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Re-mounting slides in full-frame mounts for scanning

Christopher Tidy , Oct 19, 2009; 08:10 p.m.

Hi folks,

I have recently bought a collection of colour slides, together with the copyright, for a project. They are pictures of historical subjects that cannot be taken today. Most are Kodachrome in card mounts. There are about 40 slides in total.

I need to get good scans from the slides. I do not have a slide scanner myself, and can't afford one, so I'll be sending them to someone who specialises in slide scanning. But in many cases, the original slide mount is cropping enough of the image that it spoils the composition. So I need to find a way of scanning the whole frame.

I discovered that Gepe 7012 glassless slide mounts have a full-frame, 36 x 24 mm aperture. But unfortunately they've recently been discontinued. I contacted Gepe and they suggested trying their 6012 mounts instead, but said they weren't sure how the glass will affect the scanning. I would prefer not to send single, unmounted frames away for scanning as they seem rather vulnerable.

So I have a few questions. How difficult is removing card slide mounts and re-mounting successfully? Does anyone know of an alternative supplier of full-frame, glassless slide mounts, and if not, how will glass affect the scanning? And what thickness of slide mount do I need, or is it not critical?

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Best wishes,

Chris Tidy


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Larry Dressler , Oct 19, 2009; 09:11 p.m.

If you cant afford a scanner you can't afford to have them scanned.

John Shriver , Oct 19, 2009; 10:09 p.m.

Any really professional place that will scan them can remove them from the mounts and remount them. However, the old mounts are really part of the history and provenance of these slides.
That quality of scan could easily be $10 a scan, so you're pretty close to affording a used Nikon CoolScan IV. Of course, there's a nasty learning curve to scan Kodachrome well -- it's the toughest color slide film to scan well.

Larry Dressler , Oct 19, 2009; 10:25 p.m.

but when you get it right it looks like this. that is not dust in the hair... it is flaking paint.

Christopher Tidy , Oct 20, 2009; 05:45 p.m.


Thanks for the suggestions. Larry, I looked at scanners brand new. It seems like good scanners start at 5 to 10 times the figures I've been quoted for scanning. Prices may be different in your part of the world. I'm not considering drum scanning. It's far too expensive and I don't need it. I've had slide film processed and scanned using a Noritsu minilab in the past, and the 3000 x 2000 pixel scans (about 3 to 5 MB in size) are ideal for my purposes. They're cheap too. I just want to figure out a way of getting similar full-frame scans from old Kodachrome slides.

Loss of the original mounts doesn't worry me too much. I would copy all the details onto the new mount, and as far as I'm concerned, a re-mounted slide that can be scanned and used is preferable to a slide in its original mount that can't be decently scanned. I could potentially remove all the slide mounts, send them to the place with the Noritsu, then re-mount them after scanning. But I'm a little reluctant to do this as unmounted slides seem vulnerable. I think the Noritsu can also scan mounted slides, probably with automatic cropping which detects the darkening of the edges, but obviously it can't scan under the mount and retrieve the hidden part of the image. So I could re-mount the slides myself before scanning, if I can find full-frame mounts. The only full-frame mounts I can find right now are Gepe glass mounts. But although the glass would have the advantage of holding the slide flat (I can see that some aren't flat now), I'm unsure how the glass would affect the scanning.

So I have three remaining questions. Firstly, how hard is it to re-mount slides? Secondly, will glass mounts adversely affect scanning? Lastly, what do people think the best option is? Are there any options I haven't considered that will give full-frame scans? My budget is about $4 a scanned frame.

Thanks for the advice.

Best wishes,


Ian Rance , Oct 22, 2009; 07:17 a.m.

The GEPE full frame glassless mounts are the best option, but the glass version will be a close second. The only downside is a possible slight softening of fine detail. All my glass mounts had a film of residue on them that needs cleaning before the slide is fitted. GEPE mentions this on their website.

To re-mount the slide from a bonded Kodachrome paper mount, you need to cut the original mount on three sides (cut a bit at a time until you can just peel the two halves apart. To mount the slide in the full frame mount, you just tuck it under two small metal clips, hold to the light to see that it is centralised and then clip the other half of the mount together with firm finger presses.

I have done this for many slides that need the edges shown, and they are good for projection too. I will add that despite being listed as full frame, they are fractions of a mm smaller. In a way I wish that they were larger than the 35mm frame to allow complete viewing but they are loads larger than standard mounts.


Christopher Tidy , Oct 27, 2009; 10:45 p.m.

Hi Ian,

Thanks very much for the advice about re-mounting slides. Sorry I've taken a few days to reply. It doesn't sound too difficult. Was it the Gepe 7012 full-frame glassless mounts that you were using? Unfortunately they have been discontinued without a replacement, so I'm left with the 6012 glass mount, the 6013 anti-Newton glass mount, or something from another manufacturer (which I've yet to find). I get the impression that anti-Newton glass would be bad for scanning. Does that sound likely? It looks like it's a choice between glass mounts or scanning without mounts. These slides don't look quite flat, so a glass mount could improve the focus of the scan. Whether that would make up for the softening caused by dispersion and reflections, I don't know. Any idea?

Many thanks,


Ian Rance , Oct 28, 2009; 06:48 a.m.

Christopher, I am sorry to say that I have not actually tried scanning with glass mounts - just the glassless type (7012). There was a discussion about this here on Photo.net - but I cannot find it at the moment - it was all about the question that you ask.

I am sorry to hear that Gepe stopped making those mounts as I was about to order some more. The slides really do need to be flat for scanning as otherwise the edges will be very soft. If it helps, I can send you a spare 7012 mount for you to try. Let me know on PM if that would help you.

Christopher Tidy , Oct 28, 2009; 09:10 p.m.

Hi Ian,

Thanks for the kind offer. I won't take up the offer just now as I really need a source for many identical slide mounts. If they've gone out of production, a single 7012 mount is probably more use to you than me, so I don't want to deprive you of it. But if I change my mind I'll let you know.

Best wishes,


Rick Donnelly , Nov 29, 2009; 01:28 p.m.

I just came across this thread from last month and wondered if you solved your problem. Have you looked for Wess Glassless Full-frame mounts? I have a few boxes of these which I use for exactly the purpose you describe. In the US, they are still sold by Light Impressions, the archival products company, and are in their web catalog.
Also, for a modest price you can purchase a "slide mount cutter" from many sources that makes removal of slides from the old cardboard mounts easy and fast, and reduces the chance of damage.

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