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Dan Baxter

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Everything posted by Dan Baxter

  1. Tyler, run the sample through Izotope RX if you could and upload your results. 🙂
  2. This already exists. I don't understand what the point in purposefully dropping frames would be given you have to transport the entire length of the film anyway. How can it be made any cheaper than what's already available?? Evaluation scans can be done on existing scanning machines, also Filmic is pretty much designed exactly to give you this as it comes with a condition report on the film. Well there you go, you've hit your first major limitation. Most scanners don't go direct to MP4. What's wrong with using the existing technology to achieve the sampling scans as you call them?
  3. No other scanner that costs over $5,000 has the shortcomings that the Retroscans have. You don't have a Retroscan Universal MkII, you have a MkI - the previous generation. No one had a problem getting it delivered. To say "no use comparing the Retroscan to $$ scanners" is ridiculous. It depends entirely on the use-case. To pick on LaserGraphics, they used to have on their website "telecine is dead" with a tombstone you can see it here. What they should have IMO at least somewhere on the website is "Elmo is dead, home movie scan better on a LaserGraphics". 😛 MovieStuff existed in no man's land. Their natural market - archives - had left them many years ago as they now have far more choice and better options. Kinetta, Filmfabriek, Blackmagic, Lasergraphics, Filmic - they have plenty of choice now depending on their needs.
  4. Sorry, I thought I replied to this. That's Andrew Wise's company Bowline Media. According to the description this was a re-scan done for a client that was unhappy with a scan done elsewhere (as Andrew has said above). I don't have a company. Well it has gone up in price post-pandemic, but I would hardly call that "astronomical". That sounds to me like a very fair and reasonable price.
  5. Well, scanners are generally speaking professional machines. You can't expect to just browse a showroom floor like you can with TVs. Professional equipment for any profession isn't easy to find accessible public ingormation on, so I'd say film scanners are more approachable really and the dealers like Gencom should be able to give advice on the differences etc. As for being expensive, I don't really agree with you. The Hydra film cleaner is USD $50,000. The Blackmagic Cintel is $32,000 and the Filmfabriek HDS+ is about $40,000. An Archivist from LaserGraphics isn't that much more. MovieStuff scanners like yours have so many problems really. I get that you want a good quality consumer grade scanner. The issue there is that it's not that hard to build your own scanner for under $5,000, so once the price for one goes above $5,000 there are very few consumers left who would buy one. A lot, and I do mean a *lot*, of the people that purchased MovieStuff scanners were just buying them for their own projects (like yours), however they could have saved their money and spent a fraction getting their film transferred commercially. Part of the issue is that a lot didn't know where they can get professional work as traditionally comercial scanning was entirely closed to consumers, and there are still so many "consumer scanning" places using the old "consumer-grade" tech (MovieStuff, Tobin, Elmo). I feel like this has been explained a few times. When doing volume archiving and the quality is not essential ScanStations can go as fast as 60fps. The settings for professional work basically make the scanner run at 15fps or 7.5fps max, but you can manually set the speed lower still if the film needs it/will benefit. If you had an Archivist scanner you'd probably want to run it at 30fps all the time direct to 2K Prores, and you'd get through 10x the volume of film you're getting through with a retroscan.
  6. They're designed for volume archiving (which they are clear about), not for finishing scans. They don't even have gates. The Kinetta is also designed for archives but not necessarily volume work. They are priced around what the Cintel costs I think except they can do up to 48fps (correct me if this is wrong) but Cintel can only do 30. From what I can tell though their goal would be 90fps or as fast as the film can possibly go. I don't know how much research into scanners they did before designing it as going faster and faster on a continuous-motion scanner will just lead to more blur and even where the quality isn't important and it's for cataloguing maybe they want to see more clearly the damage the print has or the dirt particles etc. Also a Cintel doesn't have plastic rollers. Yes it's nothing like a Kinetta. It may look similar, but the Filmics are more designed to "see what you have" and then send it out for proper work basically.
