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Dan Baxter

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Everything posted by Dan Baxter

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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?
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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?
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. The Director 10K had a horrible imager, LaserGraphics changed it to a 6K Sony in 2019 while still calling it "Director 10K" (it could natively do higher than 10K with microscanning but they opted not to call it "Director 12K") so yes it will make a difference compared to which one it is. Now it appears they have a choice of different imagers.
  14. Yeah that was my point, although not just CFA but also area-scan like Director which now go for $10K and are sold as consumer-electronics (used that is!) Yes I know Arriscan still has the sprocket transports (as well as the other option) even with the latest model.
  15. The spirit is completely different it has a line-sensor. If the film isn't perfectly steady through that then the transfer is warped and it looks deformed. That kind of design won't handle even the most slightly shrunken film because you're vertically stacking lines to make a picture. If you're looking at a spirit scan that is not looking perfectly steady then the scan is deformed. They were designed as a telecine not a digital scanner, the whole idea is you have a 2K or higher line-sensor (they went all the way up to 8K I think) with a height of 1, 2, or 3 pixels and then when you set the output resolution it selects how many lines it has to stack to make the output. You can do low-resolution TV formats (256 vertical lines), standard resolution TV (480/576), high definition (720/1080), other formats common to PCs before 1920x1080 became the standard (so you could transfer to 640x480 for inserting into a video game for example), or even 2K and 4K depending on the model.
  16. For 35mm the LaserGraphics only uses the perfs on one side of the film for stabilisation (the side that the optical soundtrack goes on). It's one of those "under-the-hood" settings you can't change.
  17. Nice photo Robert, I like the way you use the camera column to hold the tape too - very practical, and you can see how the rollers are the same. They are in different overall transports/pathways though which would seem to represent the result of continued R&D (the capstan on the SSP and Archivist are on opposite sides for example). That's one of the design issues with the HDS+ - where the "wetgate sponges" go isn't ideal, and as Tyler as mentioned neither is the placement of the laser, but they haven't modified the pathway to deal with this. Here's a pic of one of the very first Filmfabriek Film Müller Framescanners, purchased by the Internet Archive: That was the first one in the US at least and interestingly even it had the wetgate sponges in the same spot way back in 2011. The film path though similar to the HDS+ is a clearly a little different.
  18. Oh right split-reels of course, I had a complete brain-fart there! Yep that's exactly what I'm thinking. Most of the big-boy scanners are at an angle, even telecines were at an angle: So it's a design that has stood the test of time (look at the rollers on the Rank-Cintel Mk-III above - they don't look very "archival"). If you're using it for cleaning you want to a use a Kelmar or for small format a Film-O-Clean and it coats it evenly so it doesn't make a mess when you run it through a projector (you can attach them directly to projectors that's how they're designed). I've heard about people attaching them to scanners as well, but that's not as useful as you may need to put a reel through it multiple times to clean it, and if you need to rewind a scanner you'd need to then remove the film from the Kelmar, rewind back to where you need to be, and thread it back through. Film-Guard can make a mess if someone has hand-cleaned the film and used too much, but the Kelmar or Film-O-Clean will give the film the correct dosage so-to-speak. You could also use Isopropyl but it can dry out film, so you'd normally want to re-lubricate it afterwards with Film-Guard. Isopar-G is another good cleaning chemical. Yeah the laser method has issues and its location doesn't seem ideal. I was told about that flaw a couple of years ago (doesn't work well with warped film and can drop frames I was told), and the Pictor has a "sprocket idler wheel". Ideally the HDS+ would have both - the sprocket idler wheel and the laser and the choice to bypass the sprocket wheel for damaged or warped film, OR it would have accurate software optical registration instead. But you can't have everything for a €30K scanner, and as you say you can't really compare it to a Lasergraphics Archivist as the Archivist is produced using the software and hardware developed for the Director and the ScanStation.
  19. That's just the previous model, and before that the Muller HD. HDS+ is the most recent. I'd be happy to get you a sample doing "wetgate" with Film-Guard on a Lasergraphics and you can compare it against yours and upload the comparison. Film-Guard is a lubricant designed to give the effect for projection, and the ScanStation is a capstan-driven scanner so cats and dogs living together basically, but apparently it works as long as you have a grippy capstan and the film isn't completely soaked in Film-Guard. Does the FF go straight to 12-bit raw bayer dng and you work from there? The Pictor's a really nice design. By nice I mean practical. The film path looks so short you should rarely need to add any film leader to run it through, it goes right-to-left which is a better design than left-to-right if you want the option of potentially putting the film through a Film-O-Clean at the same time (the Film-O-Clean is designed like a Kelmar for projectors which effectively means if you were to attach it to the scanner - or just bolt it to the table it would be facing the wrong way for left-to-right scanners), and it has a little bath to catch the excess "wetgate" chemical and no capstan after the wetgate sponges. Really the only negative thing I could say about it is it requires reels so you can't scan off cores, for 8mm that probably doesn't matter too much but it would matter a lot more for 16mm, especially if one was expecting to use it for dailies as 16mm will come prepped from the lab on a core with leader attached ready to go straight on a scanner (or the film printer). How does 8mm normally come fresh processed from the lab Tyler - the same way? So my idea would be you redsign it so that it's at an angle like the ScanStation or the Blackmagic Cintel instead of being directly vertical and include those plates that the naked cored-film can sit on. I don't know how much that would complicate the design though as I'm no engineer. I've suggested to my mate that he suggests to the higher-ups at FF that they should look into making a 16mm version. People buy moviestuff scanners because they're cheap and do both formats, so if they could provide a 16mm version it would basically eliminate the need for Moviestuff to even exist now if you get what I mean. People could start out with one at basically the same entry price as a Retroscan Universal MkII but with just one format, and then buy another one for the other format. And you're right they should offer 4K and 5K configurations for them. The issue with 5K no-doubt though will be the transfer speed, you can transfer 4K DNGs at 24fps over USB3 but as transfer rate goes up you need a faster connection or a slower machine.
