Jump to content
Scott Pickering

Transfer Company = New Lasergraphics "Director 10K"?

Recommended Posts

Adam, thank you for showing us that. Super 8 is somewhat underestimated. However, in that example, the lab did apply grain removal and a small amount of sharpening. But in order to do that well you need a high resolution scan. 4K is perhaps overkill but I can see the logic of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I scanned my Super 8 at 5K at Gamma Ray D. and even at that rate I can see the difference. It may not be super detailed, but as the other said- the image is smooth and clean looking. Even at 5K the grain doesn't show much on bright sections of the film (like sunny day shots). I'd like to see what 10K can do. 10K can be scaled down to 8K, whenever 8K becomes a normal use standard. It may be overkill, but the difference is still noticeable. Someone said 35mm has more rez then even todays scanners can do, so I imagine Super 8 would still be improved on a 10K device.

I downscaled my 5K material to DVD and then to VHS. Its amazing how much rez you lose doing to lesser formats. VHS looks really bad compared to the 5K stuff.

Here is my 5K material downrezzed to 4K MP4:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLU6kMX5ZB8

Edited by Scott Pickering
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Scott, thanks very much for that example. I agree with your rationale - the higher resolution you scan with, the larger you can display the footage, regardless of its actual resolving power.

 

If you are willing to share a couple of raw frames I'd love to have a look at them. I especially like the mountain shots. Very Twin Peaks like. ;-)

In this case the lens was the weak point of the footage, so imagine what a good lens will show. The grain was very well controlled - I assume that you did not use grain removal? In any case, proper cine scanners never exaggerate grain, unlike photographic scanners such as the Pakon F135 or the Noritsu or the Coolscan.

 

So it seems that Super 8 is the new 16mm. I did a rough calculation once, IIRC, and based on the fact that Super 8 can resolve 720 lines, 5-perf 65mm is equivalent to 10K across - 50% more than a RED 8K sensor once you take into account debayering (though keep in mind that the RED sensors & cameras are unparalleled achievements).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So it seems that Super 8 is the new 16mm. I did a rough calculation once, IIRC, and based on the fact that Super 8 can resolve 720 lines, 5-perf 65mm is equivalent to 10K across - 50% more than a RED 8K sensor once you take into account debayering (though keep in mind that the RED sensors & cameras are unparalleled achievements).

 

Where does this 720 number come from?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Where does this 720 number come from?

 

Good question. I forgot! I remember calculating from a nominal resolution for 16mm. I think ARRI was one source. And also a few people saying that they got more out of Super 16mm with a 3K scan than a 2K scan. I know there's another source out there but I don't recall.

 

So now I'm going to try some theory - bear in mind that I don't know how to properly interpret MTF charts. I have a photocopy of a data sheet for Eastman EXR 200T 5293. It says that the maximum resolving power, at high contrast, while averaging the R G and B layers, is about 175 cycles/mm. This seems a little high to me so I'm going to assume 100 cycles/mm to be conservative.

 

If I am correct, 100 cycles/mm translates to 200 lp/mm, which translates to 200 lines/mm. A Super 8 frame has a specified height of 4.01mm, which I will round to 4.00. So 4.00 x 200 = 800 = 800 lines.

 

I remember doing this sort of calculation for Super 8 Kodachrome 40 back in the '90s. At the time, I recall that K40 had a resolving power of 125 lines/mm, which gives a maximum of 500 lines of resolution, which was pretty good. But PAL was still a bit higher. But all this assumes that the numbers are meaningful and interpreted correctly.

 

Obviously we're not saying that we're going to get 720 lines out of pushed 7219. And you need a sharp lens - consumer Super 8 cameras do not have the best lenses.

Edited by Karim D. Ghantous

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem here is oversimplification. For one thing, if there are half a dozen film stocks available for Super 8, each is going to vary in its resolving power. So a blanket statement that "Super 8 has X resolution" is like saying "All cars drive fast." Tell that to the owner of a Yugo.

 

But the larger point is that if you're talking about film resolution in the context of scanning, you always want higher resolution scans for a few reasons:

 

1) It avoids having to digitally scale the image if you need a higher res later. The example I keep bringing up is that UHD televisions are now available for under $300. If you scan to HD or 2k, you will have to scale that image up 3-4 times to fit the UHD frame. Something has to make up picture, whether it's the television, or in post, or in some set-top device. But when you do that, you get a softer image. No way around that.

 

2) the grain is the image on the film. The higher resolution the scan, the more well resolved the film grain is. Forget about lp/mm on the picture itself. If you want the best reproduction of the film, you need more samples. Would you mix the soundtrack for your film at 11kHz or 96kHz? More samples = higher fidelity because you're able to more closely represent a continuous stream of analog information in the digital realm. Are you going to make the image on the film sharper? Past a certain point, no. But you are going to get a better looking overall scan if you do it at higher resolutions, because you're seeing less averaging happening in the scanner than you do at lower resolutions.

