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Transfer Company = New Lasergraphics "Director 10K"?


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#21 Perry Paolantonio

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 07:29 AM

Hi Scott,

 

We don't like to discuss our upcoming purchases publicly, but suffice it to say we're always looking at new scanners and upgrades to our existing scanners.

 

Speaking of, we recently upgraded our ScanStation to HDR, something Lasergraphics showed at NAB this year. It makes a big difference with underexposed reversal and overexposed negative. Here's a quick look at one example: http://www.gammarayd...ow-offering-hdr


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#22 Scott Pickering

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 11:43 AM

I found one place that has the new 10K scanner, but they don't do Super 8 on it yet. Apparently they've only sold one of these machines so far.


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#23 David Cunningham

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 02:04 PM

Who is the one place?  16mm would be interesting too.


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#24 Scott Pickering

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Posted 20 September 2017 - 10:14 PM

Pro-Tek Vaults in California. They do 16 and 35 on the new machine. He said he'd notify me when they can also do Super 8.


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#25 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 09:52 AM

If anyone's in doubt about scanning at higher resolution, don't believe the old "no point in scanning 4K on super 8 as it can only resolve HD anyway" is BS. Compare a 4K scan vs a HD and see for yourself.

 

Here's an example of a 4K scan. Look how clean it looks.

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=RdCg8sI79qU


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#26 Karim D. Ghantous

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 07:17 PM

Adam, thank you for showing us that. Super 8 is somewhat underestimated. However, in that example, the lab did apply grain removal and a small amount of sharpening. But in order to do that well you need a high resolution scan. 4K is perhaps overkill but I can see the logic of it.


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#27 Scott Pickering

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 08:26 PM

I scanned my Super 8 at 5K at Gamma Ray D. and even at that rate I can see the difference. It may not be super detailed, but as the other said- the image is smooth and clean looking. Even at 5K the grain doesn't show much on bright sections of the film (like sunny day shots). I'd like to see what 10K can do. 10K can be scaled down to 8K, whenever 8K becomes a normal use standard. It may be overkill, but the difference is still noticeable. Someone said 35mm has more rez then even todays scanners can do, so I imagine Super 8 would still be improved on a 10K device.
 
I downscaled my 5K material to DVD and then to VHS. Its amazing how much rez you lose doing to lesser formats. VHS looks really bad compared to the 5K stuff.
 
Here is my 5K material downrezzed to 4K MP4:https://www.youtube....h?v=XLU6kMX5ZB8


Edited by Scott Pickering, 01 October 2017 - 08:34 PM.

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#28 Karim D. Ghantous

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 06:23 AM

Scott, thanks very much for that example. I agree with your rationale - the higher resolution you scan with, the larger you can display the footage, regardless of its actual resolving power.

 

If you are willing to share a couple of raw frames I'd love to have a look at them. I especially like the mountain shots. Very Twin Peaks like. ;-)

In this case the lens was the weak point of the footage, so imagine what a good lens will show. The grain was very well controlled - I assume that you did not use grain removal? In any case, proper cine scanners never exaggerate grain, unlike photographic scanners such as the Pakon F135 or the Noritsu or the Coolscan.

 

So it seems that Super 8 is the new 16mm. I did a rough calculation once, IIRC, and based on the fact that Super 8 can resolve 720 lines, 5-perf 65mm is equivalent to 10K across - 50% more than a RED 8K sensor once you take into account debayering (though keep in mind that the RED sensors & cameras are unparalleled achievements).


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#29 Perry Paolantonio

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 07:38 AM

So it seems that Super 8 is the new 16mm. I did a rough calculation once, IIRC, and based on the fact that Super 8 can resolve 720 lines, 5-perf 65mm is equivalent to 10K across - 50% more than a RED 8K sensor once you take into account debayering (though keep in mind that the RED sensors & cameras are unparalleled achievements).

 

Where does this 720 number come from?  


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#30 Robin Phillips

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 03:26 PM

IIRC Roundabout in Burbank has a Director 10k for 35mm, not sure if they have it set up for 16


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#31 Karim D. Ghantous

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 09:50 PM

 

Where does this 720 number come from?  

 

Good question. I forgot! I remember calculating from a nominal resolution for 16mm. I think ARRI was one source. And also a few people saying that they got more out of Super 16mm with a 3K scan than a 2K scan. I know there's another source out there but I don't recall.

