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#1 Evan Ferrario

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 09:08 PM

I would like to begin this thread by stating an obvious fact: No home telecine will come close to the quality and resolution of a professional transfer. This is not an argument that a DIY transfer could replace a professional transfer, but instead I'd like to hear tricks and tips that anyone has come across so we could all learn from each other.

A telecine will cost a minimum of $100 if not more. This is not always a good option for say: students, home filmmakers and experimenting.

Short ends can be found cheaply, processing is about $20 for a 100 foot roll so filmmaking can be had on the cheap.

However getting the film into a digital form is costly. I have been projecting my 16mm footage and video taping it for about 3 years and have improved my techniques greatly over this time. I would like to hear from anyone else who has done their own transfers and the details of their setup. I have seen some great results on vimeo and youtube and lots of terrible footage as well.

I would argue that a nice home telecine can make excellent results for broadcast on youtube or vimeo. I believe this should be the ultimate destination of footage transfered this way. If you even have a remote chance of theater or television release, a professional transfer should fit into the budget.

My setup is an elmo 5 blade projector to elliminate the flicker. I project it onto a piece of oaktag making the image about 2 feet wide. I have a sony HDR-FX7 HDV camcorder which I bypass the HDV with a blackmagic intensity card which captures into prores on my mac pro.
All the film I have shot and transfered has been negative. To get a better idea of the footage, I invert the screen on my mac while I am watching it (cntl, option, apple, 8) Then I compensate for exposure problems using the exposure control on the HDV cam.

http://www.youtube.c...re=channel_page

This is an example of what I can do with my setup.

The upgrade I made to the intensity card did add a bit of quality as far as the motion was concerned but I don't feel like that is the bottleneck.

Would a nicer lens for the projector add to the transfer? Also I still have a line going up the screen in my transfer from the projector being slightly out of sync. I have used the projector with a variAC and it corrected the problem. Unfortunately I do not own one yet.

I have shot a roll of reversal and the results were much nicer with this setup than with the negative. I think it must have something to do with the fact that negative wasn't meant to be projected. I find that it's hard to get the color right. I spend a lot of time in final cut color correcting. Even then it isn't as vibrant as reversal.

I think the biggest issues with my footage is color and sharpness. If anyone else has experience with transfering their own footage for personal use, I'd love to hear about it.
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#2 Oliver Gläser

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Posted 09 November 2009 - 12:06 PM

Every piece of glass you put between the film and the sensor will reduce your sharpness. Any single pole dimmer from a home depot or the like, wired into your AC at or after your 'on' switch is a VARIAC and will eliminate the scan line. The vignetting is the result of both the lens on the projector and the light source you are using. I believe if you want the best quality possible, then you are approaching this in the wrong way. I would recommend looking at a 'Workprinter' (although there are many issues I have with them also) and you will be well on your way to better quality.
Here is an example of super16 and ultra16mm material off of my Film scanner. I can tell you, I have compared the quality to that of the local labs (same footage scanned twice - once on a RANK and once by me) and the image is easily comparable.
Newsreel Productions Super16mm scanning reel
Good luck in your future endevours.
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Visual Products

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Rig Wheels Passport

Technodolly

FJS International, LLC

Wooden Camera

Tai Audio

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Ritter Battery

Paralinx LLC

CineTape

Abel Cine

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

rebotnix Technologies

Aerial Filmworks

The Slider

Glidecam