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K-3 Modification


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#1 Steve Larsen

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 11:08 PM

Hi there, for all or you looking at your k3 and wondering weather to swith to s16 it might be easier than you think. I think I have found a different way to re center the lens and eyepiece. The camera is quite straight forward inside and built like a tank. Here's what I did to mine:

After reading through forums and checking out websites I thought I would be able to do it myself but wanted to find a solution for centering the lens and view finder. I took the camera apart enlarged the gate (set of files, caliper and a small stone to finish the edges)and then stared at the camera for a few days and came up with the idea of moving the film plane to recenter the lens and viewfinder. You enlarge the gate by 2 mm and lower the film plane by 1 mm to recenter.
first - I moved the s16 gate over by 1 mm( move holes by 1 mm on gate and lower)
second - The plate the film and sprockets sit's on is 2.5 mm thick aluminum and can be shaved down (after removing all the auto load crap) to move the film down by 1 mm.
third- moving the claw mechanism, I did this by shaving down one side of claw mechanism's connection to it's pivot point by 1mm then added a 1 mm washer to the other side of the pivot point, then added 1 mm washers to the claw mechnism guide to move it over to match the claw and filed down the camera where the claw would now touch.

The camera is all back together now, running smooth, lubed and checked for scratches and everything seems to be ok. I'm shoothing my firt roll now and will post the results when developed.

I highly recommend installing a super16 gate and removing the auto load crap, the camera is pretty easy to load with out it in totall darkness with a little practice and it's one less thing to scratch your film. I would not recommend trying to move the film plane unless you have a good little workshop, accurate measurement tools and are naturally handy.

Steve.
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#2 david west

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 12:11 AM

hi Steve,

if you do get scratches, you may want to take the part that you enlarged and use buffing compound on it until it is a super smooth surface....
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#3 Steve Larsen

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 12:41 AM

hi Steve,

if you do get scratches, you may want to take the part that you enlarged and use buffing compound on it until it is a super smooth surface....


thanks, if I have problems I will try that. I checked film with a magnifying glass and everything looks ok. You can somtimes see a small mark(with magnifying glass under bright light) where the rollers pass over the area that is enlarged(where the second perfs would be). I don't think it is scratching here but time will tell.
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#4 Will Montgomery

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 09:54 PM

I think I have found a different way to re center the lens and eyepiece. The camera is quite straight forward inside and built like a tank. Here's what I did to mine:

Sounds like alot of work, I was under the impression that you can just modify the viewfinder mask to view the S16 area to the right... not perfect but pretty darn close. You can also just remove the mask all together and see everything the lens can. Du-All camera in NYC did the viewfinder mod for me, works pretty good.

Many people told me on these boards that the viewfinder mod was not possible, so congrats on finding another way as well.
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#5 Steve Larsen

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 12:16 PM

Sounds like alot of work, I was under the impression that you can just modify the viewfinder mask to view the S16 area to the right... not perfect but pretty darn close. You can also just remove the mask all together and see everything the lens can. Du-All camera in NYC did the viewfinder mod for me, works pretty good.


I tried removing the viewfinder mask/focussing screen, filed out the opening a little to coraspond to s16 gate and when your wide open you have a beautifull bright overscanned view (can see beyond the s16 frame top/bottom/sides). The problem is when you stop down your image dissapears accordingly (becuase it is no longer focusing on the ground glass first). Then I tried making my own ground glass first with a photo screen from an old camera, it wasn't fine enough, then glass from a picture frame ground fine on one side and cut to size, it looked good but the grinding was not fine enough and it was very dark. With a good piece of ground glass I would be off to the races.

By recentering the film I also recentered the lens allowing you to zoom and look straight thru a lens, the viewfinder being centered was a bonus. Right now I put the old glass back in untill I find or make a nice oversized one.
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#6 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 09:59 PM

Right now I put the old glass back in untill I find or make a nice oversized one.


I am probaly out in left field (No joke intended) but why not try to use the viewscreen out of a junked 35mm Still camera? Should have enogh area to cover much more than even 35mm Movie, and they typicaly have a fresnel condensor built in to brighten up the image. Many have a "microprism" or slit field focus aid in the centere which might still work, although would proably take up most of the frame, depending on what camera you were scavaging from.

You can cut it down with a fine saw blade, as they normaly are made of (soft) plastic.

Note that I have not seen your application so I don't know if the SLR screen would be too thick to fit.
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#7 Steve Larsen

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 11:29 PM

I am probaly out in left field (No joke intended) but why not try to use the viewscreen out of a junked 35mm Still camera? Should have enogh area to cover much more than even 35mm Movie, and they typicaly have a fresnel condensor built in to brighten up the image. Many have a "microprism" or slit field focus aid in the centere which might still work, although would proably take up most of the frame, depending on what camera you were scavaging from.

You can cut it down with a fine saw blade, as they normaly are made of (soft) plastic.

Note that I have not seen your application so I don't know if the SLR screen would be too thick to fit.

This is what I tried first with the screen from an old zenit 35mm, chopped to size, looks good to the eye but when it's in the k3 it's far to course. You can see the focussing screen rings and it was quite dark compared to the original. The glass I ground was better than the focussing screen from the zenit.
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#8 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 11:45 PM

This is what I tried first with the screen from an old zenit 35mm, chopped to size, looks good to the eye but when it's in the k3 it's far to course. You can see the focussing screen rings and it was quite dark compared to the original. The glass I ground was better than the focussing screen from the zenit.

I worked in a place that sold Zenit's in the late 1970's, they were MUCH less bright than the Japanese SLRs of the time. The Ground glass was also very coarse, such that it was hard to focus back then when my eyes were much better than they are now. :blink: I was thinking more of a modern "plastic Fantastic" all electronic SLR that is not repairable if the electronics break.
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#9 Steve Larsen

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 08:33 PM

I was thinking more of a modern "plastic Fantastic" all electronic SLR that is not repairable if the electronics break.

thanks for the suggestion, I will try and find a dead one to tear apart.
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