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Milleniun vs. Spirit


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#1 Will Montgomery

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Posted 07 September 2007 - 10:51 AM

Are there any major differences between a Millenium machine and a Spirit? Any advantages to one over another?
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#2 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 07 September 2007 - 11:27 AM

Are there any major differences between a Millenium machine and a Spirit? Any advantages to one over another?



The millenium can ultimately make a better picture, many technical reasons for this, but it is just about the pinnacle of flying spot telecine technology. The thompson people will disagree but they are wrong :rolleyes:

Millenium's with the V2 update kit are good to 4K scans and the color fidelity coming out of the machine is unsurpassed...

-Rob-
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#3 Will Montgomery

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Posted 07 September 2007 - 11:48 AM

The millenium can ultimately make a better picture, many technical reasons for this, but it is just about the pinnacle of flying spot telecine technology. The thompson people will disagree but they are wrong :rolleyes:

Millenium's with the V2 update kit are good to 4K scans and the color fidelity coming out of the machine is unsurpassed...

-Rob-

Then of course it comes down to the colorist which really makes the difference.

Thanks!
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#4 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 07 September 2007 - 02:57 PM

Then of course it comes down to the colorist which really makes the difference.

Thanks!



Very true! the Millenium is a top notch Telecine though....

-Rob-
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#5 adam berk

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Posted 07 September 2007 - 03:37 PM

Very true! the Millenium is a top notch Telecine though....

-Rob-


Someone please do correct me if I'm wrong, but I do believe that, in theory, a crt based machine can actually capture more true resolution from the film because of the nature of the crt versus the fixed res of a line-ccd. A crt can change the size of it's spot thus allowing one to capture a true 2k, 4k, etc, from something like 3perf or super16. Depending on how pan/scan, zooming, etc is accomplished on each machine, a crt again could have the advantage in being able to scan full res from only a portion of the film frame. The only way a line array ccd based machine could compete in this situation would be if zooming, etc was accomplished optically, and I do not believe that this is the case with Spirit.

I know that I probably sound completely, technically ignorant to Rob, but I'm hoping that he may chime in here again to help me better understand.

Thanks,
Adam
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#6 John Brawley

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Posted 07 September 2007 - 06:08 PM

Are there any major differences between a Millenium machine and a Spirit? Any advantages to one over another?


Hi Will.

There are so factors that contribute to the final look of the telecine. Think of which machine you are using as the beginning. With machines like the millenium, they have a tube which needs to be maintained and the look changes subtly as the tube ages. The desk used to do the grading can have many options fitted and then probably the biggest factor of all, the actual colourist themselves.

The tube based scanners like the millennium and c-reality have a different look to the Spirit. It depends what you're after. It' not as simple as this one's better than that because it's a subjective judgement. To me the spirit tends to look much cleaner than the tube based TK's. Some people say that the softer look of the tube machines is more filmic. The Spirit also has a diffusing light box which means that scratches and dust are better hidden from the end result.

Remember too that it depends on the technology. There are a few different spirits as well, and they make a spirit 4k. The millennium is an older machine. It's actually kind of a high performance mod that is performed on older rank telecine's. The C-Reality is the factory version of this machine.

It's not unlike the Vinyl Vs CD argument. There's pros and cons to both and you should choose based on the *look* that you want.

Edited by John Brawley, 07 September 2007 - 06:10 PM.

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#7 John Sprung

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Posted 10 September 2007 - 12:57 PM

Who's running Milleniums in the LA area? The bulk of the TV business seems to be on Spirits.



-- J.S.
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#8 Michael Most

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Posted 10 September 2007 - 07:13 PM

Who's running Milleniums in the LA area? The bulk of the TV business seems to be on Spirits.
-- J.S.


