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Robert Houllahan

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  1. This is the one, or a printing Nikkor 95mm or 105mm. https://www.fotozones.com/live/index.php?/articles/tech/the-schneider-kreuznach-macro-varon-85mm-f45-r247/
  2. The old adage applies... Good, Fast, Cheap... pick any two... I would say that most likely the ArriscanXT probably is what you want if you are looking for the best technical picture quality in a scan. True RGB scanning with a monochrome sensor and in 2-flash it is real 16 bit precision. 6K to 4K or 2K oversampling for Mr Nyquist. The ALEV sensor that Arri uses / has manufactured is something that Arri has allot more technical and manufacturing control over than a company using an off the shelf machine vision camera and the ALEV was designed from the get go to be a cinema sensor. Plus a full immersion liquid gate system is on offer from Arri. Nobody ever got fired for using an Arri camera or scanner their color science is known to be the best available. If you are a smaller archive not working on new studio film or high end restoration you probably cannot afford to scan on the ArriXT and so there are any number of good solutions with various levels of compromise. The 6.5k Scan Station (or Xena) will make you 2K or 4K scans which are probably reasonably close to the Arri when run in 6.5K mode with 2-flash that yields 14bit precision from the 12bit Sony sensor. There is also the advantage of 6K to 4K (or 2K) over-sampled rez scans. I think that puts the 6.5K Scan Station at 7.5FPS when run that way and it can scan direct to ProRes4444 saving a step converting DPX to ProRes. 4K scans in single flash 12-bit from Scan Station Xena Kinetta or HDS+ or any number of scanners using the off the shelf Sony Pregius 4K and 6.5K sensors will also yield excellent results which would have been unobtainable just five years ago for the price and speed. Even the RetroScan can make pretty good scans right out of the box and if you swap out the provided 2K sensor and mod it with a camera like the 4K Pregius (4112x3008 12bit) you can make some really good scans on the cheap that will just probably need allot more work in post to stabilize. The best scanner is the one that gets the job done to the required specs in the time frame and budget allowed for.
  3. I just acquired an Arriscan last week so that means i have SIX effin MP scanners in my shop now..... 1. Spirit 2K (HD) 2007 2. Spirit 2K/4K Data 2008 3. LG Scan Station "personal" 4. Arriscan 5. Xena 4K (s8) 6. Xena 6.5K 8/16/35 I was reading the manual for the Arriscan on the train to NYC today.. a three hour ride... and there is at least three hours of reading there... What a great machine and it does some things which are truly great like changing calibrations automatically by reading the keycode info. I have spent the last 9 or 10 years helping Co-Develop the Xena scanner with Rennie at DCS in LA and believe me I have felt some pain in that development experience. I began a decade ago because I needed high quality scanning for the lab and used scanners were very very expensive. So I built a Xena 1.0 based on a Oxberry pin registered transport with an Atmel Camilia camera doing sequential RGB and IR scanning at about 0.7FPS. The Xena is now a very mature and competent scanning system with some really advanced features loke optical pin registration and excellent under the hood control of allot of film scanning and machine parameters. Xena can be a stand alone built machine or retrofitted into some of the truly excellent legacy scanning chassis like the Cintel URSA. It is very reliable and is quite a bit more technical to use that the Scan Station but it is a Win10 based scanner with a pretty understandable GUI. So if you want a high quality scanner and are technical there is a option that meets cost constraints it advanced and very high quality, it is not the slowest nor the fastest of scanners. The last generation of the Spirit DataCine kind of speaks for itself, it was capable of realtime 2K and 7fps 4K in 2005 or so. It is still an excellent true RGB scanner with great speed. It is loud and hungry and not suitable for home use these cost between $1.2M and $2.2M new. The LaserGraphics Scan Station "personal" has been a bit of a mixed bag for us, it is very fast and extremely reliable, I hove found it has very few bugs and occasionally it gets funny but just requires a software restart to get back to normal. The GUI is by far the simplest and easiest of any MP scanner and you don't have to know Linux (Like RedHat for the Arri or SUSE for the Spirit) and anyone can easily run it effectively IMO. Unfortunately it is sort of stuck with not the greatest of cameras (the cmosis CMV50000) so it can show fixed pattern noise on some occasions, like the BMD Cintel does. I am a it disappointed that LG did not see it as a product that they liked nor do they seem to want to improve it. I think they could have had a really good sales experience with it if they had added the 2-flash 'hdr' in software which fixes the problems with the camera mostly. I think they should have called it the Scan Station Dailies and had a keycode reader standard and aimed it at all of us labs. Our machine reliably works almost every day for a range of things from scanning prints to student work. From what I can tell the full 6.5K Scan Station is a very mature product that is very very fast (LG's hallmark has always been speed in scanning) makes very good high res scans and it by all accounts very reliable. I see some crit about the cost of the machine but a base ArriscanXT is more than 2X the price and a Scannity is more than 4X the price so it is a relative bargain from a business perspective. It seems the Scan Station has a niche in doing allot of archival scans where speed is cost and that it is a great tool for that work. Shows like Star Wars, Succession, Euphoria etc. typically are done as new on Scannity but that is large post house workflow and costs are much higher than a small shop scanning allot of archival jobs which are much more conscious of cost. Arri and DFT have large engineering staff and charge a ton for support and big post houses require that because big shows have deadlines. I think LG is a smaller company and probably have to figure out what support fires to out out and as such have to prioritize who get what, and with most things capital the paying squeeky wheel usually gets the grease first. YMMV.
