This might seem obvious, but the right tool makes all the difference.
Many companies in our market have moved their production to the Noritsu film scanner. It helps them scan more film in less time. They are fast. These scanners were built for 1-hour photo printing labs in the 1990’s. They were designed to quickly scan a roll of 35mm film and then spit out 4x6 prints using very little training or skill.
We worked with Noritsu engineers and sales teams in Japan and California but they were unable to help us achieve the quality our customers expect from us.
The problems are many you can see from these samples why we decided not to use the Noritsu for our 35mm scanning.
The two pictures above are untouched photos directly from the scanner. The Noritsu on the left, Nikon on the right.
At first, you might think the one on the left looks better. Its bright and has good contrast. The Noritsu scanner pushed up all of the levels to make it bight, but that destroyed the dynamic range. To understand what that means, look at the snow in the foreground. In the Noritsu image, all of the texture is gone. That data no longer exists but in the Nikon, its all intact. Our photo experts can work with the broader range of data to produce a brighter image with good contrast from the raw scanner data from the Nikon, but with the data from the Noritsu, that’s not possible.
Zoomed in, here is the ice.
Noritsu raw Image above
Nikon raw Image above
And a similar problem exists in the dark tones, as well.
Here are some more example of the raw, un-retouched scans from a Noritsu on left the and a Nikon on the right. The Nikon images leave the low-lights and the high-lights intact so that the images can be enhanced further. The Noritsu scans have destroyed the data at the high and low ends. The images can’t be further improved.