  7. Of course not and he should stop asking them questions. However, the vendors could put out better information to begin with IMO. I'm not trying to bash the vendors at all, but how many people here remember that the Blackmagic Cintel for example was squarely designed as a way to bring film up to 40 years old to online streaming platforms? What happened with MovieStuff is their "scanners" were originally designed for amateurs and archives. They were not designed for the home movie market, Elmos were designed for that and available since the 1980's and Tobin Cinema Systems prolonged it with their range starting in 2005 or so: "Replaces Elmo Transvideo. These were discontinued years ago, and back in 1991 we were thinking of developing a replacement, but it didn't seem like the market was there. Now, with used Elmo TRV machines in questionable condition selling on Ebay auction site for up to $5,600, with most spare parts no longer available, perhaps now is the time! (We understand Elmo won't be making more as they have destroyed all the tooling.) No slaving over a hot computer for hours with this method... just plug into any DVD, DV, VHS or other video recorder and monitor, and transfer in real time as if copying a tape or disc. No computer, no extra computer programs to learn, no tricky field and imaging lens alignments by the operator needed, no darkened room. Designed for continuous use in your high-volume transfer lab. Productivity is about four times as great as with computer-dependent methods." Completely accurate and clear information for the customer. With most of the commercial scanners today unless you know exactly where to find the information it's hard to know what each scanner is designed for and whether it's suitable for the purpose the customer wants.
  8. Agreed. LG may make a better scanner, but they still have numerous issues really. No they don't. The FF HDS+ was originally designed for Archives, and since at least 2015 the LaserGraphics ScanStation is targeted at Archives primarily. FF expanded their market towards the film-enthusiasts. LG changing the name of the junior model from "ScanStation Personal" to "Archivist" should clearly demonstrate who they are targeting as their largest market. They're both capstan-driven continuous motion bayer scanners with a full-spectrum LED light diffused and positioned to conceal visible base damage. They both use a similar imager. I'd note something here, which is that most people do not understand what the film scanners are for. They have no idea what market each scanner was designed for and they find difficult to do proper research before purchasing one. This was a large reason why MovieStuff/Roger Evans sold so many scanners - he was at the top of Google if you searched to buy a film scanner, and you wouldn't even find Filmfabriek, Blackmagic, or Lasergraphics. So you saying that the HDS+ is just a "prosumer-level scanner" is really not helpful. You are technically right, but its largest market when it hit the market wasn't wealthy individuals it was archives and small companies focused on small-format film. It's priced far too high for most prosumers, they've designed the Pictor for the prosumer. As far as how they work - they work pretty much the same way. Oh come on! There's a reason that Mr Teoli is asking these questions - it's because doing research on commercial scanners is like you walking into a Ford dealership and asking them what's about their Ford compared to a similar looking Subaru. I'll post more about what each commercial film scanner is actually designed for in the MovieStuff thread - because MovieStuff never would have sold half their scanners if their customers knew who the competition for what they wanted was. And also speaking of disinformation, we have to contend all the information that Roger has dumped onto his website here. Do you notice something? He doesn't ever mention his competitors. It's all about him and MovieStuff - he even has the audacity to claim that he had a role in creating the mom-and-pop home movie scanning market - what absolute nonsense. It was Elmo that created it and Clive Tobin made the more "modern" ones in the mid-2000's. MovieStuff scanners (as limited as they are) were always frame-by-frame - they never went directly to NTSC or PAL which is what the home movie market needed at that time. Composite video out to be recorded directly to VHS and then later to DVD. Why anyone would use a Retro 8 over a similarly priced Tobin TVT-8 for that purpose is a complete mystery to me (and I mean back in 2012 when the Retro-8 was released). Oh and by the way, Clive Tobin was completely upfront about what his transfer units were for unlike Roger Evans.
  9. Can I just ask - how do you know that you're getting the same installer download as another user? Specifically, have you ever tried to install the software that a different user downloaded and did it work or not? Updates every 2 months though is impressive. Yes I know about the config files, it's weird they don't just use the registry like any other app. Other thing I can say is you're not forced to use the latest version. So if the latest version does something you don't like you can just revert to an earlier version without a problem.
