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Anyone try the Lasergraphics Archivist scanner?


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Most "turd  polishing" is done post-scan now days. 

If it's not on the film originally, it won't be on the scan, but you can fake better imagery with noise reduction, dust busting and heavy image manipulation.

As we used to say in the lab, "GIGO:  Garbage in, Garbage out", but now you can put the garbage in a shiny new wrapper...

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On 12/23/2021 at 7:14 PM, Dan Baxter said:

That's right, and also it sounds like Perry (who bought a 2K ScanStation originally and upgraded it later) is probably paying the same price he always has for support, even though the price for service on a new similar machine is higher.

On 12/23/2021 at 2:56 PM, Robert Houllahan said:

again with the assumptions...

 

On 12/23/2021 at 7:14 PM, Dan Baxter said:

Yes you're right, it needs to be cheap and fast for archives with large volumes of materials, and dailies of course.

Our experience has been that most archives are not interested in doing their own scans. Or that those who do purchase a scanner eventually give up and have someone else do it for them. In theory, having a scanner in house is a nice idea. In practice, it requires a skilled operator, and most small archives don't have a budget to hire someone to do that work. Once the person who knows how to use it moves on to another job, the institutional knowledge is gone. This is a recurring issue. I can think of two organizations locally where this is the case. 

On 12/23/2021 at 7:14 PM, Dan Baxter said:

I can name a pretty major company who does not know that "filtering" is sharpening their scans, I won't do that publicly but send me a PM if you want to know about that.

If one doesn't know this then one doesn't belong in the business of scanning films. If nothing else curiosity about what the settings do should lead one to figure it out. The effects are immediate and obvious, on the preview image in the ScanStation. 

 

I think the problem here is that you're assuming that anyone can/should be able to read a manual and know how to scan a film. That isn't the case any more than handing someone a wrench will make them a competent mechanic. Or giving someone a word processor will make them a novelist. or really any other tool of any trade out there. 

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On 12/24/2021 at 11:01 PM, Daniel D. Teoli Jr. said:

 

Thanks for all the replies! 

I'm on the road, so will digest more when I get some time.  I'm not looking for the best scans. Im just looking for decent scans. Almost all the film I get is poor to just fair quality. And some is downright terrible as terrible can be. I'm looking to improve on my 2K Retroscan's output, with an easy to use 16mm scanner that has sound capabilities and is reliable. 

 

I don't think you can go wrong with the LG Archivist if your needs are good 16/8 scans it will vastly outperform the Retroscan and with the new Sony Pregius 5.4K sensor that LG is using the pix quality will be very good and low noise.

Scan Station is also a easy to use machine with pref-stabilization and sound reading while scanning plus many other features that the RetroScan and FilmFabreik cannot match.

The Scan Station is a exceptionally reliable machine with very stable software.

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1 hour ago, Robert Houllahan said:

I don't think you can go wrong with the LG Archivist if your needs are good 16/8 scans it will vastly outperform the Retroscan and with the new Sony Pregius 5.4K sensor that LG is using the pix quality will be very good and low noise.

If he can afford it. The Archivist starts at $40K with the word being that the price is going up in 2022. There's also an annual support contract.

Also I'll pull Tyler up on this comment:

On 12/25/2021 at 4:51 AM, Tyler Purcell said:

It sucks, truly sucks. I ruined one of my favorite prints from rewinding it. Luckily, I have the negative, but that's $200 bux down the drain. Scanning is worse because the film is exposed to the elements for much longer than a projector. Some scanners are 1 - 3fps! 

Some of the scanners make contact with the picture area of the film all the time, and others don't. On the ScanStation the only part that makes contact is if you use the P/T rollers. The current film path has an oddly placed one on the take-up side which I'm not 100% sure is designed to be bypassed (it probably can be but it doesn't appear to be designed to be), but the normal two on the left can be bypassed. The Kinetta does not let you bypass the P/T rollers as they form part of the film path so you're forced to put film into contact with the scanner, and the Blackmagic Cintel uses "capstans" which are the rollers to either side of the gate that grip the film, plus you have to thread everything through the P/T rollers as well (the older Cintels have traditional sprocket-drives but those still have the mandatory P/T rollers as well). Putting film through a decent scanning machine is more gentile and safer compared to many projectors, and some of them can scan as fast or even faster than 24fps projection.

But some of the low-cost machines like the Retroscan Universal MkI or the Wolverine scanners have poor tension control and can be rough as guts on film.

