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I've only heard those terms applied for transfers to a video format, usually for dailies.  For film footage, frame scans (as opposed to a telecine transfer) themselves would usually be to 10-bit Cineon Log DPX files but then in a color-correction session they could be corrected and recorded to some sort of playable format.

I know it's a bit of a gray area, scanners versus telecines, but I think one distinction is that scanning doesn't happen in real time, whereas a telecine transfer does.

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Film scanners are generally slower than telecine's and it's rare there is an operator associated. They generally one light from the first frame of picture. You will get the entire roll as one image. So this is why your first frame of a new roll should be a gray card that matches the scene you're about to shoot. What I recommend (but don't practice since I have my own scanner) is loading the camera and the first few seconds of the roll, shooting a color chart and gray card. You wanna run the camera a bit on any roll of film due to dust and dirt in the threading/processing process. I do at least 2 seconds minimal. 

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10 hours ago, David Mullen ASC said:

I know it's a bit of a gray area, scanners versus telecines, but I think one distinction is that scanning doesn't happen in real time, whereas a telecine transfer does.

Indeed. I was looking at the Blackmagic Cintel and they claim it can scan in real time. I am not sure of the quality of those scans (maybe someone can chime in?) but that is an amazing feat if they look on par with past scanning solutions.

Edited by Matthew W. Phillips
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1 hour ago, Matthew W. Phillips said:

Indeed. I was looking at the Blackmagic Cintel and they claim it can scan in real time. I am not sure of the quality of those scans (maybe someone can chime in?) but that is an amazing feat if they look on par with past scanning solutions.

The Cintel II is a low-resolution scanner by today's standard, it shoots UHD resolution in 35mm mode, but you still have to crop the perforations off. So the actual image size is 3.2k ish. In 16mm mode, it's not even 1920x1080. It's fast because it's lower res and it does not write DPX files, it writes a proprietary compressed codec that BMD designed, which is probably very similar to their BMRAW codec. It has plenty of dynamic range for adjustment, but what I've seen of the Cintel II is that if you don't nail the color in scan, it won't be fixable down the road. The scanner does have good registration, it has a decent movement and gate. Optics are also not bad, but the imager lets it down. They really needed to update it, but the lead guy on the software side died. The other developer who was in the UK no longer works for the company evidently. So there is only one guy left who worked on the project as it was a 3 man team evidently. So the scanner sadly, probably won't ever be updated. It's a real shame, I think if they paid the money for the 6.5k global shutter IMX camera like the Scan Station and changed nothing else but the speed of the imager to the computer (thunderbolt 3 instead of 2) they'd have a competitive scanner for $40k ish. But in it's current config, it's really blown off as a toy due to it's imager only really. I like everything else about it and I've used it a lot. 

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11 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

The Cintel II is a low-resolution scanner by today's standard, it shoots UHD resolution in 35mm mode, but you still have to crop the perforations off. So the actual image size is 3.2k ish. In 16mm mode, it's not even 1920x1080. It's fast because it's lower res and it does not write DPX files, it writes a proprietary compressed codec that BMD designed, which is probably very similar to their BMRAW codec. It has plenty of dynamic range for adjustment, but what I've seen of the Cintel II is that if you don't nail the color in scan, it won't be fixable down the road. The scanner does have good registration, it has a decent movement and gate. Optics are also not bad, but the imager lets it down. They really needed to update it, but the lead guy on the software side died. The other developer who was in the UK no longer works for the company evidently. So there is only one guy left who worked on the project as it was a 3 man team evidently. So the scanner sadly, probably won't ever be updated. It's a real shame, I think if they paid the money for the 6.5k global shutter IMX camera like the Scan Station and changed nothing else but the speed of the imager to the computer (thunderbolt 3 instead of 2) they'd have a competitive scanner for $40k ish. But in it's current config, it's really blown off as a toy due to it's imager only really. I like everything else about it and I've used it a lot. 

