Image Requirements for Slides from Digital

image requirements for digital images to color slides
  • Do not rotate vertical images to lay on their side.  Those will misprint, so keep them as verticals. Your images should all be right side up and oriented so they look normal.
  • Film Recorder page size: 2732×4096 pixels or 7.33×11 inches at 372 DPI. Files this size will result in the best quality slides we can produce.
  • Minimum file size: 900×600 pixels at 72 DPI. Smaller images may show the pixels and result in blurry slides.
  • Any file within those two extremes will produce sharp slides, but larger images with more pixels are the sharpest.
  • Do not use software to make your images larger.  Leave them as is.
  • If you’re shooting with your digital camera, then set it to shoot at the highest quality/largest file size and then leave them at that size.
  • Use RGB Color Mode instead of CMYK Mode since we’re not printing to paper with ink.
  • Use 8 bits per channel and not 16 bits per channel because 16 causes a printing error.
  • JPG and TIF files are the preferred file formats.  Do not send us Native Photoshop (PSD) files because the layers do not print.
  • For TIF files use IBM PC byte order and LZW compression.  Do not upload uncompressed TIFF files because they’ll be 60 MB each.
  • For JPG files, do all of your manipulation in some other file format (TIF, PSD, etc.) and then do one final save using the maximum quality/minimal compression setting. This will produce the largest file with the minimal compression and it will eliminate the JPG “lossy” effect. Multiple saves in the JPG format create the lossy effect.
  • For PNG or PDF files, do not leave the background transparent.  Fill it with the color you need, like white.
  • Your images will be printed so your entire image fits in the 35mm rectangle. This is the default setting and any space where your image doesn’t fit the rectangle will automatically be filled with black.  Black projects as no light on the screen.
  • Apple Mac Users Please Note:  Macs have a monitor Gamma of 1.8 and our Windows PCs have a monitor Gamma of 2.2. That means your images appear brighter than they really are on your Mac and your images will look dark here.  They’ll also print dark. To fix this, view your images on a Windows machine and make them brighter by 1/2 to 1 f-stop.

By George

I earned a BA in Photography from The Ohio State University and I've been producing slides with film recorders since 1996 when a 14.4 baud phone modem was "high speed Internet!" I've also scanned slides and negatives since then. Slides are my life!