  4. You could do that on an optical printer like a JK but you would be looking at ding four passes onto the 16mm, one for each S8 quadrant. It would take some time to setup and impliment and any error would put you back to step one on it. Or you could have a compnay like mine do a filmout to 16mm of the sequence.
  5. I accidentally got included on a email thread about the GE scanner by a similarly named lab in London..... nothing nice was being said about this machine in that thread and they were trying to do 65mm dailies with it....
  6. The DSX is a good candidate to turn into a Xena scanner. www.digitalcinemasystems.net Rennie has control over all the transport systems and is doing a refit to one now.
  7. It took me all of ten minutes to learn and start using the scan station, Steve Klenk came to do training but honestly with a few caveats the machine does not really need much of a manual to use it. You should see the 285 page manual for the Arriscan and you also better know linux and be decent at math for that machine. Similar to our DFT Spirit 2K/4K Data machine which runs SUSE 10 for the Bones or SUSE11 for the PhantomII control software. It took me a week to get the PhantomII software running on a Z840 with SUSE11 configs and drivers etc etc. I have the original sales receipt for our Arriscan it was $580,200.00 in 2007 and the DFT Spirit 4K was $1.75M in 2008 So "they" have made a low cost scanner and it has sold like hotcakes, it is called the Scan Station.
  8. Basically a tri-linear 4K CCD machine i.e. a not as good version of the Spirit 4K or Scannity. Evidently not the most reliable of scanners either.
  9. Actual full immersion liquid gates do not "drip" they have a chamber that is completely filled with liquid and the liquid is managed with pumps that push it through the chamber / gate and constantly cycle the liquid through filters. There is a vacuum system that removes the fluid and air knives that dry the film before it is taken up.
  10. Most Cine scanners won't scan the 8-perf stills / VistaVision format 35mm, some will like my Spirit 2k/4K series but the Scan Station won't nor will the BMD. So you would have to shoot with a Pen-F or similar half frame camera or scan half frames and do some stitching to compare.
  11. Yes allot and probably more so than in a while, film is a current and future medium and available choice and some of the best current shows are made on film. Any school that teaches film and doesn't offer shooting on film is a doing their students a disservice at best. Fine arts schools didn't stop offering oil paints when acrylics were invented, same deal. Some of them do! Motion picture scanning is largely becoming a commodity and any fool can buy a scanner and do 😉 actually operating and pushing film through a scanner on a daily basis is a actual job not everyone really wants. Wet lab stuff is for the brave of heart who like heavy machinery and running thousands of rolls of Tri-X takes a kind of mad hatter to do, many schools teach how to develop film in a Lomo tank with all kinds of chemistry including beer and coffee.
  12. Wet gate printing hides any scratches in the base of the printing elements, the Perc fills in the scratches and has the same refractive index as the celluloid.
  13. FotoKem staff stated that they did a Cross Process in ECN2 for this in an interview, looks like that was on the Kodak instagram, I will see if I can dig that up. I think the production approached us through a production co. asking for us at Cinelab to run it as E6 Color Reversal, as one of a few labs capable of running 35mm E6, with Spectra in LA being the other one. FotoKem would either have had to setup a E6 processor specifically for this show or send it to us on the East Coast or send it to Spectra in LA and I think they just made the decision to run it in ECN2.
