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Calling Will--S16 on your K3?


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#1 Ira Ratner

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 06:23 AM

Did you ever mount the recentering ring?

I'm thinking of pulling the trigger for the S16 gate with NCS, but what's the deal with that ring? What's involved?
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#2 Will Montgomery

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 10:43 AM

I have that ring still sitting in the case with my K3. It looks very simple to install, just unscrew the old one and screw in the new one. I've just been using my Scoopic so much recently I haven't felt the need to bring out the K3.

I will say that in Super 16 with a good Pentax Takumar prime, the K3 looks great. Sharper than my Scoopic for sure, at least in lower light. The recentering ring should allow even the stock meteor lens to cover the whole S16 area even at the wide end... 17mm. Right now it only covers it above 24mm or so.
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#3 Ira Ratner

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 07:49 PM

I've been debating whether to make the jump. Yeah, I can afford to send NCS in New York $265 for the gate, and I ASSUME I'll get my $75 rebate after sending them back my regular gate. (I'm afraid to assume I'll be able to make the conversion myself, but their instructions don't look THAT hard.)

The thing is, I called NCS yesterday, and as someone who has smoked tons of pot between 1970 and 1990, I can tell you that the guy I spoke to had me beat by a MILE. Totally, totally ridiculous--and not business-like at all.

I also asked him about the ring, and in between his giggly fits and what I guess were sounds of him enjoying his munchies, he said that the two rings he/they had worked with from the guy in Belarus were machined too thick, and that under 5.6, you were really asking for trouble with focus relating to depth of field.

Does this make any sense?

Edited by Ira Ratner, 07 January 2009 - 07:51 PM.

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#4 Will Montgomery

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 01:01 AM

$265 seems a little expensive for just the gate widening. Have you talked to Bernie O'Doherty at Super 16 Inc?

Du-All did my gate enlargement AND widened my viewfinder (drilled it out) for about that price if I remember. Then I had Bernie collimate the meteor lens and do his Laserbrighten process on the mirror which made a noticeable difference in the brightness of the viewfinder.

As far as the thickness of the rings is an issue, it seems like proper collimation of any lenses you want to use with it could solve that issue. At least Bernie could tell you for real if it was truly a problem.
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#5 Ira Ratner

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 07:55 PM

I'll email Bernie now, but what NCS does is send you a different gate for $265, you do the install and return the old gate, and they send you $75 back.

And that's it. Nothing with the viewfinder or anything else--they don't touch or ever see your camera.

I know this has been answered a gazillion times but I can't get my mind to wrap around the concept. The viewfinder has to be modified for WYSIWYG, correct? Or is this ALMOST like WYSIWYG--and that's where the recentering ring comes in?
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#6 Ira Ratner

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 08:29 PM

Mission accomplished, so we'll see what he says.

I dropped your name, so if you're in contact with him soon, mention me, because my business with him may save YOU a few bucks next time.
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#7 Topher Ryan

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 04:44 AM

The thing is, I called NCS yesterday, and as someone who has smoked tons of pot between 1970 and 1990, I can tell you that the guy I spoke to had me beat by a MILE. Totally, totally ridiculous--and not business-like at all.

I also asked him about the ring, and in between his giggly fits and what I guess were sounds of him enjoying his munchies...


I had almost the exact same experience phoning that guy about his NCS K3 battery adapter. Giggly fits and all.

Du-All did my gate enlargement AND widened my viewfinder (drilled it out) for about that price if I remember. Then I had Bernie collimate the meteor lens and do his Laserbrighten process on the mirror which made a noticeable difference in the brightness of the viewfinder.

As far as the thickness of the rings is an issue, it seems like proper collimation of any lenses you want to use with it could solve that issue. At least Bernie could tell you for real if it was truly a problem.


Will, this is the first time I've heard of the viewfinder being widened. Can you actually see the entire 1.66 frame now? I actually asked one of the guys at Duall last time I was in there, about modifying the viewfinder, and he didn't sound too hopeful about it.
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#8 Will Montgomery

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 04:55 PM

Will, this is the first time I've heard of the viewfinder being widened. Can you actually see the entire 1.66 frame now? I actually asked one of the guys at Duall last time I was in there, about modifying the viewfinder, and he didn't sound too hopeful about it.

It's far from perfect, but you can see more of the frame. Corners are slightly rounded. Can't say if I see the entire S16 frame, probably a little short of it. Not usable for critical framing but you do see a little more. I'm sure they are a little reluctant to talk about it because it's not a perfect solution.

However, this recentering ring may take a little of the guess work out of the framing in S16 on the K3.

The main thing holding me back from using the K3 more is not having a motor.

I dropped your name, so if you're in contact with him soon, mention me, because my business with him may save YOU a few bucks next time.

Thanks, I hope you're happy with Bernie's results, let us know. Consider that laser brightening process... I noticed a major difference when he was done with mine and the viewfinder brightness was one of my major problems with the camera.
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#9 Ira Ratner

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 07:03 PM

Bernie answered, and too expensive at $450 for me:

"Yes I can do the S16 upgrade for the K-3. Price includes widening of gate. Removal of viewfinder mask. Pro upgrade (removal of loop former system ). And camera servicing (polishing of all roller , sprockets & film guides, and of course lens collimation). There is no lens centering or viewfinder masking available with this upgrade."

The collimation is worth bucks, but I'm not really interested in that now--prefer to use a bunch of primes. And I just don't know what removal of viewfinder mask means.