I think it is a bit reductionist to call it "a toy." Many indies used to use flying spot telecines for finishing so the Cintel sounds like a great option for people in that price bracket. Although I haven't used it, your own description sounds like it is quite an improvement over what many who were budget or time constrained had previously.

Edited by Matthew W. Phillips
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1 hour ago, Matthew W. Phillips said:

I think it is a bit reductionist to call it "a toy." Many indies used to use flying spot telecines for finishing so the Cintel sounds like a great option for people in that price bracket. Although I haven't used it, your own description sounds like it is quite an improvement over what many who were budget or time constrained had previously.

So the term "Cintel" has been used for more than one machine. Back in the day, the Rank Cintel was the best machine. It used a CRT illumination system and the best they ever got was 1080p resolution, but boy did it look good. The problem is that the CRT's are now pretty impossible to get, so anyone with one of those machines, is going to convert it to Xena or one of the other guys who is removing the lamp source/imager and replacing them with modern components. 

The "Cintel II" is a Blackmagic product. I know it's confusing as they don't call it a "Cintel II" on their website, but suffice to say that's what the company calls it. So when you talk to people and they say "it was scanned on a Cintel" they are probably talking about the Rank machine, not the Blackmagic. I've made this mistake several times when talking to older people who have been in the industry a long time. Heck, my first short film was scanned on one of them and it looks pretty good. I have actually a lot of experience using it with an original DaVinci 2k coloring tool. They're pretty amazing machines, being able to auto scene detect, grade, save those grades and then transfer the grades in real time to tape, or today HD recorder. 

The Cintel II is actually not a great deal anymore. When it first came out, it was interesting because they were doing something nobody else did; make an "entry level" scanner. It can look good if you don't have crazy highlights, if your film is pretty dark and you aren't pushing the stock. But if you push the stock pretty hard, if you're one of those guys who likes direct light hitting the lens, you will get horrible FPN (fixed pattern noise) and you will need to re-scan in HDR mode, which is a 2nd pass at 18fps. That means your average scan speed is now 9fps, pretty slow in the long run to fix a problem that shouldn't exist, had BMD not used that garbage 4k imager. The problem is that when they developed the scanner, it was the only imager they had. The UMP 4.6k imager isn't global shutter, which is a requirement for a real-time film scanner. Heck, none of the BMD imagers would work, they're all horrible rolling shutter imagers. So they'd need to use one of the high-end imagers and that would mean the price of the scanner would be more competitive to more commercial machines like the Kinetta and even those modified Rank Cintel's. The machine has many other issues that prevent it from being an archival scanner, like how it deals with splices and the fact the capstan drive version (retirement for archival scans) puts way too much stress on the film. It also doesn't like 2,000ft lab rolls which I use a lot, we had nothing but problems on our last project with it. Damn man, took us 3x longer than it should have due to the issues and BMD has zero support. 

I could go on all night about it, I've scanned hundreds of thousands of feet with them, both HDR and SDR, 16mm and 35mm. 2 perf, 3 perf, 4 perf, I've used the machine for months at a time. It's got a lot of problems. I was forced to use it for awhile because all of our other machines were down, that's why I bought my own machine for home, so I didn't need to constantly deal with broken machines at the office. BMD (like always) did a great job with the machine in terms of how it works, but they failed at some very important things, which make it again... a toy in the long run. It may sound simplistic, but ask anyone in the industry and they'll agree with me. 

Edited by Tyler Purcell
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3 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

So the term "Cintel" has been used for more than one machine. Back in the day, the Rank Cintel was the best machine. It used a CRT illumination system and the best they ever got was 1080p resolution, but boy did it look good. The problem is that the CRT's are now pretty impossible to get, so anyone with one of those machines, is going to convert it to Xena or one of the other guys who is removing the lamp source/imager and replacing them with modern components. 