  20. The cost for the SSPs was $50K, and I assume that you don't get a large discount off the used ones - rather you would have to option to buy it right away instead of having to wait 3-4 months to commission a new scanner (could even be longer than that at the moment) and it will be serviced and ready-to-go. The SSPs came in two varieties - 35/16 which was designed I think to compete against the Cintels mainly (they also have an 8mm gate but horribly low resolution obviously due to the fixed camera), and then they had another option for 16/8. The Archivist was going to be the same, the 35mm option appeared on the website very briefly before Stefan changed his mind on it. It's a discontinued product now. I assume that any ones they take back now will be converted into Archivists. If you have the opportunity to see an Archivist in person what you will notice is that it has 35mm rollers on it - they're exactly the same rollers as the ones on the ScanStation and the newer Directors except in plastic and you can buy the chrome rollers as an upgrade. The Archivist is a better version of the 16/8 SSP really with a better camera and more features, but you may be stuck with the features it has as LG may not offer any improvements to it later. It's yet to be seen what they do, hopefully though they treat the product differently to how they treated the SSP and they offer improvements to it in the same way they do for their higher-end scanners. Here are some pictures to illustrate the rollers off a couple of random websites. First the plastic rollers: With the 16mm mag film you can quite clearly see it has 35mm rollers despite being a 16mm scanner. Those photos are from this website. And Chrome Roller option from this website: I don't know if the ScanStation Personals had the choice of chrome rollers or not, I don't think they did. Just because they're the same rollers as the Director and ScanStation though doesn't mean the motor is the same, the motor inside that drives the film is called the "transport module" and obviously you need a more powerful motor for 35mm and then an even more powerful one for large-format for the models that support 65mm. Maybe you can get Robert to take a couple of photos of the transport modules in his two LaserGraphics scanners and see if they look different.
  21. Refurbished through MMT (.25-.50/ft speeds). I believe they can build new ones as well from scratch. They're not ready to go, if you commission a rebuild/refurbishment it likely takes around 3-4 months or so before you get it after you pay the downpayment.
  22. If you actually buy one I can bother a mate of mine about documentation, he might be able to find a manual. That said, there's a few people we know have purchased (or acquired for free) different film machines and then have no idea what to do with them including old scanners/telecines. For reference I think the price for a good refurbished fast ones like they use in wetlabs in the US through MMT is around USD $50K at the moment and they come ready to go with all the required tanks etc.
  23. Film doesn't have a gamut as wide as Rec.2020 and Rec.2020 isn't full gamut either. Anyway we know how to force it to do full gamut... but what we don't know yet is whether it matters at all to the final quality. That will require further testing with the right type of film. There's a WIP manual for it now that's available to users... previously you're correct there was very little in the way of documentation. I'm really not following you here Carl. You can't just scan a film and expect the scan to look exactly like a brand new projection print without any colour work. For many scanners grading is difficult, try grading a faded film off a GodenEye sometime - you won't be impressed.
  24. Hey Pete, good to see you back! Yeah we've discovered some new stuff with the ScanStation that I know you'll be interested in (it pertains to a problem you literally told me about in person haha). 🙂 I'll shoot you an email and fill you in on some other interesting things I know you'll be interested in. Pertaining to the OP's original question - Kodak's NYC lab has recently replaced their Cintel with a ScanStation for dailies.
  25. Don't make conclusions from this discussion. You can make it go a little bit beyond the Rec.709 colour space and get wide gamut using very specific scan settings, but we're still not sure if it really matters or not. It isn't clipping anything, it seems to be that for most formats what it does is use a LUT to convert the full gamut into Rec.709. That isn't necessarily a bad thing because if it didn't do that you'd get clipping if you did no post colour correction. Please have a look sometime at how the Blackmagic Cintel works - Blackmagic supplies the user with LUTs they have to use to convert the scan into a usable colour space in Resolve, so that the LG does this under-the-hood for you isn't necessarily a bad thing, it doesn't mean you're losing anything, it doesn't stop you doing HDR grades, it doesn't appear to be irreversible, and it cuts down the post-scan work required to make a deliverable file. That is to say if the scan has 10-12 true stops of dynamic range in it, it doesn't appear to be losing any of the dynamic range in the Rec.709 conversion. Also trust me on this: lots of Lasergraphics users think they know more about them than they actually do, we've discovered stuff that nobody else has known. I'm not talking about the obvious stuff that any professional company knows about. Yes there's an absence of under-the-hood settings, but again that's not really a negative. Even with a scanner as seemingly basic as a ScanStation in terms of software settings, the average user still has enough trouble as it is making them do consistent quality work. If you could change every under-the-hood setting you would quickly break it. As an example - let's say you need to scan without the diffusion concealing the base scratches because you have a job that requires you see all the film damage: a ScanStation can't do that. If you put something in front of the light to to make the effect go away then it gets confused and it can no longer find the perfs to register the frame. So that's an under-the-hood setting and changing it would require rewriting the capture software and providing an entirely new light-box with a software setting allowing you use the diffusion to hide damage or to make it visible. If enough users wanted that feature I'm sure they could add it, but most users would just use another scanner for jobs like that. So the point is that just because there's an under-the-hood setting that you can't change, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's a bad thing - if you want complete control over everything you can always commission a DCS Xena!
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