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Alexandros Pissourios

2K Log Scans grainier compared to HD Prores

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I've shot 16mm films for a music video (250D and 500T) and I am now getting ready to grade. 

But I have a question...

The 2K Uncompressed LOG scans look SO MUCH GRAINER when graded than the Uncompressed HD Prores files.

It seems that the HD is a bit smoother and even bypasses the minor X-Ray Damage these rolls went through via traveling in Hold luggage. 

My question is whether I should go with what 'looks' better or try and work with 2K instead of HD no matter what because it's essentially better. This film is for online viewing and not TV or cinema...


Here is an ungraded 2k clip


and the HD (which i think has some work done by cinelab - best grade or technical grade - not sure)

I'm finding the hd so much easier to work with... is it because i'm an amateur? lol


I can upload graded stills if that helps make the point. 


Thank you!



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Do an initial color pass and see if its still standing out. If so, compression may have killed it in the transcode or the scan house may have applied some kind of degrain to your dailies.

Personally, if something is too grainy my go to plug in is Neat Video. Sucker can clean 16 up so much it looks digital lol

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Honestly, the higher end scanners generally create a crisper image, thus you'll see more grain from the film in the final image. HD telecine's are generally more softer. So if you're comparing two different scans from two different machines, that for sure could be what you're seeing. Also, if you have an un-graded LOG file like the one in the to clip, you will see a lot more noise generally because it's not graded. Once you grade, you'll  push that noise away most likely and it won't be as seen in my experience. 

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Try grading a few shots using both versions.  Which ever looks best, you can use.  2k and HD are not very far apart in resolution, but the film scan might look more detailed just because the scanner is usually sharper than a telecine.  But, if the HD telecine looks better to you, use it 🙂

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I haven't got much self-confidence in grading yet and I really need to turn this around quickly, so I'm going to work on the HD uncompressed transcodes as they carry over the lab's best grade on them so it's pretty easy to work with.

The 2K scans are just log scans and too grainy for me right now. 

The noise is pretty prominent in the 2k and its' not that it looks bad when graded, it's just too difficult to work with and get to a point I'm happy with.

I might be able to upload some tests at some point soon!


thank you!

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Grading lack of confidence???? start grading with 'curves' if e.g ur in DaVinci......start adjusting the white point and the black point.....oh and the clip looks great to me......love it!!!!! so don't worry too much!!!!

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I mean,


ive made an initial grade using the HD transcodes in premiere using lumetri scopes and adjustments and got here


But now I want to give it a bit more punch and clean the whites and blacks. I’m noticing that in some cases I can’t do it better than the initial attempt.

the skies are better off without me touching them (ie the yellows and blues and pinks are better off with the initial lab grade)

oh well...

ill post the final/progress when I get there 


thanks for all the help!



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The 2K scan image dosen't look crazy grainy for a Log scan. The HD version is a bit softer and the contrast is probably hiding some of the grain. Its also possible the HD telecine had some noise reduction in the chain - most telecine suites have some form of DVNR at hand and maybe it was applied. Last time I did a HD TK of 16mm - the operator had the noise reduction patched in from the start. Had to get him to tone it down - since I wanted it to look like film and have the grain be present.

Personally looking at your content texture and grain is a good thing and you should embrace it rather then worry about it...

If your new to grading the HD Telecine is going to easier to work with since its closer to the look your going for. You could get the same look with the 2k scans but its going to need a more aggressive grade to get there. So if its fast turn around work with the HD and use the 2K to practice on.

Although Lumetri in prem is powerful, I've personally found it easier to do more subtle work in DaVinchi Resolve - so its worth investing the time to learn it. Its pretty intuative once you get started. 

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Thank you to everyone!


i think I should start grading some 2K scans.. it does take an aggressive punch to get it to a good point. And I hear you re: grain. It’s in the film DNA. I didn’t know the labs reduce grain.... is this an “industry” standard? Funny...

for this occasion it would have been impossible to learn to grade log, as it’s an almost 5 minute music video that needs to finish in a couple of weeks. 

So, for this one I used the HD prores uncompressed (best light) files. Graded in davinci mostly but also some in premier with lumetri.

i liked what the lab did with them, but then I moved on from there to create a world that makes sense with my aesthetic intentions.

It still needs some work on the night shots but the whole film should be regarded within the excitement of using 16mm (with its light spills, bad focus, x-ray damage!) an image that breathes 🙂 Latent image, what a pleasure!!


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I really enjoyed the video....you have exposed really well and the light leaks look cool (the ones all the youtube digital shooters pay for as an effect!!!!!!) the Vision3 is fantastic on anyone who has creamy pre summer skin eh! haha love film...long live film!

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Hi guys!


Thank you Stephen for having a look :) 

I'm now in the process of grading another film a friend shot. And then two more....

This next one is 40 mins so It's quite long and I made the mistake of telling her to get LOG scans from the lab. I think the 'best light' option is the best way forward...no? I find that Cinelab does a grand job with their in house grades...

I know it's supposed to be more versatile to get LOG scans but i'm NOT a grader so I am again finding it a bit tricky.

Better than last time though. 

Are there any online helpful tips for 16mm grading? I can't seem to find anything------ only how to emulate the film look on digital. 

My main concern is that I want the images to have LIGHT and BRIGHTNESS! Contrast and Depth without crashing blacks or blowing up whites. But, when I do try that, then the grain becomes so alive and I can see it moving everywhere... is that how it should look? Or do I need to apply a noise reduction (and if so, which one?)


I'm attaching two screenshots..... i'm trying to make a basic grade but i still feel that it's yellowish and has that LOG scan feel to it... what do you think?


any tips?

many many thanks!




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