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3775 Market Stree NE
Salem, Oregon 97301

We're a small-town, family owned and operated photo lab that never gave up on film. Today we provide top-notch film processing, scanning, and printing services from film and digital with the best customer service in the industry.

Blog

Noritsu + Frontier

PhotoVision Team

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#filmtipfriday Noritsu + Frontier! How do they compare? What are these scanners’ respective strengths? Let’s break it down:

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𝗡𝗼𝗿𝗶𝘁𝘀𝘂 𝗦-𝟭𝟴𝟬𝟬⁠

⚡ Higher dynamic range = greater detail in both the highlights + the shadows = more information for you to work with in post.

⚡ Better suited to handle human-made colors (read: neon!).

⚡ Large Scans come standard at PV—for the same price as Frontier Normal ($18 holla).

⚡ This higher resolution = greater license to print and crop. Newer technology = utilizes the current generation of image processing technology.

𝗙𝗿𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗲𝗿 𝗦𝗣𝟯𝟬𝟬𝟬⁠

🔆 Many associate it with a more natural color palette.

🔆 Tends toward a higher contrast scan (although this can be altered slightly).

🔆 Utilizes optical color correction (e.g. the color of the light passing through the film changes).

🔆 This is the same way color correction has always been done in the darkroom.

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It’s important to remember—no one scanner is better than the other. Each are tools that lend themselves to a variety of aesthetics. As with most decisions in art, it comes down to YOU. What do you want your scans to look like? You might find one of your shoots looks best on the Noritsu, while another looks best on the Frontier. You don’t have to tie yourself down to one or the other. Use the synergy of the scanner + film stock to chase the aesthetic you’re after. Read that again. This is an often overlooked strategy available to every photographer! (We’ll explore this more in a future post.)

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Taking a closer look at the subtleties between the scans. @kristine_nicole’s roll of Portra400 was scanned on both the Noritsu + the Frontier using her standard preference images. As you can see, the scans are quite close. Still, there are some important differences to note. You’ll mainly see them in how the scanner handles the highlight and shadow detail, but you can also see how the Noritsu might handle more saturated colors a bit differently from the Frontier in the flowers on the flat lay.

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Which scanner do you prefer? Leave a comment below letting us know what you like about each!

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