View-Master Personal Pictures
- Ready to Order / Questions & Answers -

Many questions are answered below.

"Why Should I Use View-Master Personal Pictures to Scan My Reels?"
I've been scanning View-Master pictures for the public longer than anyone else (since 2001), and that's all I do. So I know how to make your pictures look as good as they can. I take special care of every order, and you get personal attention. My customers are so happy with the results that they usually have me transfer all or most of their pictures to digital.

Clean Reels Make Better Scans

Please make sure your frames are clean and lint-free. You can use a soft piece of linen or cotton to clean them, such as a clean, soft cotton or linen pillowcase or cotton T-shirt. Don't wipe too hard, I don't recommend any cleaning agents unless they are too dirty to clean otherwise. I cannot run software to eliminate the dirt and dust because the viewmaster pictures are so small that the software that eliminates dust and dirt digitally will usually eliminate too much of the images (such as facial features.)

"Which Frames Will Make Good Pictures?"
Pictures that have too much or too little light are not good candidates for printing. Of course there are some pictures that might not make good prints that you may want anyway. Only extremely dark pictures are 'unprintable'.

"Does the Film Type Matter?"
The type of film used will make a big difference as to the quality if the picture. However, typically what you see is approximately what you get. If the picture is light, dark, fading, or grainy, you'll see it by looking at the picture through a viewer. If the picture is fading, you may want to have it scanned and printed quickly because this problem will continue to get worse.

"How Sharp Will the Picture Be?"
View-Master frames are very small, and it is hard to predict which ones will make good prints, although my customers are happy with most of them. Because of the size of the frame, the clarity of the pictures are not as good as standard pictures from 35mm slides taken with a good camera. I print the scans on 4x6 paper, and most of them at this size turn out great. The scans on this site are real scans from Personal View-Master Reels (although the quality has been reduced for computer file size purpose.)

"How Big Can the Prints Be?"
I recommend printing the pictures as 4x6 prints. Because of the dimensions of View-Master slides, the prints will be approximately 4x4.3. (The area of the photo paper that is unused will be black.) Scans should make high quality pictures for sizes up to 6x6.5. Pictures can also be printed at 8x8.7 (at this size they are considered 'acceptable' quality.) I am surprised at how good an 8x8.7 looks. Experts suggest that high quality photos can be made when the pictures are printed over 200 ppi. Acceptable quality pictures can be made when the pictures are between 140 and 200 ppi. (PPI stands for pixels per inch.) It is a reasonable conclusion that even with better quality scanners, which may be available in the future, 6x6.5 should be about as large as you will be able to print a high quality picture from a View-master format slide because of the limitations of film and the tiny size of the slide. Of course, picture quality also depends on picture brightness, focus, film type, and other characteristics of your View-master slide.
Photo Paper SizeVM Picture SizePPI*/Quality
3 x 53 x 3.2> 300/High
3.5 x 53.5 x 3.8> 300/High
4 x 64 x 4.3> 300/High
5 x 75 x 5.4267/High
6 x 86 x 6.5222/High
8 x 108 x 8.7166/ Acceptable
* PPI in the above table denotes potential PPI. Actual PPI is determined by the photo printer used.

"How Big is Each View-master Slide on My Reel?"
12.9 mm x 11.9 mm (that's 0.51 inches x 0.47 inches) (Width x Height).

"Can I View the Pictures on a Computer, Website, or Digital Frame?"
Scans from View-Master frames are typically great for use with the computer (as well as websites) because the computer does not require the sharpness that most people want with a print. Because of this, you can also typically enlarge them on the computer, as well. Extremely bright and (especially) dark frames can still be a problem for the scan. Digital Picture Frames actually work similarly to computer screens and make an excellant way to display your pictures. I will be happy to prepare a folder on the CD I send you for the images you use on your "Digital Frame.' Just ask me to create the folder for you.

Editing (or Formatting)
I am able to edit out unwanted portions of the picture. This can allow me to print them a little larger. When you send me your reels, let me know if you want me to edit them or not, or I suggest that you leave it up to my own judgment. In general, if you leave it up to me, I don't like to do much editing, but occasionally I'll edit.

"Should I Send the Whole Reel or Just Individual Frames?"
I think the whole reel is best, but if you would rather send the particular frames you can put them in a 'zippered' sandwich bag. Remember you get a discount for scanning the entire reel.

