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Scott Pickering

Transfer Company = New Lasergraphics "Director 10K"?

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Im thinking future proof. 8K is supposed to come on scene to replace 4K as the high standard by 2023. Im also thinking of getting an 8K tv when they've been out for a few years and like to play my material in native format. I know it looks lofty, but if its possible, I'm considering it. Even if not mastered in 8K, downrezzing to 4K should help, since I have to crop the scan anyway (throwing out rez).

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Scott Pickering said:

My reasoning for 5k and above is I may want a finished 8k file once done. 5k on Super 8 looks quite good, if a bit soft because of the lens used, though with K40, I still don't see the grain in some shots. To me that means you can go higher even if the detail doesn't improve. I am currently using the 5k file cropped which ends up being 3.3k. For UHD that is still acceptable because once dropped into a 16:9 frame for UHD, you still have more dpi then needed since the image portion is almost square.

Forget reasoning. Just run some tests and post the results. If work is done right, proof is in the puddin, not in reasoning.

Your scans may be poorly done, even at high res. The scanning companies may just scan things and not try for critical focus. Ask them if they can offer critical focus service. See if that helps the grain pop.  I don't know how the $$ scanners work, it may be autofocus, but grain should show up if it is scanned sharply.

Some color films seem to have clumpy grain that is different that BW grain. See the link below for photography compared to see color grain vs BW grain.

On 4/19/2019 at 6:17 PM, Robin Phillips said:

Film can not resolve infinite resolution. From what I've seen there is 0 way super 8 can resolve 8k. Its pushing it to say that super 16 can resolve 4k, and that assumes Ultra 16s or Master Primes are being used. This will almost certainly not be the case with a super 8 camera. So why throw away money on an 8k scan on a format that cant resolve it? 

I suspect if we all had that kind of money to blow, we'd all be shooting 65 lol

Apples to apples, oranges to oranges...film is less sharp than digital. 

35mm negative film = 3 or 4 mp with a P&S cam. (Chromes may be different.) 

Here are the test photos. 

http://photographycompared.tumblr.com/

Perceived sharpness on the big screen may be something different. But these are the results with still film. 

 

Edited by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

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Posted (edited)

Here is one of the 5K DPX scans that was cropped for the frame and corrected from the flat scan (added contrast). The resulting file ended up being 4600x3400dpi, so a 4.6K image. First image is the full Super 8 frame and second shows a portion at 100 percent viewing.

Super8.jpg

Super8-100percent.jpg

Edited by Scott Pickering

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Posted (edited)

Dunno, looks good to me. What are you expecting with 8? 

You can only do so much with 8. Every film format has an optimum projection size and viewing distance. Just gotta suck it up if you work with 8 and accept you are not going to have hi image quality even with super hi res scans. 

Edited by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Daniel D. Teoli Jr. said:

You can only do so much with 8. Every film format has an optimum projection size and viewing distance. Just gotta suck it up if you work with 8 and accept you are not going to have hi image quality even with super hi res scans. 

With all due respect, this is the logical problem with the direction this thread has headed. It completely misses the point of scanning at high resolutions.

Nobody is saying that the plastic lenses, unstable film and old film stocks can resolve details in the way one could with, say, 16mm or 35mm using pin-registered cameras, fine-grained stocks and high end lenses. But scanning at a lower resolution means it will eventually need to be scaled up, digitally, to fit that higher res screen that will be the standard in a few years.

When you scale an image up, you always have to make up pixels where there weren't any before. There is simply no way to do this digitally in as sharp a way as you could with a scan done directly to the higher resolution. Yes, scaling algorithms have improved, and you can get away with a higher scaling factor now than you used to be able to, because of those improvements, but you can only scale upward to a point, before you start seeing softening. Then you have to add artificial sharpening to compensate. And now you have an image that doesn't really represent what's on the film, and won't stand up as well to compression, or multi-generation copies. From an archival perspective, this is a major no-no.

Think of it this way: Would you digitize your entire music collection at 22kHz? It *might* sound ok on some sound systems - a computer's tiny speakers for instance - but plug a player into a normal stereo or a pair of decent headphones and you'll immediately hear the difference. Why are CDs double that sample rate at 44.1? Why is the recording industry standard in 2019 to capture sound at 96kHz or higher?  Because more digital samples of an analog stream means a more faithful representation of the sound. It allows you to do more with the audio without causing artifacts. Will everybody hear the difference between a 48k and a 96k recording? I'd actually argue that most really can't. But again - that's not the point - capturing at 96k buys you flexibility. 

Capturing a film image to digital is really no different. You're taking an infinitely resolvable analog object and slicing it up into pixels (the same as samples in audio). The more pixels you use to represent that film, the closer a digital representation to the original you'll get. The point is NOT about making the film sharper than it is, it's about buying the flexibility to present it properly on changing display technology, and to be able to manipulate it without artifacting. 

