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Dan Baxter

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Everything posted by Dan Baxter

  1. Of course, you'll likely get motion-blur and it's lower optical resolution as you say as well. But in situations where the video quality isn't essential 60fps is fine like making some quick proxies to check condition or to check what's on it for example. It's the situation that's been the case ever since the original 2013 ScanStation as you know as you had one. A few years ago someone I talked to sent their home movies to be transferred on an original ScanStation, and they came back looking awful and they complained so the scanning company did it again, this time properly (or at least to their satisfaction). Setting the scanning speed artificially slow on a 2K ScanStation probably wasn't very intuitive to a lot of operators, whereas the higher optical resolution forces slower speeds now and especially if the HDR module is engaged. I'm not going to mention that company on a public forum, but they clearly knew how to make their scanner do better work but it seems they'd give their clients low-effort work and if they complained only then would dial-in the settings properly and re-scan. That being said looking at their prices, they were clearly priced for low-end work so the fact they'd re-scan properly at the rates they were charging was actually a very good deal. Also people bring their attitudes towards photography with them, I had a discussion just last week with a family member regarding wedding photos and someone had brought up the fact that at a particular weeding the photographer used the flash in every photo and washed-out the skin tones. "Oh you can fix that in photoshop" one person said, and I tried to explain that's not the correct way to go about it because the dynamic range is finite: you need to get the best photo you can to begin with, not put in a poor effort and expect to "fix" it in post as that's just putting lipstick on a pig. Let's just say we fundamentally disagreed about what an acceptable photography service for a wedding is! So it may be that a lot of the companies that have these scanners are used to that kind of process where they don't work on getting the raw capture itself as good as it can be because they expect to do post-work on it and expect that they will "fix" deficiencies then and they may not even understand dynamic range properly.
  2. Right, that's fine. You should test them both at 60fps as well if you're doing a comparison and see what difference you get.
  3. I'm really not interested in arguing Perry. Right this is the same argument you made before. You can also put the same optical module that the ScanStation uses in a XENA or in a Kinetta or even in a Retroscan if you really want to, that doesn't mean they're all equal as there's more to it than that and audio is entirely different as well. A slight slant on the film and you're not capturing an accurate sample of the audio. Honestly, just ask LG to enable the optical sound extraction if it isn't enabled on yours then you can at least test it and come to an informed opinion on it and if you still don't like it and think its inferior to the hardware reader that's fine. I don't think that they disable it on new ones if you buy the hardware reader - why would they? You're obviously only going to use the one you think is better anyway and you already have the hardware reader... Yes it works with the software extraction, and it's listed on the Archivist page FWIW.
  4. Oh, I might have to ask FF then myself, I'm happy to sign an NDA. The Archivist was definitely squarely designed to compete against it, that's why it landed at the same price-point (although now it's gone up by about $10K). Anyway whatever it is they will produce a good scanner, and hopefully it does provide the competition LG needs there.
  5. We can agree to disagree instead of you always fighting over everything. You think it's perfect, and I think it isn't and it's hissy - end of story. I seem to remember you saying that ScanStations don't have software audio extraction - they definitely do and they recently added that "SoundView" feature to select the tracks precisely. You can plug a dubber into a Blackmagic Cintel - are you not able to do it with a LaserGraphics as well? You're probably right that it doesn't matter much.
  6. The ironic thing about that is that the customer was having videotapes transferred I think, not film. So he probably doesn't know anything at all about how film should look and would be easily impressed by seeing anything that transferred it in realtime.
  7. It really isn't, and for the quality it produces you may as well buy a refurbished Tobin. Yes you keep saying this. I don't know what to to tell you - a $60,000 Archivist isn't going to fall into your lap without an ability to monetise its work. ScanStations have two ways of digitising optical audio as explained on the website. There's the hardware/keykode reader but it's hissy and doesn't do a very good job really, but they also have software audio extraction and it's excellent and better quality than AEO light. LG recently added an option to manually select where the audio is captured from, refer to this image, I'm pretty sure that was only added recently and that before it was the user had no control over it. You can of course just also use AEO light, but again LG's software does a better job so there's really no need unless you scanned it silent or you used the wrong audio settings in the scan or something like that. You can also hook-up interlocking mag audio to scanners, you get your dubber and put the soundtrack on it and then get your scanner and plug dubber into the scanner and away you go and you get synced audio. By the way the HDR option is now listed again on the official LG website for the Archivist along with the misleading comparisons to Arri and to Scanity.
