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Spirit vs Scanity / overscanning; quality; etc

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Hey guys! 

I just finished a 16mm shoot and am on the process of sending the negatives do be processed by CineLab London. They offer tons of scanning solutions and I'm kind of confused with some of them. Would love if you guys could help me with some questions :)

1.They state that all of the scans are deliveres as .dpx "full frame" files - Full Frame is only the image? Or will I see the borders, sprockets and etc?

2. What does it mean to have the negatives "overscanned"? They offer this option only on the Scanity scans - does it means that I'll see the sprockets, borders, etc?

3. What are the image quality difference between Spirit and Scanity scans? Is it significant?


Thanks for the attention!

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overscan generally means that you will get the whole frame and a part of the sprocket holes visible and some small portion of the adjacent frames as well. if you want to see the whole sprocket holes (basically the whole width of the film) then it is sometimes called "superoverscan" depending on the place.

I have no idea what they mean by "full frame image" but probably it is the whole image area of the frame without much of the borders or sprocket holes visible or them even left out so it is just a little bit cropped full image area. So I believe that they mean it is not cropped to the correct aspect ratio like you do in telecine transfers so you will get the uncropped image area but possibly not the frame borders. thus "full frame".

I haven't had anything scanned on 4k Spirit (they only have 2k/hd versions here) but I have been impressed with the quality of the 4k Scanity scans on 35mm. One would need to consider the price-quality ratio when choosing the scanning options so if the Spirit is more affordable then it might make sense to use it even if there is a quality difference (I get stuff scanned on both Scanity and Blackmagic Cintel because the Scanity has better picture quality but the Cintel is half the price per minute of material. I also get stuff best light telecined on Millenium2 in HD because it is affordable and I love how that machine handles the colors)

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I have a Spirit-2K and a Spirit-4k and a Scan Station 5K and a Xena 6.5K so all the scanners..

The late gen Spirit HD/2K/4K are all the exact same machine under the hood with a few boards as options and have 2K/4K CCD arrays. They make excellent scans and are a true RGB scan with a CCD linee for each color. They were never designed to be able to see outside of the image area and cannot be modified to do an overscan.

Newer scanners like the Xena the Scan Station and Cintel etc. use off the shelf sensors and have gates which can see more of the film gauge or the entire width of the film gauge in some cases. The new Sony 6.5K sensor is truly excellent but the 5K in the Scan Station and Especially the 4K in the Cintel leave allot to be desired and exhibit fixed pattern noise and limited dynamic range, so some tradeoff for overscan.


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