Existing Film Scanning Machines


Existing Machines - 35/16mm


I’ve made a table that compares features of most of these. Feel free to add/edit! >> Feature Comparison Chart

Scanity - http://www.dft-film.com/post-production-hardware/Scanity.html

ARRISCAN - http://www.arri.com/digital_intermediate_systems/arriscan.html

Spirit 4K - http://www.dft-film.com/post-production-hardware/Spirit-4K.html

Vario/Choice - http://flashscan8.us/

Kinetta - http://www.kinetta.com/

Cintel - https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/cintel

Scan Station - http://www.lasergraphics.com/scanstation-features.html

FilmStar - http://www.walde.com/FilmStarUHD.htm
(no longer in production)

Reflex - http://reflextechnologies.com/services/archival-film-scanning/
(not for sale. scanning services only)

[DCS] (http://digitalcinemasystems.net)

[Sondor] (http://www.sondor.ch/products.html)

[FilmStar] (http://www.walde.com/FilmStarUHD.htm) - no longer avail


Gugusse 16mm - https://www.facebook.com/Gugusse16mm

Existing Machines - 8mm

Muller HD - http://www.filmfabriek.nl/ (~$21,500 USD)
ScanStation - http://www.lasergraphics.com/scanstation-features.html ($?)
Kinetta - http://www.kinetta.com/overview.html ($200,000 USD)
Reflecta - https://reflecta.de/en/products/detail/~id.731/reflecta-Super-8-Scanner---------available-in-February-2014.html (~$2000)
Retroscan Universal - http://www.moviestuff.tv/moviestuff_home.html (~$4500 USD)
Flash scan Choice - http://www.flashscan8.us/choice-4k-and-2k-scanning-for-8mm-super8-9-5-16mm-w-17-5-28mm-options/ ($?)
[Wolverine] (http://secure.mm5server.com/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=WD&Product_Code=F2DMM100&Attributes=Yes&Quantity=1) ($300)

Legacy Project - http://www.jiminger.com/s8/
FSDT - http://www.truetex.com/telecine.htm
Stan Jelavic - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPaF3Tqauiw
Josh Gladstone - http://www.cinematography.com/index.php?showtopic=60402
Raspberry Pi Telecine Project - https://github.com/jas8mm/rpitelecine
[ I know I’ve seen a bunch more but I don’t have the links - please add them here! ]

Other Formats
28mm arduino controlled telecine


Here’s another manufacturer: http://www.sondor.ch/products.html


Another way of digitizing standard 8. Just for fun. Raspberry with camera. Lens demounted. Used Kern Switar and Yvar from the Paillard. Lens reversed. Result is with Canon 25 mm F8. Light source: 5 Euro warm white led bulb. Used a Pringle box and my flash diffuser. All settings for camera on automatic. No corrections. As film was 16 frames/second I doubled every other picture. Joined in Edius.


Sometimes @vimeo video doesn’t load. Try again.
Greetings to all from The Netherlands.


I’m working on a similar Bolex setup for 16mm. How did you deal with the pressure plate? I need the pressure plate in place to hold the frame steady and have been attempting to build my own out of flash diffuser, no less. I cut the flash diffuser to replace the plate on the pressure plate and just used the back of the plate with the spring to hold it in place. Still getting quite a bit of movement on the frame, though.


Good question @randy.mills. Mine is not optimal and I wouldn’t recommend it right now. I’m using modeified springy pegs on phone jacks to press against the edges of the film. It’s not great. But if fit my design limitation of “easily available materials wherever possible.”

I think moving forward I’ll be trying springs (behind the plate, from the other side, leaf springs, all the springs) as well as other options. I’d suggest looking at old projectors where you can find them and see how they do it.



There is also the XENA

You can look at their focus mechanism here:

As far as gates go, I’d be inclined to use a gate without pressure plate, like Muller and Retroscan do:


I like the dual rail system with threaded rod. It’s more precise than what I was using before. Perhaps a little pricier, but we’ll see when we get to that point in the test builds. I build a very bare bones platform this weekend so I can start testing parts and setups. Drivetrain will be first since everything depends on that. Updates coming soon. Probably next weekend.