 

 

Edited by Perry Paolantonio

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Im not scanning at 10K because I expect it to look high rez. Im scanning it to get the cleanest looking image when shown at 8K. As Perry mentioned, if you want to show on an 8K TV, you are best to have an 8K scan for it. Not only that, but if you look at my 4.6K scan, you still don't easily see the grain in the image. Going higher will show the grain more defined and result in a cleaner image. I don't scan at 5K for all of my films. Only the important ones. My 16mm reels I've been getting 2K scans just to have something. One day I might get a better scan for those, but its not high on my list to do. That said Im really curious what a 10K scan would look like off small gauge films.

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7 hours ago, Perry Paolantonio said:

With all due respect, this is the logical problem with the direction this thread has headed. It completely misses the point of scanning at high resolutions.

Nobody is saying that the plastic lenses, unstable film and old film stocks can resolve details in the way one could with, say, 16mm or 35mm using pin-registered cameras, fine-grained stocks and high end lenses. But scanning at a lower resolution means it will eventually need to be scaled up, digitally, to fit that higher res screen that will be the standard in a few years.

When you scale an image up, you always have to make up pixels where there weren't any before. There is simply no way to do this digitally in as sharp a way as you could with a scan done directly to the higher resolution. Yes, scaling algorithms have improved, and you can get away with a higher scaling factor now than you used to be able to, because of those improvements, but you can only scale upward to a point, before you start seeing softening. Then you have to add artificial sharpening to compensate. And now you have an image that doesn't really represent what's on the film, and won't stand up as well to compression, or multi-generation copies. From an archival perspective, this is a major no-no.

Think of it this way: Would you digitize your entire music collection at 22kHz? It *might* sound ok on some sound systems - a computer's tiny speakers for instance - but plug a player into a normal stereo or a pair of decent headphones and you'll immediately hear the difference. Why are CDs double that sample rate at 44.1? Why is the recording industry standard in 2019 to capture sound at 96kHz or higher?  Because more digital samples of an analog stream means a more faithful representation of the sound. It allows you to do more with the audio without causing artifacts. Will everybody hear the difference between a 48k and a 96k recording? I'd actually argue that most really can't. But again - that's not the point - capturing at 96k buys you flexibility. 

Capturing a film image to digital is really no different. You're taking an infinitely resolvable analog object and slicing it up into pixels (the same as samples in audio). The more pixels you use to represent that film, the closer a digital representation to the original you'll get. The point is NOT about making the film sharper than it is, it's about buying the flexibility to present it properly on changing display technology, and to be able to manipulate it without artifacting. 

 

 

Sure Perry, no one is suggestion to upscale his movie. The discussion was about getting progressively higher res scans. I thought he wanted hi res scans to project it bigger. My take is even with super hi res scans, 8 can only go so big for projection. 

With still photos, upscaling can work in some instances combined with sharpening. Upscaling is not as good as hi res scans, but sometimes it makes a more pleasing image to the eye than not upscaling. You got to view the results to see if you like it. If you are pixel peeping then you may not like it, but how does it look to the eye? That is the question.

I do lots of upscaling with digital images of still photos. I never saved any before and after examples of it, but will look out for them in the future. The reason I upscale is I cannot always get a good digital original and it may be kinda low res. The upscaling can work to help make a better moderate size print, like a 8 x 10, but the upscaling wont magically make it a low res file to produce sharp 20 x 24's That is how I use upscaling. And it is just like you say with your audio example above. 

Sometimes the upscaled image does not look as good as the original, so it fails. You just have to try it Perry.  And I'm talking about moderate upscaling. When I come across a good example of a upscaling before and after success I will post it for you guys. 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Scott Pickering said:

Im not scanning at 10K because I expect it to look high rez. Im scanning it to get the cleanest looking image when shown at 8K. As Perry mentioned, if you want to show on an 8K TV, you are best to have an 8K scan for it. Not only that, but if you look at my 4.6K scan, you still don't easily see the grain in the image. Going higher will show the grain more defined and result in a cleaner image. I don't scan at 5K for all of my films. Only the important ones. My 16mm reels I've been getting 2K scans just to have something. One day I might get a better scan for those, but its not high on my list to do. That said Im really curious what a 10K scan would look like off small gauge films.

Well, you gotta do it then and post the results. Get a 2K, 4K, 8K and 10K scan. Then put it up on the Internet Archive.

But color film is dye based and the grain is not sharp like BW film. And I don't think a movie film scanner will produce as sharp a scan as a flatbed scanner. But that is another test. Sometimes when I get some time I will compare a 2K Retroscan to a flatbed scan. But right now my computer is a mess, and I'm having trouble replacing it. So it is a test for down the road. 

Did you go to the link I posted earlier on photography compared?

You didn't see any grain in the color film example I posted. It is a hji res flatbed scan and blown up like hell. Color film does not have the grain structure like BW.