As far as exposure to the elements goes I think that's a bit misleading. The slow scanners were traditionally operated in "cleanrooms" to reduce exposure to dust. Before archival film is scanned it's checked, prepped, and cleaned. This should happen before projection as well, but often film isn't cleaned before projection at all. Sometimes it would appear even for a show what they do is a test projection and decide whether the amount of dirt in the print is acceptable for the show. If a cinema is showing a first-run movie it's even worse - they typically just played the prints over and over and over without doing anything in-between shows to clean the films and the platter was invented to allow them to show a print for weeks on end.

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19 hours ago, Dan Baxter said:

As far as exposure to the elements goes I think that's a bit misleading. The slow scanners were traditionally operated in "cleanrooms" to reduce exposure to dust. Before archival film is scanned it's checked, prepped, and cleaned. This should happen before projection as well, but often film isn't cleaned before projection at all. Sometimes it would appear even for a show what they do is a test projection and decide whether the amount of dirt in the print is acceptable for the show. If a cinema is showing a first-run movie it's even worse - they typically just played the prints over and over and over without doing anything in-between shows to clean the films and the platter was invented to allow them to show a print for weeks on end.

I mean we have 5 of them, I use them all the time. The Spirit is the only one with an actual circulating fan and filters. It still gathers dust if you run it very slow to capture 4k. In fact, our office were the scanners are, is an actual clean room. 

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One does not need  a cleanroom (though you need a clean room) to prevent dust on the film. Open air scanners are only susceptible to dust in dusty environments. In a normal office setting that's kept clean, the film will be clean.

We have not seen dust as an issue on our ScanStation or Northlight scanners. If you're seeing dust issues you should look into adding some humidifiers to your workspace to help prevent it. 

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Wow.

Despite someone's very strong opinon to me that the Archivist would supersede/replace the Filmfabriek HDS+, I think I'll stick with my HDS+.

 It's not a dumbed-down version of a better machine.  It's built like a tank, and it just works.  Software is easy to manage, and it has created great scans for me.  Also, the folks at Filmfabriek (and their US sales rep) have been very responsive to my few, scattered concerns.

It's the same price as the Archivist for the 4K version.  I'm guessing the Archivist was created, because LG realized that the HDS+ as well as Jeff Kreines' Baby Kinetta were cheaper (yet high-quality) competitors in this niche market.

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On 12/30/2021 at 11:41 PM, Todd Ruel said:

Wow.

Despite someone's very strong opinon to me that the Archivist would supersede/replace the Filmfabriek HDS+, I think I'll stick with my HDS+.

 It's not a dumbed-down version of a better machine.

That machine does not have machine vision GPU perf registration which alone puts it in the same category of scanner as the BMD Cintel.

The LG Archivist (Like the Scan Station Personal I have) runs the same software as the full Scan Station and most of the features which Scan Station has are also on the Archivist.

If you want or need professional tools for running a business then these machines costs are pretty reasonable, remember that the Spirit 4K I have cost $2M in 2009 so the $50K or even the $190K for the Scan Station is a comparative bargain. Also the service contract cost is reasonable if it is a primary machine and having it down will cost the business allot of revenue.

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8 hours ago, Robert Houllahan said:

If you want or need professional tools for running a business then these machines costs are pretty reasonable, remember that the Spirit 4K I have cost $2M in 2009 so the $50K or even the $190K for the Scan Station is a comparative bargain. Also the service contract cost is reasonable if it is a primary machine and having it down will cost the business allot of revenue.

I totally agree Robert, I tell people the same thing. Price a new CNC machine, or anything else used in a factory/workshop. The tools of the trade cost money.

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7 hours ago, Dan Baxter said:

The tools of the trade cost money.

100%

 

18 hours ago, Robert Houllahan said:

That machine does not have machine vision GPU perf registration which alone puts it in the same category of scanner as the BMD Cintel.

That’s why I bought the Diamant Film Restoration Suite.  Superior stabilization tools.  And it helps with all the other manual restoration tasks like dustbusting, vertical scratch removal, etc.  Resolve for color.  AEO Light for audio extraction.

But if inline stabilization is your only criticism of the HDS+ when compared to the Archivist, then the HDS+ is still a comparable professional tool for the job.

If the Archivist were available when I bought my HDS+, I would have strongly considered it, but it wasn’t.  The bad things said about LaserGraphics (above) only reinforce the decision I made.  Sometimes it’s not just the product specs that influence one’s decision.  Sometimes it’s technical support.  Sometimes it’s customer support.  It often seems to me that LG could improve a lot in these areas.  (Just my impression.)

