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Dan Baxter

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Everything posted by Dan Baxter

  1. @Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Here's your massive news for 2024! https://www.moviestuff.tv/ https://web.archive.org/web/20240223104029/https://www.moviestuff.tv/
  2. The issue was that paper was that some of the operators were inexperienced with print and the types of film they were testing. At the same time though, it did expose the truth in the sense that two different operators with different levels of experience and expertise can produce two entirely different results, even off the very same machine (or identical model machines).
  3. Jeez that is a shame. Yes if it's working condition and you can see it working. A Support Contract with Filmlight would not make any sense in 2024, a replacement gate will cost you high six figure. So if you were buying one today, you'd have to expect you're not going to repair it if it breaks down. The settings on an LG set in the factory can be changed, but they don't let just any user fiddle with them.
  4. $125K WAS the price, in 2021 (not 2024) and with no extra frills like hardware sound readers: For TWO gates, not three. So whether you pick 35/16 or 16/8 that was the price, again I stress: three years ago. The post-pandemic price has gone up, but not to $197K - that's most likely a quote for a 3-gate fully-loaded ScanStation which would have all the hardware sound readers as well. Everything is an optional expense though, so you can buy your third gate later for example and the base price is lower. Soap and water. But the PTR rollers are designed for film that's already been cleaned, that was my point. On the ScanStation they can be bypassed entirely, so you can do your evaluation scans at 60fps on film that hasn't been cleaned and you're not risking causing cinch damage on the PTR rollers which can happen with abrasive dirt. Yeah, IF. You don't need to buy it fully-loaded. Although it does have a support contract/extended warranty which you have to pay if it's financed so that needs to be factored in to any budget. I think the SSP was designed to compete against the Blackmagic Cintels? Blackmagic have never changed the camera and it has worse dynamic range.
  5. Well, assuming that LaserGraphics will sell you a 35mm Archivist as it's not an official product, it will cost around $70-80K. Blackmagic's development team is tiny. They've been selling Cintel scanners since 2015 or 2016 and their priority now, as it should be, is supporting their existing users. You've said this for years Tyler! It's not the only issue. Even if you don't care about the quality of the final scan because, as you say you have an archive client that just wants to understand the value of their assets and needs a quick cheap "evaluation scan", a LaserGraphics can do 60fps but the Cintel can only do 30fps. Time is money. Obviously with setting up the reels, etc, you won't actually get through 2x the volume of film, but you might get through 60% more film or something like that in the same amount of time. Don't forget you also have 4 PTR rollers that are supposed to be cleaned between every single reel of film on the Cintel, and you can't bypass them. There is no upgrade path either. That's a major limitation of the Blackmagic Cintels. Let's say they do upgrade the imager, you'll have to buy a brand new scanner to get it - it won't be available for older scanners, and there's no way they're going to support a zoom-lens optical module as you're suggesting. It is always going to be a fixed-camera system with the maximum resolution on 35mm only. Everyone who's main scanning biz is 16mm has been asking for that since the scanner launched, and you still cannot buy them for full-resolution 16mm with no 35mm support. LaserGraphics were selling 16mm ScanStation Personals in 2015 (drop the 35mm support for better resolution on 16mm and 8mm). HDR is another issue with Blackmagic Cintels. Nobody who does commercial scanning actually offers HDR scanning on Cintels because it's highly unreliable. It's also designed to solve a problem that is better solved by changing the camera for one with better dynamic range. If the Blackmagic Cintel moves to $50K, and that's a very big IF, it will move with all its current existing limitations. Do not get me wrong, for its price-point the scanner is incredible value and worth every cent. At $50K it will still be incredible value. But, it was designed as a cheap way to bring film to UHD streaming - commercial scanning was never its target. It is not a serious scanner in the commercial scanning market.
  6. Blackmagic wouldn't put a competitor's camera in their scanner, and nor would they need to really as they have other cameras that are decent and have better dynamic range. Once you go above 4K pixel camera resolution you increase the hardware requirements too far of the host computer, and the Blackmagic scanners don't have a host computer - they're designed to run on MacBooks and other consumer-grade desktops. But yes I've heard from those that know their stuff that changing the camera is not straightforward and would require total reprogramming in Resolve to support it in addition to what you say about the hardware support. If they do change it for a new camera in the next model it will likely be exclusive to the Cintel 5, you won't be able to put it into existing Cintels as there's no upgrade path and it would cost Blackmagic too much to support such upgrades. It'd be good if BMD moved their price-point to $50K and included a host computer, but I don't see that happening. In any case, as we've seen, they're not going to change the camera unless their limited R&D resources allow for it, and they haven't too date. They're still working on getting the 8mm gate to market right now and probably other things that are a higher priority to them, BMD has a very large existing customer base with them now so they're probably focused more on the needs of their existing customers compared to prospective new ones who have to purchase other scanners as it is. Well CMOS has improved in quality and overtaken CCD imagers in the primary choice for film scanners, so that has been a major advancement. The 6.5K Sony Imagers you mention are 5 years old now (with the cameras that are used in the scanners not yet 5 years old), and they're the ones that most in industry would say are true CCD quality with anything CMOS before them having less dynamic range than CCD would deliver natively. I'd agree with that. They have their own limitations of course, but they are definitely the best bang-for-buck.
  7. Support contracts pay for software upgrades and for continued development. There are multiple approaches that have taken place, some companies require that you have an active support contract to get replacement parts, others like Arri will give you a discount on replacement parts and priority service rather than require you have a contract to get them (that's my understanding anyway), FilmFabrik and Blackmagic and Moveistuff do not require a support contract and support is built into the base cost of the scanners and then provided for free (although you may have to pay for major software updates). This is also the case with older machines, so you need to know your stuff and whether the replacement parts you'll need to get will be available or not. That's why some old scanners and telecines will sell, albeit not for very much now, and others won't. The ones that will sell for $5,000 or more are the ones you can still maintain today without spending a fortune, and anything else is effectively more of a burden than it's worth and obviously much, much more limited in what actually do compared to a modern scanner. FF have a new model scanner hitting the market next year so keep an eye out for that. If you know anyone thinking about buying a RetroScan I'd suggest they should probably wait until next year and in the meantime have a chat with FF about commissioning a scanner from them. MS have really dropped the ball post-pandemic. They have been unable to source their parts, people have been paying in full up front and then waiting in some cases longer than a year for delivery of their scanner - and many will be disappointed when they get them and it breaks down after they put a couple of dozen reels through it (which is not much film).
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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?
  18. 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.
  19. 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!
  20. Yeah, but you have a more recent model - I meant the earliest one they released back in 2005 or 2006.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
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