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Anyone try the Lasergraphics Archivist scanner?


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22 hours ago, Todd Ruel said:

Two questions:

1)  Does it work?

2)  How much would you charge to build and sell me one?  (Unlike the folks on the Kinograph forum web site, I have no desire to DIY.  Not my area of expertise.)

I am not sure if I have the parts or time to build another one of these right now.

It works and we use it for prep in the clean cube at the lab.

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4 minutes ago, Robert Houllahan said:

I am not sure if I have the parts or time to build another one of these right now.

All good.  Just looking for another solution.  I have a vintage Ecco, but it takes forever to clean a film with that machine.  The Film-O-Clean MK 3 on the Wittner-Cinetec site is $1,264, so I'm looking for something less costly (if possible).  Can't possibly afford a Lipsner-Smith.

Your machine looks very nice!

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3 hours ago, Todd Ruel said:

All good.  Just looking for another solution.  I have a vintage Ecco, but it takes forever to clean a film with that machine.  The Film-O-Clean MK 3 on the Wittner-Cinetec site is $1,264, so I'm looking for something less costly (if possible).  Can't possibly afford a Lipsner-Smith.

Your machine looks very nice!

Thanks that full set of 7 small and 2 large PTR holders and the Electrostatic brush would push the cost of that bench cleaner I built way over $1200.00

I think the last I looked the larger PTR roller holder pairs alone were $8-900.00 from the now defunct company in Canada that made them.

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On 1/7/2022 at 8:31 PM, Dan Baxter said:

The main reason is that they were (1.) designed for restoration and (2.) far too slow to use something as fast drying as Isopropyl.

The HDS+ solution on the other hand is designed not for professional restoration but for home movies.

I would recommend you get a Neil Research Labs cleaning machine (Film-O-Clean).

1.  Lipsner Smith Cleaning machines were not specifically designed for restoration work; they were designed for cleaning printing intermediates during release printing.

2.  Perchlorethylene evaporates even faster than Isopropoyl when used in one of these machines with heated supply and air knives, PLUS these machines easily keep pace with alchohol machines.

That being said, I won't debate you on the above.  These are clearly incorrect statements.

I've used these machines for 3 decades. 

Like Perry, I don't know why I bother; but when you don't dispute bad information on sites like these, the incorrect statements somehow become facts, which they are NOT.

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7 hours ago, Frank Wylie said:

1.  Lipsner Smith Cleaning machines were not specifically designed for restoration work; they were designed for cleaning printing intermediates during release printing.

I meant the scanners with wetgate like the Director.

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17 hours ago, Dan Baxter said:

I meant the scanners with wetgate like the Director.

I do not think the any LaserGraphics scanner is equipped with a liquid gate from the factory.

DFT has one for the Scannity and Arri has them for the Arriscan XT and DCS Has developed them for the Xena.

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1 hour ago, Perry Paolantonio said:

That's correct. Lasergraphics does not make a wet gate. 

It might be worth noting that the Liquid Gate for the Scannity costs more than a Scan Station. It fully immerses the whole lamp and optics in a wild looking and large chamber.

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4 hours ago, Robert Houllahan said:

I do not think the any LaserGraphics scanner is equipped with a liquid gate from the factory.

DFT has one for the Scannity and Arri has them for the Arriscan XT and DCS Has developed them for the Xena.

Oh right, you're correct on that. So yes I mean the "traditional" wetgate systems for scanning on Arris or DFTs etc as opposed to ultrasonic cleaning or wetgate printing (and there is a much much longer history of wetgate printing). My point was basically that the manufacturers were not designing those systems for cheap home movie transfers, they were for restoration whereas it seems that Filmfabriek's system is designed more for home movies and not restoration. The "wetgate" effect is not equal compared to a system that uses Perc.

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2 hours ago, Dan Baxter said:

it seems that Filmfabriek's system is designed more for home movies and not restoration.

I'm using it for film restoration.  Since I couldn't afford a Scannity with a bespoke $250,000 liquidgate immersion tank, I had to settle for a $40K HDS+, a $10,000 Diamant Film Restoration Suite software license, and a $10,000 Windows workstation to run Diamant.  

The HDS+ greatly reduces vertical lines, but it does not eliminate them entirely.  So I use restoration software to paint it or filter it out.

When you can't afford the equipment that saves you time, you buy other equipment that gets the job done but costs you time.  In the fast/cheap/good model, I had to choose "cheap" and "good".  

Bottom line:  there are collections of cheaper tools out there that can achieve the same results as the top-of-the-line tools.  You just have to weigh and accept the tradeoffs.  The Filmfabriek HDS+, far from being a toy or a home movie transfer machine (pejorative terms IMO) is a professional tool that helps me get the job done.

