Enlightening!  Thanks for this!.

-Sandy Maliga


On Dec 27, 2011, at 8:51 PM, Jeff Kreines wrote:

There is a common belief -- which, like a lot of common wisdom should be looked at skeptically -- that small format film lacks enough useful "information" to require scanning at resolutions greater than pillarboxed HD (1080 x 1440) or cropped HD (1080 x 1920). Some feel that for Super-8 and 8mm, NTSC, PAL, and 720P are, in the words of an engineer I know, "good enough."

But I don't think anyone really tested this properly -- they just said what seemed logical enough to them. It's fine to say "that looks pretty good at 1080 x 1440" but those who say this probably did not try scanning the same film at higher resolutions to see if there was an appreciable difference.

I did some simple tests, and honestly was quite surprised at the results. Even when the final release format is HD or less, the advantages of high resolution scans are obvious.

I put together a little PDF you can download, with both Super-8 and grainy 16mm samples scanned at different resolutions. It was written in response to a report by the Swiss group Memoriav, which was doing tests of small format (for them this includes 16mm) scanning.

Here's a link:

http://db.tt/iriz5nyY

Here are links to full-res TIFFs of the files used -- zoom in on them and see what you are losing with lower resolution scans. Note that the files are mostly over 20MB each, so don't try this on your cell phone.

http://db.tt/8cw0YUXU

http://db.tt/xizfMgLq

http://db.tt/VvwuPSog

http://db.tt/LR0Phcy2

http://db.tt/BofN5ls8

http://db.tt/aPXrsxAf

http://db.tt/JSC7Vf2C

http://db.tt/SGYbJiWb

http://db.tt/X1flduqJ

Let me know what you think.

Jeff Kreines


On Dec 23, 2011, at 2:22 PM, Ken Paul Rosenthal wrote:

Kevin,

For future reference, if you simply digitize your super 8 upfront at: Pro Rez 422 HQ 1080p, 1920x1080, 23.98 fps, you'll be entirely up to spec and not need to do any converting for your timeline. Furthermore, digitizing to a compressed file will allow you to easily edit without freezing up your system. As for projection quality, I've been on the road for a year a half with Crooked Beauty--which was transferred on the above specs--and have seen it projected on a the best (and worst) systems, the former in a huge theater on a commercial sized screen and it looked stunning. I spent 3 months researching tech options, and the consensus from all the folks I consulted with was that uncompressed is overkill for super 8 because the frame size only contains so much 'information'. So spend the money upfront during the transfer (I highly recommend sitting in with owner/operator Phil Vigeant at
Pro 8) and it will be smooth sailing down the line.

Ken
www.crookedbeautythefilm.com  (Academic)
www.crookedbeauty.com  (Public)
www.kenpaulrosenthal.com
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