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16mm Super 16 Scoopic K3 Krasnogorsk

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#1 Glen Brownson

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 01:28 PM

I currently have a Krasnogorsk K3 (converted to S16) and a Canon Scoopic 16M.

I've used both several times over the last couple of years and have learned a lot with them.

I've managed to get some good results, however, although there are things about both that I like, they each have things about them that I dislike.

 

K3

+      Rugged, cheap, large choice of M42 lenses available, Super 16, stable speed control, compact, reflex

-       Wind up, tricky to load, light leaks, Standard Meteor lens 'soft' (i.e slightly out of focus) at widest settings, unstable registration, reliability issues

 

16M

+      Easy to load and use, electric, affordable (but not cheap), reliable, good registration, reflex (but dim in low light), good macro, not too bulky, 

-       Fixed lens - soft at widest setting, speed noticeably unstable (probably fault with my camera), dim reflex at higher f stop

 

The common problem with getting sharp images with wide angle views is the biggest problem I have with these.

 

So, I'm still looking for my 'perfect' camera. I'd like a hand held, reflex, electric camera with changeable lenses. Hopefully easy/quick to load. Super 16 preferred, but not essential. I'm also on a limited budget, maximum £1500 I guess. 

 

Two possibilities I can think of are:

Beaulieu R16 and Bolex EBM (£££?)

 

I nearly got a R16 with an (Angineux?) motorised lens, but I was put off the motorised lens due to reliability and dislike of controlling lenses with motors rather than manually.

 

I don't know much about either of those, would they be better choices or do they have their own issues that cause user's problems?

Have I missed other possible options that may be suitable?

 

Thanks for any help you can give.


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#2 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 06:23 PM

With that limited a budget (and you'll need lenses too), you're not going to get much of a step up in quality. A Bolex will be better than a K3 for sure, but you're still dealing with the limitations of essentially prosumer-grade equipment from the 60s and 70s. A Bolex in good condition with say a Switar lens should give you some nice images, just be aware that the viewfinder won't be better than a Scoopic.

The other thing to be aware of is that to get the most out of old film equipment, it really helps to have it serviced, or at least checked over by an experienced technician. Your issues with wide lenses could simply be that the flange depth (distance from lens mount to film plane) is a tiny bit out and so your lens is not focussing at its sharpest. Or the viewfinder optics are dirty, or the lens is out of tolerance, or some other issue is affecting image quality. With a cine zoom, you should focus at the long end and then zoom out to the wider view you want, but that does require the camera flange depth and lens back- focus to be perfectly set. Scoopics and K3s unfortunately aren't very service-friendly in that regard, whereas a Bolex can be tuned up very nicely.

A good quality scan is also important. With wide angles and 16mm, you're pushing the medium to render fine detail, and any weak link in the chain will affect the final quality.

If you really want to see a step up in quality, you need to invest in something like an Arriflex or an Aaton, preferably from the 90s on, and use proper cine lenses, but you are looking at a jump in cost, especially for the lenses.
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#3 Glen Brownson

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 03:36 AM

Thanks for that Dom, very helpful. Looks like a Bolex may be the next step then. The Arri/Aatons are probably not suitable for carrying around much!

Plenty to think about.

Cheers

Glen


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#4 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 10:39 AM

I really like my Bolex EBM, it gets a lot of work both with me and my friends. One of them is shooting an entire music documentary on it, which is quite amazing.

I personally prefer my XTR over the Bolex for a few reasons. One of them is that the XTR is a natural feel when operating, especially when it comes to focus and zoom controls. The Bolex also has a pretty dark viewfinder which makes it harder to determine focus over the XTR. Obviously if you have a choice, XTR any day, but for saving money, a Bolex with the right glass is a pretty darn killer camera that's super stable and has a vast amount of accessories/support available.
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#5 Glen Brownson

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 12:50 PM

Thanks Tyler.

I think the XTR is a bit too bulky for me, and out of my price range.

 

The EBM was already of interest, and it looks like that is where the consensus is pointing.

Its good to get the views of people who are familiar with it.

Cheers


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#6 Jay Young

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Posted 30 October 2018 - 09:14 AM

CP-16.

 

You can still get belts, and clutch pads, and usually they come with a pretty decent 10-150 Angenieux zoom.  Sure, you have to thread it, but they come cheap.  People still CLA them.  The only downside is the electronics.  If they go, not much you can do.  I use mine all the time as B or C cam.  


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#7 Brenton Lee

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Posted 30 October 2018 - 10:20 AM

+1 Vote for the EBM.

 

The mount on the EBM is very versatile. I got a Canon FD adaptor and a C-Mount Adaptor and the choice of affordable lenses was awesome. 

 

Plus you can step up to 400' mags when you need to. 


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#8 Simon Wyss

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Posted 30 October 2018 - 01:15 PM

I advocate a spring-drive turret Paillard-Bolex H. She won’t let you down.* With the C-mounts turret you are free to shoot scenes between infinity and until the object touches the front element of a lens. That goes with shim washers over the lens mounting thread, then rings and extension tubes. You can still add an electric motor, go synch-sound. You have a critival focusing system with a separate prism whose matte surface can be greatly magnified, if desired. An older model (serial number below 100,400) affords 190 degrees shutter opening. You find a vast palette of lenses from simple but very light triplets over good but still not expensive five- and six-elements lenses to apochromats that leave nothing to beef about.

 

A mechanic can turn you a brake bell for the governor a tad smaller in diameter than the regular one. With it you will be able to slow down the mechanism to four or three frames per second. What a tool in low light levels! Together with a f/0.95 lens—yes, such exist— and a speedier film you will pearce through the dark. Berthiot, Angénieux, Schneider, Dallmeyer, and some more made f/0.95 lenses.

_______________________

 

*Get in touch with a service person who takes care of it. Let her or him refresh the lubricants and check the critical specifications after three years. Regular maintenance is cheaper and pays off with a sale.


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#9 Glen Brownson

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Posted 30 October 2018 - 05:10 PM

CP-16: Interesting, and I have thought about those in the past, but....hard to find, reliability/servicing a bit of an issue and a bit bulky for me. Wouldn't rule one out if a decent one became available.

EBM seems to be fitting the bill, but........ curve ball....... Simon's suggestion sounds very interesting, the add on electric motor may be the thing that steers me down this route.

Thanks for all the replies so far, good to get different points of view. And I have the same appreciation for fine old machines as Simon!


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#10 Simon Wyss

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Posted 31 October 2018 - 02:01 AM

Am servicing an H-16 RX-5 that was converted to S-16 for someone in England. It looks like it was never opened since the modification. My, the mechanism was full of graphite grease, even the gears of the variable shutter drive. What an incompetence! The fast running parts must be oiled. A glance at the governor bell that should be clean and dry:

 

Greasy governor bell.JPG


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#11 Will Montgomery

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 05:15 PM

I think you've covered the 16mm options. Bolex might be a good next one to try.

 

I don't like the winding on the K3. I have a crystal synced Canon Scoopic MS which is my go-to camera for home movies and run-n-gun type shooting. Wouldn't shoot a feature with it but some inserts maybe.

 

If you're looking for quality, steady shots and you'll be using a tripod I really like the Arri SR2. Super solid registration and built like a tank. Somewhat painful to handhold, but doable. In the U.S. they are still regularly serviced; not sure about Europe.


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#12 Glen Brownson

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 02:05 PM

Thanks Will. Do you find the Scoopic a bit soft when the lens is at its widest angle? I do like the Scoopic and will probably keep it, but I think the Bolex may offer some additional flexibility.


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