The Best Slide Viewer
To help you find the perfect slide viewer, we continuously put forth the effort to update and expand our list of recommendable slide viewers. Our team collects, edits and publishes new information, in order to present it to you in an accurate, significant and neatly arranged way.
Runner-ups: 2 Best Slide Viewer Alternatives
Table of Contents
Buying Guide for Slide Viewers
Slide Viewers – A Trip to Nostalgia
Back when we were children, we had a little device that featured round, wagon wheel discs. Each disc depicted a story, a frame of reference, or a collage of images. We would place these discs in a handheld viewing device, with eye slights. Holding the device up to our face, we would then flip a small, orange lever to make this small tale come to life. These stills told the stories of our past. Slide viewers have since evolved to tell personalized stories created by the individual. Using different film sizes, the customer can display a vacation collage, a timeline history of their children growing up, or other such memories.
Below we will list some of the slide viewers on the marketplace today. This list will feature the product name followed by a link to the product page. After diving into the list of products, we will review all you need to know about the upgrades to this technology, the differentiators among the existing products, and features you should scope out in the purchasing process.
Slide Viewers Product List
Slide Viewer Buying Guide
From the product list above, we find two major players in the marketplace with Pana-Vue and Kaiser. Pana-Vue, the older of the two, has established themselves in the slide viewer space with decades of product innovation. Their extensive history expands upon the features that slide viewers possess. Kaiser is the second name that is featured heavily across this space. They have also featured success spanning many years, making them a trusted source for slide viewers. Additional companies have been featured with AP and HAMA. Both of these companies have created products that mimic the look and features of the two powerhouse companies.
Basing your choice off of production company alone, Kaiser and Pana-Vue slide viewers make for the best options. The reason being is that these companies have created an extensive amount of replacement components for their devices. The user will never have to worry about locating intricate parts with these companies, as they consistently feature the replacement parts you may require. They both offer warranty measures that span anywhere from 3 years to a lifetime. These warranties can be had for anywhere from $15-$50 out of pocket. This may seem like a large cost to add on to your purchase, but the unlimited replacement value allows you to keep your machine running strong over the course of many uses.
These models listed run anywhere from $20-$75. The low-end models feature basic components and have limited holding capacity. They require you to change the slides often and will be limited in capacity measures. They are often handheld models, featuring a much smaller size than the $50-$75 price range models. They are a good fit for those looking for minimal usage. Due to their limited holding capacity, they also work best for individuals who wish to examine images rather than flipping through them. They support the casual user and will not create a slide show setting.
The high-end models usually fall slightly above or below $50. These models often feature adjustment settings in both the viewing capacity and angles. They will often be featured with a stand and will be a bit more bulky than lower end options. They will also feature a greater holding capacity, allowing the user to hold 20-50 slides in a separate holding area. They often can support the slide show use, allowing users to flip through images with ease. Some models will feature an automatic eject that helps keep your films in order after you view them. They also have certain back lighting technology. This battery powered feature brings images to life and creates better contrasts and contours. The companies offering products in these ranges will have a consistent supply of support elements, such as replacement films, replacement light bulbs, and other such trinkets.
The lower price rang better suits the needs of individuals looking to examine images. A lab setting would greatly benefit from an option that is much cheaper than a magnifier. The lower end items also host magnifying capabilities, saving the examiner a lot of money on their purchase. They also benefit the younger user. The colorful intrigue added to these images makes them pop. It can heighten excitement levels of the younger age demographic as they examine the features of a butterfly or look deeply into a picturesque view.
The Higher priced items better suit individuals who will be using these devices with prevalence. The user looking to feature a slide show of a wedding, a special occasion, or to tell a story through images will benefit from these models. These models also support individuals who suffer from some sort of visual acuity. The back light provides the correct measures to making an image pop on the screen, creating a better viewing option.
