Flashscan? Sniper? Tobin? Which is best?

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Flashscan? Sniper? Tobin? Which is best?

Postby M'Lord » Mon Oct 17, 2005 3:06 pm

I have taken note on the front page of this site of film transfer devices called "Tobin" and another called "Sniper". Now my attention is drawn to the lovely xfers of the Fuji film material by a machine called the "Flashscan". I say, the stills of the Flashscan seem to rival what I get from top professional transfer places using Rank and other professional machines that no enthusiast would purchase. Yet, these three machines appear affordable and practical for purchase.

So which is best for negative film?

Which actually does produce the best images?

Lastly, which produces the firmest steady image?

I do not question the operator of the machine is important as is the quality of the footage, but all things being equal, which is the best of these much different looking machines for transfer? There can be only one best.
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Postby Uppsala BildTeknik » Mon Oct 17, 2005 3:13 pm

I would definetly have to answer "Tha Flashscan".

But putting them all on the same "scale" as affordable seems unfair...
The Sniper Pro cost $6000 and the Flashscan costs about $36.000. A little difference there... :wink:
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Postby mattias » Mon Oct 17, 2005 3:25 pm

if you have the space you can also get an old rank or bosch. with the proper maintenance they should perform even better than the flashscan, which otherwise is the best i've seen from a "prosumer" scanner.

/matt
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Postby Uppsala BildTeknik » Mon Oct 17, 2005 3:35 pm

Speaking of wich... I was hoping to get a technical disection of the Single8 frames from you Mattias. :)
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Postby MovieStuff » Mon Oct 17, 2005 4:30 pm

"Best" is relative to your budget and intended use. As Kent correctly point out, there is about a $30,000 difference between the Sniper-Pro and the FlashScan, which is a terrific real time unit and quite compact. The results I have seen have been first rate. The Sniper-Pro is slower because it uses a high quality 3CCD broadcast head to scan each frame but the images are quite good, as noted in this article in PC magazine with the Sniper vs a Rank Turbo.

http://www.moviestuff.tv/whats_new.html ... 20Magazine

Many archive houses like the Sniper-Pro because it is dual 8 and easy on the film, being sprocketless. Steadiness is relative to maintenance and operator care, as it is with any system that moves film.

The Tobin unit is a really well made machine and is suited to high volume output of 8mm home movies. It uses only a 1CCD camera but is much better than the old Elmo Transvideo units that seem to have infested the telecine market for the last 20 years. Clive did a good job and built what the Elmo should have been.

Which is "best"? It depends on what you are going to do with each of them and what your budget is. Each is "best" for its intended purpose.

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Postby Uppsala BildTeknik » Mon Oct 17, 2005 6:52 pm

I just saw a line I must have missed:
I say, the stills of the Flashscan seem to rival what I get from top professional transfer places using Rank and other professional machines that no enthusiast would purchase.


I am no enthusiast, I transfer films for a living. And I´d be very surprised if any enthusiast would actually buy a Flashscan for their own films...
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Postby Actor » Mon Oct 17, 2005 9:34 pm

Moviestuff's equipment ranges from $1,095 to $2,690 not counting the Sniper-Pro at $5,990. This is well within the means of a serious enthusiast like myself.

I find no mention of price on Tobin's web site. (If you gotta ask you can't afford it?) And I could be wrong but it seems that a Tobin transfder is not frame by frame.

I've no idea what a Rank costs to purchase and maintain but I'm pretty sure it is beyond my means. Ditto a "$30,000 difference between the Sniper-Pro and the FlashScan."
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Postby clivetobin » Tue Oct 18, 2005 3:02 am

Actor wrote:I find no mention of price on Tobin's web site. And I could be wrong but it seems that a Tobin transfder is not frame by frame.


I don't know what site you are looking at. On mine, on each of the catalog pages the price is clearly stated near the bottom as $3600. See http://www.tobincinemasystems.com/page47.html and http://www.tobincinemasystems.com/page46.html

The H version does transfer frame by frame, actually field by field. At the NTSC 17.126 FPS speed there is a 3:4 pulldown, meaning that one film frame goes to 3 video fields and the next film frame goes to 4 video fields. PAL is simpler, at normal speed it is just a 3:3 (or would that be 3?)

This field by field transfer, I believe, gives smoother screen action and less motion "judder" than transferring frame by frame, and then copying whole film frames to alternating 3 and 4 video frames.

At half speed the pulldown on NTSC is 7:7 (7?), and at 1-1/2 times speed the pulldown is 2:2:3.

This is with some tricky shuttering where the virtual shutter changes from 7 to 3-1/2 to 2-1/3 blades depending on the speed, synchronized to the video and to the film pulldown cycle. Try doing that with a physical shutter.
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