  10. I don't know why they bother locking it to the computer, when it's locked to the scanner anyway. You cannot plug your host computer into a different LG and expect it to work - it won't, they're all individually licenced and locked to their own host software/computer. This is to prevent people from getting free upgrades to the host software without paying for the monthly support contract (everyone gets their own individual version of the host software I might add - you don't download it from a central repository and enter a licence key no no no it's compiled for each separate LG scanner). But yes it's normal that scanners have host computers that are locked. The problem is when you have some Windows XP computer or whatever and you cannot upgrade it because the company now only provides very limited support or it doesn't exist anymore, and the software is copy-protected and cannot be transferred to a newer computer. That said, they run on Windows 10 so it's not a problem at the present, and remember that DCS and Arri both run their scanner software on Linux not Windows, so the fact it runs on Windows instead of Linux is one of the many selling points for them.
  11. Yeah, that's what others have said about them too. The MkII didn't have that issue, but it has so many other issues. None of them had 4K. The "4K" models have a 2K camera (or 2.5K??) The awful quality light is the bigger issue in terms of quality. A high CRI light makes a huge difference even with the original camera. The lights in your FF and LG scanners are similar - RGB (or RGB+white) fully-spectrum LED, probably the LG one is brighter, and then FF has a diffusion blob and LG has a diffusion cube. MS could have just used a high CRI white light with proper diffusion, that's all it needed, but Roger never bothered with using a decent light, unfortunately. Oh right! Well good for you!! That's the other part of the story re- the MovieStuff collapse, which is that people who are capable will replace them after a year, or after a few years, with a real scanner. As you say they're a "starter scanner" for many.
  12. I didn't mock you. 😛 The Kelmars and the Film-O-Clean are designed to be attached to projectors, but people have attached them in-line to scanners as well. And plenty if people use them how you do - on their own between rewinds. They're designed for use with Media Pads and Film-Guard, but Film-Guard will wear out PTR and Capstan rollers. The Archivist doesn't come with PTRs unless you ask LaserGraphics for them, but it would not be hard to add your own PTR rollers anyway.
  13. Did you replace a Retroscan with an Archivist? If so, you're definately not the only one!
  14. Exactly. Roger has ripped off a heap of people, and to most of them $10,000 is a lot of money. Unfortunately, most of the people that were "dissatisfied customers" didn't want to put their names out publicly, which led to the incorrect perception that everyone was happy. Plenty of customers have said in private though they don't like the way he does business but that they need to be able to still have product support from him. In Roger's ego-driven Facebook post, he talks as if his compeditors are the "big boy scanners", to use your term. No mention of Filmfabriek, DCS, Blackmagic or Kinetta! Or the fact that the big boy machines are very different now than 20 years ago. They cost way less, they're much simpler, more mechanically reliable, more capable in what they can do, etc. Most film now is over 40 years old, so now they have to be able to do archival film, whreas in the 1990's digital scanning was just for special effects. The other perception that existed was that they were getting a bargain, because a LaserGraphics ScanStation fully-loaded is $200,000+. Or because FF charge a lot more for the Muller or the Pictor ranges. Yet anyone actually using them to do their best work for paying customers is spending ages working on the scans in post to try and fix them up for their customers. The same is actually true for some of the less capable big boy scanners including the GoldenEye. Roger takes a cut, and provides a 90 day warranty. You can read the page here, it's still on his website. LOL. He was on the Kinograph forums, but ran away to his Facebook group when criticised.