I hope it helps me earn my way toward a ScanStation or something better.  Until then, the HDS+ is a great film scanner for me.

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1 hour ago, Todd Ruel said:

Bottom line:  there are collections of cheaper tools out there that can achieve the same results as the top-of-the-line tools.  You just have to weigh and accept the tradeoffs.  The Filmfabriek HDS+, far from being a toy or a home movie transfer machine (pejorative terms IMO) is a professional tool that helps me get the job done.

Sorry let me clarrify, I certainly didn't mean to say you can't use it for restoration. I just see it as a different design where Filmfabriek has decided that "this is good enough for our price-point" if you understand what I mean. Instead of chasing perfection with a system that would cost a fortune, they've gone with a simpler and cheaper one.

I don't mean that in a pejorative way - there are companies that offer affordable home movie transfers off those machines and off ScanStations as well, so these days people don't have to go with the lower-quality offered by the companies using Tobins or Retroscans.

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5 hours ago, Todd Ruel said:

Bottom line:  there are collections of cheaper tools out there that can achieve the same results as the top-of-the-line tools.  You just have to weigh and accept the tradeoffs.  The Filmfabriek HDS+, far from being a toy or a home movie transfer machine (pejorative terms IMO) is a professional tool that helps me get the job done.

Exactly. Same goes for cameras, lenses, tripods, lights. Everyone is so laser focused on the upper echelon, nobody contemplates that time spent is still time spent. It's not like a full immersion wet gate, negates digital cleanup. You still need to do all the post work to get the image perfect, the wet gate simply gives you a better starting position. 

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On 1/11/2022 at 10:05 PM, Dan Baxter said:

I don't mean that in a pejorative way - there are companies that offer affordable home movie transfers off those machines and off ScanStations as well, so these days people don't have to go with the lower-quality offered by the companies using Tobins or Retroscans.

All good.  It would be interesting to price out a Retroscan MKII with a good 4K camera mod.  If the MKII costs $10K, how much would the 4K camera mod add to that price?  It should easily be under the $40K that Roger Don Evans asks for the MKII.  Would that modded MKII be worth it?

21 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

You still need to do all the post work to get the image perfect,

Exactly.  I get a little discouraged by all of the talk about ScanStations and Scannitys, etc.  It creates the impression (intentional or unintentional) that these are the only machines one should use to properly transfer film.  I couldn't disagree more.  I started out on a Retroscan MK I.  When I got enough money together, I bought the Filmfabriek HDS+.  And if I get some more cash, I might get a Baby Kinetta or a ScanStation Archivist.  I've discovered that I can do amazing things with the scans from all these machines.   The better the machine, the more of your time you buy back.  But, as I mentioned earlier, if you can't buy your time upfront, you spend it later in post.

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17 hours ago, Todd Ruel said:

All good.  It would be interesting to price out a Retroscan MKII with a good 4K camera mod.  If the MKII costs $10K, how much would the 4K camera mod add to that price?

IMX-253 (4112x3008) Sony Pregius cameras from FLIR or IMPERX etc. run about $3K and that is the 4K sensor in the Film Fabriek and has been used in the Scan Station and Xena and many other scanners, it is quite good and fast. Youc an get USB3 or GIG-E or 10GIG-E interfaces which should work on the Retroscan.

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7 hours ago, Todd Ruel said:

All good.  It would be interesting to price out a Retroscan MKII with a good 4K camera mod.  If the MKII costs $10K, how much would the 4K camera mod add to that price?

There's a bit more to it than just the camera. As Robert noted the 4K Flir Blackfly S camera in your HDS+ retails at $3K.  Add to that your choice of lens, the Retroscan I uploaded the sample from has this one fitted with the 4K Blackfly S.

But just changing the camera module is kind of a meaningless expensive waste of time because you definitely need to change the light for something better. Changing the light will improve the quality more than changing the camera. So budget about $200 to build a simple white light, the best white lights for the money are the YUJILED High CRIs, but of course all the proper machines have true RGB lights.

They badly need gates as well, I don't know what they'll be priced at as those haven't even been produced yet beyond the prototypes - I think they have to be priced under $1K to attract the target customers, so maybe $1K each at the most. That means the total costs involved for 16/8 would be about $5-6K if going to full 4K.

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2 hours ago, Dan Baxter said:

That means the total costs involved for 16/8 would be about $5-6K if going to full 4K.

Okay.  So if someone offered those modifications as kits, would that bring the price of a RetroScan MKII up to, say, $16K?

If yes, that's still cheaper than an HDS+ by about 24K.  (Believe me, I know there are other variables here, but are we in the ballpark for an accurate price?)

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3 hours ago, Todd Ruel said:

Okay.  So if someone offered those modifications as kits, would that bring the price of a RetroScan MKII up to, say, $16K?