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18 hours ago, Todd Ruel said:

But if inline stabilization is your only criticism of the HDS+ when compared to the Archivist, then the HDS+ is still a comparable professional tool for the job.

There is significantly more than realtime stabilization that makes it a far superior machine. The HDS+ is simply not in the same class as the scanstation/archivist machines. 

But the fact that you need to do stabilization afterwards means you've got a lot of extra work for yourself and that adds up. We will often scan 8000-10,000 feet of film in a day, and at the end of the day we're copying those files to the customer's drive and getting it ready to ship. If we had to do stabilization, we'd be tying up a couple Resolve or Phoenix stations to do that. (And resolve's stabilization isn't that reliable. We have had film that was given to us from another scanner, and we had to break it up and do the stabilization scene by scene because resolve would freak out at the scene breaks, or when the film went completely black or white. ) 

It's been a while since I used Diamant but when I did it was really pretty slow. How does it handle scene breaks when stabilizing? Do you need to run a scene break detection pass first? How long does that take?

The software Lasergraphics wrote for all of their scanners (it's shared with the Director on down to the Archivist), is incredibly stable and reliable. It is updated frequently, and as I said above, if you have an issue they not only address it quickly, they often send you a build of the software within days - sometimes hours. Most companies you'd have to wait until their next quarterly release for the fix.  

I have not personally done a side-by-side comparison with the HDS+, so I can't speak to the picture quality, but I'm willing to be the ScanStation/Archivist produce a much better image.

 

18 hours ago, Todd Ruel said:

If the Archivist were available when I bought my HDS+, I would have strongly considered it, but it wasn’t.  The bad things said about LaserGraphics (above) only reinforce the decision I made.  Sometimes it’s not just the product specs that influence one’s decision.  Sometimes it’s technical support.  Sometimes it’s customer support.  It often seems to me that LG could improve a lot in these areas.  (Just my impression.)

The bad things about Lasergraphics scanners are being repeated by a select few disgruntled users, and even some people who don't own the machine and are just repeating what they've heard from others. The fact is, if you talk to most owners, they may have some issues with how the company handles certain things, but they are happy with their machines. I'm in regular contact with at least a dozen ScanStation and Director owners/operators, and only one or two have issues. Of those only one has issues with the picture quality, and even at that, only some of the time. 

The support from Lasergraphics is excellent. It costs money, yes. But this has been addressed above. The support costs are in keeping with industry standard rates. The fact that you can get software fixes within 24-48 hours is remarkable, and can't really be stressed enough. Try to request that with just about any other manufacturer of high end gear, they'll probably laugh at you. 

 

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On 12/30/2021 at 2:40 PM, Perry Paolantonio said:

One does not need  a cleanroom (though you need a clean room) to prevent dust on the film. Open air scanners are only susceptible to dust in dusty environments. In a normal office setting that's kept clean, the film will be clean.

We have not seen dust as an issue on our ScanStation or Northlight scanners. If you're seeing dust issues you should look into adding some humidifiers to your workspace to help prevent it. 

The scan station is fast enough to not let dust collect onto the film, which was my point. When you're scanning on a slow machine, it may take 5 minutes for a frame to get expose to the elements and then make it onto the take up reel where it will be safely covered by more film. 

But yes, we have humidifiers and air conditioners. 

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6 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

The scan station is fast enough to not let dust collect onto the film, which was my point. When you're scanning on a slow machine, it may take 5 minutes for a frame to get expose to the elements and then make it onto the take up reel where it will be safely covered by more film. 

 

The northlight has about 6 feet of film exposed on both sides of the camera. This means about 3 feet of film exposed on the feed side. For 35mm that's roughly 4 minutes until it gets to the camera, and another 4 to the takeup, so within your estimation. And yet, on all the films we scanned on that, dust was never an issue, and we didn't have the optional laminar flow hood (which would basically have driven dust towards the machine as it wasn't a completely enclosed system. 

 

I'm sorry, but this just isn't the issue you're making it out to be unless the environment is very dusty. On the ScanStation (which runs at just a couple frames per second when you're capturing DPX at max resolution with HDR), the Northlight, and on countless films we scanned at a local facility with a Shadow (which is an enclosed system) in the years before we got our own scanner, we have yet to come across excessive dust picked up on the scanner. 

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On 12/30/2021 at 8:41 PM, Todd Ruel said:

But if inline stabilization is your only criticism of the HDS+ when compared to the Archivist, then the HDS+ is still a comparable professional tool for the job.

I have an HDS+, I've had it for almost a year. 

We went with the HDS over the Archivist for a few reasons. 