"Why are there Fourteen Frames on the Reel, but Only Seven Pictures?"
To create the stereo (or 3D) effect, the View-Master camera takes two 'images' of the same picture from a slightly different angle. When you look at the picture through a viewer, each eye sees a slightly different image (a different perspective). That's what creates the 3D effect. If you want both frames, I charge for each frame (unless you have me scan the entire reel.)

"What Benefits Are There for Scanning the Entire Reel?"
You get all seven pairs of images on the reel (fourteen total images) for the same price of five individual frames. Your Digital Picture Album will contain the left picture, the right picture, and three different stereo (or 3D) versions of the pictures.

"Will the Pictures be 3D (or Stereo)?"
No. The prints will be 2D (also known as 'flat') not 3D. However, if you get the entire reel scanned, your CD will include each of your pictures in multiple formats that can be viewed as 3D with the correct type of glasses. I carry the anaglyph glasses (see my 'Price' page.) The 'Cross-eyed View' can also be seen in 3D if you can cross your eyes and make the two images converge, but don't hurt yourself. The 'Parallell View' can also be seen in 3D if you can diverge your eyes (that's the opposite of crossing your eyes) to make the two images converge.

"Can I View My Pictures on a 3D TV or Other Device?"
Yes. I now offer the extra service of converting your Viewmaster pictures into MPO file format at an additional price (see 'Price' Page.) You can view MPO files on your 3D television, some 3D monitors, and the Fuji W3 3D digital camera. Your 3D television or monitor may require that you use an additional device to connect, such as the Fuji W3, the PS3, or a 3D Blu-ray player.

"I want some pictures on a reel, but not every picture."
That's alright. I suggest circling the number of the pictures you want on the reel with a pencil. If you particularly want the left or right image, put an 'L' or 'R' next to the circle. If there are no circles, I will assume you want all the pictures. If you do not specify Left or Right, I will typically chose the left frame unless it is inferior to the right.

"Will Scanning Damage My Reels?"
Absolutely NOT! Scanning the entire reel does not damage the reel. I imagine if you scanned the reel THOUSANDS of times you could possibly lighten the slides a little, but the light required to scan the reel is less than what is required to project the slide if you use a projector. And it only takes a couple of minutes to scan each reel (actually, the scanner only lights each portion of the reel for a fraction of a second.) In fact, not only have I never damaged a reel, but I often fix damaged reels for my customers when they send them to me for scanning.

"Do You Take the Reels Apart When You Scan Them?"
No. There is less chance of losing the frames that way, and it is easier to leave them in the reel. Occassionally, there may be a valid reason to take them out (like cleaning them), but I try to leave them in the reel if at all possible. If the frames are removed from the mount, they (the frames) will be returned to you unharmed and back in the reels.

"I had a reel scanned, and they took the reel apart. Can you help?"
I do not typically need to take the reel apart. If I do, I will return it undamaged. People who do this (that is damage the reel by taking them apart) do not know what they are doing. I can put your reel back together if you have all the film chips, but if the reel mount is damaged I will have to use a new mount. A new reel mount costs about $4, and I'm glad to put reels back together for my customers.

"When is Payment Due? What Types of Payment Do You Take?"
Because the scanning of the frames is so time-consuming, payment is due in full when you send the frames. I can take check, money order, or credit card through Paypal. I discourage sending cash through the mail. Sometimes, I also trade my services for View-Master Reel Mounts, View-Master equipment, or other stereo photographic equipment. Email me and tell me what you have.

"How Long Will it Take to Get My Order Back?"
Orders typically take 3 to 5 days. Large orders (more than 25 reels) may take as long as a week. If you need your order back sooner, I can usually accomodate, but you will need to make prior arrangements with me.

Keep Me Informed
Let me know before you send the reels (by email) so I can expect your reels. If you're in a rush, ask me if I am able to finish them when you need them. It can take a long time to scan large numbers of frames, and I may have several orders ahead of yours. Also, once I send you the address to send the reels, email me if you change your mind so I'm not waiting for your pictures.

Reel Mounting Service
I also provide a Reel Mounting Service for those View-master photographers without a View-master Film Cutter. See my 'Price' page for details.

How Much?
Look on the 'Price' page.

After you get your pictures and scans back, I would appreciate that you email me and let me know that you got your pictures and tell me what you think. This helps me do a better job for the next customer.

My Son and His Dog
Don't let any unexperienced person 'Dog' your reels.

Now you know just about everything you can learn online,
email me to request a quote or ask unaswered questions.

What We Offer Prices Digital Picture Album
Samples Ready to Order (Q&A) Links
 Email Me Testimonials Reel Mounts Viewer and Album Pages Reel Mounting Home