 

So now I'm going to try some theory - bear in mind that I don't know how to properly interpret MTF charts. I have a photocopy of a data sheet for Eastman EXR 200T 5293. It says that the maximum resolving power, at high contrast, while averaging the R G and B layers, is about 175 cycles/mm. This seems a little high to me so I'm going to assume 100 cycles/mm to be conservative.

 

If I am correct, 100 cycles/mm translates to 200 lp/mm, which translates to 200 lines/mm. A Super 8 frame has a specified height of 4.01mm, which I will round to 4.00. So 4.00 x  200 = 800 = 800 lines.

 

I remember doing this sort of calculation for Super 8 Kodachrome 40 back in the '90s. At the time, I recall that K40 had a resolving power of 125 lines/mm, which gives a maximum of 500 lines of resolution, which was pretty good. But PAL was still a bit higher. But all this assumes that the numbers are meaningful and interpreted correctly.

 

Obviously we're not saying that we're going to get 720 lines out of pushed 7219. And you need a sharp lens - consumer Super 8 cameras do not have the best lenses.


Edited by Karim D. Ghantous, 03 October 2017 - 09:50 PM.

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#32 Perry Paolantonio

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 07:49 AM

The problem here is oversimplification. For one thing, if there are half a dozen film stocks available for Super 8, each is going to vary in its resolving power. So a blanket statement that "Super 8 has X resolution" is like saying "All cars drive fast." Tell that to the owner of a Yugo. 

 

But the larger point is that if you're talking about film resolution in the context of scanning, you always want higher resolution scans for a few reasons:

 

1) It avoids having to digitally scale the image if you need a higher res later. The example I keep bringing up is that UHD televisions are now available for under $300. If you scan to HD or 2k, you will have to scale that image up 3-4 times to fit the UHD frame. Something has to make up picture, whether it's the television, or in post, or in some set-top device. But when you do that, you get a softer image. No way around that. 

 

2) the grain is the image on the film. The higher resolution the scan, the more well resolved the film grain is. Forget about lp/mm on the picture itself. If you want the best reproduction of the film, you need more samples. Would you mix the soundtrack for your film at 11kHz or 96kHz? More samples = higher fidelity because you're able to more closely represent a continuous stream of analog information in the digital realm. Are you going to make the image on the film sharper? Past a certain point, no. But you are going to get a better looking overall scan if you do it at higher resolutions, because you're seeing less averaging happening in the scanner than you do at lower resolutions. 

 

3) Oversampling: Even if you only want a 2k image, you get a better result by scanning at 4k and scaling down, because you're effectively oversampling the image (see #2, which is related to this). 

 

Making blanket statements that Super 8 has a certain fixed resolution makes no sense because there are *way* too many variables: Film stock, lighting, f/stop, lens, focus, subject movement, camera movement, exposure setting, and then there are almost as many (some of the same) on the scanning side. And it ignores the other post-production related issues I just covered, which should always be considered when deciding what resolution to scan at. 

 

A camera such as the Logmar or the new Kodak camera, or a Nikon, Canon, Beaulieu, Leicina, Nizo, and many others, have excellent glass and more sophisticated internal systems than your average cheap consumer camera. They produce significantly better images by addressing many of the variables listed above, and the difference between an HD and a 4k scan is noticeable. 


Edited by Perry Paolantonio, 04 October 2017 - 07:52 AM.

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#33 Scott Pickering

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 11:20 AM

https://protekvaults...n-picture-film/

 

Here is a page from Pro-Tek Vaults.

 

Perry- let me know if you guys get the new machine. Im going to wait to scan my films again until this is available for Super 8. And I'll automatically get HDR with it.


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#34 Karim D. Ghantous

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 03:05 AM

Perry, I agree with 100% of everything you wrote!


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#35 Will Montgomery

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 10:06 AM

Making blanket statements that Super 8 has a certain fixed resolution makes no sense because there are *way* too many variables: Film stock, lighting, f/stop, lens, focus, subject movement, camera movement, exposure setting, and then there are almost as many (some of the same) on the scanning side.

Yep. I've mixed shots from Canon AF310xl (possibly the worst looking Super 8 camera available) with my Beaulieu 4008 and it looks like Regular 8 vs. 16mm. night and day difference in sharpness.

 

I've actually had noticeably better results with Regular 8mm shot with a decent lens than some cheap Super 8 cameras.

