What is the difference between slides, negatives and photos?

The difference between slides, negatives and photos? It’s quite obvious: slides, negatives and photos can be recognised with the bare eye: but apart from the format, when it comes to slides and photos you can see what’s on the picture at first glance. These are positives that show the photographed motif exactly as it was taken.

With negatives, on the other hand, you have to look a little more closely at what is shown in the picture. This is due to the fact that negatives – as the name suggests – show the motifs as negatives and also have an so called orange mask. The orange mask corrects colour errors so that all colours can be displayed correctly afterwards.

It’s very clear that there is a visual difference between slides, negatives and photos. But what are the other differences?

What is the difference between slides, negatives and photos?

  1. Purpose and further processing

An important difference is the fact that slides and photos are already “end products”. They are rarely processed further. Negatives, on the other hand, are only “intermediate products”, because the negative is used to create a photos. Without negatives, there can be no photos.

  1. Use/ Presentation

To view a slide, you need either a light table/slide viewer or a slide projector. However, light tables are only there to give you a brief overview of the picture. It is very tedious to look at slides in this small format – thus unenlarged. The slide projector, on the other hand, shows the slides very large on walls or screens. The purpose of slides becomes very obvious: the photographed motifs are supposed to be displayed in large format. This way, slides can be viewed directly with several people at once.

Photos taken from the negative are not comparable in size to a slide projected on the wall. Postcard-sized prints are the standard. They end up either pasted in an album, presented in a frame or viewed loosely.

  1. Material used and durability

The so-called “carrier material” of the three photographic media mentioned above also differ: slides and negatives consist of several emulsion layers, which are later responsible for the different colours appearing during development. These layers are attached to a layer carrier. Photographs also consist of different colour layers. Here, too, the layers are on a carrier – but this is made of PE coated paper.

We have summarised everything about the durability of slides, the durability of negatives and the durability of photos in separate articles.

Unterschied zwischen Dias, Negativen und Fotos
Our experts know everything about slides, negatives or photos and will be happy to help you!

Save memories with MEDIAFIX

Slides and negatives (plus the resulting photos) differ in various ways and all have very specific uses.

But these three photo media have one thing in common: they don’t last forever! Sooner or later, your analogue memories will deteriorate. Then they will be lost forever. Act today and save your special memories!

Have your slides, negatives or photos digitised – at MEDIAFIX of course with our best-price-guarantee!


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