So, with that gate, the film is running against the flat metal surface on each side of the gate? If this was custom made, how do you create something smooth enough so as not to scratch the film while it’s moving?

Would it be possible instead to have two rollers on each side of the gate rather than the solid metal block? I’d think that getting the solid metal blocks machined would be quite expensive, though I’ve never quoted out something like that.

Edited to add - Looks like you can see the laser module in the lower picture used to register the sprocket holes.


Yes, that is the laser module to trigger via sprockets at the bottom of the image.

The gate has raised rails down each edge, so the image area of the film never rubs against the metal. Polishing it smooth enough is not difficult.
These days machining a part like that is relatively cheap if you are doing it in any numbers. A home CNC could create it for smaller runs.
Or oyu could experiment with printing and polishing one in one of the newer/exotic 3D Printing filaments.


Would this design be applicable for 8mm film, with the sprocket holes only on one side, though? That’s why I mentioned a roller of some sort rather than a metal gate. I’m not experienced enough to know if finely finished metal or appropriate filament would cause any surface scratching of the film in that scenario.


It works fine for 8mm film, and properly polished metal will leave no marks on the film. The image area doesn’t run all the way to the edge.
You run the film with the base (not the emulsion side) running over the gate, and it will not affect it.

This is about as close to the edge as it gets for an image on 8mm


@anthony passed this one to me. Adding to the list. Will update the spreadsheet today too.



Here is another film scanner


This one looks very interesting. Looks like a continuous rotating curved film plate with integrated light source. Guess that would be expensive to make. Eliminates scratching, flat and stable film, tension spread over a wide area,…
Beside the cost, any negative attributes anyone can think of?


Also like the dual-roller tension adjustment system. Perhaps easier to pull off than the swing arm type in the Walde machine.

Also note the dual sprocket-less drives on either side of the gate (#4 on the labeled image). Would love to know what that orange material is that is touching the film on both sides full frame!

This is a great find, thanks @anthony!


I also noticed that Reflex says they first hand-clean the film, then run it through PTRs. I’m assuming the PTRs are on a separate setup meant just for that process.

I like the design as well - seems fairly simple, yet solves for a lot of the various issues we’ve talked here.


For the ‘DIY’ section of your list, I humbly submit the project I’ve been working on for a while: https://github.com/jphfilm/rpi-film-capture
It’s another of the ‘hacked projector’ variety, using a raspberry pi, the pi camera, and a single stepper motor; so it probably doesn’t have much to offer your project w.r.t. mechanics or optics.
Perhaps some of the software will be useful, though; I’m taking multiple exposures per frame, streaming them from the pi to a more powerful client (which runs the gui) and combining them on the fly using the exposure fusion capabilities now available in openCV 3. I still need to put sample images on my wiki, but I’ve been very pleased with the results so far.
I’m using it with 8mm and super 8 now, but have begun adapting it to fit onto a hand-crank 16mm projector.


Hi, jphfilm. I think yours was listed somewhere, but can’t remember. I’ve taken a look at it prior to this forum and thought it was a pretty awesome project. I don’t understand everything, but I thought the approach of using software and frame recognition to adjust the motor transport was pretty cool. It would be interesting to see how/if the camera could be upgraded to a machine vision camera.


digitaltap, this forum is the first place I’ve published the project anywhere, so I think it’s possible you’re confusing it with jas8mm’s excellent earlier work (already listed) which also uses the rPi and its cam, with its own transport mechanism rather than a projector.
I don’t do any frame recognition b/c the projector mechanics seem to work fine with all my films.
I haven’t explored a machine vision cam, mostly - to be honest - out of a stubborn attempt to squeeze as much quality and speed as I can out of ultra-cheap or reclaimed hardware. I think supporting a machine-vision camera would probably require a substantially different design than mine, if one wanted to exploit its potential for much greater speed.


Oops, my mistake. I’ll have to take a look at your project :slight_smile: