Digitization of Photochemical Film

In an earlier post, RAW: an often overlooked advantage, we explained how future updates to the demosaicing process in post can yield major improvements in image quality, even to footage shot years before. A similar principle holds true for analog photochemical film, for which better methods of scanning with more accurate color rendition are continuously under development. And just as current tools developed for SDR are wholly unsuitable for an HDR workflow, it would appear that the techniques employed in the digitization and restoration of our film heritage have likewise been inappropriate for the task.

This, from a random paper on improved methods of scanning archival films, “.. The digital reproduction of a historical movie should resemble as much as possible the analog film projection at the time of the movie release. In reality, the professional film scanners that are widely used nowadays in the digitization of archival films were primarily conceived to excel in the Digital Intermediate workflow of contemporary film productions (Flueckiger et al., 2018). Their optical configuration is thus optimized for film negative stock of recent production and is not compatible with the vast variety of film processes that constitute the holdings of public archives and private film collections. …”

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