Jump to content

Film scanner - current manufacturer

Milovan Kristo

Recommended Posts








Not sure if Arri is still making the Arriscan or just selling off remaining stock of the machines (that's what I heard a couple years ago - they still list it as an active product)



By the way, there are a bunch of makers of cheesy small gauge scanners as well, which vary widely in quality. The scanners above would compete with one another in head to head comparisons and would all be considered "professional" or "high end." They all have strengths and weaknesses, and some have more features than others. But I'm fairly certain that's a complete list of manufacturers of at least 16mm/35mm scanners. All of the scanners above can also do small gauge (8/S8) as well as 16/35. Some can do less common formats like 17.5, 9.5, etc

Edited by Perry Paolantonio
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What's the best bang for the buck?


There's no simple answer to that, since it really depends on what you want to do. We have a Lasergraphics ScanStation, which we love. It's a workhorse - super high quality optics, flexible design (does 8mm, S8, 16mm and S16 in our setup, but could also do 35mm and other less common formats with upgrade options, and it handles a bunch of audio formats as well). It's a CMOS-based system, so it has some limitations, but for 95% of the film we put through it it's fantastic with just the default settings, and gives you nice flat scans for grading. It's well designed hardware and software and just works. It's also well over $100k, depending on what options you get.


We also have a Northlight scanner for 35mm. Picture quality there is great - it's an RGB sensor, pin-registered, etc. It's just very, very slow so it's not suitable for things like digital dailies or quick turnaround jobs. Because we're in Boston, where there's almost no 35mm film production, quick turnaround time on that usually isn't an issue. If it was, we'd probably get the Lasergraphics Director, which is a full-frame CCD, multi-flash HDR, etc, etc. It does 16mm and 35mm, but it's well north of the ScanStation in price - nearly triple the cost.


I personally don't like the Scanity. I think it's an overpriced scanner using an outmoded design. It's got issues with splice bumps, HDR is only there for B/W film, not for color, and it's a monster in terms of energy consumption, physical size and cost. I'm not really impressed by it.


The Arriscan I don't have any real personal experience with, other than working with scans made on it that were done elsewhere (we're currently doing restoration work on a major film that was scanned on one of these, and while the picture looks good for the most part, it doesn't deal well with things like fingerprints. The Lasergraphics scanners have a lamphouse that's designed to mimic most of the benefits of wet-gate scanning, and that includes hiding fingerprints. That actually works. I've tested it on film here and fingerprints basically vanish. We've spent weeks digitally cleaning fingerprints off this film, when that could have likely been avoided by scanning on different hardware. Not our call though, the film was scanned in Italy because it couldn't leave the lab).


I've never used the MWA or DCS scanners. Conceptually they're similar to the two scanners Lasergraphics makes, depending on the version you get.


Also, I forgot to mention the GoldenEye. I'm not a fan. it's a continuous motion line-sensor scanner like the Scanity, so it's subject to a lot of the same issues with splice bumps and warping. neat idea, but unfortunately, the wrong approach for the kind of material you'd be using it for (archival film), in my opinion.


And there's the Blackmagic scanner. Still haven't seen any examples from this, but it's limited in so many ways, I'm not sure it's really all that useful.



  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Site Sponsor

The DCS machines are modular and you can buy everything from a complete pin-registered or optical Dynami-Perf registered scanner to software and a basic hardware kit with LED lamp and controller to impliment with the sensor/camera of your choice. The end user can write the API for the camera or they will impliment any sensor you choose. Their approach is a bit more technical but it also allows the end user to customize the scanner to their needs.


RTI also still sells Imagica Imager-XE scanners.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

OFFER „FILM SCAN 8MM“ 18.01.2016 – 31.01.2016





8mm digitisation up to 2.3K incl. sound for only 4,00 € per minute and without minimum charge

Film scanning normal 8mm and super 8 mm in SD, HD, 2K & 2.3K at unit price for 4,00 € per minute incl. film examination, film preparing for film scanning and film cleaning with ultrasonic film cleaning machine. Excl. VAT and shipment.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...