1) Wet gate... we really needed a wet gate so we didn't have to do as much post cleanup and it works! 
2) Extremely good imager, none of the FPN issues you see with the older imager in the Archivist. 
3) Completely manual adjustment for the camera, you put it wherever you want, which means I can scan anyway I want. 
4) Run your own computer, no reason to have a special system. 

Out of the box, it doesn't work however. It looks us a long time to figure out how to prevent it from scratching film. We heavily modified our main gate and have another gate they gave us, which we are in the process of finalizing the modifications soon. The scanner hates splices, it's a huge problem and it causes jumps in the film, which can't be corrected easily. The motor is also not smooth, so it can't capture audio without WOW and flutter, which is really depressing. The scanner is also not as fast as advertised, nor are the DPX files 12 bit, two things which are downers. They are fixing both of those things with a new machine, but currently nothing available for the older ones. 

Having scanned a few features, dozens of short films and music videos and nearly 200,000ft of old material, I have to say the HDS has held up well. It really works well with old shrunken print film, thats where it shines. On negative, it doesn't work well at all sadly. It takes a long time to get decent results and you really have to do a scene by scene correction to get it perfect. This is a lot more work than a scanner like a Scan Station, which can do a lot of these things completely automatically. HDS does not have an auto function for negative sadly and most of our work is negative of course.  

We don't post stabilize our film unless the client wants it. We've modified our gates so it's stable enough for 16mm. I've only had one show complain about the stability and I was able to correct it all in Resolve no problem at all. 

So was it a mistake? Hard to tell. We make plenty of money doing restoration with the HDS due to the wet gate. We get plenty of negative work and are just careful with it. The machine is expensive for what it is, but it DOES work if you're an engineer and can fix the problems. The imager does look great as well, no sharpening bullshit either, it makes film look smooth and pretty. So there are some positives within all the negatives and I think with the Archivist, we'd be dealing with FPN issues constantly and I'd rather have a scanner with an amazing imager, than one with a so-so imager. 

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4 minutes ago, Perry Paolantonio said:

I'm sorry, but this just isn't the issue you're making it out to be unless the environment is very dusty.

All I know is new negative right out of camera, after being cleaned, is dusty on certain slower machines because the film is sitting unwound for a while. If we get the film cleaned again and re-scan it on a faster machine, the problems are gone. It's just observation, both machines are in the same office, we've used the same test roll as well. 

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That's a pretty long list of negatives, if you ask me!

17 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

1) Wet gate... we really needed a wet gate so we didn't have to do as much post cleanup and it works! 

It's not a wetgate. It's a wet gate. It uses Isopropyl alcohol so it doesn't do the same thing as a proper wet gate with perc or trichlor, which have the same refractive index as the film base, to fill scratches. And at that, with a diffuse light source like the HDS is using, a proper wetgate would be of minimal value because the light isn't collimated.

Does it clean the film right before it enters the gate? Probably yes. I mean, you can use 99.9% isopropyl to clean film and it works fine. Our Lipsner Smith Excel 1100 uses it. But is it performing the same function as a wet gate? It is not. 

17 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

2) Extremely good imager, none of the FPN issues you see with the older imager in the Archivist. 

The Archivist is a new machine, using a Sony IMX sensor and does not have the FPN problems that were in one model revision of the ScanStation and the Personal: the 5k CMOSIS sensor. That was noisy in some situations - if you weren't careful with the scan settings, or if you didn't have it perfectly dialed in, which admittedly, required some intervention from Lasergraphics. We were pretty happy with ours, but the IMX is a far superior sensor and even if you take the FPN problems out of the equation, we would have made that upgrade just for the additional dynamic range. 

17 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

3) Completely manual adjustment for the camera, you put it wherever you want, which means I can scan anyway I want. 

4) Run your own computer, no reason to have a special system. 

For me, and I'm speaking as someone who has built his own PCs for 25 years, and who is building a film scanner from scratch including the software, this is not a positive feature in a production machine being used in an environment where the system has to perform in an expected way, day in and day out. You want it to operate reliably within fixed parameters so you know what you can and cannot do with it. I bet this makes support somewhat of a nightmare for filmfabriek. There is a reason companies like Apple do so well at what they do: there are guardrails  in place to keep things operating within specs so they can fine tune things to perform better, even on what is arguably inferior hardware (though Apple Silicon is pretty cool).

There is very little that I can think of that that I would like to override on the ScanStation. Part of what you're paying for is that someone has already worked out all the particular issues with the combination of hardware/software being used in the system, including the camera settings.  

