Existing Film Scanning Machines

It’ll be very basic quality. You’d get about the same quality out of a TVT 16 Tobin or a ELMO TRV 16. If you do get one though let us know - the main thing you’d want to do to improve it is to replace the light with a better one - or just diffuse the supplied light properly if it has a decent LED COB. You could tell them to see if they can get the light even so it isn’t showing a pattern on the scan by positioning a piece of Opal Diffusing Glass over the light - they may be willing to do that in the factory before shipping it out. You can see the pattern I’m talking about here:

With a better light it should look a lot better.

The pattern I see looks like the video was shot from a computer monitor.

Agree the light has room for improvement.


It is pretty unlikely I could ever afford the Filmic scanner, but my point was that I could potentially build a mass scanner derivative of the Kinograph, that scans very fast with minimal set up time for each reel. Then once all my films have gone through a first pass I would tear down that first iteration (cannibalizing everything I could) and build a "proper " kinograph v2, then take my time to make some primo scans from carefully selected portions of the collection. With the volume of films I have something has got to give…

For me, the first pass (let’s call them “pre-scans”) doesn’t have to be pristine - I need good enough scans to make strategic decisions. I need to catalogue the dang thing for starters! Which films have decent colour? which films are silent? is there damage? etc. I am willing to sacrifice quality to get the whole thing captured so I can analyze it all efficiently as a whole, ie. as files on my hard drive. I imagine there are a few people in the forum who can identify with my use case (or maybe not…?)

Filmkeeper, I’m a bit confused about the origin of that scan you provided in the last post. Is that a scan from a Filmic machine - or is it what you suppose one would look like?

It’s a cropped screenshot from their Vimeo video - so yes it’s representative of the quality.

What gauges are your films?

The limitation for doing mass scans will be the capture software. To do it with the Kinograph v2 you’d want capture software that can go straight to MP4 for you, and you’d want a high-speed 2K camera so you can run it at 60fps+ (like this one).

There are portions of the promotional video that use the machine output, and other portions that use shots from an computer screen. The later (and the screenshot) have very visible screen artifacts, which would not be representative of the machine scan.


The light looks plenty diffused to me? I don’t see any cracks showing up.
No form of collimated light would give that pattern in the example photo - that’s just showing the pixels on a computer monitor.

1 Like


Here’s a comparison using the bed poop picture from the Johnny Depp trial. It was shot through a monitor and you will notice that it exhibits the same patterns.

…Sorry I could not resist :slight_smile: “flushing” misinformation one post at a time.


Why would they film off a computer monitor for a promotional video? A computer monitor would show a Moiré pattern as well as flickering which it doesn’t have.

There’s deformity seen in every single example of the scans in the Vimeo video including the one above which doesn’t have the visible pattern in the bare light, but the same checkerplate pattern is present in the section above.

If I investigate that example (which is off their promotional video near the start) it has a resolution of 570p in the scan. That may have been downscaled of course from the native sensor resolution, but 570p is our starting point. The standard way to check how much detail the video contains, and this is the same thing that literally everyone does, is downscale it and upscale it back to the original size. Anyway I can resize this by 50% and upscale back to the original video size and it reveals that the picture detail appears the same, meaning that the true resolution for 16mm is 285p at the very most. Even for applications where the picture quality isn’t essential, that’s just far too low to be able to answer the important questions that @Jitterfactor pointed out. The dynamic range also appears to be so limited that you’re not going to be answering any questions about colour density quality either.

They would have something if they can get both 16mm and 8mm to at least 1K resolution with good colour, but if not its application even for “high speed” evaluation scanning is severely limited.

There are visible lines in some of the scans. The issue is when you photograph film at low res like that with poor focus it hides most of the lines anyway because they’re too fine to show up.

There’s no need to be rude. The light in the video looks like a normal small size household downlight like this:

Of course it may be something entirely different, but that what it appears to be. Take one apart sometime and look at how it works - it has a LED chip in the centrer, then reflective/white material in a cone directing the light towards the front, and finally a plastic piece of diffusing material which has a pattern to it. If you were to photograph film directly in front of a light like that you would see a similar pattern. The diffusion is designed to spread the light in a room, not for scanning.

The light could be something else entirely, obviously, just saying what it looks like.

Speechless I am, I’ll leave it at that.


You wouldn’t see that pattern even if it were a downlight or other non diffused source. Where have you seen a pattern like that that could be said it was directly related to the light source?
I just don’t want people reading that and getting confused about their lighting setup.

And don’t worry about what they put in the video, some people do whacky things.
The examples in moviestuff mkii promo video look terrible, very “amateur HDR”and noise all over it. But the stuff from the scanner actually looks much better than the promo makes out.
When NSW Police in australia have a person of interest, they photograph the security monitor with their phones to post on social media. I expect because they want to get it done quickly, but yeah… people do it!


I respectfully disagree with drawing conclusions from promotional video materials, and with the conclusions drawn by @filmkeeper promotional video investigation.
While I said from the onset that there is room for improvement for the light source. If any commercial product is seeking my feedback, I will be happy to provide it (and bill them for it).
The purpose of the forum, as I understand it, it is to assist each other in making our scanners better. With that perspective, in my opinion, making unsubstantiated claims about commercial equipment does not contribute to the above purpose.