  15. Okay so I don't have to keep emailing MS customers I'm putting this here. "I did my research on these before purchasing and couldn't find any criticism of MovieStuff." One of the recurring issues was that existing MS customers were too afraid to publicly speak out against Roger for fear of him withdrawing support or refusing to sell them parts etc. Better research would involve talking to multiple MS customers/RetroScan users first. "These were definitely the go-to 'prosumer' models that were better than the old telecines yet still not the cost of a house like the ScanStation." Roger Evans on his Facebook group would refuse to ever acknowledge his real competitors, and whenever he spoke about competitors it was always the "$250,000 ScanStation". There have always been competitors for the hobbyist market/low-end archiving market, but MovieStuff did their best not to let their customers or potential customers know who their actual competitors were. The above is simply an example of someone quoting Roger's sales pitch without realising that what they're saying isn't accurate. The Retroscan Universal MkII made no sense to me. It was at an unrealistic price-point that doomed it to market failure. With enough work, and expense, you can modify it to get it to work the way that a $10,000 scanner should work to begin with - or you could just buy something that works better to begin with. The film guides actually work fine. Gates would be better, but the film guides work and is the least of the problems that the scanner has. To the point however, you've mentioned many times how collaborative and helpful FF have been with assisting with issues that you've had with your HDS+ - you don't hear people sharing the same experience with MS! It either works the way it came and people are satisfied with that, or if they're not satisfied with how their MS scanner works then they do their own modifications to it with no assistance from MS other than "encouragement" to do so. With the RUMkII it had subpar parts from the start, I have a felling the Universal MkI was better mechanically speaking.
  16. Called it. There's some more in the low-end market including Film-Digital and Ventura Images for example and don't forget DCS in the "midrange" either.
  17. No, the ones you've linked to are not rebuilt in any way and only one of them is described clearly as being in working condition. You can, in theory anyway, buy the RTI Group cleaners fully rebuilt and refurbished from Jonathan Banks.
  18. Did someone finally show you how the LG scanners are priced? One of my friends that has a full ScanStation has a second DIY scanner that he built that produces very similar quality, in his case he'd do badly warped film on his second scanner as he has full warped film gates he made for it. Most people don't buy the warped film kits for the ScanStation or the Director, remember they can't do wetgate scanning anyway so it's only half the solution. 😛
  19. It's similar to the San Labs Prista: https://www.ebay.com/itm/234334902645 Except much more compact and supports 8mm. I think those Pristas can be had for about $2,000 - they're also designed for the same chemical (Isopar-G) but they're not in working condition so you need someone who can repair them and get them running, if you need the contact details just send me a DM and I'll get them for you. The Hydras are very expensive as you might imagine.
  20. You're not looking hard enough. https://www.grays.com/lot/0001-5052744/audio-tv-and-home-theatre/lasergraphics-scanstation-motion-picture-film-scanner Someone got a bargain there, even with all the extra fees and taxes.
  21. Nice. A big selling point for those is the fact they're tri-format as most cleaners can't do 8mm, so they're suitable for labs that are focused on small format as well as 35mm.
  22. You need to just buy Filmfabrieks, they fill that niche now. They have something coming this year that's cheaper for 16mm. MovieStuff does it too. You need to abandon the MovieStuff software entirely to get the most out of it, and you need to remove their light and build your own light. Even with the cameras they come with this will improve the output, and then you can capture to camera-raw and avoid the 8bit compression forced by MovieStuff's host software. The reason why LG and others lock-down those settings is because they're mostly calibration related, so end-users shouldn't need to fiddle with them. If you really want to change them you can, you can either get LG to change them, or you can get the tools that they use to change them so long as you sign an NDA. Even I don't know more than that and exactly how they work, but I know enough to know they exist because every major scanner manufacturer has tools for editing the "hidden settings" whether they let the user have them or not (usually not - and that's not a bad thing as people would just break something and need support if they had them). Perry was simply explain PTR rollers can be purchased directly from Kodak - they're a standard product that anyone can buy. Matt from Kinograph was working on making their own so that you don't have to purchase them from Kodak as well. 5:34 in the video: Why not just email Matt and bring that product to market?
  23. The first Muller HD model was released in 2011, and MWA had a range of small format Bayer scanners as well. I wouldn't say that the they and the ScanStation, Kinetta, DSC Xena, and the Blackmagic Cintel weren't "major market" I'd say that they were market disrupters. Well 5K on RGB is far sharper than 5K on Bayer, so depending on what you want you may want to sharpen a Bayer scan in post if you want it to look more like an RGB scan.
