Today I wanted to share something I recently discovered that has made a significant impact on getting the look of my film scans correct straight from scanning. I get asked a lot about editing film scans in one-on-one mentor sessions, and when I came to this realization for myself, I knew I had to share it with you!
After enrolling in The Find Lab’s Select-A-Tech program (their awesome new service!), filling out a detailed questionnaire, and having a one-on-one consultation with my scanning tech a few months ago, I discovered that I’ve actually been using a scanner option that really isn’t the best fit for my specific style and aesthetic. When I first started with film, I chose to use the Frontier scanner purely based on what I knew other people I’d admired were doing, and I’d never thought to change it. After my detailed consultation, my personal scanner and I discovered that based on my ideal preferences, I should be using the Noritsu scanner for it’s “pinker” skin tones and more custom control over highlights and shadows.
When I launched into film photography, I chose the Pentax 645 over the Contax 645 (the two main camera options you see film photographers using, if you aren’t familiar ;)) as my camera body for a number of reasons, but I have to be honest about something for one quick second here. I have often envied the level of creaminess in skin tones I sometimes see produced from the Contax. However, after enrolling in my film lab’s (The Find Lab) Select-A-Tech program, I discovered my own path to creamier skin tones. The Noritsu scanner+my custom contrast and color preferences I chatted through with my personal tech have gotten my scans to that extra point of creaminess I sometimes felt was lacking, and I’m stoked about it!
When I got my first set of film scans back after this revelation, I was shocked. What I received initially from the lab was far more in line with my desired aesthetic from the start, and tweaking my scans in Lightroom has become almost non-existent (I often found myself tweaking for skin tone). I’m stoked about this change! I hope you give both scanners a try (and, even better, invest in working with a personal technician) and discover the best option for you!
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