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Stephen Perera

Diastor project University of Zurich - Investigation of Film Material scanning

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Very interesting pdf on archival footage scanning by......





DIASTOR (2013–2015) was an applied interdisciplinary project developed and managed by Barbara Flueckiger.7 It was one of DIASTOR’s main objectives to develop non-destructive, scalable solutions for a variety of film materials in different conditions and for diverse color processes, including a special focus on improving the scanning and rendition of film colors such as early applied colors, Technicolor, Dufaycolor, Agfacolor and additional chromogenic processes. This research is now taken up and extended in the current research project

Based on insights gathered in the previous projects AFRESA 9 and Film History Remastered, scanning was considered crucial for digitization workflows. Most scanners available are not designed for capturing historical materials but for more recent chromogenic negatives.

Therefore, the present scanner study was designed to deliver insights into the material–scanner interaction for a variety of color film stocks, from early tinted film to more recent chromogenic stocks including reversal film. We decided to collect a selection of reference materials, to investigate the technical details of scanners currently on the market and then to test a selection of the most widespread scanners in the high-end domain, currently in operation at archives and service providers for the digitization and restoration of archival films. Our goal was to provide a well-grounded framework for archives and film labs to select scanners according to their needs with a special focus on capturing certain film stocks.

Edited by Stephen Perera

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The amount of technical information in that report that's incorrect is absolutely staggering. It's an utterly useless document on many points.


In some cases they get the technical specs for the scanners completely wrong (information that can be gleaned from the manufacturer's datasheets or from their web sites). The whole thing about tinted film not being scanned correctly is wrong as well - those scans were done incorrectly, by people who don't know how to use their equipment. I can reproduce the same results by doing things the wrong way.


The conclusions drawn are based on faulty technical data and a totally weird sampling of scanners of different vintages with different firmware/software versions, so apples-to-apples comparisons aren't really possible.


But hey, wrap it in enough fancy graphs and equations and it'll seem legit, right?

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