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#1 Marty Hamrick

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 10:54 PM

This is an interesting site with a wealth of knowledge on Russian 16mm and 35mm cameras.I've used the 16mm Krasnogorsk once,the experience was good for the brief amount of time I used it.I can see the attraction to Russian cameras for their low cost.If I am to understand correctly,the 35mm cameras are not originally designed to take film stocks with Bell and Howell pitch perfs.Is the modification for this expensive?Are there many options for stocks with Kodak standard positive pitch?The site says the Kinor 35 C and 35 H require an expensive modification of the registration pin and pulldown claw.Anyone have any experience with this?Some of these cameras look pretty nice.Are they a good,cheap alternative to an Arri or Movicam?
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#2 Herb Montes

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 11:17 PM

Only those cameras with registration pins would require modification. Some models of the Konvas can use both types of perfs without problems. I have a Rodina which has pin registration and it was modified when I bought it from Raf. Raf has sold other models that have pin registration, those which are made for special effect or animation use. Supposedly print stocks are those with the Kodak perfs since they were made to be projected. Raf and Olex can probably explain better what cameras would need modification and what it would cost.

By the way my Rodina can do much of what a Mitchell standard could but at 1/10th the price. Which is why I bought it for stop motion animation.
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#3 Mitch Gross

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 12:17 AM

As I understand it, all that needs to be done is to file down the pulldown claw and registration pin to fit BH perfs. If this isn't done before you get it, any camera house should be able to do it for an hour or so service charge.

Be careful what you wish for if you think these cameras can really replace an Arri or a Moviecam. They are old (not manufactured for at least 14 years) and parts may be impossible to find. The designs are okay, but the craftmanship can vary wildly. The Konvas cameras are very simple, like an Arri 2c, but the Knior 35 is pretty complicated and can have issues. I've known the electronics to simply quit midday, and the main driveshaft is made from basic steel instead of hardened steel. It can torque twist over time and can only be filed straight so many times before there's nothing left.

Slow-Motion, Inc. in LA reworks these cameras and as I understand it makes them into nice production machines. But that can represent a significant investment and then they are still limited cameras with dim viewfinders and very heavy designs. I do understand that they convert well to 2-perf, as I've heard of three of them now reworked for this format.
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#4 Thomas Worth

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 01:03 AM

I own a Konvas 2M, and it cranks out footage any bit as good as a camera costing tens of thousands of dollars more. I was lucky enough to be able to buy it from a guy in L.A, so I had a chance to check it out before committing. For $1600, I got a Konvas 2M body with both a PL and OCT-19 mount, super-35 gate, crystal sync motor, matte box and some other stuff. I also got 2 400' magazines and 3 200' (although the 200' ones aren't that useful). The viewfinder and shutter were nearly new, with no scratches on any of the mirrored surfaces. It's not the brightest finder, but works well enough. The camera is noisy, but if you are shooting MOS sequences it's fine. The registration on my camera, despite the lack of a registration pin, is rock solid.

I have some unmarked Russian lenses from the mid to late 90s that I got for under $300 each. Two of them needed to be disassembled and the threads cleaned, but after that they were ready to go. The lenses are 18mm T3, 50mm T1.5, 75mm T1.6, and a 10mm T3. I am still on the lookout for a 28 or a 35mm, but the super speeds are rare (any usually overpriced) on eBay.

You can see some QuickTime clips of test footage I shot with my Konvas on my site. Here's the link:

http://rarevision.com/

There are 3 clips in the list on the left that were shot with the Konvas.

Here are some stills shot with each lens (except the 10mm):

75mm on Kodak 5274 200T:
Posted Image

50mm on Kodak 5279 500T:
Posted Image

18mm on Kodak 5245 50D:
Posted Image
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#5 Rafael Pankratau

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 02:13 AM

Last thing to add is that our regular convesrion price is $300-400 per pin.
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#6 DEMUTIGER

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 01:58 PM

Hi,

I wanted to chime in positively about the Konvas 2m as well. I have been using one for a little over a year and I'm very pleased with the results. You really can't beat the value. The camera is relatively light, extremely compact and versatile and the lenses are excellent. This camera is in the same class as an Arri 2c but offers much more bang for the buck.

