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Checking the registration pin on the K3


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#1 Galen Carter-Jeffrey

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 08:37 PM

I shot two rolls of film using my K3 one roll looked fine, the other was just a big blur. Is there anyway to check the registration pin without waiting for you film to come back?
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#2 Bernie O'Doherty

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 09:24 PM

Hi, Galen,

Your camera does not have a registration pin, just a claw, and one of the quirky things about the K3 is in the loading. The design was never great, and it is so easy for the operator to misload because of the clamp-down rollers in the film chamber.

Even when loaded perfectly, the camera has uneven pressure between the feed and take-up rollers, with the claw in the middle fighting to keep everything together. The string they use to provide pressure just doesn't do the trick.

You might want to try balancing feed and take-up sides as perfectly as you can, lowering your speed to 12 frames, shooting a few seconds of film, and seeing if it holds the loop. Then close the door and hope for the best.

Cheers,
Bernie
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#3 Galen Carter-Jeffrey

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 10:12 PM

You might want to try balancing feed and take-up sides as perfectly as you can, lowering your speed to 12 frames, shooting a few seconds of film, and seeing if it holds the loop. Then close the door and hope for the best.

Cheers,
Bernie


What? I thought these camera's where "built like a tank" Basically I wasted my money on the damn thing if the all I can do is hope for the best.
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#4 Nathan Milford

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 10:28 PM

Sound like it lost the loop.

What? I thought these camera's where "built like a tank"


More like 'built in a tank factory.'

Basically I wasted my money on the damn thing if the all I can do is hope for the best.


You can get them on eBay for under a hundred bucks. All that money wasted...
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#5 Joe Lotuaco

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 10:41 PM

What? I thought these camera's where "built like a tank" Basically I wasted my money on the damn thing if the all I can do is hope for the best.



Well, you can have a little more faith in these cameras than just "hope for the best". I may not have nearly as much experience with this camera as some, but since I'm so inexperienced with it, I say "if i can do it, anyone can". I just picked up my first couple rolls of film that I shot tests on from the lab today and my K3 has rock solid registration (camera was on locked on tripod and the image was rock solid).

I think what Bernie might be referring to is the loop formers that are located above and below the gate. Most people have them removed which makes the camera a "manual load" camera since you now have to form the loops yourself. You form the top loop, run the film through the gate, form the bottom loop and back through the main drive sprocket rather than letting the the loop formers control the path of the film as you run it through.

I'm not sure what Bernie is referring to by "feed and take up rollers" since there is only the one drive sprocket with the "keepers" on the feed and take up sides of it. If he's referring to the the loop formers (which I think he might be, since he mentioned the string system), when you close the lid the loop formers are pulled away from the loops that were formed. You can see this happen when you push the little button thing located below the lower loop former. I would assume on some K3's the strings that are used to pull the loop formers away from the loops when the lid is closed, get worn or stretched over time and lose their ability to pull the formers away thus interfering with the film loops once the camera is running. I'm in no way an expert on this camera, I'm just making my most logical assumption of why the removal of the loop formers is usually the first thing recommended to do to a K3. I know on the Bolex's the loop formers are moved away from the loops mechancally so it doesn't have the same problem.

Soooo, perhaps that might be what's causing your problem. If a loop former isn't getting pulled away from the loop, it might interfere in some way causing the film to get moved off the pull down claw making the film move around in the gate.

Just a guess. But these cameras are built like tanks...except for the string system used to move the loop formers.
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#6 Will Montgomery

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 11:46 PM

What? I thought these camera's where "built like a tank" Basically I wasted my money on the damn thing if the all I can do is hope for the best.

Built like a Russian Tank, not an M1-A1 Abrams. Meaning that if you get a good one, it will probably hold up for a while, but there are plenty of bad ones out there too.

Plus, at $150, its not exactly a huge expense.
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#7 Galen Carter-Jeffrey

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 12:55 AM

Built like a Russian Tank, not an M1-A1 Abrams. Meaning that if you get a good one, it will probably hold up for a while, but there are plenty of bad ones out there too.

Plus, at $150, its not exactly a huge expense.



If I formed the loop too tight and it pulled the pressure plate back a little would that cause a blur?

Thanks for all the help.
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#8 Adam Wallensten

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 01:55 AM

My K-3 has a steady image when running 24 fps. At 48 fps the picture jumps quite a bit.
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#9 Joe Lotuaco

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 08:29 PM

If I formed the loop too tight and it pulled the pressure plate back a little would that cause a blur?

