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Blackmagic Cintel vs. Golden Eye II for S16mm Scanning?


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#1 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 03:15 AM

Hi Guys,

 

Just wondering if I can pick your brains about the two scanning options available to me down here at the end of the world.

I've got 5,000 feet of S16mm Vision 3 to scan, but all of the Arriscanners and Spirits in Australia were sold off some time ago, so my only options now are two places that have the new Blackmagic Cintel scanner, and another that has the Golden Eye 2.

 

From what I can see of the specs, it looks like the Cintel will record a slightly less-than-HD image in 12-bit log DNG. Where the Golden Eye 2 will record 2k RGB as 10 or 16-bit DPX. 

My main concerns are that (although I can't find it listed) the Blackmagic sounds like it's using a bayer-pattern sensor, and the perfs are included in the 1910 pixel-wide image. So after you crop in, you're getting a less than HD bayer pattern picture (which isn't an awful lot of colour information).

The Golden Eye 2 has a 3CCD sensor and can scan in 2k RGB in 10-bit or 16-bit, which sounds like a much more robust digital negative.

I haven't heard glowing reviews of either though. So I'd be really keen to hear people's opinions on the best way to go?

Cheers,

Mark


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#2 Perry Paolantonio

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 08:28 AM

The bigger issue with the BMD scanner is not that it's a bayer sensor (our ScanStation has one and the results are outstanding). Lack of color information isn't typically an issue with bayer sensors. But poorly implemented bayer sensor designs mean lots of fixed pattern noise, something but the BMD scanner definitely has (unless they've specifically addressed this recently). In the BMD scanner, the sensor is fixed relative to the film gate, so only 35mm is scannable at UHD (the machine's max resolution). 16mm is less than HD as you've surmised. 

 

The GoldenEye is a superior scanner to the BMD in almost all respects, so if you need to do the work in Australia, that's the way I'd go (though, PM me if you want a quote for doing this in the US. we work with lots of international clients, including some down under). It does have issues with splice bumps, however. And because it's a line scanner with a continuous motion transport (like the Spirit), it's susceptible to streaking artifacts if the sensor gets dirty.

 

16bit is way overkill. you just don't need it, and you're going to be fighting with the files if you go that route. They're massive and very few systems can actually play them correctly. 10bit DPX, ProRes 422HQ (10bit), ProRes 4444 (12bit) are the way to go, depending on your workflow. 

 

-perry


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#3 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 09:14 AM

Thanks Perry, that's very informative. Much appreciated.

What's the best way to contact you for a quote (if we decide we're not comfortable with the options down here)?


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#4 Perry Paolantonio

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 09:33 AM

Hi Mark,

 

You can PM me here on the forum or send me an email through our web site -- that goes directly to me. 

 

Thanks!

 

-perry


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#5 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 14 January 2017 - 06:04 PM

I would second the Golden Eye, it is a true RGB 4K scanner and will provide a top notch scan.

 

We also just got a Scan Station for 35mm and 16mm and the scans on it are far superior to the BMD Cintel scanner, I would definitely consider a ScanStation scan as an alternative if the cost of the Golden Eye is too much for your production.


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#6 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 08:25 PM

Hi guys,

Just stumbled across a third option. There's a guy with a MovieStuff Retroscan Universal scanner down here too. Is anyone familiar with it? How does it compare to the Golden Eye II?

It can output to uncompressed HD, but I can't find much information on the sensor, and whether it can actually record a full RGB 4:4:4 image.

Cheers,

Mark


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#7 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 10:51 PM

The Moviestuff costs US $4500.00

 

The Golden Eye costs US $500,000.00+

 

The Golden Eye is a top end 4K true RGB 12bit data scanner, it is on par with a Spirit-4K and superior to the Arriscan.

 

The Moviestuff is not, it is a 8-bit cmos camera and very simple for basic home movie scans.


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#8 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 10:58 PM

http://www.moviestuf...stuff_home.html

 

http://www.digitalvi...e-film-scanner/


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#9 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 11:21 PM

Thanks Robert, yeah, I tracked down the camera that they use for the Moviestuff, so I've just dropped off the telecine reels with the Golden Eye II guys! Thanks for your help everyone, it's much appreciated.
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#10 Perry Paolantonio

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 08:36 AM

Yeah, the Moviestuff hardware is pretty low end. It might be ok in certain limited situations, but if you were looking at services that use that, I'd be wary. Most likely they're doing low-end home movie transfers directly to formats like DVD. Tons of compromises there, in terms of quality.


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#11 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 03:01 AM

Yeah, the Moviestuff hardware is pretty low end. It might be ok in certain limited situations, but if you were looking at services that use that, I'd be wary. Most likely they're doing low-end home movie transfers directly to formats like DVD. Tons of compromises there, in terms of quality.

 

Yeah, the guy with the Moviestuff sent me through a couple of .dpx frames, and there was a significant amount of digital chroma noise from the sensor paired in with the grain of the stock. I can certainly see it being fine for 8mm scans or personal projects, but the quality isn't up to snuff for professional projects in my opinion - I had pretty limited room to manoeuvre the images around in Davinci.

 

My 12-bit .dpx scans are already underway (actually a friend was just at the shop today, and got to see my own footage before me!) but his reports sounded mostly positive, so I may have actually managed to pull the shoot off (which is a bit of a relief - since this was my first time shooting film in eight years!).

 

This whole process has been a wonderful learning experience. I've scanned plenty of rolls of 135 and 120 in my time, but when I last shot motion picture film (back in uni), our whole process was photochemical, and we were cutting on a Steenbeck - so this will be my first ever (literal) DI. Really interesting stuff.


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