  8. No, but it's like buying a car. If you have a loan or a lease than paying the "extended warranty"/"service contract" is as mandatory as paying for insurance on a car. If you can afford to buy it outright you can refuse to pay the extended warranty, but that would not necessarily be recommended either as they will likely force you to put it back into service at huge cost if you ever need a major replacement/repair. Also the software updates will stop for anyone not paying it, so you have older ScanStations out there that may not even have the ability to scan to DPX or to Prores XQ because they have really old software. They don't cost $6,000 anymore, you have old the MkI Universal. The new ones are sold as being 4K despite having a 2.5K Bayer-pattern camera, they have a relatively low CRI 90 light which is better than the light they had originally, but still 90 CRI - give me a break. There's issues with the quality of some of the parts, they also lack gates, they lack speed control, they lack the proper speed on 35mm because it photographs on each perf and then decimates 3 out of every 4 photos which is why 35mm is 4fps. It's more likely that you need a much better quality light rather than a new sensor in your MkI to improve the quality, although fitting in a light into the form-factor of the MkI looks difficult. You can monetise your operations, that's the only way to pay for a $50,000-$70,000 scanner which is what the Archivist currently costs depending on how you configure it (that's complete with the host computer read-to-go). To do professional work you're going to need to use the high quality formats... the 16-bit formats (DPX and TIFF), and 12-bit DNG and Prores 4444 XQ and that will cost more money as well as you have to build a RAID otherwise the host computer won't cope with the I/O and your maximum scanning speeds will slow down. LG can supply it set up or you can just buy 3-4 SSDs and build it yourself. And obviously you probably need another $10,000 computer for post-processing work. I know it can sound like I give LG a bit of a bad rap, but that's not really true. Even for $70K it represents incredible value and you'll beat the pants off the quality of the older $175,000+ ScanStations that have the lower-end imagers in it. 5K 16mm on the Archivist with HDR will be near indistinguishable to 5K on the full 6.5K HDR model ScanStation (i.e. the best ScanStation). FYI you can still buy refurbished ScanStation Personals from LG as well. So they have the option there for people that can't afford the Archivist but have enough for one of those (no idea what they're charging for them - you'd have to get a quote). They'll come with the latest software. Yep, FF doesn't have the budget to compete on the software. People say that HDR is a game-changer, one thing that is even more important than HDR is the failed-splice recovery feature. When a splice opens the scanner stops and alerts the user that there's a problem - that's an absolute game-changer when virtually any other scanner would just let the film un-spool into a tangled mess on the floor. That and it cannot drop frames, whereas the FF can - fundamental problem with the HDS+ and hopefully that's been fixed in the upcoming scanner.
  9. Oh of course, according to Perry it's pure coincidence that I was right and my opinion at the time was invalid all because the sales agent told him something else. Honestly. 🙄 You can't even concede when you were dead wrong and you make up a story about why you were wrong! "The Archivist had HDR option at the start, and then later they didn't, and then they changed their minds so now it does". That's a completely invented story that you've made up with no actual evidence, and it doesn't even fit all the facts either. The facts are this: you were given the wrong information and maybe you should blame the source of that wrong information rather than publicly blaming me for putting out misinformation!!! You could be right Perry, maybe the story you've just told is what really happened... but I'm entitled to my scepticism over it, it's called critical thinking. You could be reasonable and concede at least that much. Also: Both websites continue to claim HDR is not available on the Archivist. Screenshots: Screenshot: Galileo Digital today 12 August 2023. Archive Link. Screenshot: Lasergraphics today 12 August 2023. Archive Link. So how exactly does this fact fit in to your story? I'll put forward an opinion... LaserGraphics would put themselves into a far better position to wipe out Moviestuff and Ventura Images if they just 1. put out straight clear and accurate information, and 2.made it easier for small companies and startups to get a quote. On that second point they should have a clear upfront deposit amount stated that will get you started, and they should have someone that assists and guides you through getting a loan. Without this what you have is Moviestuff owning the narrative amongst their customers on what they should buy. The Archivist was designed to compete against the Filmfabriek HDS+, yet nothing on the website clearly explains the benefits over the HDS+, Retroscan, or Ventura Images scanners (and the legacy scanners like Tobins, MWAs etc). Or the Baby Kinetta. Their main potential customers with the Archivist is 1. Professional Companies that can see a space for adding an Archivist to their line-up of equipment, and 2. Small Companies using existing small format scanners (including archives, obviously hence the name of the product). The Archivist is not going to replace a ScanStation but