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High end film scanning options


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#1 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 12:11 AM

So I find myself in a bit of a catch 22.

I have about 2000' of 16mm film that I want to transfer, mostly for demo reel purposes. Earlier this year I used Spy Post (Spirit DaVinci 2K) for a short I shot. I liked their work, but it was a bit pricey (comparatively cheap as they are) and so while doing research I went to Bono Lab's website and looked at their flat unsupervised tapeless 4:2:2 1080 24p Cineglyph scanning for roughly $750 per hour of running film time, not labor time. Very affordable, right? I would have to do my own color correction, but hey, for the money . . .

http://www.bonolabs.com/

So far so good. I thought I had found my new lab. Then I ran into this post from CML:

http://www.cinematog...gitk/digitk.htm

You can see the comparison for yourselves. To be fair, Spy Post's footage is fully color corrected, but I am looking at the sharpness here, not at the color correction. When I contacted Bono Labs about that post and the images, I was given some rather vague technical explanations about it, which I am not completely satisfied with. I DO trust my eyes, even if I am looking at an online tiff still from running footage.

So, has anyone used Bono Labs and liked the results of the flat unsupervised tapeless 4:2:2 1080 24p film scanning?

The catch 22 is that I would want to save some money, but not if the results look like the above post's, ESPECIALLY FOR A DEMO REEL. And since I could not get a refund from Bono if I wasn't happy with his scans I am wondering what you guys out there who have had experience with his services think. I did use Bono a few years back and the results were great, but it wasn't HD, it was NTSC.

To me it seems obvious to go with what I know will work as opposed to something that may or may not, no matter how much cheaper it is, but the question stands:

Anyone here has been happy with this Bono Labs type of service?
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#2 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 02:18 AM

I was trying to see if a better color correction would make the two images closer in quality.

However I agree that the nicer looking image also has more clarity. I don't know why that is however.
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#3 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 09:55 AM

I was trying to see if a better color correction would make the two images closer in quality.

However I agree that the nicer looking image also has more clarity. I don't know why that is however.


It is said that it is impossible to judge the quality of moving pictures by a still picture. I think that is not accurate in progressive scans unless the camera is panning or the subject is moving and a blurry frame is chosen to judge by. In a lock down beauty shot, this should be easy to accomplish. What is progressive acquisition if not a sequence of still images, anyway. According to the writer of the CML post, he tried to use the exact frame as comparison each time. Back in the day of NTSC scans, choosing a field over a frame would give a different picture for sure, but for progressive scans it is indifferent unless the frame is blurry due to camera or subject movement, low shutter speed, etc.

It is also said that the Spirit scanner is noisy in all the channels and that its image couldn't even be compared to a flying spot scanner's images like the Cineglyph, which is sharp across the entire image plane, without using any processing. This runs completely opposite to what the images show, it may make sense in writing, looking at the specs of the two machines, but looking at the examples it is clear which is sharper.

Apparently, the CML post claims were debunked there by "a very reputable imaging person", however, I am unable to find that particular post . . .

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 28 April 2008 - 09:57 AM.

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Ritter Battery

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Broadcast Solutions Inc

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FJS International, LLC

rebotnix Technologies

Metropolis Post