If yes, that's still cheaper than an HDS+ by about 24K.  (Believe me, I know there are other variables here, but are we in the ballpark for an accurate price?)

If they're offered as a kit they'd be a markup or a charge for the service to upgrade the base machine. It won't necessarily be comparable to the HDS+, as for one thing you would need to use SpinView to capture, and for another this isn't even with getting the light flashing for each exposure which is another thing you should do. It would simply make the Moviestuff a bit more usable. Just changing the light though and adding gates will make a big improvement, and you could select a less expensive camera to save cost if you don't need full 4K (like this one). I would say that choice would depend on your intended use - the 2.5K camera would be perfect for doing home movie transfers with a workflow that doesn't need to involve full 4K as an example. That may also be a perfectly suitable choice for the OP (Mr Teoli) as well for his archival film, the files are smaller lower bitrate etc. Hobbyists shooting film may want a higher resolution camera, and for professional use or restoration you'd definitely want higher resolution as well.

So I'd say you'd be looking at around $14K all up to make it decent for dual-format and a bit more than that with 4K or 5K. If you're going to add P/T rollers as well your budget needs to increase. I don't want anyone here thinking it will make it on-par with the HDS+ though, with enough DIY work that may be achievable but not for $16K and you'd better be someone who wants to tinker with their machine voiding your warranty if necessary.

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9 hours ago, Todd Ruel said:

Okay.  So if someone offered those modifications as kits, would that bring the price of a RetroScan MKII up to, say, $16K?

If yes, that's still cheaper than an HDS+ by about 24K.  (Believe me, I know there are other variables here, but are we in the ballpark for an accurate price?)

For me, it wasn't worth the hassle... I got fed up with tinkering with my moviestuff and the perfect oporunity came up to purchase a HDS so i jumped on it and i'm over the moon with the HDS.

I have considered selling the parts i've made, but i see how many hours roger has to spend telling someone how to do a very simple task on the scanner, that i get worried i'll be bogged down with support! Also that the machine will undergo a design change, and my mod won't fit anymore.

A few things i did to my MKII:

Built a wetgate similar to the pictor, right before the lightpin/gate

built an intergrating sphere and lit it with 3 YUJI 98+ CRI leds (stock ones i *think* are around 70 -80)

Changed lens to Schnieder Componon with m42 helicoid

made a simple cable from RJ12 trigger cable to FLIR GPIO cable for Blackfly Camers (trigger to line 2) and played with FLIR blackfly 5mp and 12mp cameras. 

 

It's possible to make the moviestuff a working 4K scanner, but it needs a lot of work. A few issues i never got around to making a solution (to make it 4K)

3 axis camera adjustment/linear stage. The included one is very basic and has large teeth which make fine adjustments difficult. It's also largely plastic, so it's not solid. You touch an adjustment wheel and it's moved slightly, and the weight of a larger lens causes the plastic camera mount to flex. It does work fine with the stock camera.  quality 3 axis linear stages are expensive. the original OWIS one the early HDS models uses cost around 3000 euro. 

the lightsource - it could be brighter, and higher CRI. When you add a 12mp/4K camera, it has a larger sensor and needs a longer extension tube, loosing even more light. Also, the DOF is shallower, needing the focus to be precise, and the film to remain flat in the same spot

The gate/guides - they are no good for warped film, and they made it difficult to design my intergrating sphere around it. Ideally a whole new gate and light box would be made. 

the lightpin - it's too close to the exposed frame, so the larger lens hits it. Also, it uses reflectance which doesnt play nicely with wet reflective liquids on the film. it eventually stabilises, but you end up with big jumps at the start and around splices. Ideally it would be moved futher away, or swapped to a through hole style fibre head. 

The scanning speed - It's locked at 15fps for 8mm, (less for larger formats) unless you make your own motor control which wouldnt be terribly difficult for someone smarter than I. It's just that 15fps is pretty fast for 12mp capture over USB3, you might find it would drop frames. 

The software - there isnt a film specific capture software that is like the moviestuff software. You either have to use Spinview which is the evaluation software bundled in FLIR's SDK, or you can try StreamPix which was made for general machine vision capture, but it's over $1000 to license it. As it turns out, its what the Reflex scanners use i*think*

 

I think for the price, it does a great job, and most uses LOVE it as you can tell on the facebook group. 

I'd say the HDS is also good value when you price up the components they've used. The machining quality is also very nice. it's so smooth to run, it's super quite, the software is simple and gives great performance, and the LEDs are incredibly bright. I think they can produce about 600w of light at full power as they are on for such a short time, and they are overdriven. The light on the moviestuff is about 30w constant.  I can properly expose horribly dark 8mm film. 

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