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Scanning old 16mm


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#1 John Pike

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 02:45 PM

I'm new to this forum, and my background comes mostly from still photography, in both film and digital formats. I found about this forum from the APUG. This summer I'm going up to philly and helping a friend of mine with various different projects. One of which involves scanning some old 16mm film from the 40s. I don't really know anything about the process so here are my concerns.

Which format- are most people doing HD? Basically since the film is so old and possibly slightly damaged the goal is to run it through whatever machine is used only once if possible. So the format would need to be the most archival/quality so that any adjustments or downsizing could be done but with keeping an original high quality scan.

Second who is trusted in New York or Philly or anywhere on the east coast to complete such a task. Really looking for a place that does smaller loads like this and who is trustworthy, will take care of this very old film properly?

Thanks for being here guys glad to be a member of this forum.

John Pike
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#2 K Borowski

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 03:06 PM

If you have the money to have it professionally, rather than amateurly transfered, there are telecine houses that specialize in archival transfers, even transfers that don't use the sprocket holes on the film for the ultimate in gentle handling.

But they charge a premium.

Maybe someone on here can give you the name.

Make sure you get the native aspect ratio and not a crop. Bars on the sides are good. . .
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#3 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 03:50 PM

Speak with Shooters Post in Philadelphia see what they say. A lot will depend on how badly, if at all, the scanned film is damaged. I'd go to HDCam SR probably, as it's a pretty ubiquitous.
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#4 John Sprung

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 04:46 PM

If your goal is TV, then HDCam SR. If film, DPX files.





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#5 Chris Burke

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 04:58 PM

I'm new to this forum, and my background comes mostly from still photography, in both film and digital formats. I found about this forum from the APUG. This summer I'm going up to philly and helping a friend of mine with various different projects. One of which involves scanning some old 16mm film from the 40s. I don't really know anything about the process so here are my concerns.

Which format- are most people doing HD? Basically since the film is so old and possibly slightly damaged the goal is to run it through whatever machine is used only once if possible. So the format would need to be the most archival/quality so that any adjustments or downsizing could be done but with keeping an original high quality scan.

Second who is trusted in New York or Philly or anywhere on the east coast to complete such a task. Really looking for a place that does smaller loads like this and who is trustworthy, will take care of this very old film properly?

Thanks for being here guys glad to be a member of this forum.

John Pike


your best bet is to have it scanned. If the film is badly damaged, then scanning may be the only option. You may be able to talk someone into doing a flat scan only. Which is they scan the film to a hard drive as dpx files. You take it from there. Not everyone can handle dpx files at home, but there are ways to convert dpx files to quicktime. This will give you the most bang for the buck. Yours being an archival job, probably will cost more. But ask around. I recommend you contact http://www.finishedit.com/indie. They have quoted me some rock bottom prices for an Arriscanner.
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#6 John Pike

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 10:10 AM

Thanks for your comments guys. So sorry I posted this than kind of became a ghost, got a little busy with work/school. I've been looking into the places you mentioned and am starting to gain a grasp on the different formats. Of course I guess I won't really know until i get to Philly.
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Abel Cine

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

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Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Paralinx LLC

Wooden Camera

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