As for the computer, with any system that's doing all the stuff the scanstation is doing, I don't want to be the one debugging some obscure timing issue related to CPU clock cycles, or RAM that's not fast enough, or a GPU that's just not powerful enough, or driver or firmware versions. When you buy a professional system, you expect a turnkey setup that works out of the box, not at all what you've described with the HDS.

I've talked to quite a few people at Lasergraphics about building our own system. We did it for the 5k upgrade a few years ago, but we did it to their spec, or they wouldn't support it, which is completely reasonable in my view. I'm talking down to the model of the DIMMs they used, the GPUs, everything to their spec. It saved us some money, but it's the same thing they sell. 

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49 minutes ago, Perry Paolantonio said:

It's not a wetgate. It's a wet gate. It uses Isopropyl alcohol so it doesn't do the same thing as a proper wet gate with perc or trichlor, which have the same refractive index as the film base, to fill scratches.

I mean I own the machine Perry, the wet gate is absolutely amazing. Where it's not perfect, the fact it even exists is something you can't say about the Scan Station or the Archivist. 

Mind you, I've corrected film that none of our other machines can correct. (Spirit 4k, Arri Scan XT, Imagica 4k, etc) 
 

49 minutes ago, Perry Paolantonio said:

And at that, with a diffuse light source like the HDS is using, a proper wetgate would be of minimal value because the light isn't collimated.

I mean the lamp does have a lens and it can be moved forwards and backwards with an adjuster. If I had a way to measure that adjustment and the light, I'm sure it would be collimated close enough. 

49 minutes ago, Perry Paolantonio said:

Does it clean the film right before it enters the gate? Probably yes. I mean, you can use 99.9% isopropyl to clean film and it works fine. Our Lipsner Smith Excel 1100 uses it. But is it performing the same function as a wet gate? It is not. 

It runs through PTR's first, then the wet gate sponges are right before the gate. The alcohol stays on the film just long enough for it to go through the gate wet. 

49 minutes ago, Perry Paolantonio said:

The Archivist is a new machine, using a Sony IMX sensor and does not have the FPN problems that were in one model revision of the ScanStation and the Personal: the 5k CMOSIS sensor. That was noisy in some situations - if you weren't careful with the scan settings, or if you didn't have it perfectly dialed in, which admittedly, required some intervention from Lasergraphics. We were pretty happy with ours, but the IMX is a far superior sensor and even if you take the FPN problems out of the equation, we would have made that upgrade just for the additional dynamic range. 

Oh I'm sorry, I was confusing the Personal with the Archivist as they appear to be identical. 

So what imager (model number) do they use in the Archivist? 

49 minutes ago, Perry Paolantonio said:

For me, and I'm speaking as someone who has built his own PCs for 25 years, and who is building a film scanner from scratch including the software, this is not a positive feature in a production machine being used in an environment where the system has to perform in an expected way, day in and day out. You want it to operate reliably within fixed parameters so you know what you can and cannot do with it. I bet this makes support somewhat of a nightmare for filmfabriek. There is a reason companies like Apple do so well at what they do: there are guardrails  in place to keep things operating within specs so they can fine tune things to perform better, even on what is arguably inferior hardware (though Apple Silicon is pretty cool).

The FF machine only requires a special USB driver. The rest is stupid easy for anyone to figure out really. 

49 minutes ago, Perry Paolantonio said:

There is very little that I can think of that that I would like to override on the ScanStation. Part of what you're paying for is that someone has already worked out all the particular issues with the combination of hardware/software being used in the system, including the camera settings.  

Oh agreed, but FF is a pretty new company and the HDS is their oldest system still being sold. They have a whole new software suite coming out at NAB, which should solve the software issues at least. Stabilization is a different issue and that will require over-scanning which means they will need a new imager. 

49 minutes ago, Perry Paolantonio said:

As for the computer, with any system that's doing all the stuff the scanstation is doing, I don't want to be the one debugging some obscure timing issue related to CPU clock cycles, or RAM that's not fast enough, or a GPU that's just not powerful enough, or driver or firmware versions. When you buy a professional system, you expect a turnkey setup that works out of the box, not at all what you've described with the HDS.

Oh the system doesn't work out the box, but it's mostly due to some major design flaws. I would never want to suggest someone buy a FF unless they understood the issues. Funny enough FF have really not addressed the issues I complained about hardware wise. Maybe they will in a new machine, but the HDS is old now so I assume they are going to do a major update. 

