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Nage Canchola

7222 and 5222 scanning to 4k UHD...worth HDR pass?

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Hello all, 

I'm a post supervisor and am currently researching if it is worth 4k UHD scan of 7222 and 5222 using the Cintel 2 scanner.  I understand this film stock has about 3-4 stops of latitude (correct me if I'm wrong) and I'm wondering if it is overkill to scan 4k UHD.

Not sure of the words for tech description, so please forgive my phrasing.  Would the range from black to whites be a smooth gradation? 
I'm wondering if that film would have more an abrupt transition from black to brightest whites (?) 
The aesthetic of the image calls for that contrast black and whites, I'm just wondering if it would end up looking chunky or smooth on some of the gray sections, especially for the 16mm when eventually integrated with the 35, with theatrical or streaming release.

The other option is just a standard dynamic range 4k UHD scan, cutting drive space ($) in half, and scanning time ($) in half.  

If anyone has any info or guidance, I'd appreciate hearing from you.  Thanks in advance!

-NC

 

 

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B&W Negative has a lot of latitude, I think you're thinking of reversal, not negative. 

If you do a scene by scene correction on a decent 4k scanner, it will look great. Since B&W film doesn't need much correction, the cost difference is negligible. The results will be great however. I like a 4k scan because most likely you will be cropping in on 16mm and having that extra resolution is good. 

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Posted (edited)

Hi Tyler, 

I’m currently scanning the 5222 & 7222 negative stock, which has a narrower range of exposure than other BW stocks.  I see the 4k UHD scans are pretty awesome, yes.  My question is if the (additional) HDR scan  is visually smooth or will it jump jaggedly across a grayscale...or will it be awesome inside that exposure window only (?) or not. ...is that worth the double price in storage needed after scanning a film with the qualities of 5222/7222.  ...plus the HDR pass is done at 12fps...so, time and addt’l drivespace is $$$$ for hundreds of TB.  trying to make efficient decisions.   I am not a colorist (yet? lol) so I can’t see a 4K HDR color session.

Here’s an excerpt from the article “Deconstructing Bob Dylan”, written by Jon Silberg for American Cinematographer November 2007:

“Lachman filmed Jude’s story on Kodak PLUS-X 5231 and DOUBLE-X 5222 black-and-white negative stocks. “...If I shoot Double-X in 2006, it’s like shooting it back in the Sixties; it only has about 1.5 stops of over or underexposure...”

 

Edited by Nage Canchola
clarity

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If you're talking about the Blackmagic Cintel scanner, I wouldn't bother messing with the HDR feature for Black and White. I literally spent last tuesday messing with the HDR with 7222 stock and it made no difference. It only affects black level detail, not highlights. I personally don't like the Blackmagic Cintel scanner for 16mm because it's less than 2k of resolution, which means there is a lot of digital noise in the image. For 35mm it's a good machine for telecine work, but not for a final product. Blackmagic designed it as an inexpensive way to scan new 35mm color negative. The 16mm function was not thought out and I've been told for a few years now, they're working on a solution, but it's never come out. 

If you really truly want to get all the detail possible in the scan, all you need to do is a scene to scene correction as you're scanning. Thus, when you adjust the levels on the scan, you're optimizing the digital file, so you don't need HDR. 

I will be posting scans soon of HDR vs NON-HDR on the Blackmagic Cintel. 

I've shot quite a bit of 7222 and it has quite a bit of latitude. I don't know what Lachman is talking about. 

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I don't have direct experience with the Cintel scanner other than demos at NAB. But it's got an incredibly noisy sensor with dense film - so noisy you could see it on the demo film they were using at the show, for at least the first two years they had it there. Assuming the end result of their HDR is similar to what you get on other scanners that do the two or more flashes at the same time, like the Lasergraphics or Arriscans, (rather than as a second pass with post-processing), you should see a significant improvement in noise, if not dynamic range. 

That said, Tyler is right - you're not getting 4k UHD from 16mm with that machine. Roughly HD is the max res for it . If you're being sold a 4k 16mm scan, whoever is selling you that is cheating and upscaling from HD to UHD (which is a substantial upscale and will definitely result in degraded image quality and significantly increased softness). 

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OP...why not experiment and scan a few hundred feet to test? You can see for yourself. 

No harm in asking, but a test would settle it for you other than hearsay.