  14. Yeah it is basically a whole new machine and only the film platters and dancer arms are likely to be the same between the two. I would guess that the Director 10K is about a $400-450K machine.
  15. Similar to how the new latest Director uses a piezo stage with a 5K sensor to make 10K Also the new Director is a pinless sprocketless system with a monochrome sensor multi-flash RGB-IR LED lamp and uses LaserGraphics excellent machine vision GPU perforation registration which is why they offer 8mm on it now. Arri does offer a upgrade path from the Arriscan to the ArriscanXT I think it is $80K or so to do the sensor and electronics swap. I don't know if LG offers a rebuild of the old Director into a 10K machine but if they do I imagine it would be pretty expensive as the whole gate / lamp / camera system is entirely different.
  16. I had an Imagica ImagerXEPlus (last latest model) It was dead ass slow, like 15-20sec a frame slow for 4K and the Toshiba Tri-Linear CCDs in the Imagica scanners fail at a high rate and are noisy to begin with, I gave the Imagica scanner away, for free. A Northlight is a better scanner in that speed class with it's Kodak Tri-Linear CCD. An ArriscanXT is $385,000.00 that is the current price without the liquid gate option. The 4K Director is probably apples to oranges with an original Arriscan (1.5fps 4K 5fps 2K) both pin registered, both true RGB both very good machines. Some situations and high end clients won't accept scans from a CFA scanner they require true RGB scans, and also I think the Director like the Arriscan can do IR.
  17. As I said above too, you should check to see if the install thumb drive is taped to the computer and or chassis. This way you could have someone install a new boot drive and get the machine running in it's original installed state. LaserGraphics provided the thumb drive with the machine when it was delivered, it should be on the machine or with the documentation.
  18. HI Maybe I can add some situational awareness to this. 1. This is a very specialized machine for a specific high end segment of the film business, this means high initial cost and extreme depreciation. A 2008 DFT Spirit 4K or Arri Arriscan (this machine's competitors) initially sold for $600,000-$2M and are now valued at around $30K-$40k on the used market, running. 2. It is unclear in this eBay listing if the machine runs or not and what options it has, the built in computer is not plugged in and the eBay listing says the hard drive was removed, I understand the general Military policy procedures as I have personally done consulting work in the film/video biz for the US Naval War College-War gaming dept. so I understand the policy on removing drives in general. If you are lucky there may be a thumb drive taped inside the chassis or inside the computer to restore the computer to it's original Windows 7 and scanner install, I would check as this would be a big point on getting the machine into a running / saleable state without the major cost of having LaserGraphics bring it to a "current" state of software release. 3. LaserGraphics is particularly rigid and protective of new machine sales over support or upgrades of older machines they have sold. The Director is a "Current" model but there are little similarities between the new Director 10K and this 2010 model, only the chassis and the platter system to hold the film are the same. Most possible sales prospects for this model of machine are large clients like Sony or other big studios, they generally lease new machines to write down the depreciation. 4. This model original Director may be old and slow but it is a true RGB pin registered scanner and it still has some big advantages over the new faster scanners like the Scan Station 6.5K which has a fast color camera. This Director has a monochrome camera and does sequential R , G , B , IR "Flashes" to make true color and the "New" scanners do not meet the requirements for color accuracy for very high end clients. So In My Opinion if you can get this machine running to it's original state it would be a fine machine to offer to a very niche business doing motion picture scans for maybe $30-40K.
  19. If you bought a C&C machine from a company that was 10yrs old or a 10yr old John Deere automated farming combine and you wanted it to be under service contract it would be a similar percentage of the original cost to be under service. Same with a Scannity or Arriscan as they are professional tools with high initial costs. Of course they will never sell this Director for anywhere near that asking price on eBay and the latest Director is a completely different gate and camera system etc. etc.
  20. I think they graded it at NFL Films in New Jersey we did the processing and scans for them.
  21. Maybe it was badly processed? I don't find it to be particularly grainy... We did this in 2020 and just ran another job recently for NFL and I thought the 16mm Ekta (run as color reversal by us) looked pretty nice and not grainy: https://www.nfl.com/videos/who-are-we-nate-burleson-narrates-the-stories-behind-the-2020-season The very first shots are Ekta and it was a mix of Ekta 100D Tri-X and 7219 plus Alexa. Also here is some E100D and Tri-X S8mm I shot a few years ago:
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