When I purchased a device that could convert 35mm slides to digital photographs I started, with great enthusiasm, looking through loads of slides to find the ones I would like digitalised. However, it was always more difficult to see what the photos were as the day wore on.
My neck began creaking from the constant nodding; you know how it goes, look down to pick up a slide, hold it up to the light, look up to view the contents, look down, pick up a slide.... and so on, a neck can only take so much rocking. There was no way in the world it would stand looking through the thousands more I had stashed away, most of which, I had inherited from my late mum.
I had also inherited a lovely slide viewer, but unfortunately, someone had omitted to remove the batteries before storing it away and I never checked, so take half the blame for its demise. The batteries had leaked and badly corroded the terminals.
I took the injured slide viewer to a local photographer's shop; he sucked air through clenched teeth and pronounced it dead. What is more they did not stock slide viewers any longer, but could order me a more basic model. I never thought to look on line, until I had arrived home after, of course, ordering the mini slide viewer from the shop, regretfully I paid far more for it than I would have had I ordered it from Amazon. The cost to me was £14.99, which at the time I thought was reasonable until I saw them on line for something like £6
The Hama mini slide viewer. Specifications
Lens size: 48mm x 54mm
Lens magnification: X3
Weight with batteries inserted: 175g
Batteries: Two 1.5V AA
The Hama is a German product made in China.
The little red and black viewer is constructed of a tough, yet light-weight, plastic case, there are no nasty sharp edges so if dropped onto an unwary toe, the skin will not be broken, but that is not to say it won't leave a bruise.
The covered battery casing is situated on the underside where there are also four tiny button-like feet. At the front is the lens which magnifies the slide picture and the slot where the slide is inserted is on the top at the rear of the viewer. The rear of the casing is angled so that it can be positioned at a comfortable viewing angle on a desk or table.
I do not think you could get a more basic viewer than the mini Hama. To view the slide, simply insert it into the slot at the rear of the viewer. As it reaches the bottom, it presses down on a metal tab, which acts as an on/off switch for the bulb concealed behind a thin opaque screen behind the insert.
To keep the slide in position, just gently pull it towards the lens, to release the slide, nudge it back again. It is as simple as that.
To change the bulb, the black part of the casing, behind the lens, can be removed; the opaque screen then lifted to reveal the bulb.
This is a perfectly adequate little viewer for occasional use, but when a large number of slides are to be viewed it is better to use one where 50 or more slides can be loaded and viewed one after the other with a simple loading action which inserts the next slide after rejecting the previous one.
The back lighting is bright enough for the average photo, not so good for dark, or poorly lit photographs. There is no heat distortion resulting from warmth from the bulb, no doubt the screen dissipates any heat if the viewer light is on for any length of time.
I found it much more comfortable to use when positioned on my desk about an arm's length, 52cms, away, but to view at a closer range, found it better to place the viewer on a thick hardback book.
I have since equipped myself with one of those multi-loading viewers for prolonged sessions, but still use the mini for viewing the odd one or two slides.