If you saw a stack of a dozen Carousels you knew you were in for quite a night – in more ways than one.

The time when the family or family, neighbors, and close friends sat in a darkened room along with snacks and drinks and the famous Kodak Carousel clicked through the recorded memories of vacations and notable events may not be altogether gone.  Some may have never known such a time.

But, with entry-level 35mm film to digital converters for less than $100, image editing software, and easy one-click sideshow creation by free software programs then perhaps it’s not that hard to re/create this family event.  In this case, the digital image replaces the 35mm slide; the computer or DVD player replaces the projector; and the large screen TV set replaces the big screen with glass beads. The chance to get together with family, friends, and neighbors to relive memories of the past remains the same.  But in this case, given that these images originated as 35mm film in the distant past they may be of special significance to children and grand children. Children and grand children many have never seen these images and events they as part of  family history. To create such an event and opportunity for them would it be worth a $100 investment and a few hours of your time?

From AMC’s Mad Men


Written by frrl

January 12, 2012 at 7:55 pm

3 Responses

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  1. No link or info on Wolverine F2D 35mm Film to Digital Converter. And is there something better model than this available and their source please.



    January 16, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    • Go to and type in this search term “35mm slide scanner”

      The Wolverine that I reviewed is no longer available. But there are plenty on the market for about $100 or less. More $$ if you are really serious.

      The < $100 unit was good enough for me to get started.
      Seems to me no sense leaving those images (slides or negatives) locked up on that media when its so easy to get them into digital form. If you have family photos why not post them to Flickr or similar site, share them, and they will mostly likely be there "forever" – you will never lose them and can easily point friends and family to the Internet for those you want to share.


      January 18, 2012 at 6:05 am

  2. […] Got some old 35mm slides or negatives laying around? (Maybe not as old at the photo above) Don’t you think its time to get those slides and negatives into digital form before the media degrades? I used a low cost film/slide to digital converter to scan several hundred 35mm slides and negatives. Read my review –…al-conversion/ […]

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