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Northlight scanners - Any up and running?

Andreas Wideroe

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Anyone still using their Northlight scanners? I have a Northlight 1 machine that I bought several years back, but never installed - until now. I've got it up and running and things seems to work fine. I got the whole thing with 35m and 16mm + Lamar airflow and stuff (see @filmtek.no on insta for pictures). Will use it for 35mm 4K and 6K scans. It's so slow, but that's cool. I run a small facility and I can do other assignments (or sleep) while the 35mm films are scanned.

I was wondering if any current and/or previous users of the machines would be willing to share some wisdom? Ie, right now I'm trying to figure out how to frame the image correctly vertically.  Racking up and down doesn't seem to do the trick and I wonder if perhaps I need to do some config changes? Ideally I would want to overscan it also a bit and include the optical track on prints (to be extracted with AEO light).

Also, how would I go about if I want to scan a whole roll where I don't know number of frames? Ideally I would like to scan from start to end and possibly have the scanner turn off when finished. Would that be doable?

Thanks and best regards,


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Hi Andreas, 

Sent you a DM. 

But to answer some of your questions: I don't think you can overscan enough to get the soundtrack without modifications to the gate and the pressure plate units. They'd need to be enlarged in order to do that. If you do this, I would also lengthen the gate openings further, so that you can run VistaVision on it - this is just a configuration file change to support how far the projector moves. I did some tests with it using the 35mm 4p gate and it seemed like it would work, but the gate itself was too small, so it picked up black on the sides. We never did the gate mods to support the wider 8-perf frame size

The main thing is that with the physical gate doesn't allow the sensor to see beyond the current frame, and for AEO-Light to work, you need some overlap with the surrounding frames otherwise you have gaps. 

Regarding the framing question, look at the config files in the packet I sent you. specifically the northlight.cfg file, which is in the Software Installers folder:  Software Installers - v1.1.2711 Linux/fl/northlight-1.1.1297/etc/northlight.cfg -- those are how they were when we got the scanner, and they're a little bit of a mess. Definitely save a copy of your existing config file first, just in case, but it might help to figure out settings that might work.

Down near the bottom are the settings for the different gauges. If I recall correctly,  the "format" section defines the area scanned (how much the projector moves). And the crop settings define the output. It may be that your crop size or positioning is not correct, and that's cutting off part of the image. 

my guess is that things like the offsets are specific to each machine, so it's possible you have a config file that came from another machine, or maybe is a default value, and that you'd need to play with to get things lined up correctly. 

Edited by Perry Paolantonio
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