The "Cintel II" is a Blackmagic product. I know it's confusing as they don't call it a "Cintel II" on their website, but suffice to say that's what the company calls it. So when you talk to people and they say "it was scanned on a Cintel" they are probably talking about the Rank machine, not the Blackmagic. I've made this mistake several times when talking to older people who have been in the industry a long time. Heck, my first short film was scanned on one of them and it looks pretty good. I have actually a lot of experience using it with an original DaVinci real-time coloring tool. They're pretty amazing machines, being able to auto scene detect, grade, save those grades and then transfer the grades in real time to tape, or today HD recorder. 

The Cintel II is actually not a great deal anymore. When it first came out, it was interesting because they were doing something nobody else did; make an "entry level" scanner. It can look good if you don't have crazy highlights, if your film is pretty dark and you aren't pushing the stock. But if you push the stock pretty hard, if you're one of those guys who likes direct light hitting the lens, you will get horrible FPN (fixed pattern noise) and you will need to re-scan in HDR mode, which is a 2nd pass at 18fps. That means your average scan speed is now 9fps, pretty slow in the long run to fix a problem that shouldn't exist, had BMD not used that garbage 4k imager. The problem is that when they developed the scanner, it was the only imager they had. The UMP 4.6k imager isn't global shutter, which is a requirement for a real-time film scanner. Heck, none of the BMD imagers would work, they're all horrible rolling shutter imagers. So they'd need to use one of the high-end imagers and that would mean the price of the scanner would be more competitive to more commercial machines like the Kinetta and even those modified Rank Cintel's. The machine has many other issues that prevent it from being an archival scanner, like how it deals with splices and the fact the capstan drive version (retirement for archival scans) puts way too much stress on the film. It also doesn't like 2,000ft lab rolls which I use a lot, we had nothing but problems on our last project with it. Damn man, took us 3x longer than it should have due to the issues and BMD has zero support. 

I could go on all night about it, I've scanned hundreds of thousands of feet with them, both HDR and SDR, 16mm and 35mm. 2 perf, 3 perf, 4 perf, I've used the machine for months at a time. It's got a lot of problems. I was forced to use it for awhile because all of our other machines were down, that's why I bought my own machine for home, so I didn't need to constantly deal with broken machines at the office. BMD (like always) did a great job with the machine in terms of how it works, but they failed at some very important things, which make it again... a toy in the long run. It may sound simplistic, but ask anyone in the industry and they'll agree with me. 

Fair enough...anyone in the industry disagree with Tyler or does everyone universally agree with him?

At the very least, it sounds like a dream for getting dailies...even for "professionals"

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8 minutes ago, Matthew W. Phillips said:

At the very least, it sounds like a dream for getting dailies...even for "professionals"

The days of dailies are behind us, most people just run film off at high resolution and never go back to it again. Storage is so cheap these days and scanners like the Scan Station can create flat Pro Res 4444 files right from the scanner. So you never have to deal with the DPX nonsense or proprietary codecs like the Cintel II. Oh yea... didn't mention that did I. It uses a proprietary codec that only works in Resolve. Quaint. Good luck delivering raw files to clients. 🙂

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3 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

The days of dailies are behind us, most people just run film off at high resolution and never go back to it again. Storage is so cheap these days and scanners like the Scan Station can create flat Pro Res 4444 files right from the scanner. So you never have to deal with the DPX nonsense or proprietary codecs like the Cintel. Oh yea... didn't mention that did I. It uses a proprietary codec that only works in Resolve. Quaint. Good luck delivering raw files to clients. 🙂

Maybe you should work for BMD, Tyler. You seem to have your golden finger on the pulse of all things industry related. I realize this would be a sacrifice for you because you are so busy shooting the next Academy eligible film while juggling multiple feature film edits/grades. I don't know how you do it all, Tyler. And you manage to do it all while still responding to every post on this site within 5 minutes. You truly are the archetype of all that we mere mortals could ascribe to become.

