[tig] Rank Cintel Mark III experiences

Sean McKee sentech
Tue Sep 23 09:54:50 BST 2003

Before I give my opinion, I must preface it with a statement that says 
our company mainly focuses on restoration of classic movies and tv 
shows, not brand new commercials and films. I am not the operator, but 
the owner of the company, so I can comment on maintenance costs. We 
have an MK3 with metaspeed, TWIGI preamps, festival shading, etc., and 
some custom jobs done by our engineer and Peterson International, which 
forces the depth of field on the lens of our RTS35 gate, which is great 
for focusing severely warped film.

We got our MK3 about a year ago, and bought the most expensive tube 
made from Cintel ($9000 or so - they said it was the same one used in a 
C-Reality). When the machine is not in use (it stays on 24/7), we turn 
the amperage down to about 50 microamps, and also have a custom defocus 
switch turned on, which extends the life of the tube. According to our 
engineer, we are at about half life of the tube, over the course of one 

We have an engineer come in (Jan Janowski) as needed on the machine 
(when the colorists complain), which is not too often. He adjusts 
shading and afterglow, focus, metaspeed, etc. We've replaced a few caps 
and ball bearings, but I think (and this is a guess) that over the 
course of a year, we've had around 20-30 maintenance hours put in. At 
least for our machine, this is a testament to the fact that the 
settings and adjustments have not really drifted too much over time.

Power is standard. As far as image quality, I'm not going to start a 
subjective opinion battle here, but I will say this: I took the same 
film and had it transferred on both this machine and a Spirit and had 
clients choose which look they liked better, and all chose the MK3. 
Keep in mind, we deal with old films and not newly shot, freshly 
processed negative, although we have transferred newly struck prints 
from old original negative. This has been said before, but our clients 
have echoed the sentiment that "it looks more like film". I myself have 
noticed that the Spirit will enhance (which in our line of work is not 
good) scratches and film defects, and we are all about removing those 

So take what I say with a grain of salt, an URSA will give you more 
image manipulation abilities, etc., but we and our clients have been 
very happy and profitable with our system. Your mileage may vary. We 
were lucky to have purchased our system from a local post house, so we 
had the engineer available to us that had originally installed it and 
maintained it throughout it's life. As far as operation, its easy to 
operate, but most of the control is done remotely through a da vinci, 
so we're only threading, and focusing at the machine, the rest in the 
CC suite.

Hope this helps!

Sean McKee
Screen Time Images

> TIG TWiki collaborative project is at http://tig.colorist.org.
> Support the TIG, see below; thank you Gary Coates.
> Dear list readers,
> I was wondering if those of you who have used a Rank Cintel Mark III 
> telecine machine could please comment on the following things:
> Rank Cintel MarkII:
> -------------------
> Reliability: How reliable is this machine in terms of uptime and 
> Maintenence costs: I've been reading about the CRTs. Are these 
> really that expensive to operate? Are there other components that 
must be 
> changed regulary? Some people I've talked to tell me they're more 
> than most people say. Comments?
> Operation: I have close to no experience with these machines. Are 
> things I should take into serious consideration in terms of 
> of operation before buying one?
> Output quality: Will it output top SD quality meaning things are more 
up to 
> the colourist than the machine?
> Do they require other power input than what's normal in an office 
> Ie. 220/230v in Norway?
> Should I get on of these? Why/Why not?
> What are the different versions of the MarkIII and which should I go 
for if 
> I choose a MarkIII?
> My budget can get me a well fitted MarkIII with a S8mm gate or a less 
> fitted URSA maybe. Pros/Cons between these besides the URSA is newer? 
I do 
> need a S8mm gate though...
> Thanks for your time!
> Best regards,
> Andreas
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