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Best Super 8 processor/scanner


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#1 Geoffrey Chandler

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 08:23 AM

I'm new to small cinema (at least if you don't count my shooting experience at 12 yrs old with my S8 Bolex) and I'm wondering were can I go to get the highest quality, best looking 1080 HD images? 

 

Pro8 seems to be a solid, one stop shop and I've even called them with questions a couple times, and had very positive conversations both times. However I've also been pricing and reading about some other places like Cinelicious (they have a pretty high minimum order) and Cinelab (good prices). 

 

Is there a particular lab using a particular scanner or scan technique that is clearly superior? I'm very interested in having the best product possible.

 

Thank you.


Edited by Geoffrey Chandler, 15 May 2014 - 08:25 AM.

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#2 Jose luis villar

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 08:39 AM

In my experience the best is  http://ochoypico.com/super8-telecine/ , although you are EEUU but the world, today can be very small.

look this:

 

Another, may be gammaraydigital.com and example,


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#3 Geoffrey Chandler

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 08:45 AM

I'm in the US so I may have to look into Gamma Ray Digital. BTW, that is unbelievable quality! Both Super 8?


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#4 Jose luis villar

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 08:49 AM

Yes, it's the new camera super8 Logmar, http://www.logmar.dk/


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#5 Joel Rakowski

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 09:25 AM

Cheaper is http://www.videofilm...m/film-scanning

It's not listed but it's $0.40/ft for HD from them. 

 

 

I'm supposed to get some scans back from Gamma Ray = Student Discount $.50/ft

 

I've heard good things about Cinelicious but their mins and prices are high. I get my processing done at Cinelab but probably won't ever get my telecine done there again.


Edited by Joel Rakowski, 15 May 2014 - 09:26 AM.

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#6 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 09:58 AM

I get my processing done at Cinelab but probably won't ever get my telecine done there again.

Please Explain? I was considering going with them for my feature, and Robert posts here, so please inform us of what went wrong.


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#7 Joel Rakowski

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 10:11 AM

Please Explain? I was considering going with them for my feature, and Robert posts here, so please inform us of what went wrong.

 

It's not that they are bad, just VFS and (hopefully) Gamma Ray are a better quality for about the same (or lesser) price. They also have transfer costs that neither of the previous do, so for small runs it adds a chunk. Honestly I haven't tried their 2K scans but I've gotten things back from them and sent elsewhere and was much happier with the image. I still love Cinelab for processing but their turnaround compared to VFS (3 days) & GR (1 day) is always a variable. 

 

This is just personal experience, poster asked for the highest quality so I told the truth from my perspective. 

 

TLDR - Cinelab isn't bad, they just aren't the best


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#8 Jose luis villar

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 10:21 AM

1080p is enough to then reduce to 720p, is the resolution that looks good s8.


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#9 Perry Paolantonio

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 11:28 AM

The problem with HD and Super 8 (or regular 16mm) is that unless you're shooting a widescreen format like, you've got a pretty big mismatch in aspect ratios. That means you have to either crop the Super8 frame to fit the 16:9 HD frame, or you need to pillarbox. If you pillarbox, you're getting a relatively small image area (about 1440x1080).

 

By contrast, scanning to 2k, you get a frame that's about the same aspect ratio as your original film frame, at more than twice the resolution (1440x1080 vs 2048x1556). We try to price our 2k scans so they're not much more than a high end HD telecine transfer, for this reason.

 

Unless you want to crop, HD isn't a good fit for Super 8 or Regular 16mm, in my opinion.

 

-perry


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#10 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 12:04 PM

By contrast, scanning to 2k, you get a frame that's about the same aspect ratio as your original film frame, at more than twice the resolution (1440x1080 vs 2048x1556). We try to price our 2k scans so they're not much more than a high end HD telecine transfer, for this reason.

 

Unless you want to crop, HD isn't a good fit for Super 8 or Regular 16mm, in my opinion.