 

Here's a sample of bad Super 8 cameras (and bad operator) and good Super 8 cameras in one piece. However, I actually like the out-of-focus shots in some situations...especially in home movies.

 


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#36 David Cunningham

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 11:46 AM

Usually the biggest reason for poor image in Super 8 vs Regular 8 is the gate.  A regular 8 camera has a proper gate and keeps the film flat in the gate during exposure.  The film tends to flap in the breeze of the gate of a Super 8 camera.  The cheaper the camera, generally the worse this issue is.  

 

Another draw back of cheap Super 8 cameras is crap lenses.  Many of the later ones were actually plastic.  Ick!


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#37 Matthew B Clark

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 01:21 PM

I found one place that has the new 10K scanner, but they don't do Super 8 on it yet. Apparently they've only sold one of these machines so far.

 

Do you mind if I ask why you could potentially need a 10K scan of Super 8 film?  Here I am considering the value of 4K for grain resolution in Super 16mm.  The lines of resolution in the film are so far below the resolution of the scan that it is almost an exercise of trying to cause the resolution of the grain to become the central focus of the scan.


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#38 Perry Paolantonio

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 02:00 PM

 

Do you mind if I ask why you could potentially need a 10K scan of Super 8 film?  Here I am considering the value of 4K for grain resolution in Super 16mm.  The lines of resolution in the film are so far below the resolution of the scan that it is almost an exercise of trying to cause the resolution of the grain to become the central focus of the scan.

 

This is in fact, precisely the point, and your goal should be to get the highest resolution of the grain that you can. The grain IS the image. 

 

http://www.gammarayd...resolution-myth


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#39 Matthew B Clark

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 02:32 PM

 

This is in fact, precisely the point, and your goal should be to get the highest resolution of the grain that you can. The grain IS the image. 

 

http://www.gammarayd...resolution-myth

 

I hear you loud and clear on that.  But future-proofing something shot in Super 8 at 10K is....well....let's just say, maybe it reminds me a little of that weird 12-barrelled gun Leonardo DaVinci drew a sketch of.  It's really nice in theory....don't think I'm ever going to equip any soldiers with it for very simple practical reasons.  I mean speaking of diminishing returns, is it really in a labs' best interests to be investing their resources into 10K Super 8 technology?  If we're moving into that sort of realm of cost-efficiency, then let's just bring back Technicolor, because that looked amazing. 


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#40 Perry Paolantonio

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 02:46 PM

 

I hear you loud and clear on that.  But future-proofing something shot in Super 8 at 10K is....well....let's just say, maybe it reminds me a little of that weird 12-barrelled gun Leonardo DaVinci drew a sketch of.  It's really nice in theory....don't think I'm ever going to equip any soldiers with it for very simple practical reasons.  I mean speaking of diminishing returns, is it really in a labs' best interests to be investing their resources into 10K Super 8 technology?  If we're moving into that sort of realm of cost-efficiency, then let's just bring back Technicolor, because that looked amazing. 

 

We do a lot of work for archives, and a *lot* of archival film is deteriorating. Scanning at high resolutions now may the last chance for a given film because 10 years from now, when someone needs a higher resolution version, the film may no longer be viable. 

 

Once film starts to break down, the only way to retard the deterioration is to put it into a deep freeze, which is even more hugely expensive than sticking it on a shelf in an air conditioned archive. It only happens with a handful of the most important films. 

 

As outlined in that article, at a certain scan resolution you're going to hit a point of diminishing returns as far as how much detail you can squeeze out of the image. That point varies depending on a bunch of factors that have to do with the way the film was shot, as well as the scanner being used. But once you've passed that point, the argument changes - it becomes about avoiding softening the image when you blow it up. See the last photo in the article, which has a 2k blowup to 4k compared with a 4k native scan. 

 

4k Televisions are here, and are cheap. 8k displays are coming. My personal opinion is that 8k is probably going to be the end of the resolution wars with screens. I mean once you have a screen with that kind of pixel density, you're only going to see an improvement in quality if your screen is the size of a wall. On a practical level, even the people who want massive screens have limits - like the size of the room it goes in. 

 

So yeah, I do see some validity to the 10k scanner. It's something we're considering getting, because we're beginning to see more call for higher resolution scans, particularly with archival scans. As it is now, we regularly scan 8mm film at 4k or 5k with full overscan, for documentary filmmakers who want to include archival material in their 4k programs. When they start working in 8k, there will be a similar need. 


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