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Reversal Super 8 Scanning/Transfer


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#1 Ted Keaton III

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Posted 17 April 2016 - 05:54 AM

Are their any advantages in using reversal film when scanning?

 

IOW, wouldn't reversal make for a better scanned image over negative?

 

 


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#2 David Cunningham

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Posted 17 April 2016 - 08:03 AM

Although true that reversal looks "better" when scanned properly, it's actually hard to do and get right due to the density of the film and the still not amazing sensors out there.
T he solution to the problem is multiflash HDR where the sensor takes 2 or even 3 pictures of each frame. Each exposure with a different exposure level to ensure proper resolving of the brightest highlights and darkest shadows.
My only personal experience with a scanner and operator where this actually works is metro post in NYC with their LaserGraphics director. Unfortunately this cannot due super 8. The best but still imperfect solution for super8 is the ScanStation at gamma ray digital. Until someone develops an HDR system that works with super 8 negative will be the best medium for a digital result.
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#3 Ted Keaton III

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Posted 17 April 2016 - 12:08 PM

Hey David! Thanks for your time. My plans were to send to Gamma Ray so this is good news. 

 

Are you suggesting that negative film may be a better route/look than trying to scan reversal... more consistent? I had planned to white balance reversal with filters. 


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#4 David Cunningham

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Posted 17 April 2016 - 12:16 PM

Yes. You will have an easier time getting the color, lighting,exposure, grain level and quality scan from negative. It won't look like projected super 8 home movies. It will look more like 16mm cinema from the 70s. But it will be far easier to work with. If you want that Kodachrome home movie look, reversal is the only way to go. Unfortunately, there isn't any out there right now of any quality. All the E100D out there now is getting old and unpredictable and Agfa 200 is horrible.
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#5 Perry Paolantonio

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Posted 17 April 2016 - 12:47 PM

David is correct, though it does depend a lot on how you expose the film. Traditionally, one would underexpose reversal just a hair to get nice rich blacks. We've found that with reversal that's overexposed by half a stop to a stop, the results in the scan are much nicer than reversal that's underexposed. If this is something you're willing to do, it's worth a try. 

 

Generally speaking, there's just a lot more latitude available to negative, and more flexibility in grading because of that. It's a completely different look though, compared to reversal film. 


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