We offer a comprehensive range of professional quality film scanning options, at extremely competitive prices. All scans are executed by technicians with many years of experience in image balancing, ensuring you receive back image files you can use straight away, or impose your own post-processing techniques on.
We continue to invest in the best quality, industry leading, equipment not only to ensure efficiency and great value for the customer, but also to ensure the very best quality results.
The NORITSU 3704G & 3704HD printers are equipped with Noritsu HS-1800 film scanners – the best professional photo labs have relied on Noritsu photo processing equipment for many years to deliver consistent results with precision accuracy and reliability. The HS-1800 represents the pinnacle of high-speed professional quality film scanners. A true “work horse” of the lab. They outclass other scanners such as Fuji Frontier (which were designed primarily for the retail environment) and older Noritsu models such as the S2,3 & 4.
Hasselblad Flextight X5
Whilst the Noritsu offers superb quality general purpose scans, ideal for the majority of practical purposes, we can offer the ultimate in quality and file size with the Hasselblad Flextight X5. This is the latest in the famous line of scanners made in Sweden, and the fastest, enabling us to offer superb value for money for these top end scans. It is also very useful when making large prints from negatives and transparencies to be able to make a first class scan to print from.
The actual size in Mb of an image file is the most important figure, when determining what you can use the image file for. Not DPI or anything else. This figure illustrates how much image DATA there is in the file.
JPEG file size
Image files in JPEG size take up less space on disk then their actual size. For example, an 18mb image file saved in JPEG format will appear to be around 2mb on disk. This confuses a lot of people, however the closed size is irrelevent because it is not representative of the amount of DATA in the file. When the JPEG is opened, it becomes it’s full size (in Photoshop, this true size is displayed in the bottom left of the screen). A simple experiment to illustrate is to save a JPEG as a TIFF, and then the closed size on disk will suddenly become considerably larger.
Our standard scans, on the Noritsu HS-1800, are “cleaned up” for dust. This is done with the digital ICE and is a very effective system on the Noritsu. However, it is only possible to use the ICE with colour film (C41 or E6 process) and colour process black and white film – conventional black and white films can not be cleaned up with ICE, therefore, there is always the possibility of some dust on black and white scans. Although we reduce dust to an absolute minimium, normally eradicating it completely, we are unable to manually “spot” black and white scans as we offer them at the same price as scans from colour film.
JPEG or TIFF file format?
Customers may opt for files to be saved in TIFF format in our medium scan size. The Noritsu software does not allow the large scan files to be saved as TIFF, possibly because they can be anything up to 140mb). We suggest, if TIFF format is important to you, and you want the large scans, you save-as TIFF in Photoshop or similar before you use the files.
When the files are saved as JPEG by the Noritsu, the file and image quality is not jeopardised.
JPEG, TIFF or 3F files are available from the Hasselblad Flextight X5.
These file sizes and print sizes are for guidance ONLY. They WILL vary from negative to negative. in respect of JPEG format, file sizes are quoted in Mb when OPEN. When closed on disk they will look much smaller. Read more below about the clever JPEG file format.
Files off the Noritsu are saved at 72dpi by default. Therefore, if you intend to print from the files, the DPI must be adjusted to 300DPI. Many applications will do this for you without you realising, but some don’t. For example, if you are printing from Adobe Photoshop you will need to adjust it first (Image> Image size> and then change resolution to 300 pixels/inch) The most important figure for an image is the file size (eg. 18mb). For whatever reason, Noritsu made a decision to save files at 72 (possibly because this is the normal resolution of a monitor/screen). IMPORTANT: 72dpi is NOT the scan resolution, it is only the OUTPUT resolution.
Colour balance & image quality
It is rare for an image to be perfectly balanced for colour, contrast and density straight off the scanner (any scanner). We provide the customer with consistent colour, density and contrast from image to image and, regardless of the file size chosen, we apply the same level of professional hand balancing to the files.
The difference between Ag Photolab and many other labs is this balancing is done by a real person with the experience and natural skill required to accurately balance your images – and it takes a lot of experience to attain this consistency. Our key aim is to give an accurate colour rendition, contrast and density without masking what the photographer intended or did with the film. However, customers can opt for flat, low contrast scans or scans with no adjustments, when ordering.
Scans – Question & Answer…
Why do the JPEG files you sent me look small?
This is because of the way JPEG files work – when closed, on disk, they appear to be smaller than they really are. When open they become their true size. The closed size is irrelevant.
I thought JPEG were “inferior” quality files?
No, JPEG is a very superior file type as it makes large image files easier to store, distribute and handle. As long as you do not keep saving a jpeg multiple times, it is an ideal file format. However, if you intend to work on an image, in software like Adobe Photoshop, then you should convert it to a “non-lossy” file format such as TIFF or PSD, work on it, and then, when you have finished, it may be saved as a jpeg again.
Can I have the scans saved as TIFF files?
Customers can opt for scan files to be saved as TIFF format, for the Standard size scans. We don’t currently offer the large scans in TIFF simplly because it’s a very slow process and they offer little advantage over the same scans saved in JPEG format. If you intend to work on the files digitally, save-as TIFF, PSD or some other non-lossy format before you start.
Can I have Uncorrected Scans?
Yes and no – We can just save the scans direct from the Noritsu scanner, with no balancing. However they are still being ‘processed’ into JPEG or TIFF format by the scanner software, so, really, there are adjustments being made. In our view, it’s a bit pointless and you may aswell save yourself some work and have us balance out any casts and leave you with consistent results – you can always play around with them later!
However for truly uncorrected RAW files, please opt for Hasselblad Flextight scans, where we supply the files in the native raw 3F format.
Why have you supplied files from scans at only 72dpi?
The most important figure in respect of an image file is the actual size – eg. 18mb as this represents the amount of DATA in the file. For various reasons Noritsu decided that the files would be saved at 72dpi – this is the OUTPUT resolution, NOT the scan resolution. If you intend to print from the files the DPI should be adjusted in software like Adobe photoshop, or similar, to 300dpi. (In photoshop use: Image>image size, and then change the pixels per inch to 300). Many applications will do this automatically though when you go to print.