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How can I help my lab to stop clipping my highlights/shadows on their Noritsu HS-1800?


Corvus

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Hello!

I am just a photographer who enjoys shooting film and sends my film to a lab that uses a Noritsu HS-1800.

Unfortunately my lab seems to have trouble giving me all of the information that is on my negatives, even when asked for "flat scans". Often times my highlights/shadows are clipped and/or lack detail that I know is on the negative, or they are just generally too contrasty, or there is some weird color cast that I find nearly impossible to remove entirely.

Basically I just want the equivalent of a digital raw file of my negatives. I want all the power to edit and correct the scans myself. I want all the highlights/shadows with all the information towards the middle of the histogram with room on either end to manually set my black/white points for each color channel.

I don't really care for any automatic or manual corrections on the Noritsu, I just want the raw sensor that was picked up so that I have as much wiggle room as possible in photoshop/lightroom to do the corrections myself.

I have already told my lab this many times, yet they struggle to consistently give me really flat scans without clipping.

 

Can anyone with experience with the HS-1800 shed some light on this?

  • Is it possible for the Noritsu to deliver a scan like this?
  • Where are they(or me) going wrong?
  • Is there anything I could tell my lab to do in the DSA panel that would give me the results that I want?

Thank you all in advance! 

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-2 Overall Contrast and -1 Highlight Contrast should give you a good starting point.

I also set the Automatic Graininess Suppression to 0 and set the Sharpness to -2, this takes away the over sharpened smudgy look.

Have them save it in TIFF instead of JPG as JPG files are always more difficult to edit later.

This is what DSA settings are available.DSASettings.thumb.jpg.2060c7b6de6de0afa204f7bd6f69478b.jpg

The scanner is only as good as the person operating it!

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Do you have previous experience with HS-1800 scans, or a baseline that you're chasing from another lab? What is your reference point? Are you scanning the negs yourself after the fact and comparing files?

Noritsu scans are inheritably processed - the system is not meant to output a any sort of equivalence of a digital RAW image, it is a system designed for highly efficient output of quality, print ready files with both properly and poorly exposed negatives. It is impossible to get a completely unadulterated "flat" scan from the machine. I'll be honest with you, there are many buried settings in HS-1800s that have little to no succinct explanation in service literature, things that you don't really change once the machine is set up and a majority of your client base is happy with the results. If you're not married to the lab you're working with, I would branch out, because different labs have their scanners set up a bit differently.

or..

You could look into flatbed or dslr scanning. Some labs offer this sort of service, but at a premium; the labor involved is exponentially greater than Noritsu or Frontier scanning. Many labs only offer flat bed scans for sheet film. The cost of entry into this type of scanning means its popular in the DIY community, but again, it takes a lot of work. There's drum scanning too, but certainly not worth it for 35mm or 120.

Its important to remember that a great deal of the romance surrounding analog photography is how unexacting it is. From exposure to physical print you're at the mercy of a myriad of processes outside of your control; reconcile with this and be free.

Edited by oliphaz
typo
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7 hours ago, oliphaz said:

Do you have previous experience with HS-1800 scans, or a baseline that you're chasing from another lab? What is your reference point? Are you scanning the negs yourself after the fact and comparing files?

Noritsu scans are inheritably processed - the system is not meant to output a any sort of equivalence of a digital RAW image, it is a system designed for highly efficient output of quality, print ready files with both properly and poorly exposed negatives. It is impossible to get a completely unadulterated "flat" scan from the machine. I'll be honest with you, there are many buried settings in HS-1800s that have little to no succinct explanation in service literature, things that you don't really change once the machine is set up and a majority of your client base is happy with the results. If you're not married to the lab you're working with, I would branch out, because different labs have their scanners set up a bit differently.

or..

You could look into flatbed or dslr scanning. Some labs offer this sort of service, but at a premium; the labor involved is exponentially greater than Noritsu or Frontier scanning. Many labs only offer flat bed scans for sheet film. The cost of entry into this type of scanning means its popular in the DIY community, but again, it takes a lot of work. There's drum scanning too, but certainly not worth it for 35mm or 120.

Its important to remember that a great deal of the romance surrounding analog photography is how unexacting it is. From exposure to physical print you're at the mercy of a myriad of processes outside of your control; reconcile with this and be free.

Okay thank you. This is actually really helpful information. I was hoping there was some way to get completely unadulterated flat scans. 

In terms of my reference point I'm just going off of the best results my lab has provided in the past. Many times they are able to provide unclipped scans that are super flat.

In regards to flatbed scanning, I've never found the quality to be satisfactory for 35mm or even 120. I guess I might have to get into DSLR scanning sooner than I thought.

EDIT: Also just out of curiosity, is there anywhere I could read about these many buried settings? 

Edited by Corvus
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