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Home systems to convert film to digital?


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#1 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 08:22 PM

I've seen multiple services that will take your 8, 16, and 35mm reels and convert them to digital video in a variety of resolutions and so on, but has a device been put out for that will do anything similar to the job those services promise? I'm assuming that wouldn't be cheap if it exists.

 

After a Google search I see tons of results for still versions of these hardware converters which makes me think somewhere out there it exists for motion as well.

 

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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 08:38 PM

Many people over the years on this site have mentioned personal scanners for movie film that they were building.

 

Probably most of them have run into the same problem, the sheer number of frames involved and the time it takes.


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#3 Landon D. Parks

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Posted 28 February 2016 - 12:35 AM

The devices these companies use are 'film scanners', such as the 'Cintel' from Blackmagic Design, which retails for $30,000. Other similar devices (and there really aren't that many) exist as well, but probably not as cheap.

Doing something like that at home MIGHT be possible if you know the mechanics and technology that makes a film scanner work - but you'd have to be pretty well versed in that technology, and you're probably not going to get things machined 'just right' like what would be required of QC for a $30k device. 

Just my $0.02. 


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#4 Simon Wyss

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Posted 28 February 2016 - 03:43 AM

One cannot “convert film to digital”. What happens is that one produces binary-numeric data off a film. Of course, one has apparently moving images on a display but the film is not there.

 

I am very severe with our verbal expression because even film archivists speak of digital restoration. No film is ever restored by data. A fresh artefact is made and it includes fraud. Period

 

May the whole world look down on me with contempt, I continue to declare that all electronic endeavour has nothing to do with motion-picture film. Motion capture differs essentially, motion reproduction differs entirely. What should a conversion look like? That one melts the film and pours it into digital files?


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#5 Mark Dunn

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Posted 28 February 2016 - 12:01 PM

I'm with you, Simon. It's one reason why I haven't seen digital projection yet.


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#6 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 28 February 2016 - 01:48 PM

www.moviestuff.tv is your best bet for a home scanner. Still not cheap, about $4500-$5000 for scanner with 8mm and 16mm gates. I've been using their scanners for 12 years and the latest one is real nice. It does color negative (no other home scanner does) but more of a learning curve with scanner settings and color correction if scanning neg. 


Edited by Anthony Schilling, 28 February 2016 - 01:49 PM.

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#7 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 28 February 2016 - 02:49 PM

 

 

www.moviestuff.tv is your best bet for a home scanner. Still not cheap, about $4500-$5000 for scanner with 8mm and 16mm gates. I've been using their scanners for 12 years and the latest one is real nice. It does color negative (no other home scanner does) but more of a learning curve with scanner settings and color correction if scanning neg. 

This was exactly what I was searching for, thank you. Know if they have any plans to release one capable of 35mm scans?


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#8 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 28 February 2016 - 09:31 PM

 

 

 

This was exactly what I was searching for, thank you. Know if they have any plans to release one capable of 35mm scans?

 

The cool thing about this unit is that is has an interchangeable gate for different gauges. Currently they offer 8mm, 9.5mm, 16mm gates. They do also have a 35mm gate for capturing stills, and I believe a 35mm MP gate is in the works. They did recently build a custom 28mm gate for an archival institution. The camera head is also interchangeable, so you can upgrade to 2.5K or 4K down the road.


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#9 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 28 February 2016 - 11:26 PM

 

 

The cool thing about this unit is that is has an interchangeable gate for different gauges. Currently they offer 8mm, 9.5mm, 16mm gates. They do also have a 35mm gate for capturing stills, and I believe a 35mm MP gate is in the works. They did recently build a custom 28mm gate for an archival institution. The camera head is also interchangeable, so you can upgrade to 2.5K or 4K down the road.

Gotta love living in the future


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#10 Ari Michael Leeds

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Posted 29 February 2016 - 11:50 AM

There are stills scanners that would work very well for this, mostly old, specialized, high volume ones.


Nothing currently made that would foot the bill, at least if we're talking 35mm.



There are/were some decent 8-/16 telecine systems.

The cost at some of the labs have come way down.



Best to use their services while they're still around to offer them.  Support what is left, don't take their business and make the whole industry weaker for it.


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