  24. The resolution varies, but most theatrical prints are 1.5K-2K in resolution, but a good negative might exceed 4K greatly. A good showprint though might have 4K resolution as well, all depends on the quality of the print itself. I've seen 35mm prints that look almost as good as 70mm when projected. Also it's not all about resolution, the dynamic range of print exceeds that of Bayer digital even now. Joerg, you are my new best friend! Absolutely correct!! Yep older CCD sensors had limited dynamic range, they couldn't scan print well at all (the scanners didn't even have a setting to scan print - remember you used to have to get a special low-contrast print made for telecine transfer which cost considerably more than a normal projection print and they're normally 16mm but they can be 35mm), and the Bayer versions were even more limited. YES!!! Most older scanners have aggressive artificial sharpening that cannot be disabled. Even brand new scanners today come with artificial sharpening, though thankfully it can be disabled. To put it the way a mate of mine recently did: artificial sharpening in the initial scanning stage doesn't add anything that can't be done better later. Most "film grain" is digital noise, or enhanced by it. Resolution is one thing, dynamic range is another. While the newer Sony imagers are amazing even with a Bayer filter, they can't capture the same dynamic range as true RGB and they are softer from crosstalk. That's not necessarily a "bad" thing as many older movies get scanned and come out far, far sharper than they were ever intended to look in the cinema. The filmmaking and cinematography process took into account the intended look of the film once printed to the projection prints, and scanning the original negative can bring out details that were previously obscured such as making fine wires visible or makeup effects and matte paintings are more obvious, more details in the shadows that were previous obscured, etc. Any decent restoration will use a reference print for grading anyway, but the original negative itself was not color timed and is much sharper than the final print, usually. The other thing is, the older scanning systems are still in use today. Most scanners reached end of life in terms of development many years ago, like the Northlights that were discussed in another thread. With the others like Arriscans, DCS, LaserGraphics, Filmfabriek, and DFT - they have many different models, and in some cases every single scanner itself may be unique. Yeah digital scanners, but they had telecines that were a lot faster than that! Exactly. The price has come down like anything. A decade ago the going rates on a good 4K scan was in cents per frame not cents per foot like it is now. The scanner manufacturers had to compensate for limitations in both lighting and imager tech, newer LED lighting has solved the problem of using Xenon bulbs and splitting into R/G/B for sequential scanning and so on, and the 2019 Sony-chip cameras many feel are true CCD quality without the limitations of CCD. Not only that, but because the older tech took so much more engineering and was so complicated, most of the older scanners are mechanically unreliable and it's impossible to self-service them. I know that's not the case for every scanner, but it's a big difference compared to a modern LaserGraphics that is a literal workhorse and never complains or breaks down. As you say, this has opened the door to larger markets. With your example of Jurassic Park you are right: digital scanning was once pretty much exclusively for Hollywood special effects. Then in the 00's it was for post-production and film restoration as well, in the 10's it expanded into Archive markets, and now it's accessible affordably to the general public who can scan their home movies on the same ScanStation that a film restoration was done on for not that much more money than scanning on a Tobin or a RetroScan. I think MovieStuff is on its last legs... Clive retired many years ago, so that just leaves really FilmFabriek now for that market (yes I know there are others like Ventura Images but honestly for the same price as one of those you can buy a Pictor Pro). 2015 actually they put the JAI camera in, so 9 years ago. As you say, it would have solved CCD area imager tab balance problems, but the camera itself doesn't have as good dynamic range. Blackmagic are still using the same camera they launched with in 2015 or 2016 (I think prototypes went out in 2015 and launch to retail was 2016?) Regardless of the details, it remains amazing value for what you get, but the development is glacial because they don't have the R&D budget due to selling it so cheap and not charging a support contract. They announced the 8mm gate last year and it still hasn't hit the market! Obviously the Cintel will never be for finishing scans of 8mm, but basic support would be welcomed by users as they can make quick proxy inspection scans without tying up time on their proper 8mm scanner, or just to catalogue what they have etc.
  25. That's a very different takeaway compared to how I saw it! Moviestuff laid off most of their staff, and they have unfulfilled orders older than 12 months... It won't matter if they do, the settings mean nothing to the customer. A lot of the settings are locked-down by the scanning manufacturer as well and to change them you need a tech/developer to change the hidden settings for you. Even off functionally the same machine, you'll have different levels of quality control.
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