it can certainly compliment one. The only reason they get away with it is because in their market they sit in the middle: there's people doing even worse quality work and charging more, and there's people doing far better work using better quality systems charging the same or even less (not just the scanning machine, but how it's used and the post-scan color correction, cleanup, stabilisation, etc). There's no way they don't know this, they go out of their way to delete comments that mention better scanning systems like LaserGraphics or Filmfabreik. Here's a guy putting out a similar message to his customers about how great the Retroscan is: Oh yes I've read their Facebook group before and their forums. They believe everything Roger tells them without critical thought, and they have an echo-chamber reinforcing their beliefs. If you want to share your ideas with LaserGraphics about how to own that market you should go right ahead. Ultimately though, the way that people in that market will buy LGs is once they get word-of-mouth or they talk to existing people that are doing home movie scanning (or whatever other market traditionally considered non-professional) on full ScanStations, and especially from people that replaced Moviestuff scanners. People have been replacing Moviestuff and other junky low-end scanners with LG scanners for many years, but that isn't to say that it's easy for them. It's a scary purchase, and getting accurate information isn't straightforward. Plus they come with an annual support contract that adds to the cost that you don't have to pay when going with a cheaper competitor including Filmfabriek. What would win them over and seal the deal is not necessarily the argument on quality but the productivity that it brings to the workflow. Remember, a 50ft 8mm reel will go straight on a Retroscan and not need any additional leader, to scan it on a ScanStation you will definitely need to add leader. So there's that obvious drawback there, minor compared to the benefits, but those that are worried about a purchase will think about all those drawbacks and whether it's worth it or not overall. Also, $50K for it is a bargain even if it's just for 16mm work. It'll beat the quality of all existing ScanStation Personals and full 5K ScanStations.
  10. It won't matter. Most consumers aren't discerning enough to recognise when a company is cutting corners delivering a low quality service even if they have a social media presence, e.g. GotMemories: And note that they monitor their comments and delete anything that mentions better quality scanners. Well on the HDR issue I never once felt I was putting forward conjecture, I was always confident that my opinion was correct. It has now been vindicated. It was LG and GD themselves putting out incorrect information on it, so make of that what you will. I mean here's what Perry said: He accused me of spreading misinformation while he believed that Galileo Digital, the US sales agent, was a source of gospel truth!!! What a crock of shit, I didn't spread any misinformation. I wonder if Perry would concede I was right?
  11. Congrats! I hope it works out well for you once you get it. Of course they are, they let the cat out of the bag already and existing ones have it. Just be aware the software defaults to OFF anyway! LaserGraphic's software audio extraction is really good. And if I'm not mistaken they recently made some improvements to it as well, so if you have the latest host software from LG you have the best available. You can still use AEO light though if you need to. Another huge advantage for the Archivist is that you can purchase the magnetic sound heads. They were not available with the ScanStation Personals but they are with the Archivist. Their issue in my opinion is that they haven't made it easy for small companies doing niche things to get the information that's right for them and then make a plan to purchase the scanners. EG home movie scanning companies. Most of them are too afraid to invest in the cost of a ScanStation or an Archivist or the FilmFabriek HDS+. As for the information, so far as I know Stefan himself is in charge of what's claimed on the official LaserGraphics website and that website could be a lot clearer about the capabilities and limitations of the scanners.
  12. Ask the lab with the Arri to do 3K for you (that's the true resolution of 2K scanning without any down-scaling to 2K), as it's 16mm you might find this is the best option in terms of quality and value. 3K on the Arri should be higher true resolution and significantly sharper than 6.5K on the ScanStation, if the labs can show you SMPTE resolution film look for how many lines per millimetre is actually resolved. You can also get bayer DNG off the ScanStation instead of DPX and then do your own debayering, much smaller file size than DPX although the LG debayering is quite good so you may prefer to have their debayering baked in with DPX or Prores 4444 XQ. If you're using a ScanStation they can also make a proxy at the same time as the scan and that would allow you to check everything is fine quickly (2K or 1080p Prores HQ would be fine for the proxy as an example). I hope that helps!
  13. Yeah, but you have a more recent model - I meant the earliest one they released back in 2005 or 2006.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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?
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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?
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