Level 3 had a C-Reality, I think they're still using it (although it might be over on Hollywood Way now). I don't know of any Milleniums in the major post houses.
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#9 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 04:20 AM

Someone please do correct me if I'm wrong, but I do believe that, in theory, a crt based machine can actually capture more true resolution from the film because of the nature of the crt versus the fixed res of a line-ccd. A crt can change the size of it's spot thus allowing one to capture a true 2k, 4k, etc, from something like 3perf or super16. Depending on how pan/scan, zooming, etc is accomplished on each machine, a crt again could have the advantage in being able to scan full res from only a portion of the film frame. The only way a line array ccd based machine could compete in this situation would be if zooming, etc was accomplished optically, and I do not believe that this is the case with Spirit.

I know that I probably sound completely, technically ignorant to Rob, but I'm hoping that he may chime in here again to help me better understand.

Thanks,
Adam


That's correct. The Spirit has a fixed ccd array that's the same as a 35mm full frame's width (or close to that). The vertical resolution is simply determined by how much you allow the single line ccd to "capture" of the passing film (cut-on and cut-off point, in effect). Basically, its native resolution can't be altered. However, as in the case with 16mm on the Spirit - which unaltered would result in much less resolution since the width of the 16mm neg is less than half of the 35mm-sized ccd array - there's an optical setup that enlarges the 16mm neg to cover the full ccd array. This is why the Spirit can deliver full resolution of 16mm images if it needs to.

A CRT machine can do the same in theory, it's just that the tube goes bad quite quickly and the focus and sharpness of that tube spot becomes less stellar after a while. This can be compensated for in some degree, but at the end of a tubes life it will not perform very well. A ccd always keeps its resolution. Besides, CRT's are a bit more finicky and temperamental to maintain which is another reason Spirits have taken a big share of the market.
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#10 Sam Wells

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 12:10 PM

In LA, FotoKem has a Millennium.

Among other things, I'm working currently with 16mm material (ECN) transferred on a Spirit - cutting in both DVCProHD and ProResHQ. One thing I've been doing is using Apple's Color as "Decolor" and making B&W images.

Going back to previous C-reality SD transfers of the same negative, I like the look from that much better when turned to B&W for some reason; it's 'smoother' even when scaled up. There's almost -- what to call it --- a patina to it that I don't find on the Spirit transfer - even in shots where I prefer the telecine grade from the Spirit......

No I have no grand theory as to why yet...

-Sam
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#11 John Sprung

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 12:35 PM

The Spirit has a fixed ccd array that's the same as a 35mm full frame's width (or close to that). The vertical resolution is simply determined by how much you allow the single line ccd to "capture" of the passing film (cut-on and cut-off point, in effect). Basically, its native resolution can't be altered. However, as in the case with 16mm on the Spirit - which unaltered would result in much less resolution since the width of the 16mm neg is less than half of the 35mm-sized ccd array - there's an optical setup that enlarges the 16mm neg to cover the full ccd array. This is why the Spirit can deliver full resolution of 16mm images if it needs to.

In both 16 and 35, the Spirit image passes through a lens to the CCD's -- it's not like contact printing. IIRC, there are three line arrays for RGB. The line arrays are 1920 photosites wide. I don't know how much wiggle room they have to adjust where they grab the image across the film, but I'd be surprised if they can't do enough to handle both Academy and Super widths. The film moves continuously, the number of vertical samples per frame depends on how many times they clock out the data per frame. That makes it quite easy to deal with both flat and anamorphic transfers.



-- J.S.
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#12 adam berk

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 12:37 PM

Who's running Milleniums in the LA area? The bulk of the TV business seems to be on Spirits.
-- J.S.



There's a client list on cintel's website. It's a global list so it covers much more than L.A. I'm not exactly sure how up to date it is, but it can be found here.


I've been emailing with Ernie over at MovieLab about their new machine. I'm going to try to prep some neg either this week or next to send over for an HD test. They've recently installed a brand new Nova hidef telecine. I've heard and seen many great things about the Nova on the NAB showfloor, so I'm pretty excited to see what it can do with some of my own neg. Details on this machine can be found here.
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