Godspeed, Tyler.

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32 minutes ago, Matthew W. Phillips said:

Maybe you should work for BMD, Tyler. You seem to have your golden finger on the pulse of all things industry related. I realize this would be a sacrifice for you because you are so busy shooting the next Academy eligible film while juggling multiple feature film edits/grades. I don't know how you do it all, Tyler. And you manage to do it all while still responding to every post on this site within 5 minutes. You truly are the archetype of all that we mere mortals could ascribe to become.

I found out at 5 this evening that I had to re-deliver this feature due to a glitch in the pro res deliverables. So instead of hitting render and walking away like I normally do, I'm watching the output in real time on my monitor. Kinda not what I wanted to do this evening, but to pass the time rendering, I go on social media and the forums to see what's going on. 

Anyway, ya don't have to mock me for existing. 

Ohh and P.S. I make 3x the money doing what I'm doing now, then working for any single manufacturer. 

Edited by Tyler Purcell
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1 minute ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Anyway, ya don't have to mock me for existing. 

Mocking? I just assumed this is what you wanted to hear. I tried disagreeing with you and that doesn't work so why not just be super nice and flatter you? Still not right?

Not sure I know how to please you, Tyler.

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4 hours ago, Matthew W. Phillips said:

Indeed. I was looking at the Blackmagic Cintel and they claim it can scan in real time. I am not sure of the quality of those scans (maybe someone can chime in?) but that is an amazing feat if they look on par with past scanning solutions.

For 35mm it's fine, but it's low-resolution for 16mm. It's not an archival scanner though so anything older than 40 years or so or prints etc doesn't look great scanned on it.

Tyler is completely right about delivering the scan to clients. You would definitely have to convert the .CRI into a more universal format like Prores for clients.

2 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

The scanner does have good registration, it has a decent movement and gate. Optics are also not bad, but the imager lets it down. They really needed to update it, but the lead guy on the software side died. The other developer who was in the UK no longer works for the company evidently. So there is only one guy left who worked on the project as it was a 3 man team evidently. So the scanner sadly, probably won't ever be updated.

They replaced the lead developer earlier this year I believe, so yes they're working on it - but of course they have a limited budget for R&D and they have priorities for their scanner that guide their decisions (e.g. keeping the price low).

56 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

So the term "Cintel" has been used for more than one machine.

Blackmagic bought out Cintel that's why they call their scanner Cintel.

Edited by Dan Baxter
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8 minutes ago, Matthew W. Phillips said:

Mocking? I just assumed this is what you wanted to hear. I tried disagreeing with you and that doesn't work so why not just be super nice and flatter you? Still not right?

Not sure I know how to please you, Tyler.

You can please me by not mocking me. 

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4 minutes ago, Dan Baxter said:

For 35mm it's fine, but it's low-resolution for 16mm. It's not an archival scanner though so anything older than 40 years or so or prints etc doesn't look great scanned on it.

Question, have you used one extensively? Ever compared the results to other scanners, no matter the cost? 

4 minutes ago, Dan Baxter said:

They replaced the lead developer earlier this year I believe, so yes they're working on it - but of course they have a limited budget for R&D and they have priorities for their scanner that guide their decisions (e.g. keeping the price low).

That's good news. I know they were down to one guy. So I'm happy they've at least got someone to work on it every day. Honestly, to make it better would be not a big deal, but they have to do what Lasergraphics did and go with a MUCH better imager. 

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11 minutes ago, Matthew W. Phillips said:

If you think I am "mocking you" that is because you are myopic about how much you brag on here about yourself and your work.

It's not "bragging" when you simply give context to a comment. Otherwise, the comment has zero value. 

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1 minute ago, Tyler Purcell said:

It's not "bragging" when you simply give context to a comment. Otherwise, the comment has zero value. 