Anyway, I have to email him back to get more specific pricing, but if I just want to go S16 without this other stuff (especially the loop removal), I can do it myself for $200 via NCS. However, if he would substitute his laser mirror brightening for the collimation, we might have a deal.
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#10 Ira Ratner

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 07:09 PM

Hey, I'm all confused here, and I just realized it:

Bernie is at S16, and I had emailed Duall!
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#11 Will Montgomery

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 08:39 PM

So Duall said $450 for the "pro" upgrade? Prices have gone up from 4 years ago. Still check with Bernie (Super 16, Inc.)... not saying he's "cheap" but he could probably do all you listed for a little less or throw in that laser-brightening process at the same price (that is worth it even by itself.) He is the man for lenses. I think he collimated some of my primes at the same time as the Meteor lens.

I just installed that re-centering ring. As I thought, it was extremely easy, just four screws and it's done. I have s shoot Wednesday and I'll post after I see results.

The recentering ring will effect more than just zoom lenses; if you use an ultra-wide prime, the edge distortion will be more noticeable on one side... especially with something like a Peleng 8mm.
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#12 Ira Ratner

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 06:53 PM

Here's where things get weird. This is Bernie's partial response., and the rest of it has to do with why he doesn't recommend an S16 conversion for a K3:

"If you want to get more pixels from a K-3, the mod I would recommend is Ultra 16, which is a lot more viable now that there's a transfer house with a gate designed to process this format, Cinelicious in LA. Paul Korver has a lot of info. on Ultra on this page: http://www.cinelicious.tv/?page_id=39 <http://www.cinelicio...tv/?page_id=39> and we're offering a 10% discount on Ultra 16 conversions at least to the end of this month.

"A regular CLA on a K-3 with assassination of the loop formers and collimation/calibration of your zoom lens is $205-235 depending on the age and condition of the camera. When I'm already inside to do an Ultra 16 conversion, I discount the CLA/loop former assassination to $145-170, and then widen the gate on both sides for a total (before the 10% off) of $295-320. Your existing lens would still cover."

My questions are:

1) What's a CLA?

2) How can anyone convert to U16 on the basis of just ONE transfer house that does that conversion?

Edited by Ira Ratner, 20 January 2009 - 06:57 PM.

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#13 Will Montgomery

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 12:18 AM

I think CLA means "clean, lubricate and adjust"; something needed on a K3.

I've worked with the Cinelicious folks and love their work both in 16mm & Super 8. Very reasonable and good colorists. That being said, I would still opt for a Super 16 Conversion on a K3 since more transfer houses can handle it. By the way, Bonolabs in Maryland (a sponsor of this site) also can transfer Ultra-16.

On a Canon Scoopic the Ultra-16 mod is a great cost saving idea since it's so difficult to make a Scoopic Super 16 but relatively easy to just widen the gate to make Ultra-16.

Not to speak for Bernie, but he's probably saying that the Ultra-16 mod would be better because it keeps your lens mount centered on the gate thus letting you use all lenses properly.

If he would remove all the loop formers, collimate your lens, clean, lube & adjust PLUS widen your gate to Super 16 for $320 I'd do that and somewhere down the road get one of those lens mount offsets like I picked up on eBay for $125.

Ultra-16 just makes it easier to convert but it's less practical if your telecine house doesn't support it. That being said, I AM interested in doing the Ultra-16 mod to my Scoopic. Just saving a little now after the holidays but I plan on doing that soon.
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#14 Ira Ratner

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 11:28 PM

I'm going for the Ultra 16 to keep things cheaper and easier--plus the Laserbrightening.

No lens-col, since for what I want to do, it will be all of my 35mm still primes anyway.

Gonna ship it up next week (payday) but paying HALF the total cost at that time. Two weeks later I pay the balance, for him to actually start working on it.

Don't know how many of you guys noticed, but there's a recession going on.
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#15 Topher Ryan

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 10:15 PM

I just installed that re-centering ring. As I thought, it was extremely easy, just four screws and it's done. I have s shoot Wednesday and I'll post after I see results.

The recentering ring will effect more than just zoom lenses; if you use an ultra-wide prime, the edge distortion will be more noticeable on one side... especially with something like a Peleng 8mm.


Wondering if you got around to doing a test with the new mount ring. I'm most curious about the peleng since those two items (re-centering ring and peleng 8mm) have been on my to-do list for some time now. Also, wouldn't the wider lens be more sensitive to FFD problems?

Were there any shims behind the m42 mount when you removed it? I'm assuming that is how FFD is adjusted on the K3, but it would only give you adjustment in one direction, assuming no shims behind original mount. Some very precise machining to the ring could shorten the FFD, but hopefully the re-centering ring is good right out of the box.
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#16 bob shepherd

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 07:43 AM

If he would remove all the loop formers, collimate your lens, clean, lube & adjust PLUS widen your gate to Super 16 for $320 I'd do that and somewhere down the road get one of those lens mount offsets like I picked up on eBay for $125.


Hi Will,

Do you know where I could get a lens mount offset? I did a couple of searches on Ebay, but couldn't find one.

Also, I have a K-3 with a Bayonet lens mount, not the screw one. Do you know if the offset would fit that too?

Thanks a lot
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#17 Will Montgomery

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 07:41 PM

Do you know where I could get a lens mount offset? I did a couple of searches on Ebay, but couldn't find one.

I hate how eBay and Paypal don't let you access records past 3 months or so. I wish I could find the person's name... sorry. I'm guessing someone in Russia used a machine shop to manufacture a bunch of these and sold them until they were gone.


Also, I have a K-3 with a Bayonet lens mount, not the screw one. Do you know if the offset would fit that too?

I have a feeling the bayonet mount is more integral to the camera than the M42 mount. The M42 mount itself is just held on by 2 screws and is easily changed out.
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#18 Topher Ryan

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 10:51 AM

According to my notes the eBay seller was "lockstock2006" located in Belarus.

Try a search for that seller and contact him. Let me know what you hear.
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