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On 7/1/2019 at 5:18 AM, Perry Paolantonio said:

I don't have direct experience with the Cintel scanner other than demos at NAB. But it's got an incredibly noisy sensor with dense film - so noisy you could see it on the demo film they were using at the show, for at least the first two years they had it there. Assuming the end result of their HDR is similar to what you get on other scanners that do the two or more flashes at the same time, like the Lasergraphics or Arriscans, (rather than as a second pass with post-processing), you should see a significant improvement in noise, if not dynamic range. 

That said, Tyler is right - you're not getting 4k UHD from 16mm with that machine. Roughly HD is the max res for it . If you're being sold a 4k 16mm scan, whoever is selling you that is cheating and upscaling from HD to UHD (which is a substantial upscale and will definitely result in degraded image quality and significantly increased softness). 

Good single image HDR should have a +1, -1, and 0 exposure as a minimum. At least that is what works best with still photo single image HDR. HDR that does not make multiple exposures from the single image and depends on software did not work as well as the +1,-1 exposures in my tests. But they may have improved the software.

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You really don't need HDR unless you're scanning an already color balanced IP or IN. For camera original, you really need to do a scene by scene correction AND you would deliver a file that's flat, so when you expand it into your Rec 2020 HDR timeline, every scene has the dynamic range necessary to make the corrections necessary. 

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8 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

You really don't need HDR unless you're scanning an already color balanced IP or IN. For camera original, you really need to do a scene by scene correction AND you would deliver a file that's flat, so when you expand it into your Rec 2020 HDR timeline, every scene has the dynamic range necessary to make the corrections necessary. 

HDR is useful for all kinds of film, not just intermediates. 

To be clear here, HDR in the context of film scanning and HDR in the context of viewing platforms (screens) are different things. Unfortunately they use the same name, but they're basically unrelated.

HDR in scanning works by taking two or three exposures of a frame and combining them into a single image that includes shadow and highlight detail, rather than favoring one over the other. It is very much useful for just about any type of film (camera original, intermediates, etc). Print sees the least benefit, but it can still be useful there.

There are three advantages to HDR scans:

1) Increased dynamic range. If the sensor in the scanner has a limited dynamic range, a 2 or 3 flash scan will increase this range, sometimes dramatically. We've seen shadow details come out of dense Kodachrome that clients didn't even know was there.

2) Improved signal to noise ratio: If the sensor has issues with dense film (similar to a low-light situation with a digital cinema camera) where you'd see the sensor noise, an HDR scan eliminates this problem by doing a special exposure for the dense film, with either more light or more exposure time to overcome the sensor's noise floor. 

3) Increased bit depth: This will depend on the scanner and the image processing, but I can tell you definitively that in the ScanStation the standard bit depth is 10bit. With 2-pass HDR it's 14bit. In the Director, with 3-pass HDR it's 16bit. 

In the end, the file that comes out of the scanner is the same file format in the same color space as a standard dynamic range scan. The difference is how much more you can push and pull the image in grading, because the extremes now become more workable. 

BTW, with print, the increased bit depth can be really useful, especially if the print has some color fading. It gives you a bit more flexibility when grading and we've found that we've been able to pull color out of some prints with HDR that we couldn't with an SDR scan. When the color is that marginal, every bit counts. It's less useful with a good print, since prints have their dynamic range limits baked in from when they're timed at the lab. 

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We shot "The Lighthouse" on 5222 and its an old, soft, finicky stock. Whether it's worth a 4k scan depends on how you treat the film and the lenses you use. I mostly processed it at "-1/2" with 2/3 stops extra exposure. This sharpens it up and increases dynamic range. Even then, a gray tone would already be black at -4 1/2 stops incident.  Highlights fare much better, but still, latitude is still not great. Neither is resolution - I'm not so sure 5222 achieves 4k when I see the our untouched 4k scanned footage next to the 2k VFX footage.

However, HDR might be worth it. Personally, I like more contrast in black and white and more subtlety in color. 5222 did have one superior trait. From my tests 5222 has much more "local" or "micro" contrast and separation than either 35mm color film or Alexa footage. Even while being softer and grainier. In that way, it is irreplaceable.

Jarin

ps: 7222 is much too soft. I wouldn't shoot it. In 16mm I'd shoot TriX instead and process as a negative. A very pretty stock. If only they made it in 35mm! Just pull a stop to get the right contrast!

 

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XX Neg can be tricky but also some great results can be had from it.

Here is a Super-16mm film we developed and scanned to 4K on the Xena 5K machine which has gotten some really good attention.

 

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