Thanks for all the help.



I would think that would be at least a major factor in it. If the film is pulling the pressur plate back, then the pressure plate isn't holding the film up to the gate properly and the frame is off the film plain ever so slightly and probably just enough to still give you an image but blurry.
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#10 ryan_bennett

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 08:42 PM

If I formed the loop too tight and it pulled the pressure plate back a little would that cause a blur


If the pressure plate moves back and forth, rattles a bit, then you loaded wrong or put the pressure plate back in not correctly then yes, you won't have proper registration. A good deal of camera's don't have registration pins, such as the Bolex, so you don't really just pray for the best. As to wasting your money, yes it is a waste of money your money if you just want something to work and not practice and learn how to do it properly and just give up. Obviously if everyone had terrible registration problems, the K3 wouldn't be as popular as it is. I put 1000feet of color negative which costed me hundreds of USD in the end and got beautiful rock steady images. I'm glad I took the chance but this was only after practice, experimentation, and of course some fun (I shot tests that were also shorts, double duty).

I know on the Bolex's the loop formers are moved away from the loops mechancally so it doesn't have the same problem.


Can't one add a little 'nub' or some sort of device on the cover plate that pushes down the button on the K-3 that opens the loop formers?
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#11 Joe Lotuaco

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 09:46 PM

Can't one add a little 'nub' or some sort of device on the cover plate that pushes down the button on the K-3 that opens the loop formers?



On my K3, the cover plate did push down on the button which opened the loop formers when I put the lid on. The Bolex's loop formers are opened with a system of mechanical levers while the K3 uses strings and pulleys, so that's why I referred to the Bolex being more "mechanical".
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#12 David Venhaus

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 11:00 PM

If the pressure plate is too loose there is a small screw to adjust the spring tension of it.
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#13 Galen Carter-Jeffrey

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 11:20 PM

If the pressure plate is too loose there is a small screw to adjust the spring tension of it.


should i take out the pressure plate when i load the film?
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#14 Tomas Stacewicz

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 04:32 AM

should i take out the pressure plate when i load the film?


Yes, if you load manually, which I suggest. The autoload isn't realible on most cameras.
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#15 David Venhaus

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 07:10 AM

Yes, if you load manually, which I suggest. The autoload isn't realible on most cameras.


It is also a good idea to clean it before the loading of each roll of film.
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#16 Galen Carter-Jeffrey

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 08:42 AM

What's the difference between auto load and manual?
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#17 Tomas Stacewicz

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 11:51 AM

What's the difference between auto load and manual?


On autoload you should just put the end of the film (after you have put the daylight roll on place) into the spring between the upper roller and the sprocket wheel and the film are supposed to feed into the take up wheel at the bottom as you pull the trigger at 8 fps.

With manual loading you have to open up the rollers and limiter, take out the pressure plate and apply the film by hand, checking that the teeth/kogs of the sprocket wheel and the pull down claw enters through the perforations of the film, making sure that the loops have the correct size. Then you pull back the rollers and limiter to the original position and fasten the pressure plate to the gate (make sure that the film are aligned to the pathway correctly), wind up some feet of film by hand to the take up roll. It takes more skill but pays out in the long run.
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#18 Galen Carter-Jeffrey

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 12:45 PM

Wow! I will definitly do that from now on. I did have a littl trouble getting the film back into the sprockets after it looped and passed through the pressure plate. The sprockets would never catch the film and it would jam, causing me to keep cutting the end off until it loaded correctly.

open the rollers and limiter, take out the pressure plate and apply the film by hand, checking that the teeth/kogs of the sprocket wheel and the pull down claw enters through the perforations of the film


How do I open the rollers and limiter?


Sorry for asking so many questions.
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#19 Tomas Stacewicz

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 12:57 PM

How do I open the rollers and limiter?


Check out this site: http://www.geocities...film-manual.htm

The limiter is a little arm that makes sure that the film doesn't slide off the sprocket att the lower end. It sits near the pressure plate. It can be pulled towards the gate or towards the roller. Opening it up you just pull it towards the gate. Closing it you pull it back all the way, making sure that it covers the roller.
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#20 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 10:03 PM

I junked the autoload on mine, you can do it by just breaking the 2 plastic formers off. I eventually took it apart and removed all of the autoload system, it helped and you just form the loop by hand. Not as steady as my LTR54, or my B&H 240 either. I think build quality it highly variable on this camera.

-Rob-

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