We followed the specs, but windows has so many issues with writing DPX files, that all of our issues have been windows rather than the software or hardware. Lots of research has found many people with the same issues, not related to film scanning, but just related to sequential individual file writes and slowdowns. This is why Lasergraphics do so much processing in GPU, so they can actually negate these issues. FF does all the work in CPU, so it can really bog things down. 

Again, if the HDS was $20k or something, it would be a great entry level machine. For the price, it's not worth it. We're stuck with it because we really can't afford to buy another machine because the FF lease is so good. Lasergraphics was not willing to do a lease anywhere near as good for us. Maybe after we've paid the machine off, maybe we can adventure out and get something else, but I have a feeling the FF updates will fix most of our issues anyway. The only two things we're missing are stability and better software, both are probably coming in April at NAB. 

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1 hour ago, Tyler Purcell said:

I mean the lamp does have a lens and it can be moved forwards and backwards with an adjuster. If I had a way to measure that adjustment and the light, I'm sure it would be collimated close enough. 

2 hours ago, Perry Paolantonio said:

In that case, a wet gate would help but alcohol isn't really the right liquid. I wasn't aware the light path has a lens in between. That will focus the photons into a straight beam, which will then refract off of base scratches. The liquid might help a bit in this case, but again, it's a different refractive index than the base, so far from optimal.

1 hour ago, Tyler Purcell said:

I mean I own the machine Perry, the wet gate is absolutely amazing. Where it's not perfect, the fact it even exists is something you can't say about the Scan Station or the Archivist. 

 

It's not on the Lasergraphics scanners because there would be no point. A wet gate would be useful as a cleaning tool. it will not make a difference for scratches, which is the main point of it. Lasergraphics integrating sphere diffuses the light in such a way that the light never refracts off the scratches in the first place so they're naturally concealed. 

 

1 hour ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Oh I'm sorry, I was confusing the Personal with the Archivist as they appear to be identical. 

So what imager (model number) do they use in the Archivist? 

2 hours ago, Perry Paolantonio said:

There are three scanners, the Lasergraphics ScanStation, the ScanStation Personal (no longer offered), and the Archivist (not a ScanStation, even though it shares a lot of DNA). I don't know the exact camera model. Lasergraphics has used different cameras at different times. In our 6.5k ScanStation it's a camera made by Emergent Vision. I believe the Archivist uses one made by them as well, but it's a completely different camera, though it uses a sensor from the IMX family. 

 

1 hour ago, Tyler Purcell said:

We followed the specs, but windows has so many issues with writing DPX files, that all of our issues have been windows rather than the software or hardware.

Whatever you're seeing is not a problem inherent to Windows. We have been using DPX on versions of Windows since XP, more than 15 years ago. it sounds like there's either an issue with the software that makes the DPX, or with the amount of data that has to be moved around. That's typically more of a hardware thing than an OS thing. 

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On 1/2/2022 at 7:54 PM, Todd Ruel said:

But if inline stabilization is your only criticism of the HDS+ when compared to the Archivist, then the HDS+ is still a comparable professional tool for the job.

The HDS+ is a very nice scanner. It doesn't have as many features as Lasergraphics, but it also doesn't have the issues with Lasergraphics.

9 hours ago, Perry Paolantonio said:

I have not personally done a side-by-side comparison with the HDS+, so I can't speak to the picture quality, but I'm willing to be the ScanStation/Archivist produce a much better image.

That's not entirely true, the ScanStations force image processing, you cannot access the raw image data. This is one of the issues friends of mine are currently looking into because you get detail crushed due to this, even when using two-flash HDR.

2 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

2) Extremely good imager, none of the FPN issues you see with the older imager in the Archivist. 

The Archivist doesn't have an older imager. Lasergraphics just didn't make it clear to existing or potential customers what imager options they were using. The Archivist has no FPN issues.

2 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

We make plenty of money doing restoration with the HDS due to the wet gate.

As I've mentioned before, it's easy to add the same type of "wetgate" to a ScanStation and people have done it.

1 hour ago, Tyler Purcell said:

I mean I own the machine Perry, the wet gate is absolutely amazing. Where it's not perfect, the fact it even exists is something you can't say about the Scan Station or the Archivist. 

I know of two Archivists with a wet gate mod, this company advertises it on the website. Others have done the same thing with the Retroscans and other scanners.

20 minutes ago, Perry Paolantonio said:

In that case, a wet gate would help but alcohol isn't really the right liquid. I wasn't aware the light path has a lens in between. That will focus the photons into a straight beam, which will then refract off of base scratches. The liquid might help a bit in this case, but again, it's a different refractive index than the base, so far from optimal.

