[Tig] Discussion of scanners

Ted Langdell tedlangdell at gmail.com
Fri Feb 5 17:38:35 GMT 2016

Being able to get the film to look as good as possible at the time of scanning is also a consideration for projects that may never be “improved” after the initial digitization. 

I would suggest that’s important for commercial and institutional users that have limited staff or resources, a small budget and/or need to minimize the steps involved in the process from intake to delivery of files.

That can include archives whose policy when licensing clips is to prohibit licensees from altering the clip (color correction, dust and scratch removal, etc.)  Sometimes a simple improvement in contrast makes a major difference in the view ability and “communication quality” of a clip. And in the saleablilty of clips, particularly when the same content may be available from multiple sources. Which would your eyes be drawn to?

The MWA line of scanners (flashscanHD, Choice and Vario) enable varying the overall LED array intensity to get more light through the film, and adjusting the R-G-B balance to compensate for the issues Buck described.  I’ve been able to make some seriously pink, orange, low contrast or dark film to make it more watchable in the absence of any further steps.

Those color and level settings, framing, audio levels, EQ and other parameters can be triggered at specific frames using MWA's software timeline feature and marking in-points referenced to a user-chosen zero point.

Where more bits and higher dynamic range are important, the MWA Vario can be equipped with a 16-bit per color, 2.5K High Dynamic Range (HDR), low noise sensor that’s 2560 x 2160 and real-time. 16 bit DPX log or linear files can be created for preservation or further work. Also ProRes 4444.

And the Vario’s Series 5 transport is set up to do 8mm/Super8, 9.5, 16, 17.5, 28 and 35mm.  Just add desired gates and sound options.

The Avid Artist series “Color” panel with colorist and new user-friendly three-ring & trackball circus, knobs and buttons makes for easy adjustments of picture, sound, framing and other parameters on MWA equipment.

As a vendor, I’m happy to see this discussion. It highlights the various tools available for users to work with and achieve results. 

Neither MWA or myself think we have a one-size fits all tool-set, but the company is interested in finding out what end-users need and want, and how those needs/wants can be incorporated into the standard and optional tools available on MWA scanners.

Thanks, Rob, for opening up the communication and to TIG members for chiming in.  I hope to see more.  


Ted Langdell
flashscan8.us Moving Image Tool and Technology Store
iPhone: 	(530) 301-2931 (Preferred)
Office:	(530) 741-1212
ted at flashscan8.us
Skype: 	TedLangdell 

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On Feb 4, 2016, at 1:43 PM, Buck Bito - Movette via Tig <tig at colorist.org> wrote:

>  But for instance, since the primary grading UI for the FlashscanHD is acting on the lamp and is
> very easy to alter for a pickup take, we deal with serious color issues like tungsten film outdoors on the scanner to get it 'in range' and that way our clients have more bits to push around in post for the real
> grading.

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