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Dan Baxter

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  1. Yeah, but you have a more recent model - I meant the earliest one they released back in 2005 or 2006.
  2. With CCD you mean, the first Arriscans which were contemporaneous with the Spirit 2K (although not previous model Spirits) had CMOS area sensors with a rolling shutter that weren't as good as CCD but came with 2-flash HDR to compensate for the lower quality of the CMOS sensors. I'm sure the quality didn't match at the time, but it was Arri's intention to improve their scanner over time so that it could and would later match and/or exceed the dynamic range that the CCD imager scanners produced. Adding the micro-scanning option would also have represented a big improvement as you can then get native 6K from the 3K sensors producing a true full 4K scan or a significantly nicer 2K scan as it would have helped compensate for sensor noise. Unless I'm mistaken I think all Arriscans came with 2-flash HDR and then when micro-scanning became available that became an optional extra option to purchase for the scanners. Yep.
  3. There's a lot of unknowns here. The Arriscans, Scanities, and LaserGraphics scanners all have artificial sharpening so you could be seeing the results of sharpening on their default settings. Bayer is much softer than RGB without sharpening, so the bayer scanners (Blackmagic Cintel and ScanStations) will be significantly softer compared with an Arri or Scanity or Director (you didn't specify if you used a LaserGraphics Director or one of their Bayer scanners). With the continuous-motion Bayer scanners - and this counts for all of them including Kinetta, DCS Xena, etc - the speed of the scan can also make it lose detail due to motion-blur. There's also several different models of each of the scanners you mentioned, and they can be configured in different ways or have different options as extras that are purchased by the owner.
  4. I mean the cintel scanner is below 2K for 16mm, and it still will be even if they put in a new imager. It'll still be fixed in place and still below 2K resolution for 16mm.
  5. Even with a good imager, 16mm is still below 2K resolution don't forget. Well there's the problem, the sliding doors look "cool" but in practise they just get in the way. Do you actually know anyone that has it wall-mounted? It's not a TV, it weighs a LOT! That's some serious loading capacity for a wall to hold (60 kg/132 lb unloaded, and up to 70 kg/ 155 lb loaded with film). If you have hardwood studs, or steel frame walls (your commercial office space might have that, usually residential won't) then you might be okay, I would not attempt it with regular timber studs.
  6. Then why did they release the Cintel Scanner G3 HDR+ with the current imager? Blackmagic should get rid of the sliding doors so it takes up less room, just plain hinged cabinet style doors like everything else would be sufficient.
  7. Well if space is an issue it can double as your rewind/inspection table. Blackmagic Cintels take up more space - almost 2x as much (I just looked it up - Cintel is 2010mm/79" wide and ScanStation 1190mm/47"), and you just said a few posts back you'd buy one if they bring out a model with a camera that fixes the FPN (they do have a new model the Cintel Scanner G3 HDR+, and it still has the same imager as all the other ones FYI). That makes no sense, how can you have room for a Cintel but not for a ScanStation?
  8. That's just Bayer though, once you get to RGB you're paying .80/ft+ and for good 16mm it will make a huge difference no matter what anyone with a Bayer scanner tells you. As for the deals being "insider" the people I have have standard rates and sometimes they may have to charge a bit more to make it profitable, or they can choose to cap their rates and do some jobs at a loss, and often they can come down on their published rates. It all depends on the amount of work involved with the job. For example, some people are set up to handle really bad film - badly warped, brittle, etc, but most are not. I'm pretty sure Perry purchased his ScanStation as a 2-gate small format one, same as many other companies do - eg MemoryLab. If you were buying one you could do the same, except make it 35/16 as it's 8mm you don't want and you can buy the 8mm gate later if need be (plenty of people do this). I don't know Tyler, every time you mention the price on them you leave out the intricacies with actually budgeting for one without going into eyeballs of debt. It'd modular - you don't need to buy what you don't need. Yes everything is expensive, but there's serious R&D in it that as you mention is missing in the FF's 16mm scanner.