Tyler, truth isnt determined by the person saying it. It is determined by the message being said. You don't need to preface everything you say with "I worked on 5 features with this camera" or "I scanned ten million feet of Kodak film through this scanner". Simply speaking your peace is fine and respectable. I don't hear David Mullen list his filmography every time he answers a question. It is enough to let your yes be yes and your no be no.

What "value" a comment has is a decision between the sender and the receiver. No amount of posturing will change that. 

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18 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Question, have you used one extensively? Ever compared the results to other scanners, no matter the cost? 

That's good news. I know they were down to one guy. So I'm happy they've at least got someone to work on it every day. Honestly, to make it better would be not a big deal, but they have to do what Lasergraphics did and go with a MUCH better imager. 

A cintel? No I haven't, I haven't used either "extensively".

I don't think Blackmagic will put a Sony imager into their product, even if they did it would be the 4K one not a 6.5K camera. 6.5K would increase the hardware requirements for the host computer too much. Honestly, if anyone is expecting them to invest the R&D into it to make it equal to a Lasergraphics that costs multiple time more then those expectations are falling well outside of reality.

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1 minute ago, Dan Baxter said:

A cintel? No I haven't, I haven't used either "extensively".

Try it some day and bring some Scan Station samples with ya from the 6.5k imager of the same scans. You'll learn why I call it a toy. 

1 minute ago, Dan Baxter said:

I don't think Blackmagic will put a Sony imager into their product, even if they did it would be the 4K one not a 6.5K camera. 6.5K would increase the hardware requirements for the host computer too much. Honestly, if anyone is expecting them to invest the R&D into it to make it equal to a Lasergraphics that costs multiple time more then those expectations are falling well outside of reality.

There are only a few imager companies. I'm pretty sure the guys at BMD told me the 4k, 4.6k and 6k imagers were all manufactured by Sony. The 12k not sure, I know it was not their design. The original pocket imager was made by Kodak actually, which is pretty cool. Not sure about the original Cinema Camera, but they may have been Kodak as well since they're very close in color science to the pockets. 

So yea, I agree with you, they probably wouldn't use an off the shelf imager, but it would be a lot cheaper than developing their own. 

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2 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Not with people like you, who constantly question validity of other members skills/abilities. 

I have never questioned your skills/abilities, Tyler. I question your attitude and yes, I will check you if you get snippy or disrespectful with me. Even calling you out on stuff is a way to show you that you are being rude/dismissive/talking down to me and you need to knock it off. If that means I have to try to ding your ego, so be it. 

I recognize that you are a professional at some level. But all the more reason to show patience, practice humility, not feel the need to exalt yourself every chance you get. Your work should speak for itself and you can teach and correct in a manner that is dignified to yourself and your craft. If I talked to my students at Uni. the way you talk to me on here, I wouldn't have a job very long. Students and non-professionals are going to make mistakes, say stupid shit, and generally learn by experience. You can't fall apart every time someone has an opinion or take that disagrees with you.

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30 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Try it some day and bring some Scan Station samples with ya from the 6.5k imager of the same scans. You'll learn why I call it a toy.

Oh I don't disagree with you at all - the Sony imagers are light-years ahead of the Blackmagic ones for scanning.

30 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

I'm pretty sure the guys at BMD told me the 4k, 4.6k and 6k imagers were all manufactured by Sony.

The camera in the Cintel is a Blackmagic. I can't tell you anything more than that, I don't think it's been changed since it was launched. Lasergraphics currently use Emergent cameras with the Sony Pregius imagers:

nkE4Zjv.jpg

Edited by Dan Baxter
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12 minutes ago, Dan Baxter said:

The camera in the Cintel is a Blackmagic.

Yea it's the 4k imager from the original cinema camera series. That's why it has horrible FPN. 

12 minutes ago, Dan Baxter said:

Lasergraphics currently use Emergent cameras with the Sony Pregius imagers:

Yep, it's just an IMX series Pregius imager. I don't recall the model number, I'm sure Robert could tell ya. 

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