By Chuck Woodbury
Before the digital age of photography, we used film. Oh, how things have changed! If you’re like me, you have countless photos, negatives and slides that are sitting in drawers or albums. Here’s a way to turn those old images almost instantly into digital files, which you can then store on disks or print on your computer or an instant photo machine at a store.
In my case, I have thousands of photos I took during my years traveling the West as a roving journalist. I shot mostly black-and-white photos then, printing only a fraction of them, most in my small motorhome with a portable, bare bones enlarger. Today, the negatives of those photos are stored in plastic sleeves in countless three-ring binders. And there are a dozen binders with color slides, too.
When my parents died, they left me at least a couple thousand color slides from birthdays, holidays and our family vacations. The photo below is an example.
One option to convert those negatives and slides into digital images is to use a commercial service. Costco does it cheap. But you have to wait days or even weeks to get the images back.
Now, there’s the Wolverine F2D Mighty 20MP 7-in-1 Film to Digital Converter, which you can use to create digital images from film, both black-and-white and color slides, and even from single frames of old 8 mm home movies. No computer or software is needed.
It’s about the size of a large coffee mug, is simple to use, and sells for about $140. To use it, simply insert a slide or negative into the device, push a couple of buttons and that’s it. You can preview your negatives before scanning them on a 2.4-inch screen. That’s nice because it’s often hard to “read” a negative. The device can store up to 40 images internally or thousands on an SD card. The photos are scanned at 20 megapixels — overkill for most of us who plan to print the photos at 8×10 inches or smaller. Once the photos are digitized, you can print them or store them on CDs.
I have been having a wonderful time going back through my binders and boxes of old photos and slides, scanning many that would have probably just been forgotten.
The Wolverine converter is available at Amazon.com, where there is also a lot of information about how it works. I give this product five stars out of five.