 

3) Oversampling: Even if you only want a 2k image, you get a better result by scanning at 4k and scaling down, because you're effectively oversampling the image (see #2, which is related to this).

 

Making blanket statements that Super 8 has a certain fixed resolution makes no sense because there are *way* too many variables: Film stock, lighting, f/stop, lens, focus, subject movement, camera movement, exposure setting, and then there are almost as many (some of the same) on the scanning side. And it ignores the other post-production related issues I just covered, which should always be considered when deciding what resolution to scan at.

 

A camera such as the Logmar or the new Kodak camera, or a Nikon, Canon, Beaulieu, Leicina, Nizo, and many others, have excellent glass and more sophisticated internal systems than your average cheap consumer camera. They produce significantly better images by addressing many of the variables listed above, and the difference between an HD and a 4k scan is noticeable.

Edited by Perry Paolantonio

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Making blanket statements that Super 8 has a certain fixed resolution makes no sense because there are *way* too many variables: Film stock, lighting, f/stop, lens, focus, subject movement, camera movement, exposure setting, and then there are almost as many (some of the same) on the scanning side.

Yep. I've mixed shots from Canon AF310xl (possibly the worst looking Super 8 camera available) with my Beaulieu 4008 and it looks like Regular 8 vs. 16mm. night and day difference in sharpness.

 

I've actually had noticeably better results with Regular 8mm shot with a decent lens than some cheap Super 8 cameras.

 

Here's a sample of bad Super 8 cameras (and bad operator) and good Super 8 cameras in one piece. However, I actually like the out-of-focus shots in some situations...especially in home movies.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Usually the biggest reason for poor image in Super 8 vs Regular 8 is the gate. A regular 8 camera has a proper gate and keeps the film flat in the gate during exposure. The film tends to flap in the breeze of the gate of a Super 8 camera. The cheaper the camera, generally the worse this issue is.

 

Another draw back of cheap Super 8 cameras is crap lenses. Many of the later ones were actually plastic. Ick!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found one place that has the new 10K scanner, but they don't do Super 8 on it yet. Apparently they've only sold one of these machines so far.

 

Do you mind if I ask why you could potentially need a 10K scan of Super 8 film? Here I am considering the value of 4K for grain resolution in Super 16mm. The lines of resolution in the film are so far below the resolution of the scan that it is almost an exercise of trying to cause the resolution of the grain to become the central focus of the scan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Do you mind if I ask why you could potentially need a 10K scan of Super 8 film? Here I am considering the value of 4K for grain resolution in Super 16mm. The lines of resolution in the film are so far below the resolution of the scan that it is almost an exercise of trying to cause the resolution of the grain to become the central focus of the scan.

 

This is in fact, precisely the point, and your goal should be to get the highest resolution of the grain that you can. The grain IS the image.

 

http://www.gammaraydigital.com/blog/busting-resolution-myth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

This is in fact, precisely the point, and your goal should be to get the highest resolution of the grain that you can. The grain IS the image.

 

http://www.gammaraydigital.com/blog/busting-resolution-myth

 

I hear you loud and clear on that. But future-proofing something shot in Super 8 at 10K is....well....let's just say, maybe it reminds me a little of that weird 12-barrelled gun Leonardo DaVinci drew a sketch of. It's really nice in theory....don't think I'm ever going to equip any soldiers with it for very simple practical reasons. I mean speaking of diminishing returns, is it really in a labs' best interests to be investing their resources into 10K Super 8 technology? If we're moving into that sort of realm of cost-efficiency, then let's just bring back Technicolor, because that looked amazing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I hear you loud and clear on that. But future-proofing something shot in Super 8 at 10K is....well....let's just say, maybe it reminds me a little of that weird 12-barrelled gun Leonardo DaVinci drew a sketch of. It's really nice in theory....don't think I'm ever going to equip any soldiers with it for very simple practical reasons. I mean speaking of diminishing returns, is it really in a labs' best interests to be investing their resources into 10K Super 8 technology? If we're moving into that sort of realm of cost-efficiency, then let's just bring back Technicolor, because that looked amazing.

 

We do a lot of work for archives, and a *lot* of archival film is deteriorating. Scanning at high resolutions now may the last chance for a given film because 10 years from now, when someone needs a higher resolution version, the film may no longer be viable.

 

Once film starts to break down, the only way to retard the deterioration is to put it into a deep freeze, which is even more hugely expensive than sticking it on a shelf in an air conditioned archive. It only happens with a handful of the most important films.

 

As outlined in that article, at a certain scan resolution you're going to hit a point of diminishing returns as far as how much detail you can squeeze out of the image. That point varies depending on a bunch of factors that have to do with the way the film was shot, as well as the scanner being used. But once you've passed that point, the argument changes - it becomes about avoiding softening the image when you blow it up. See the last photo in the article, which has a 2k blowup to 4k compared with a 4k native scan.

 

4k Televisions are here, and are cheap. 8k displays are coming. My personal opinion is that 8k is probably going to be the end of the resolution wars with screens. I mean once you have a screen with that kind of pixel density, you're only going to see an improvement in quality if your screen is the size of a wall. On a practical level, even the people who want massive screens have limits - like the size of the room it goes in.

