I just finished my first roll of a 35mm slide film and it is time to get it processed. I checked few places online and the options are to get them processed "mounted" or "unmounted".

So what do these places mean by mounting a film for processing and how does it change the quality of final output?

  • 4
    you see, when a man and his film love each other very much...
    – Agos
    Jan 26, 2012 at 14:49

2 Answers 2


You can have slide film processed like normal film, left in long strips, or more commonly they are individually cut into single frames and mounted in a cardboard or plastic holder, which keeps them flat, and these mounted slides can then be put in a cartridge of a slide projector. The mounts can be seen here.

The processing is exactly the same, so no difference in quality. The mounting is done after the film is processed and dried.

  • 2
    cheapest of course is to have it processed without mounting and use a light table to select for mounting only those frames you want to actually display. The rest can be stored as strips in acid free paper sleeves.
    – jwenting
    Jan 26, 2012 at 7:10

Mounted slides used to be the standard through the 2000's. After 2010 equipment and slide processing is harder to find. These days most people develop and keep the strips. Keeping it as a long strip is easier to damage (crease or kink) the film roll. The lab I use charges the same price to develop and sleeve or develop and mount at the time of developing. Mounting was the standard because people had slide carousals to load them into or store them in boxes. Plastic slide sheets was popular with art students and other types of collectors. 20 mounted slides fill up a slide sheet. It made it easy to store and flip through in a binder. You can then take out the one page and put it on top of a light box to view. Since most people these days don't use a projectors or store them in slide sheets getting them sleeved easy. Scanning them in strips is also easier. A lot of photo labs do charge extra for mounting. Most labs will mount in plastic mounts. Cardboard mounters are rare these days. Most of the old slides before the 90's had cardboard mounts.

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