I have to disagree with you here. Perc is the liquid for wetgate printing. For projection you'd typically use Film Guard and Neil Research Laboratories advertises the Film-O-Clean as performing wetgate projection. From what I've seen regarding scanning Perc seems to soften the image a lot more than other solvents when used for wetgate scanning, so there's a trade-off between having the liquid with the perfect refractive index for the job, and how much that liquid will soften the scanned image (that's without taking into account the fact that Tyler has his scanner in his house so he's certainly not going to be using a toxic chemical like Perc for that).

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27 minutes ago, Perry Paolantonio said:

 

It's not on the Lasergraphics scanners because there would be no point. A wet gate would be useful as a cleaning tool. it will not make a difference for scratches, which is the main point of it. Lasergraphics integrating sphere diffuses the light in such a way that the light never refracts off the scratches in the first place so they're naturally concealed. 

Well that is a bit of a big stretch of the imagination IMO all these new scanners feature excellent light integration spheres and very finely controlled LED lamps.  The SSP uses the same LED lamp as the SS and I have seen plenty of bad base scratches which the lamp did not conceal.

A full immersion liquid gate with Perc or the Engineered fluid that Arri or DFT uses will completely fill the base scratch and make it truly disappear. There are large upfront costs to running a full immersion scanner with chemistry but the back-end is consistently and in scan removed base scratches.

Liquid gate does not do anything for an emulsion scratch but those can be "healed" with a rewash step in a specialized rewash and polishing processor. That has the advantage of also killing and removing allot of mold and other artifacts in a much more deep cleaning step than a basic cleaner can do.

I have saved some extremely valuable film for clients of important historical stuff with a rewash and it took minutes and healed over some of the scratches and removed some truly hard to deal with stains mold and artifacts before the scan even happened. cost was very low compared to hours of computer restoration time.

YMMV

 

27 minutes ago, Perry Paolantonio said:

There are three scanners, the Lasergraphics ScanStation, the ScanStation Personal (no longer offered), and the Archivist (not a ScanStation, even though it shares a lot of DNA).

I believe all the LG machines use the same basic modules for transport and lamps as far as I understand it. They are all very similar or near identical machines similar to how a Spirit HD, 2K and 4K (last model) are all the same and different features are (mostly) unlocked with a software key. I think this "modular" build process allows for uniform parts and the very high reliability of hardware and software across their machines.

As with many professional products you buy the features you want in a modular machine, the machines are not "crippled" you are just paying for the features you want.

27 minutes ago, Perry Paolantonio said:

I don't know the exact camera model.

I think it is a Sony Pregius IMX387 which is 5472x3048 and has the same 3.45u pixels as the 6.5K camera.

The line of Sony Pregius 3.45 micron backside illuminated global shutter cmos sensors are really excellent and they are also used by LG Kinetta Xena and Film Fabriek in the 4K IMX253 which is 4112x3008.

 

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1 hour ago, Perry Paolantonio said:

In that case, a wet gate would help but alcohol isn't really the right liquid. I wasn't aware the light path has a lens in between. That will focus the photons into a straight beam, which will then refract off of base scratches. The liquid might help a bit in this case, but again, it's a different refractive index than the base, so far from optimal.

Yea they don't explain it, but there is a little plastic lens that focuses the light. 

Absolutely far from optimal, but it does a good job. 

1 hour ago, Perry Paolantonio said:

It's not on the Lasergraphics scanners because there would be no point. A wet gate would be useful as a cleaning tool. it will not make a difference for scratches, which is the main point of it. Lasergraphics integrating sphere diffuses the light in such a way that the light never refracts off the scratches in the first place so they're naturally concealed. 

I've had plenty of film come to me for cleanup after it went to a Scan Station first.

I have fixed film with scratches so deep, you could put a needle on it for a record player no problem. They're completely gone. 

Now obviously if it was damaged in camera, not much you can do, but most is damaged after camera. 

1 hour ago, Perry Paolantonio said:

 

There are three scanners, the Lasergraphics ScanStation, the ScanStation Personal (no longer offered), and the Archivist (not a ScanStation, even though it shares a lot of DNA). I don't know the exact camera model. Lasergraphics has used different cameras at different times. In our 6.5k ScanStation it's a camera made by Emergent Vision. I believe the Archivist uses one made by them as well, but it's a completely different camera, though it uses a sensor from the IMX family. 

Got ya. I thought the Personal and Archivist were the same, just the Archivist doesn't do 35mm. 