  9. It's because their customers don't know where else to go, and those places are masters of the grift. Also they're run by people (the "mom and pop" crowd) that would be too frightened to invest in something that costs $40K or more, even $12K is expensive to them. On top of all that they may even genuinely believe the quality is professional. Roger Evans consistently feeds them this story, he refuses to acknowledge Filmfabriek as his real competitor for the home movie market (or Kinetta that has I believe a similarly priced scanner for 16/8), and instead consistently tells them (incorrectly) that the Lsaergraphics ScanStation is $250,000 giving them the impression that they have no better option if they can't afford that. By the way - there are "home movie" people who do spend $13,000+ buying brand new Moviestuff Retroscans just to scan their own family archives, including just for 8mm. The reason they buy them is because they don't know Filmfabriek exists - it's a Dutch company and not exactly a household name, but the Pictor appears to be aimed at them. If it's about drying time, why not try adding "air knives" to dry the film? That's how the film gets dried with actual wetgate systems. Well that's another important difference between a Filmfabriek and a Lasergraphics. If a splice opens on a LG the scanner halts and alerts the operator "hey come and fix this before you continue". As far as I'm aware you don't need to babysit them and you can multitask. I have it's called archival scanning. I obviously can't speak for Perry, but the way it works with some places that specialise in archival scanning is they might have a standard price say something around .80/ft for 16mm that covers everything: cleaning, minor repairs, and 2K scanning including a simple "wetgate" if required with isopropyl or film-guard (or whichever chemical they choose to use) and/or a damage matte (with 4K being extra, but 2K RGB is above UHD for 16mm as it is). If a company is set up for archive scanning then of course they can charge less for dailies and make it profitable. Archives might have scanners, but they don't have perc converted ultrasonic cleaners so just cleaning the really filthy film is going to take them forever, even ultrasonics can't do dirty dirty film in just one pass. You don't have an RGB scanner though. You'd need a better scanning system than what the archive has available to purchase for themselves. Yeah that's been done. Which version do you have - there's two? On the first version you'd be able to fit in little "wetgate" sponges like the pictor, but that probably won't work for the second version. The second one you're probably better off applying an even coat of film-guard using a Film-O-Clean (or modified Kelmar) prior to scanning.
  10. See we do agree on something, although I wouldn't use the word "offensive" I'd just say it may demonstrate the difficulty those customers face. However it's long been the case the post-production scanning houses only cater to one type of client. FWIW I do not share your view that Tyler is "arrogant". Stubborn perhaps, but not arrogant. This is all well and good, but the guys I know with ScanStations like yours don't use the PTRs, they bypass them, which the scanner is designed to allow. They clean the film first, so PTRs don't really help especially at 7fps or faster. Let's call a spade a spade here - if you're putting film that hasn't been cleaned on it you're probably doing an "evaluation scan" so running at 30-60fps to see what's on the film and you don't need PTRs for that. Maybe if you have to slow down to 2fps you may want to use them to remove ambient dust collected. FYI I could point out stuff you've said that's misleading like microscaning taking just two exposures. Microscanning was developed for scientific imaging not film scanning, it only works with monochrome cameras, and to make the matrix with the sub-pixel imager shift takes nine exposures to get to 3x the resolution (or four exposure to get to twice the resolution as used in some film scanners). So you take a 1.3K imager, 9 exposures, it's now 4K. Film scanners that do this so far as I know started with 2K-3K imagers and did only 4 shifts at incredibly high speeds. If you did it with Bayer, well: BG GR Would become: BBGG BBGG GGRR GGRR So it wouldn't work. So to correct you: if a Director is doing microscanning and 3-flash HDR on colour film it's 36 total exposures and the damage matte would add either 1 or 4 extra exposures (I'm not sure whether it would be microscanned but a 1-bit damage matte definitely does not have HDR exposures). Assuming it is microscanned though, an assumption, that's a total of FORTY exposures per frame.
  11. The pre-pandemic prices were €30K for the HDS+ which is supplied without a host computer, and USD $40-60K for the Archivist depending on the options with a host computer. So yeah, once you add all the sound heads, both gates, etc etc it gets pricier, but most 8mm film is silent, so if it's for 8mm the price is similar. That said, the resolution is also lower - the advertised 2.5K resolution for 8mm on it will have tons of overscan, even the ScanStation only gets about 3K horizontal resolution for 8mm I think when you use "6.5K" there's just that much beyond the image area in the overscan you need to crop. Well you CAN and believe me people will do it - it'll result in loss of frames. However you're overstating this: you need to clean the film first anyway unless you want to give someone a scan that has dirt all through it, so you can add leader to each side at the same time you do that - or just build up to whatever the maximum length of the scanner is and break-down afterwards. No they're not, one of my mates has re-scanned home movies that were transferred that way. You're right though that many of them may tolerate Retroscan transfers. Yeah that's right, the home movie client might tolerate you dropping frames, or even scratching/damaging film as they probably won't know, but no professional client would tolerate either of those things.