People complain about the mags being difficult to load, but with practice, as with any film magazine, it becomes second nature. I can turn a mag around in under two minutes and reloading the camera itself is done literally in a snap.

Here are two links to projects shot with my Konvas. These are big files so be patient.

http://www.povproduc...Last Hojos-.mov

http://www.povproduc...AnimationQT.mov

Let me know what you think. If you have any technical or other questions I'd be happy to help.


Ian Dudley, NYC D.P
www.povproductions.net
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#7 Marty Hamrick

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 03:23 PM

Dumb question here.If these things weren't designed to shoot negative film,what were they designed for?Was it a Russian stock they shot back in the day?Another issue I thought about was the complaints about a dark viewfinder.Anyone with experience on attaching a video tap?Is this a problem?I saw on the Commicam site several with vid taps.
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#8 Stephen Williams

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 03:44 PM

Dumb question here.If these things weren't designed to shoot negative film,what were they designed for?Was it a Russian stock they shot back in the day?Another issue I thought about was the complaints about a dark viewfinder.Anyone with experience on attaching a video tap?Is this a problem?I saw on the Commicam site several with vid taps.


Hi,

Russian negative film has print stock perf, not the B+H perfs adopted by Eastman Kodak..

Stephen
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#9 Jon-Hebert Barto

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 03:49 PM

As regards the dim veiwfinder, http://www.super16inc.com/ has service called "Laserbrighten" that gives a dramatically clearer pic in the viewfinder. 35mm cameras cost $275 for the procedure. This guy is highly rec'd. Check it out.
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#10 Herb Montes

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 07:47 PM

Dumb question here.If these things weren't designed to shoot negative film,what were they designed for?Was it a Russian stock they shot back in the day?Another issue I thought about was the complaints about a dark viewfinder.Anyone with experience on attaching a video tap?Is this a problem?I saw on the Commicam site several with vid taps.


Negative stock perfs are also known as Bell & Howell perfs. They were standardized for cameras very early in motion picture development. But these kind of perfs did not stand up well to projection. Kodak came out with a more robust perf standard for projection and tried to have it accepted for camera use as well. But there were too many cameras using B&H perfs by then. The Russians adopted the Kodak standard as their own. This made it simpler for them not having to use two sets of perfs for film stock. So Russian cameras having registration pins fit the Kodak standard projection perfs which are slightly larger than the B&H perf pins common in cameras like the Mitchell and Arriflex.
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#11 Kevin Masuda

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 10:02 PM

Hi,

I wanted to chime in positively about the Konvas 2m as well. I have been using one for a little over a year and I'm very pleased with the results. You really can't beat the value. The camera is relatively light, extremely compact and versatile and the lenses are excellent. This camera is in the same class as an Arri 2c but offers much more bang for the buck.

People complain about the mags being difficult to load, but with practice, as with any film magazine, it becomes second nature. I can turn a mag around in under two minutes and reloading the camera itself is done literally in a snap.

Here are two links to projects shot with my Konvas. These are big files so be patient.

http://www.povproduc...Last Hojos-.mov

http://www.povproduc...AnimationQT.mov

Let me know what you think. If you have any technical or other questions I'd be happy to help.
Ian Dudley, NYC D.P
www.povproductions.net




Man Ian, those were some awesome videos. I loved the HoJo one, the cinematography was gorgeous. Now I'm really psyched to get my Konvas soon.

Kev
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#12 Ian Dudley

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 12:33 AM

Man Ian, those were some awesome videos. I loved the HoJo one, the cinematography was gorgeous. Now I'm really psyched to get my Konvas soon.

Kev

Kev,

Thanks for the kind comments. If you're in the market for a Konvas and need to be pointed in the right direction, contact me off list and I'd be happy to give you some trouble saving advice.

best of luck,

Ian
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