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Archivist - Motion Picture Film Scanning System

Optimized to meet the distinctive needs of film archives without exceeding budgetary requirements.

  • Up to 5K resolution
  • Scanning speeds up to 30 fps
  • Warped film gate option allows scanning of highly damaged and warped film
  • Gentle sprocketless film transport ideal for older films
  • Image and optical/magnetic sound scanned in a single pass
  • Output to many file formats (ProRes, DPX, TIFF, etc.)

Maximum resolution

Maximum scanning resolution for common film gauges


Film gauge versatility

Soundtrack reading

  • Simultaneous image scanning and soundtrack reading
  • Magnetic soundtrack reader
  • Synchronized audio and image output to ProRes and H.264 (no post-processing or third-party tools required)
  • Variable scan speed for fragile film (no requirement to read in real-time)
  • Optical soundtrack extraction from scanned image
  • Automatic continuous alignment of track to edge of film (no need for constant manual adjustment e.g. thumbscrews)
  • Noise reduction processing reduces noise dramatically compared to conventional slit-based readers
    • Magnetic reader: (no need for separate magnetic soundtrack reading system)
    • Super 8mm commag
    • 16mm commag
    • 16mm sepmag

Safe handling of damaged, warped, and spliced film

Optical Pin Registration (no edge guiding)

For the best stability of shrunk and damaged film.

2D Optical Pin Registration

Lasergraphics' proprietary 2D optical pin registration system locates up to 8 perforations and is able to register the frame even if only one of the perforations is usable. The frame is stabilized in the X, Y, and rotation axes. Therefore, shrunken film can be effectively stabilized with no mechanical or software adjustments. All optical pin registration is performed during the scanning process, eliminating the need for any post-processing.

Lasergraphics scanners are highly immune to perforation damage and splices while maintaining registration. Lasergraphics' 2D optical pin registration detects the location of all of the holes and then determines which ones are damaged. The damaged ones are ignored while the undamaged ones are used to align the image.

  • Optical pin registration is superior to:
  • Mechanical pin registration, which engages the film in only two perforations and is only effective on undamaged and unshrunken film.
  • Edge guiding, which weaves laterally because it entirely ignores the holes and is highly intolerant of splices.
Comparison of film registration methods

Sprocketless film transport

Sprocketless film transport

Continuous motion sprocketless capstan servo drive for constant film tension and safe film handling.

Warped film handling

Warped film can't naturally lay flat in the gate causing the center to appear shrunk compared to the edges and the resulting output will have a ripple or “potato chip” effect.

Comparison video of a 1940's warped 35mm nitrate film scanned with line scan technology (most other scanners) versus area scan technology (Lasergraphics scanners). Notice the ripple effect caused by film travel speed variation and non-uniform focus due to the inability of warped film to lay flat as it passes through the line scan gate. Lasergraphics scanners are immune to these problems because the entire frame is scanned while held flat within the area scan gate by a pressure plate.

Automatic Failed Splice Recovery™

This patented feature eliminates the need to pre-inspect film. After the operator repairs a broken splice, the scanner automatically finds the proper frame and continues. Video and sound remain synchronized.

Intelligent Noise Reduction (INR)

Dramatically reduces noise in high density negative and print film.

Original INR enabled
High exposure B&W negative
Click and drag back-and-forth on ⊲⊳ to compare images.

Dye fade correction

Built-in color grading tools for easy dye fade correction, applied during scan, eliminates secondary post-processing step.

Dye fade Dye fade corrected
Click and drag back-and-forth on ⊲⊳ to compare images.

Stable diffuse light source

Stable low-heat LED light source protects film from heat damage and diffuse uniform illumination from the integrating cube reduces the appearance of scratches in the film base and emulsion (that do not damage the dye layers) without softening, blurring, or altering the image.

On-axis light passes through undamaged film and reaches lens
On-axis light passes through scratch which deflects it away from the lens
Off-axis light from diffuse source passes through scratch but nevertheless reaches lens
Collimated light source Ultra-diffuse light source
Click and drag back-and-forth on ⊲⊳ to compare images.

Area scan technology with high precision optics

Area scan technology is far superior to line scan technology used by telecines and real-time film scanners.

The Archivist uses a CMOS Color Filter Array (CFA) area image sensor with Bayer pattern color capture.

