I appreciate the constructive criticism. It’s a breath of fresh air compared to the dude who was picking fights on the RetroScan FB forum and got himself kicked off recently. So unnecessary.
You may be right on all this. I’ll admit that optics is not one of my specialties, so I watch these discussions with great interest. In fact, my only beef with the RetroScan is that it doesn’t have a 4K, 10-bit camera. I wish it did. Roger knows it, and I’m sure he’ll add a camera when he finds a solution that’s cheap and easy enough to implement.
But that’s the nature of all markets. Who knows how long the market for transferring film will last? Markets come and go. I don’t think Roger would be building a more robust machine if the market had not responded so positively to the existing Mark I.
Roger has stated that his market for 35mm transfers is archives that simply want to scan existing film so that they can have screening copies. He said this in a recent FB post. So his perceived market and your expectations would seem to be two different things. Personally, I would love to be able to scan my 35mm film prints, but with the 2K camera, I don’t see much value in it. I would rather have 4K, or I’ll send those prints out to a transfer house that can handle 4K.
Hold on here. Have you seen the price of the DaVinci Cintel film scanner? It’s $30K! And that’s the basic model. That’s more than twice the price of the Mark II fully loaded at $13K. For me that does not equal “not that much more money”. For me that equals twice as much money! The Mark II is an outstanding value in its market. Does that mean that that it is seamless and error free? No! There’s some major post-processing work that you have to do to stabilize, grade, and dustbust the transfers to make them acceptable. The other machines do a lot of that work during the transfer process, but they cost tens of thousands of dollars more. You get what you pay for. Unfortunately, I don’t have $50K for a LaserGraphics ScanStation Personal. Prices only go up astronomically from there. And the market does not seem to be robust enough for others to enter the market and build a cheaper/high quality product. (Maybe I’m wrong about that, but it seems that way right now.)
Fair point. I think Roger builds the machines when he has the money in hand to build them. In many ways, he is a mom-and-pop shop that builds film transfer machines for a mom-and-pop market.
One thing I want to make clear. I’m not a Roger Evans sycophant or fanboy. I like the guy, and I like his product. Could it be better? No doubt. You and others have detailed features that could be improved.
I would only say this: if you want a better scanner, you can build it yourself with instructions provided on this really helpful forum. Or you can save up thousands of dollars and buy one of the more expensive machines. Or you could tinker with and modify one of the existing RetroScans and make it better. I have neither the time nor the interest to build it myself. I don’t want to have to know how to build a car in order to drive the car. I just want to get in, turn the key, and go. The RetroScan products allow me to do that at a price point that’s within my strained budget.
Here’s a question for the forum: given what you’ve learned, how much would it cost to buy the parts and build a Kinograph if you valued your labor hours at, say, $35/hour? (I don’t know if that’s a fair rate or not, but I’ll start there.) Is it less than the cost of a Mark II? Could I do it from easy-to-understand plans for sale or available free on this forum? Just curious.
I appreciate the discussion, Owlinsky! I also appreciate your experience! ----Todd Ruel