 

So yeah, I do see some validity to the 10k scanner. It's something we're considering getting, because we're beginning to see more call for higher resolution scans, particularly with archival scans. As it is now, we regularly scan 8mm film at 4k or 5k with full overscan, for documentary filmmakers who want to include archival material in their 4k programs. When they start working in 8k, there will be a similar need.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting points. But can we also have Technicolor?

 

In all seriousness, I appreciate the depth of your writing in that response, Perry. Very well sums it up. Also, I really cant ever bash anyone for working toward the larger picture here....supporting the advances in these technologies that keep film viable in the first place. Now, is it sad that a near-perfected, already beautiful, perfectly functional industry of purely photochemical workflows has deteriorated? Well, yes. That makes even me, who has never worked with it, very sad. But, I am very happy that there are some systems being developed that keep film in the game (and actually above the game in many ways). So theres that. As for the every-day super 8 test...its still very much debatable. Ive had (curiously) most labs actually talk me down from the overscan in almost every case. Citing the negligible increase. However, the functionality of systems for the future is obviously a critical point. It isnt bad to calculate for that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good info Perry. Wanting the 10K scan is the reason you mentioned about 8K monitors. I'm thinking future proof there too. Let me know if you get this scanner. I'll get the HDR option with the 10K scan for best results.

 

Perry- compared to 5K, how much space do you think a 10K 16 bit DPX file will be?

Edited by Scott Pickering

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Been a year. Is there any other companies out there that has one of these machines now? Find it strange they've only sold 1 in the entire USA. And that company doesn't do smaller guages like Super 8.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know they've sold a ton of ScanStations, and at NAB they said they had sold some 10K directors but the places we talked about were overseas. I don't think they were commercial facilities. Of course, that was several months ago.

 

One thing worth noting with the Director is that you will not get 10k scans from Super 8. It's limited to about 5k. This is because it doesn't have the same optical system as the ScanStation, which allows the frame to fill the sensor. It's 10k for 35mm, a bit over 8K for 16mm and 5k for Super 8/8mm. Physical limitation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Been a year. Is there any other companies out there that has one of these machines now? Find it strange they've only sold 1 in the entire USA. And that company doesn't do smaller guages like Super 8.

Why not write the company? Go to the source.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Guys

 

I just got back from Hollywood and one of he things I attended was the REEL THING Aug 23 through Aug 25 at the Linwood Dunn Theater one of the presentations was called Burden of 10k Dreams

presented by Anthony Matt of Prime Focus and Laurel Warbick of HBO they scanned a section from a camera negative of a HBO Feature from 1995 in both 4k Director(done by my facility Metropost in NY and on the Lasergraphics 10 Director done at Lasergraphics Headquarters in Irvine Calif. They showed the results in split screen side by side I can tell you ha there was no apparent gain in quality of the 4k vs the 10k. Not to mention the insane file size of one single 10k frame.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could it be that their projector was only 4K to show the two? There are no theaters that go above 4K yet, but that will change. Im trying to future proof my scans, so I'll be ready when 8K comes for home use. Looks like 5K is the max rez for small guage so far today. No word from Perry, which makes me think 5K is it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Scott, Jack has a point - if you're sitting the correct distance from a screen, you shouldn't see a difference between 4k and HD. 10k is about 4.5x the resolution of 4k. If you had a screen that was 4.5x larger then you might be able to make an argument for the higher resolution. But if you view the footage on an appropriately sized screen at an appropriate resolution, you shouldn't see a difference.

 

As for the limits of scanning resolutions, right now 5k is it for 8mm film. I'm not aware of any scanners that go higher, outside of home-grown systems. But of course, there's always the possibility that as higher resolution cameras come out, the resolution of the existing scanners will increase too, through upgrades. I mean, I have no idea if/when, but if a 6k or 8k camera came out for the ScanStation, we'd seriously consider it.

 

You're never going to truly futureproof your scans, because cameras are going to keep going higher. I mean, you just have to weigh the cost and benefits. You already have 5k TIFF scans of your films, which are massive files. 10K is 4 times larger than that!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah. My scans were DPX actually. I have been working with them again lately to finish up the whole project. I've got an edit suite for video being set up, so I can work on the sound. End result is a 4K file and also a blu ray. I will make a DVD so I can use it to dupe over to S-VHS for backup. I ended up not using your timed video and corrected it on my own. I used to work in a photolab for 19 years, so I can easily correct the image to how I want it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



  • CineLab



    Abel Cine



    Rig Wheels Passport



    Paralinx LLC



    G-Force Grips



    Glidecam



    Gamma Ray Digital Inc



    Wooden Camera



    Just Cinema Gear



    Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS



    Broadcast Solutions Inc



    Visual Products



    Tai Audio



    Serious Gear



    Ritter Battery



    FJS International



    New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment



    Metropolis Post


    Cinematography Books and Gear
×
×
  • Create New...