Noritsu America Corporation is the North American company that sells, distributes and repairs photo-processing machines designed and manufactured by Noritsu Koki Co., Ltd. of Wakayama,Japan. Founded in 1978, the American company has a dedicated sales, technical-support, and field-support staff based in Buena Park, California.
Noritsu printer-paper processors (called minilabs) are typically designated a model number beginning with “QSS” followed by a number which increases with each new model. As of August, 2007, the newest Noritsu minilab are the QSS-37 series. Noritsu film processors for both C-41 negative and E-6 slide films are typically designated QSF, followed by a letter/number combination. Machines that use Kodak’s ‘SM’ chemical cartridges will also have ‘SM’ appended to the model number
Noritsu is unique among companies that produce 1-hour photofinishing equipment in that they do not produce consumer photographic products such as film, photographic paper and chemistry. Because of this, Noritsu has allied itself with the Eastman Kodak corporation, which produces film, photographic paper and chemistry, but not photofinishing equipment. In the past, some Noritsu models have been re-branded and sold by Kodak as their own equipment. More recently, Noritsu has sold their digital minilabs under their own name, but with Kodak’s software (called DLS for Digital Lab System) providing image processing and a user interface, rather than Noritsu’s own software. Machines with Kodak DLS software typically have the last digit in their model number changed to add 2 (i.e. a QSS-3011 will be called a QSS-3013 with Kodak DLS.) Additionally, Noritsu sold and supported Kodak’s “Picture Maker” kiosks when they were first introduced in the mid 1990s.
Noritsu equipment works with different brands paper and chemistry including Kodak, Fuji or Trebla.
Noritsu printer-paper processors are designed for color photographic prints, but can be modified to print black and white. This procedure involves removing the yellow and cyan dichroic filters (the magenta filter is retained for a contrast filter) and replacing the heaters which warm the RA-4 color developer with a chiller.
Although Noritsu has typically produced minilabs that utilize traditional silver halide papers and photographic exposure systems, since 2003, in partnership with Epson, inkjet printing systems have been added to the product line. Noritsu refers to them as “digital dry printers” and designated them with a model number beginning with “dDP” (sic.).
In March 2006, Noritsu and Fuji announced a strategic alliance. Noritsu now manufactures all of Fuji’s photofinishing hardware. Each company produces its own software.
Popular photo printer models are Noritsu-3201-3202-3401-3402-3701-3704 printers