Most of the devices that operate with a back light will require battery power. Double-A, AAA, DD, and other such battery formats are required to power these units. These battery combinations increase the cost by a few dollars, but they will often require replacement after a couple months of usage. This can heighten the cost if you are to feature this product over the course of many years. Kasiser and Pana-Vue offer separate AC adapters that are synonymous with all of their product offerings. These adapters range in price from $10-$12. They are a great add-on for those looking to get extensive use out of their slide viewer. The adapter is a much more cost effective option than replacing batteries, so if the product line you choose features this add-on, grab it. Some product lines have experimented with solar powering methods, but very few are available on the market today. These powering methods often run on the high-end models, so if you can host a solar powered unit, expect to find your price point reaching higher points in price range.
Warranties and Add-Ons
The best products to target are the ones that offer warranties with their products. These warranties will often reach amounts that are priced at about half of the device price. This is a one-time payment, eliminating the worry of searching for replacement parts and servicing companies. The low-end models will not usually offer these warranties, most often because the replacement parts are made readily available to the user. If you are purchasing a high-end model, it would be suggested to add-on this warranty protection. More times than not, if you are protected under warranty, you can send your viewer in for servicing free of charge. The only charges that would be associated with sending your product in for fixing would be the shipping charges, which are minimal in nature. If you do not wish to purchase these warranty packages, ensure your device has the necessary replacement items readily available to you. The cheaper price point items are better left replaced than they are fixed when costs are factored in.
The separate add-ons that the customer might want to invest in rely heavily on film production. The user can obtain a 35-mm film printer/convertor for around $60-$75. These printers work like scanners and will directly print your images on to films that fit into your device. They represent a good add-on feature due to the scarcity of places that produce these films for users. You can find locations that produce this film, but creating it on your own is not a complex process with these add-on convertors and printers. This is a smart buy for those using their slide viewers extensively. They provide quick turnarounds for your most recent images and they host a bevy of different film types.
Top Rated Slide Viewers
If you're looking into finding the best rated slide viewer, you should probable check out the Pana-Vue 6566 Automatic Viewer. We looked at various sources of reviews and found this one to have the best mix between review count and average rating stars.
Often, going for the best price is a simple but good option. With a price of $32.99 (last checked on March 22, 2019), we do not list any other slide viewer cheaper than the DC & Co. Medalight 35mm Film LED and Negative Viewer. Just remember that it's not always the best option to go for the cheapest one.
The Slide Viewer with the Most Reviews
With at least 0 reviews and counting, the Pana-Vue 6566 Automatic Viewer might be another option to consider. This large amount of reviews signalizes that many people are using it, with most of them beeing satisfied.
It's quite rare that the saying "You get what you pay for" turns out incorrect. If you have the money on the sideline, feel free to choose the most expensive item from our list: The Pana-Vue 6566 Automatic Viewer currently sells for $89.00.
Most Clicked Slide Viewer
If you trust us and our users, feel free to check out the Pana-Vue 6566 Automatic Viewer. Our statistics say that it is the most favorite Slide Viewer from the list above.
If you're still undecided, I would recommend that you go with the masses and choose the top selling slide viewer: The Medalight 35mm Desk Top Portable LED Negative and Viewer for currently $39.99 on Amazon (last checked on March 22, 2019).
That's it for now, please remember that this list is updated on a regular basis.
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Further Reading on Slide Viewers
Do Your Own Research
Wikipedia Article for Slide Viewer
An improved compact repeating slide viewer of the type having two compartments, one for storing a stack of slides and the other for viewing individual slides, a longitudinally shiftable slide carriage feeds the topmost slide of a stack to the viewing compartment and then returns …
… US2484591A (en) *, 1945-05-08, 1949-10-11, David White Company, Stereoscope. US2529052A (en) *, 1947-11-28, 1950-11-07, Perley A Sherwood, Photographic slide viewer and projector … US2892274A (en) *, 1953-05-29, 1959-06-30, Leonard N Afton, Hand slide viewer …
A slide viewer /copier operable in a viewing mode for projecting an image of a slide transparency film unit onto a viewing screen for viewing and a copy mode for projecting an image of the slide onto self-developing film unit for exposure and for processing the film unit …