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Elliott Landy

Super 8 wetgate Transfer to HD. Who does this?

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I don't think you will find that available anywhere. Having it done on a Spirit or any modern HD/2K scanner is what you want and you'd be amazed at what it will do for that little format. Cinelicious and pro8 both are set up for real HD transfers from S8mm in LA.

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Hi Elliott,

I think Vincent is right. I've never heard of a Super 8mm wetgate system. At Cinelicious we do have a DVNR 2K with realtime dust/dirt removal that sits in the path of our Spirit which is putting out amazing true HD images from Super 8mm film. The DVNR cleans things up pretty well, and we can do manual restoration as well if a perfectly clean image is what you're after.

 

Best,

 

Paul

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The only wetgate systems out there for Super 8 are currently SD. (See Cinepost)

 

However, a lab can run your film through a little warm water with a little bit of cleaning solution which will take the hard edge of the scratches and flatten it a little and basically simulate a wet gate process without actually having a wet gate. Not exactly the same thing but really close. Then hand it off to Cinelicious or Lightpress (and many other transfer houses some of which advertise here) for a real professional HD transfer and additional clean up if it really needs it.

 

If dirt and scratches are still an issue after the cleaning process the higher-end systems have amazing digital tools for dealing with that. When they invest $1 Million+ in a system there's a reason.

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Unless you're using it to clean the film as well, wet gate primarily hides base-side scratches, fingerprints, etc. There's really only a need for this when using a system that has a collimated light source as in older-style telecines. If you use a modern film scanner that uses a diffuse light source (most do, including ours) there's really no need for a wet gate.

 

Base scratches are enhanced when a directed beam of light, going from the light source in a straight line to the sensor, encounters a scratch that causes the light to refract. Wet gates use a solvent with the same refractive index as the film base, effectively filling in the scratch temporarily to allow the collimated light to pass through unobstructed. This works well. But if the light source is diffuse, the scratch is naturally concealed, rendering a wet gate kind of pointless. And diffuse light doesn't require nasty carcinogenic chemicals like Perchloroethylene.

 

Here's a good illustration from Lasergraphics: http://www.lasergraphics.com/area-imager-vs-line-scanner-light-integration.html

 

Since a wet gate will only affect the base side, emulsion scratches will still be there. If the point is to try to clean the film of debris first, a better way to deal with dust and dirt is to actually clean the film before scanning, either manually or with a mechanical film cleaner.

 

Some scanners, like the Müller scanner from Filmfabriek claim to have a wet gate, but this is really just a pair of saturated rollers that uses isopropyl alcohol -- a perfectly good cleaning agent for film -- but it doesn't have the same refractive index as perc so it will do nothing for scratches. It's basically just a pre-scanning cleaner, not really a wet gate in the traditional sense.

Edited by Perry Paolantonio

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There was a transfer house in Atlanta that used to do Super 8 Wet-gate transfers. They were SD I believe. It does make a difference, but can't say for sure whether modern software to clean scratches up might be better or simply cleaning the film really well first.

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Cleaning the film will do nothing for scratches. If the scratches are on the base side, diffuse light scanners, OR wet gate/collimated light will conceal them, to a point. Really deep scratches are the exception. But a wet get with a diffuse light is redundant.

 

Nothing will conceal an emulsion scratch.

Digital scratch removal - we don't call it that when talking to clients about potential restoration work, because it sets the expectation too high. There are some kinds of scratches that can be completely removed digitally, but with most, you're talking about concealment. If the scratch doesn't move a lot, it's virtually impossible to completely get rid of, without some artifacting left behind.

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Well, i do a sort of wet gate with diffuse light too. To me diffuse light helps with my sysyem since i have tested collimated light with worse achievement . I soak the film with vaseline oil then pass trough mechanical cleaning system. This way dust and dirt are removed and the film remains wet. Finally i scan the film emulsion for the highest quality. I can scan from sd to 2.5k to image sequence. This system works best with reversal, with negative film the difference is not noticeable aside dust and dirt removed.

Here a brief description. (hem , the voice is robot,sorry for some weird pronunciation)

https://www.facebook.com/265618923958142/videos/268955433624491/

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This is Super-8mm we are talking about, so a workable wet gate system that takes out any scratches can still be a significant improvement since any abrasion is enlarged considerably more than if it occurred on 16mm or 35mm. I recall Film and Video Transfers has offered wet gate in the past. I do not know if they still offer it however.

 

Films just processed and then transferred immediately probably don't need wet gate, films that are unspooled over viewed on a viewer might benefit from wet gate.

 

After determining how used or unused the Super-8 film is for purposes of wet gating, another consideration is how many splices are within the footage. If we are talking about a splice every 50 feet, then wet gate is an intriguing option to have. If a person has an already edited film with many tape splices or even cement splices than wet gate becomes a less desirable option.

 

And on a side note, make sure you have Super-8 reels with a bigger hub as that tends to provide a smoother transport than using 50 foot reels.

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