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2k Super 16mm Scanning


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#1 Julian Fletcher

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Posted 03 June 2015 - 03:45 PM

Hi All,

I have a question re 2k scanning of Super 16mm. I have made an enquiry to a scanning company who claim to perform a 2k scan on Super 16mm, but can only output 1080p from it in Apple Pro Res 4444.

 

They said that the 2k scan that they do includes the full overscan area which sees beyond the edge of the footage itself such as the edge of the film and the sprocket holes (i.e. the stuff you don't need), and then the file is not down converted, but cropped to essentially what is a 1080p output.

 

I know that the actual difference between 2k and 1080p is quite small, but something is telling me that this cannot be right, and is actually an HD scan not a 2k scan of the footage. I am going to a lot of trouble with V3 50d and high quality zeiss lenses, and want the best scan.

 

Please can you share your point of view?

 

Thanks

Julian


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#2 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 03 June 2015 - 04:32 PM

If it is a real 2K scan they should be able to make a real 2K ProRes444 file from it not just 1080p.

 

We often do "overscan' 2K (and UHD 4K etc.) where the actual film frame is 2048 pixels wide but the file is 2460 wide and shows the perf and shows the full frame line and part of the previous and next frame so as to aid post work.


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#3 Julian Fletcher

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Posted 03 June 2015 - 04:35 PM

That is exactly what I thought. I asked if they could not crop it and just give me the uncropped file, but apparently its not possible to change their workflow and the output can only be 1080p. I am assuming that they are using some sort of "autocropping" system. Unsure as to what scanner they are using.

 

The costs are very good value, so I wonder whether its worth going for it anyway? Looking at approx. 140 USD for 400ft of super 16, based in UK.


Edited by Julian Fletcher, 03 June 2015 - 04:36 PM.

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#4 Perry Paolantonio

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Posted 03 June 2015 - 06:25 PM

What Rob said. A true 2k scan should be 2k, not "almost 2k"


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#5 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 03 June 2015 - 06:36 PM

Understanding that things are generally more expensive in the UK the pricing is not so great for what is really a 1080p transfer. Cinelab, Perry and a number of others would probably be in the same range for a real 2K scan.


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#6 David Cunningham

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 04:30 PM

Ditto what everyone else has said.  I would question if it's even a "scan" at all or actually a telecine such as a Spirit or Shadow.  

 

There is not a major advantage to scanning Super16 at 2K unless you plan to crop your own footage (when you would get an overscan with the perf, etc) or plan to distribute/project at 2K.  If it will be online or Blu-Ray/DVD, there really is no worthwhile difference.

 

Now 4K on the other hand... that's a major difference and even worthwhile if you plan to release even in just HD because of the finer grain resolution/resolving that will help make the down-converted image appear that much sharper.  

 

$140USD is pretty expensive for a scan of 140FT of Super16 in what becomes HD.  I suspect it's actually a graded telecine situation not a flat frame-by-frame scan.


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#7 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 05:14 PM

He was asking about a Super-16mm scan.


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#8 Julian Fletcher

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 06:35 PM

I found out that the company uses a "2k Phoenix Frame Scanner". The 140 USD was for 400ft of Super 16, not 140ft.

I am still confused as I agree that the end product is an HD scan, not a 2k scan.


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#9 David Cunningham

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Posted 05 June 2015 - 08:41 AM

Interesting... yeah, sorry about the 140ft 400ft typo.

 

The examples I see online are pretty good with the Phoenix although I cannot tell if the dynamic range is not very good or if the footage was purposely graded at high contrast.  I also notice all the examples I can find are reversal not negative.  I'd be curious to see the results with negative.


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