What is the maximum possible resolution of dokko scans?
The dokko scanner is able to scan up to 40'000ppi. However, such an extreme resolution can be counter productive since it often doesn't result in a better looking image. It is also very time-consuming and therefore associated with high costs. I found that the sweet spot for extremly large prints is around 10'000-20'000 PPI for 35mm and 7000-14'000 PPI for medium format and large format film.
What is the true resolution of analog films?
There is no simple digital resolution equivalent to analog film. Film has an irregular image structure due to its grain and the details in the image are largely dependent on film choice, lens quality and photographic technique. For practical purposes, it's possible to see visible image details at over 10'000 ppi on fine-grain films shot with very good lenses, and resolution over 20'000 PPI can be achieved with special ultra-fine grain films. In the case of coarse-grained films or older camera lenses, the image resolution is lower, but a high scan resolution preserves the original and organic analog grain structure that is otherwise lost in the pixel grid, avoiding a digital feel.
How big can I print?
With the high resolution of the dokko system, the limit is not due to the scan anymore, but depends the quality of the original film and the desired look. The largest scan I made so far was 45GB of an 8x10" slide that was printed 25 meters wide.
Do you also offer small scan sizes?
With modern scanners and workflows, it is no longer sensible to scan films at low resolution. The bulk of time and resources is no longer spent on dealing with large amounts of data, but rather in careful handling of the film and manual post-processing of each individual image. It's much more efficient to do the initial scan at high-quality already, since the films do not have to be scanned again in the future if a higher resolution is required for a print. This also helps to keep the originals in pristine condition since handling is kept at a minimum.
In addition, the concept of dokko is that any scan should be an archival backup, so there is less worry about the loss or damage of the originals.
Of course I can supply downsampled or compressed files such as you may require (e.g. for web use).
Can I edit the RAW scans myself?
Yes of course. RAW scans are standard 16bit TIF files which can be opened in any normal image processor. Slide films and black and white films are relatively easy to edit. Color negative films unfortunately need complex color transformations that require special software or a lot of experience to achieve perfect results. This is due to its orange masking as well as many differences between manufacturers spectographic dye choices and chemical processing conditions.
I spent a lot or time to calibrate my scanner to different films and therefore recommend sending a reference image and asking for a low contrast conversion if you're planning to do your own image editing. This way you can benefit from my special color science, but can still do extensive tweaking since it contains all the shadow and highlight details.
If you prefer to do it yourself, software for inverting negative scans, such as Grain2Pixel, Silverfast, Negative Lab Pro, Smartconvert, ColorNeg, etc can help to get reasonable results.
In which format are the RAW scans saved?
All RAW scans up to 4GB are saved as uncompressed 16bit TIFF files in the ProPhoto color space to ensure the highest quality, the best compatibility and archive security. Due to the high precision and vast color gamut, all the subtleties of the original can be preserved. Thanks to its widespread use and open, fully-documented specifications, the TIFF format guarantees the highest level of future compatibility, and is used worldwide by leading archives for the long-term storage of digital images. Since Leviathan scans can be larger than the 4GB limit of the TIFF format, those are provided as PSB or OpenEXR files according to your preference.
In which format are the final production ready scans saved?
Up to 4GB, finished scans are saved as uncompressed TIFF files. The default for Elephant scans is 8bit in Adobe1998 color space and for Mamooth and Leviathan scans 16bit in ProPhoto. Scans larger than the 4GB limit of the TIF format are provided as Photoshop Large Document PSB or OpenEXR files according to your preference.
Can you also scan the films including its border / perforation?
Yes, I can also scan the films with borders and even including perforations. The resolution of the scanned area will be adjusted proportionally (the file size remains the same, but the file now includes the edge information). If the perforation area is also scanned, this might result in a slight drop in contrast at the edges of the image due to bright areas in the perforation holes.
Which film formats do you scan?
The dokko scanner can scan all film formats - from miniature formats (like Minox, 110 and APS), to 135 film (including panorama), medium format (6x45, 6x6, 6x7, 6x8, 6x9, 6x17) up to large format (4x5" 5x7" and 8x10"). Exotic formats like Super8 Film, 4x4 etc are also possible.
Do you also offer wet-mount scans?
In my extensive testing, I found that using wet-mount fluids doesn't improve scan quality, but negatively affect the film original. The fluid softens the emulsion, which makes it prone to scratches, can leave residue on the film and attracts dirt that is difficult to remove. So in order to keep the film original in pristine condition, I generally scan without wet mounting. The dokko scanner is designed with a large diffuse light source, which reduces the visibility of film defects while keeping maximum image detail.
How do I place an order?
A close collaberation is the key to ensure that the result matches your vision. That's why I recommend to get in touch before sending in any film to discuss what is the best option for your project.
Can I bring and/or pick up the originals personally?
Yes, in-person delivery and pick-up in Berlin is of course possible and in fact the prefered method because it allows to discuss things in person. Please get in touch.
Do you ship globally?
Yes, I ship worldwide.
How are my scans delivered?
Scans are delivered through a download link of your choice (Dropbox, Google Drive), with password protection or encryption for sensitive files. If you prefer physical media, sending an USB flash drive is also possible.
How long does it take for me to get the scans?
Scans are usually delivered within 5-7 working days after receiving your originals depending on the size and quantity. For urgent projects I offer a 24h or 48h rush service. See the prices page for details.
Can I buy the dokko scanner?
Unfortunately, no. It is a custom built machine and the costs for the individual parts are extremely high. Taking into account costs for development, machining, software and support, it would not be economical for me to sell the scan system. If you have a large archive to scan, contact me to discuss options to bring the scanner along and scan on site.
What if I am not satisfied with the colors of my scans?
With color negative films in particular, the color conversion is highly variable and depends on individual judgement and taste. I have invested a lot of time and research to calibrate my color conversion engine to reproduce the look and feel of each film as intended by the manufacturer.
However, in the old days, some people prefered printing Kodak film on Fuji paper, some the reverse, or to engage in cross processing activities to achieve a certain look and feel. Contact my with some reference pictures and I can make customised adjustments.
The RAW scans always contain all the information originals and therefore allow for countless conversion variantions, so different versions can be made without having to rescan the film.