Grant Petty Announces 8mm gate for Cintel Scanner at NAB 2023!

It’s welcome news, but also shows the glacial pace of development on the Blackmagic scanners. The Cintel 1 and 2 won’t support 8mm, it’ll be only for the capstan-drive models, and it’s certainly not for finishing scans with the low resolution and noisy sensor, but it would allow people a way to make proxies or inspection copies. Aside of course from the fact that you’ll need to add leader most of the time, so really a Pictor is more ideal for that kind of work as it has a very short film path, is dedicated for 8mm, and is cheap.

Really the Cintel scanner should have had an 8mm option by 2015 or 2016, so that it’s happening in 2023 is welcome, but I can’t imagine owners of Cintel 1 and 2 will be happy that they can neither convert their scanners to a capstan-drive scanner nor purchase 8mm sprocket wheels.

The best quality is not the goal here, if it was then Blackmagic would make a dedicated small-format scanner or introduce an option to fit the camera for full resolution on 16mm, something that they’ve never offered despite the main competing product (the ScanStation Personal) being offered in such configurations. For example, NegativeLand has a small format SSP and probably one of the last ones before the product was discontinued (they’ve photoshopped the photos on the website to make it look more like a full ScanStation). It’s basically the same as the 35/16 SSP except that the camera is fixed in place for full resolution for 16mm and as such it cannot scan 35mm. Here’s a video without the photoshopping:


Blackmagic would have to totally rewrite the 16mm capture software to support 4K, so don’t expect the idea of a 16/8 Cintel existing anytime soon. It’s still welcome news, there’s lots of places that use the Cintel for basic inspection type of work before doing their finishing scans for the clients, and there’s really not that many professional scanning machines that can do 8mm as most are primarily focused on 35mm.

1 Like