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Todd Ruel

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  1. This is a good question. How are all of these arcane, difficult-to-achieve processes available to an average film transfer guy like me? Or do you recommend a specific vendor whom I should simply send my films to? (I don't necessarily feel compelled to DIY all this stuff. Rewashes. Baths. It sounds like more work than I want to commit to doing.)
  2. Andrew, I think Perry successfully convinced me not to use FilmGuard. I don't really need a lot of oily gunk on my machinery. If it requires too much cleanup afterward, then I'm not a fan. I'll stick with 99.9% isopropyl. However, I will proceed with trying to make this Film-O-Clean box work inline with the scanning process. As I've said before, I have nothing to lose. Very low risk even if I fail. I will investigate Gambol.
  3. Okay. So if someone offered those modifications as kits, would that bring the price of a RetroScan MKII up to, say, $16K? If yes, that's still cheaper than an HDS+ by about 24K. (Believe me, I know there are other variables here, but are we in the ballpark for an accurate price?)
  4. Thanks, Perry. I'll compromise. I'll try to bolt on this Film-O-Clean device, but I'll stay away from FilmGuard. If you have a special case, like, say, the film is coated with nicotine, would you still use isopropyl, or is there something better? (I have run into a few nicotine-stained prints in my time, especially if a home movie came from a smoker's house.)
  5. Perry, what’s been your best solution for cleaning film (Lipsner-Smith/perc excluded)?
  6. I’ve set up an auto responder to post to this forum if the Acme anvil flattens me: “Didn’t work.”
  7. Still gonna try it. It will probably look weird/bizarre, but if it reduces lines better than the existing isopropyl method, then that’s a win. Worst case scenario: it does’t work, and I mount the Film-O-Clean to my rewind bench and now have a better film cleaning mechanism than my vintage Ecco cleaner. Because the HDS+ is so modular, I have nothing to lose by removing unneeded parts. If the experiment doesn’t work, I simply plug the parts back in.
  8. Tonight, I had a really nice conversation with Roy Neil, the inventor of the Film-O-Clean. He told me has heard from at least 10 ScanStation owners who have modified their machines to include the Film-O-Clean inline during the scan. He also said that many RetroScan owners have modded their machines to include the Film-O-Clean. I told him that I have a Filmfabriek HDS+ and asked if anyone had ever modded one to include the Film-O-Clean. He said no. He also suggested that if I did add it to the machine as part of the scanning process, I should remove the PTR rollers and not use the wet gate feature. (Reason: he suggests using FilmGuard as a cleaner, because it fills in scratches really well if it's used right before capture. He also said it doesn't work with PTR rollers and doesn't play nice with the isopropyl alcohol that Filmfabriek recommends for its wet gate system.) To all of you who use film scanners regularly, how do you clean your film? (No Lipsner-Smith owners, please. I get that it's top of the line and the best way to clean films, but I can't afford one of those machines yet.) Do any of you have any pix of your scanners modded with a Film-O-Clean or some other cleaning mechanism? I'm curious about what others are doing successfully. Also curious about what you learned along the way.
  9. All good. It would be interesting to price out a Retroscan MKII with a good 4K camera mod. If the MKII costs $10K, how much would the 4K camera mod add to that price? It should easily be under the $40K that Roger Don Evans asks for the MKII. Would that modded MKII be worth it? Exactly. I get a little discouraged by all of the talk about ScanStations and Scannitys, etc. It creates the impression (intentional or unintentional) that these are the only machines one should use to properly transfer film. I couldn't disagree more. I started out on a Retroscan MK I. When I got enough money together, I bought the Filmfabriek HDS+. And if I get some more cash, I might get a Baby Kinetta or a ScanStation Archivist. I've discovered that I can do amazing things with the scans from all these machines. The better the machine, the more of your time you buy back. But, as I mentioned earlier, if you can't buy your time upfront, you spend it later in post.
  10. I'm using it for film restoration. Since I couldn't afford a Scannity with a bespoke $250,000 liquidgate immersion tank, I had to settle for a $40K HDS+, a $10,000 Diamant Film Restoration Suite software license, and a $10,000 Windows workstation to run Diamant. The HDS+ greatly reduces vertical lines, but it does not eliminate them entirely. So I use restoration software to paint it or filter it out. When you can't afford the equipment that saves you time, you buy other equipment that gets the job done but costs you time. In the fast/cheap/good model, I had to choose "cheap" and "good". Bottom line: there are collections of cheaper tools out there that can achieve the same results as the top-of-the-line tools. You just have to weigh and accept the tradeoffs. The Filmfabriek HDS+, far from being a toy or a home movie transfer machine (pejorative terms IMO) is a professional tool that helps me get the job done. I hope it helps me earn my way toward a ScanStation or something better. Until then, the HDS+ is a great film scanner for me.
  11. The mod that the Retroscan really needs is a 4K camera. Do you know of anyone who has modified a MKII with a better camera/sensor?
  12. All good. Just looking for another solution. I have a vintage Ecco, but it takes forever to clean a film with that machine. The Film-O-Clean MK 3 on the Wittner-Cinetec site is $1,264, so I'm looking for something less costly (if possible). Can't possibly afford a Lipsner-Smith. Your machine looks very nice!
  13. I have an HDS+, too, and it's a very capable toy. Built like a tank. Quite like a really useful machine. My case use is slightly different from others. I buy public domain car films (automotive industrials, commercials, etc.) off of eBay, scan them with the HDS+, do color correction with Resolve, restoration with Diamant, and upload clips from those films to Getty Images. I make decent monthly passive income that is slowly increasing as I add more clips over time. I'm doing archival work but for a commercial purpose (financial self interest). Kinda like an automotive-based Rick Prelinger, who has a huge number of clips for sale on Getty. My point is: there are several different uses for these steadily cheaper/decent quality scanners. I'm not shooting features. I'm not a film studio leveraging its archive. I'm a guy who sees a financial opportunity in monetizing material in the public domain. To me, it's fascinating to read about other case uses for these scanners as they become more affordable. (PS: Dan Baxter, thanks for your link to the Kelmar equipment. I'm not experienced enough yet to be aware of it. If I call them, are they more accessible and forthcoming about their prices?)
  14. Two questions: 1) Does it work? 2) How much would you charge to build and sell me one? (Unlike the folks on the Kinograph forum web site, I have no desire to DIY. Not my area of expertise.)
  15. How easy are these machines to get? When I go to Roy Neil's web site, there is a bunch of gibberish code. (Safari or Firefox, makes no difference. I get the same result.) I like the look of this little machine, but I figure that if the web site is that buggy and not up-to-date, how reliable is the vendor or his product?
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