 

-perry

Perry, I'm shopping for a post house to deal with for my feature. Don't want to spend a ton of dough researching though and I already like Spectra's work if all else fails. You offer any deals for a test for a potential client so they can see your work before committing?


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#11 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 12:12 PM

Spectra Film and Video in LA


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#12 David Cunningham

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 01:01 PM

For Super 8, Gamma Ray Digital's LaserGraphics ScanStation is about as good as Super 8 is ever going to get.

 

But, you have to be willing to put in the work as they are not doing fully graded scans right now.  If you get their 2K Prores4444 flat scans, and grade it all correctly, you will have the most true film look scan I have seen.  I cannot see it getting much better.

 

Similarly, if you are doing Super16, the LaserGraphics Director as MetroPost in NYC is about as good as it gets, especially for low noise/fully dynamic range scans.  My experience says that the Director is the best for Super16 at 2K or lower.  

 

However, Super16 is worthy of a true 4K scan.  Your best choices for that are probably going to be either Cinelicious (Scanity) or Cinelab (Xena proprietary setup).

 

Unfortunately, the only one-stop-shop Super 8 labs Spectra, Pro8mm and Cinelab.  If you send your processing to Cinelab, you can ask them to ship the processed, prepped and cleaned film to Gamma Ray Digital rather than back to you.  


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#13 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 01:10 PM

I am sorry you had a bad experience with us Joel, can you be more specific about the problem? Was it the grade? I think we try to turn around film in a timely manor at high quality. We have a new price sheet up and have added a newer, faster 3K scanner which will be able to scan 8mm film when they get the gate finished. Also our pin registered Xena will be getting a 6K mono scan head update which will allow for Super-4K scans and Super4K scans of 16mm.

 

We keep working towards have in the best scans possible at the best prices.


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#14 David Cunningham

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 01:15 PM

I am sorry you had a bad experience with us Joel, can you be more specific about the problem? Was it the grade? I think we try to turn around film in a timely manor at high quality. We have a new price sheet up and have added a newer, faster 3K scanner.

 

That reminds me that I still need to test out your Xena now that the HDR is up-and-running.  You can triple (9 - 3x3) flash HDR, correct?  I have some new Super16 footage that is pretty nice and has some nearly black (wet pavement) and nearly white (fresh fluffy snow) all in the same frame.  You guys did a basic one-light work print from it and that looks amazing projected.  I can only imagine what a proper scan and grade will do for it.  I'd have you guys do a Prores 4444 2k graded file AND DPX so I can try my hand at grading it too.


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#15 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 02:34 PM

The Pin Registered Xena does a 2-Flash HDR, the guys who built it tested and found that there was no real difference in doing 3-flash with the sensors they are using and thought that it was not worth the considerable speed hit. The first job we did with it in HDR was a very challenging B&W Reversal scan for a full 100min feature film and it worked very well.


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#16 Jose luis villar

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 02:35 PM

This is a frame from s8, not Max8, scanning 8ypico in 1080 and reduced to 720 widescreen.

082ccb4cab5a5878e9e50c7a6199fad6o.jpg


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#17 Geoffrey Chandler

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 02:52 PM

I'm leaning towards giving Gamma Ray a try which means I'll be color grading from a completely flat image. As recommended by Perry at Gamma Ray, I'm going to get DaVinci Resolve Lite installed and try my hand (and eye) at this art. So, here's a crazy question - anyone know where I can get some flat footage I can practice grading?


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#18 Matt Stevens

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 01:57 PM

Jose... perfection. Wonderful.


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#19 Jose luis villar

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 04:50 PM

Hey Matt, thanks, many s8 seen on youtube and vimeo have the defect of not showing what little movie s8 really do.


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#20 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 04:57 PM

Hey Matt, thanks, many s8 seen on youtube and vimeo have the defect of not showing what little movie s8 really do.

It looks cool and all but I realize now how soft S8 looks compared to 16 or higher. No disrespect, just saying.


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