  12. I'm just going by what you shared there and on here, although true I can't see the full gate in the video. You're supposed to clean the PTRs between every full reel that goes through them, that's the problem with PTRs. I'd refer you to page 57 of the Blackmagic Cintel manual which clearly states this. The operator is supposed to swap them for clean ones between each reel. You're right that on many scanners you're forced into using them (in addition to the capstans), but that's a design flaw really IMO, especially for anything below $100K in price or anything faster than say 2fps. Both the Blackmagic Cintel and the Kinetta have four that you can't bypass for example, and the FilmFabriek HDS+ has some as well. If they get old and film slips on them and there's abrasive dirt on them it can cause cinch damage (basically, the abrasive dirt will scratch the film). Really it would also be best to do it with the capstan rollers as well, which is mentioned on page 58 of the cintel manual. Of course anyone can choose not to clean the PTRs between each scan, but then what they'd be doing is skipping the manufacturer's recommended maintenance, which is not a good idea with PTRs. Dry PTR cleaners can sometimes do little but transfer dirt from one frame onto another. You should examine a dirty film sometime and run it through your scanner twice in succession and you should see it happen if the film is long enough.
  13. I don't think you realise how much the commercial stuff costs - you can pay $40K just for a replacement gate for some of them, whereas we're talking a product that has a gate that retails at under $1000. I think that was a one-off, but even with commercial equipment the owner needs to properly test it with junk film before they use it with real film. Telecines, projectors, platter systems, the Xetron Loop-Matic™, dubbers, scanners, film cleaners, processors, printers and cameras - anything that you can put film through. If you don't want them to scratch, damage, or ruin film they require you test them periodically and do the required maintenance work. Some of them require modification from their original design, here's an example. The "friction rollers" will press dirt into the film, that's one way dirt becomes embedded in prints - they're run through that system hundreds of times when played in the cinema and at the end they can have embedded dirt in them that you can't get out with cleaning alone. I'm sure that there's similar examples of lab equipment that does it to negatives as well. They're definitely not a bad design, I've seen the design and the prototypes. You have a gate that appears to have no warped-film clamp, whereas the ones I'm talking about are specifically for warped film so it will get warped film very flat without having to clamp up and down like previous commercial scanners did. The design wouldn't fit your form-factor though as they're specifically designed for the Retroscan Universal MkII so you'd need to design your own if you wanted that ability. With that said we're still looking for a fabricator that can make them, do let me know if you have any leads or ideas there. The parts are so tiny that many of them can't do it (think 16mm and 8mm gates). Ah okay, good to hear. Don't get me wrong, it's a very nice design and you've got the same imager that all the current 5K commercial scanners use (including by the sound of it Filmfabriek). The design itself though is impressive as most people that build something similar from scratch end up making a film-shredder. Would your design work if the PTR rollers were removed and replaced with regular steel rollers?
  14. I note you're running positives, negatives have a thinner base and are easier to damage if the tension isn't right or if there's imperfections in the gate. Also your gate is 3D-printed plastic that you've polished, a mate of mine has similar gates like that for one of his scanners that he designed but he tells me he doesn't consider them safe for film. He can use them, and he does, but he wouldn't let someone else use them because they require maintenance and you need to test it with junk film regularly. That's why the polished steel is much better. Nice work on the fan, I believe I told you adding a fan should help reduce or completely eliminate heat-based sensor noise with that camera. You should turn the fan on the camera off and do a comparison scan to show what happens when the camera doesn't have that additional cooling. You can't really compare your RobinoScan to any commercial scanner though as for a start it's designed to take small reels, it doesn't look like full 1200ft 35mm negs would fit, and certainly 2,000ft full print reels wouldn't either. It wouldn't be just about fitting them on but then doing the engineering work for tension control etc. It's nice and stable though as you say and works very nicely for what you're using it for.
  15. It was noisy and had poor dynamic range. Basically they switched from CCD imaging tech to CMOS tech when CMOS just wasn't ready. It is now but wasn't then. Just make a small test reel and use it to test between your different options. Look for sensor noise, any artificial sharpening, and then test the dynamic range you have by doing grading tests. There'll be no way for an end-customer of a lab or post-production house to know exactly what they have unless they tell them, and how they're operated etc makes a difference as well. Dailies shouldn't need multi-flash HDR to scan well on a good Director.
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