Everyone has them…drawers and boxes full of them. I’m talking about old pictures, slides, and home movies just sitting there waiting for you to fulfill that promise you made to yourself. “Self” you said, “as soon as you retire, you’re going to organize all of those pictures into albums”. Sure!
Some of you veryorganized types may have kept that promise and placed all of those precious photographs in great albums and even look at them once in a great while, but at least you have it done. Now the albums are sitting on a shelf or, like us, in a closet somewhere after the downsize move. But what about the slides?
Helen (adorable wife) and I have almost 1,500 slides that we took over 40 years ago and desperately needed to do something with them. Many of these slides were captured in the years just after we were married and moved to Germany for my first assignment in the Army. Helen’s father suggested that we take slides instead of photographs because they were easy to store and we could have prints made from the better ones if we wanted to share or frame them. That’s what we did.
We traveled throughout Europe in those years and took copious amounts of pictures and stored them in projector trays of 100 slides. Somewhere along the way, slides fell out of vogue and we stopped taking them. Also, we had put enough of our friends to sleep watching our slide shows that we finally put the projector up and the slides have been resting in storage ever since. It was time to do something about that because I was very fearful that time and temperature had destroyed some great memories.
A couple of years ago, a local film processor advertised a special service of converting slides to digital images. I boxed up the slides and took them in only to have them call me a few days later to tell me that my slide trays would not fit their converter and that I would have to transfer my slides to their trays – all 1300 of them. Moreover, that service was going to cost me over $300. The slides came back home.
Two weeks ago I received an email from Amazon announcing the annual Prime Day where Amazon Prime customers could save lots of money on Amazon merchandise. When Prime Day arrived, I was scrolling through some of the advertised items and came upon a device which converted slides, film negatives, and 8mm movies to digital images. The Wolverine F2D Mighty Converter is normally $129 but was on sale during Prime Day for $95. I ordered one immediately. Helen, in Charleston visiting the grandchildren, ordered one too as a surprise gift. We had a big laugh over that when both arrived via UPS.
Earlier this week I decided it was time try this thing out. After reading through the short manual, I grabbed a box containing the first 100 slides we ever took and began feeding them into the converter. The images can be stored in the device and later transferred to a computer via USB cord or stored on an SDHC card and transferred through a card reader. I had a spare 8gb SDHC card so I loaded it into the Mighty F2D (link here) and began scanning.
This thing really works! It should be noted that the first slides we have were taken on an old Kodak camera that’s probably displayed in a museum somewhere as a relic of the past, and that the film was the cartridge type made for the small cameras of that era. Therefore, the quality of the pictures is not anywhere close to what I am able to take today, but the quality cannot be blamed on the converter. The converter does have editing capability, but I prefer to load the pictures on my computer and use the simple editing software that I have there.
I quickly became familiar with the relatively easy steps of feeding the slides into the converter and in about two hours I had converted, edited, and stored 500 slides. I probably would have accomplished this a little faster if I had not spent so much time viewing the pictures after I had processed them. It really was fun to go back 40 years and relive a lot of great memories. I have about 800 more slides to convert and therefore a few more memories to relive, but this is a retirement activity I would recommend to anyone.
So, if you made that promise to self to do something about all those boxes of pictures and slides, it’s time to act. The memories are waiting for you. Pictured below are a few of ours.