Line scan technology Area scan technology
Light integration for dirt/scratch reductionPoorVery good
Splice tolerancePoorVery good
Banding due to dirt in apertureBig problemNo problem
Variable speed sound scan for old filmNo (24fps only)Yes
Warped film tolerancePoorVery good

Complete film scanning system

  • Host computer ready-to-use and pre-configured with MS Windows and Lasergraphics Motion Picture Film Scanning System software featuring:
  • Full transport and scanning control
  • Adjustable horizontal and vertical framing with visual selection of scan area
  • Aperture and shading correction
  • Automatic or manual DMin calibration
  • Self-calibrating intensity, focus, and film base
  • Fast interactive gray balance and base calibration
  • Shuttling from 1 to 100 frames/second (200 frames/second for 16mm) with image preview and KeyKode recognition.
  • Selectable scanning speed
  • KeyKode-based job management
  • Multiple simultaneous output resolutions and data formats including DPX, TIFF, and ProRes.
  • Fast ProRes and and H.264 proxies/dailies
  • Per-clip color correction
  • Negative film type optimization
    Many common negative film types are carefully characterized at Lasergraphics to allow our scanning software to compensate for variation. The result is more accurate color reproduction and less time spent color grading.
  • RollView with thumbnail preview and automatic clip/splice detection
  • Seamless and easy integration with popular restoration systems including support for a secondary (reference) monitor and popular color grading panels.
  • Storage options:
  • PCIe slot available for customer-supplied adapter to connect to NAS, DAS, or SAN systems.
  • Internal 16TB SSD or 32TB HDD SATA RAID
  • Other:
  • Meticulously calibrated, aligned and tested at the factory.
  • Power requirements similar to a standard PC workstation
  • Operates in normal office environment (no special cooling required)
  • Full one year warranty (parts and labor)
  • Extended warranty available

Trade Up

Lasergraphics offers an extremely generous trade up program that can increase the capability of your scanning system as your requirements grow over time without losing your existing investment.

Technical Specifications

  • Imaging system
  • Color Filter Array (CFA) image sensor
  • Bayer pattern color capture
  • 1.25K, 2.5K, or 5K scanning resolution
    • Maximum scanning resolution
    • 35mm: n/a, 16mm: 5K, 8mm: 2.5K
  • High MTF resolution lens
  • Fixed optical magnification with self-adjusting focus
  • 4:3, 16:9 and 1.85 aspect ratios
  • 10-bit or 16-bit log or linear bit depth (data format dependent)
  • Intelligent Noise Reduction (INR)
  • Film base calibration, color grading and focus independently adjusted by shot/clip/scene
  • 30 fps max scanning speed
  • Light source
  • Integrating cube containing high-intensity, low-heat RGB LEDs
  • Self-calibrates before each scan
  • 100,000 hour lifespan
  • Film transport system
  • Continuous motion sprocketless capstan servo drive
  • Removable film gates with or without pressure plate for warped film
  • 2D optical pin registration
  • Adjustable film tension
  • Selectable transport over particle transfer rollers
  • Film shrinkage tolerance up to 5.5%
  • Automatic Failed Splice Recovery™
  • Supported film formats
  • 8mm, Super 8mm, Double 8mm, 9.5mm, 16mm, Super 16mm, and 17.5mm
  • Supported film types
  • Negative, Intermediate, Interpositive, Print, Reversal, Color, and B&W
  • Magnetic soundtrack reader
  • Super 8mm commag
  • 16mm commag
  • 16mm sepmag
  • Max film capacity
  • 2,000 feet
  • Built-in color grading
  • Ungraded or primary-color graded via lift/gamma/gain or black/white/contrast color controls.
  • Support for 3-ball color grading panel
  • Simple dye fade correction
  • Image, video, and audio output file formats
  • 5K, 4K, UHD (2160p), 2K, Full HD (1080p), HD (720p), SD and others
  • DPX color/B&W 10/16-bit (conforms to SMPTE 268M for compatibility with graphics, compositing, and other post production systems)
  • ADX (Academy Density Exchange Encoding)
  • TIFF (8/16-bit)
  • QuickTime (ProRes 4444 HQ/XQ, ProRes 422, and others)
  • Host computer
  • High-performance host computer preconfigured with Microsoft Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC OS and all required adapters and scanner control software
  • PCIe slot available for customer-supplied high-speed connectivity or storage (e.g. 10GbE/40GbE NICs, Fibre Channel, RAID HBA, etc.).
  • Internal RAID storage
  • Software support for customer-supplied reference monitor via secondary display port (HDMI or DisplayPort)
  • Host computer can be operated remotely via KVM and/or remote access software
  • Weight
  • 186 lbs. (85 kg) (scanner with host computer)
  • Dimensions
  • 24.5" H x 47" W x 18.5" D (62 cm x 119 cm x 47 cm)
  • Operating environment
  • 15ºC to 30ºC
  • 15% to 85% relative humidity non condensing
  • 90-250V ~50/60Hz 687W