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Super 8 neg scan HD or SD


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#1 RoryMcHenry

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 03:14 AM

I've read conflicting reports on scanning super 8, some people have said you should definitely scan in HD while others have said the resolution of super 8 is low enough that HD doesn't make a difference.
Obviously a HD scan is more expensive but is it worth the extra cost?
Thanks!
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#2 Zac Fettig

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 07:01 AM

It really depends on how much the difference in cost comes out to, and what you plan on doing with the footage.

 

If your end result is to end up on DVD screeners (or online), with little to no post work, you don't need an HD transfer. It's nice, but not necessary.


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#3 David Cunningham

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 08:28 AM

Not only is Super 8 worth an HD scan, it's worth a 2K scan.  It's not until you get to 4K that you really aren't gaining anything.

 

But, as Zac points out, it really depends on what the final goal is.  If it's a DVD or youtube, it's probably not necessary to go beyond SD.

 

However, if your goal is archival or Blu-ray, then HD and even 2K is the way to go.

 

We can argue until we are blue in the face about if there is "more information" to be had on the negative or not.  But, what is certain and cannot be argued is that the grain (of course, very prevalent in Super 8) is far better resolved with higher resolution scans.  So, it depends how large a projection/TV you have and how close you will be examining the image.

 

Anyone who says there is no difference between an HD vs SD scans of a Super 8 image either:

 

1.) Are making it up on a feeling

2.) Have bad film, camera, scans or all of the above

3.) Have bad vision

4.) Don't know what to look for

5.) Don't think grain resolving is important... which it is...


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#4 Will Montgomery

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 09:21 AM

It also depends on how the Super 8 was shot...often Super 8 from old family reels are out of focus and shaky so while it still would benefit from an HD transfer it may not be as big of a jump as modern footage shot in focus with a nice lens/camera.'

 

What ever you're shooting maybe you can just do a short test and see if its worth it to you.


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#5 RoryMcHenry

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 12:42 PM

Thanks guys,
I'm probably only going to be going onto youtube but still want it to look good so leaning towards HD. Found a transfer service in Wales that does a reel of super 8 to HD for £15 which seems pretty good!
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#6 Perry Paolantonio

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Posted 21 June 2014 - 08:16 AM

One thing to consider: an HD scan is always widescreen, super 8 (except in certain circumstances) is not. So if you transfer to HD, you're really only getting about 1440x1080 of picture, and a lot of black in the pillarboxes on the sides. If you transfer to 2k, you get more than twice the resolution, and a scan that matches the film's aspect ratio. The advantage of this is that it gives you flexibility to reposition the image or crop out gate hairs, etc, when you downconvert to HD for display. And you'll have a 2k version for future use.

 

If you scan to HD, and you need to do motion stabilization in software, or if you want to crop the film a little differently, you're starting from a much more difficult place than if you do a 2k scan.

 

Also, there's a lot more picture in Super 8 than most people think, even contrasty reversal from 50 years ago. There is a real benefit to scanning it on a proper high dynamic range scanner at 2k.

 

I really didn't think we'd be doing a lot of 2k home movie scanning when we bought our ScanStation last year, but I've been proven wrong - I'd say about 60% of home movies we scan are done at 2k. I think it's because the additional cost to do 2k scanning is negligible, and the arguments above are compelling enough that if you're going to pull the trigger on scanning a big pile of films, it's worth it to just do it at the highest res possible the first time.

 

All of that applies to freshly shot negative as well, of course. If your film was shot in a widescreen format, one could make an argument for scanning direct to HD, but I still think it makes sense from a workflow perspective to do it at 2k, which buys you more flexibility up front. And if these are destined for YouTube, you're better off uploading 2k, because you get nicer HD display once they've recompressed it.

 

-perry


Edited by Perry Paolantonio, 21 June 2014 - 08:19 AM.

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#7 Jose luis villar

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Posted 21 June 2014 - 11:18 AM

 
With negative Vision3 and a good lens to the film, there is enough difference between a scan hd or sd. It is also important where to transfer.

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