1 hour ago, Perry Paolantonio said:

 

Whatever you're seeing is not a problem inherent to Windows. We have been using DPX on versions of Windows since XP, more than 15 years ago. it sounds like there's either an issue with the software that makes the DPX, or with the amount of data that has to be moved around. That's typically more of a hardware thing than an OS thing. 

Yea it could be our hardware, but again we've been talking to some top techs and engineers on my side and they all agree, Windows has a huge problem with buffer overrun with the standard SATA bus on normal motherboards. What you need is a special Raid card, with high speed caches, to help thwart that issue. Sadly we don't have enough available PCI lanes to run those, we would need to invest in an entire different chipset. We may gain 2fps and slight stability, but for another $3k or so investment. Not sure if it's worth it yet, but it's for sure on a short short list. We're hoping Intel will have a X series desktop processor out soon and release a motherboard with 64 lanes so we can run not only a 16x GPU, but also a 16x, 4 X 2TB NVME card to capture directly to and then an 8x RAID card for our 8 drive SSD raid as well. That's what we really need, but we need A LOT of lanes, more than the availability of anything but a thread ripper or older X series Intel. Considering we also use the machine for transcoding, our decision to use AMD Ryzen was focused on that rather than storage. We also have a 10G NAS and of course lots of internal spinning discs as well. It's a pretty beastly Ryzen, but we can't run the NVME OR Raid card currently, even tough I own both cards. It sucks. 

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56 minutes ago, Dan Baxter said:

I know of two Archivists with a wet gate mod, this company advertises it on the website. Others have done the same thing with the Retroscans and other scanners.

I'd really love to see what they're doing. Who is making the wet gates? Are they just like the FF one with two rollers that get the film wet? There is no real data about it. 

The website you linked to, only says they soak the film. Maybe they do it before the scan? 

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44 minutes ago, Dan Baxter said:

The HDS+ is a very nice scanner. It doesn't have as many features as Lasergraphics, but it also doesn't have the issues with Lasergraphics.

And those issues are? 

 

44 minutes ago, Dan Baxter said:

That's not entirely true, the ScanStations force image processing, you cannot access the raw image data. This is one of the issues friends of mine are currently looking into because you get detail crushed due to this, even when using two-flash HDR.

This is incorrect. If you scan in CinemaDNG RAW you are getting the post-calibration raw image data. If you scan in Cinema DNG, you are getting the post-calibration/post-grading image data. But again, you keep referring to "your friends" who have this, and you're not basing this on firsthand knowledge. I'd like to know what the test is, I'd like to see the image and I'd like to see it scanned on a scanner you think is doing a better job. 

 

48 minutes ago, Dan Baxter said:

As I've mentioned before, it's easy to add the same type of "wetgate" to a ScanStation and people have done it.

Sure. But it's doing very little if it's using alcohol - mostly it's cleaning the film. For scratches that are too deep to be handled by the diffuse light, a perc-based wetgate should help. 

50 minutes ago, Dan Baxter said:

I have to disagree with you here. Perc is the liquid for wetgate printing.

Scanning is essentially printing. For it to work, the liquid has to have the same refractive index as the film's acetate base. Scanners that use proper wet gates, typically use perc for that reason. The Arriscan uses something different, I believe, but I'm not sure what it is. They just say "Specially developed"

 

42 minutes ago, Robert Houllahan said:

A full immersion liquid gate with Perc or the Engineered fluid that Arri or DFT uses will completely fill the base scratch and make it truly disappear.

You're correct. I should have specified that I was talking about typical scratching, not the really deep stuff. Though even that only works to a point. 

 

42 minutes ago, Robert Houllahan said:

I believe all the LG machines use the same basic modules for transport and lamps as far as I understand it.

My understanding is that certain parts are the same, but quite a few things are different internally, and that the modules aren't interchangeable. 

 

 

 

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11 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

What you need is a special Raid card, with high speed caches, to help thwart that issue.

That's the case for any operating system working with that much data. We've been doing restoration with 2k material since 2005 and that machine was only a $2000 Dell tower with a suitable (SCSI!) RAID attached. Your problem is throughput, and that's a hardware thing, not a Windows thing. 

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Perry Paolantonio said:

That's the case for any operating system working with that much data. We've been doing restoration with 2k material since 2005 and that machine was only a $2000 Dell tower with a suitable (SCSI!) RAID attached. Your problem is throughput, and that's a hardware thing, not a Windows thing. 

I agree for sure. 

I've just never had a problem with my mac's writing sequential files like that. 

Edited by Tyler Purcell
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