Here..from the Wiki

"In black-and-white photographic film, there is usually one layer of silver halide crystals. When the exposed silver halide grains are developed, the silver halide crystals are converted to metallic silver, which blocks light and appears as the black part of the film negative. Color film has at least three sensitive layers, incorporating different combinations of sensitizing dyes. Typically the blue-sensitive layer is on top, followed by a yellow filter layer to stop any remaining blue light from affecting the layers below. Next comes a green-and-blue sensitive layer, and a red-and-blue sensitive layer, which record the green and red images respectively. During development, the exposed silver halide crystals are converted to metallic silver, just as with black-and-white film. But in a color film, the by-products of the development reaction simultaneously combine with chemicals known as color couplers that are included either in the film itself or in the developer solution to form colored dyes. Because the by-products are created in direct proportion to the amount of exposure and development, the dye clouds formed are also in proportion to the exposure and development. Following development, the silver is converted back to silver halide crystals in the bleach step. It is removed from the film during the process of fixing the image on the film with a solution of ammonium thiosulfate or sodium thiosulfate (hypo or fixer).[3] Fixing leaves behind only the formed color dyes, which combine to make up the colored visible image. Later color films, like Kodacolor II, have as many as 12 emulsion layers,[4] with upwards of 20 different chemicals in each layer."

- - - - - - -

Scott, I'd tell you to scan a small section of your film on a flatbed scanner to get a reference example of what you can achieve. Then use that to compare your 10K scan to. 

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Posted (edited)

Here Scott, this is a 16mm raw scan, a 2K Retroscan file 1.17MB JPEG 2048 x 1536. I reduced it to 292kb for the forum limits.

818378966_sm_001.2048x1536_002631.17MB50.thumb.jpg.7e35bde6a2953c15a3c92e9757ac242b.jpg

The Retroscan does not have a film plate to keep the film flat, so maybe 2K will be sharper on another scanner. If you blow it up, the grain is not too sharp. The image falls apart before you can see the grain on the 1.17mb jpeg. From what I can tell, what looks like grain here is more of the texture from the sensor or something like that. 

I got some flatbed scans of this film and they don't show the grain either and some are 10mb jpegs for 3 or 4 frames. Well Scott, we will have to keep on the trail of the unobtainable scan that can show the grain! But in the future, shoot in BW and you may have an easier time seeing the grain.

Edited by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

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1 hour ago, Daniel D. Teoli Jr. said:

My take is even with super hi res scans, 8 can only go so big for projection. 

Again, this misses the point. If you project super 8 on a giant screen, of course it's going to look fuzzy. You're blowing up an 8mm image to thousands of times its original size. but it's going to look a lot fuzzier if he scans 2k or even 4k and uses an 8k projection system or huge screen to digitally scale it up to the display res. This is what I'm getting at - scanning at a larger resolution than you need or at least at the native resolution of the intended display is always smarter than scaling upwards because you're starting with 

1 hour ago, Daniel D. Teoli Jr. said:

Sure Perry, no one is suggestion to upscale his movie.

Someone in this thread did suggest exactly that, with 16mm. That said, in the very post where you say this, you seem to be advocating that it upscaling is a good thing. 

48 minutes ago, Daniel D. Teoli Jr. said:

Well, you gotta do it then and post the results. Get a 2K, 4K, 8K and 10K scan. Then put it up on the Internet Archive.

What does the Internet Archive have to do with this? Doing any test and then putting it up on *any* streaming service is not a good way to evaluate the image quality. By the time you're viewing it, it's been through hell and back with all the compression necessary to stream an image. The only, and I truly mean the *only* way to compare is to put the uncompressed scan files against one another. You can't do this on any streaming service. 

16 minutes ago, Daniel D. Teoli Jr. said:

The Retroscan does not have a film plate to keep the film flat, so maybe 2K will be sharper on another scanner

I'm sorry, but the retroscan is a toy and really shouldn't be used as an example in a discussion of image quality. It's not a serious scanner. It's 8 bit, it's got a cheap camera and probably not a great lens. It's basically a simple projector with a video camera grafted on to it. It doesn't work in the same way a high end scanner works, and doesn't use the same class of imaging hardware, optics or lighting. Also, if it's scanning to a JPEG sequence then it's immediately crippled because JPEG is a lossy compression scheme that works in part by throwing out high frequency information. JPEG will destroy film grain because part of the way the compression works is to minimize randomness (and grain is inherently random). It does this by smoothing out (that is, decimating) the grain.

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Posted (edited)

Perry, the Retorscan is the only thing that is a somewhat affordable option in film scans. Sure, it is not great, but it is quite doable for low budget archives looking for a 2K scan. The Retroscan cost less than the on-site set up and training for the Lasegraphics. So of course it only does so much. It does scans in TIFF or JPEG, but I don't see any difference in the TIFF other than huge size.

But, lets get back to your problem you seem to have understanding the benefits of upscaling. I made a post that explains how upscaling can work to one's advantage. You can't post anything like this here due to the photo size limits on the forum. I explain in detail how I use upscaling. 

https://danieldteolijrarchivalcollection.wordpress.com/2019/04/27/to-upscale-or-not-upscale/

 

Edited by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

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Perry, as far as the Internet Archive, well you misunderstood me. What I was saying is to put up sample individual images from 2K, 4K, 8K and 10K scans. Not the video. You can put files up to 10mb JPEGS on the Archive. 

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Sorry Perry, but I keep timing out for edits.

As far as mentioning the Retroscan, I only brought it up because it was what I scanned the BW sample I submitted when the discussion was about grain on color films vs BW grain.

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