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Noob just bought a Konvas on ebay. Please advise.


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#1 Michael Mann

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 02:15 PM

Hi there,

I just got bitten by the bug and splashed on a Konvas 35mm on ebay.

I have no film experience. Im a musician attempting to make "episodic drama/musical shorts".I was actually just looking for a Super8 to start me off :blink:

I started looking about 2 months ago, with a budget of about 600 dollars, and lurked the various forums.

Funny thing was: On the Super8 forums everyone kept using the praise "that Canon 1014 shoot looks almost as good as 16mm!" and on the 16 mm forums I then went to check out it was "Crikey that Bolex shot looks good enough to be converted to 35mm!".

That was how I started to read up on the Konvas. By the time I was lurking here, i had figured that Super8 wasnt going to do it, and really why go for 16 mm when the technique is the same for 35mm anyway?

Then this popped along:
http://cgi.ebay.com/...em=390043801342

Suffice to say. I might have got a bit carried away, but as I saw it at the time - I just spent what a "highend" Super8 costs to get into 35mm.


Now Im determined to make the most of the experience. But obviously the more help I can get the better.

Can I ask anyone who has a bit of time please advise me on what I will probably need to do to get this kit in order, apart from order some film. I'm already taking notes from Konvas.org.

Should I send it straight to the shop for a cleanup? Do I need additional lenses? My budget is pretty blown this month, what with shipping costs to Norway etc, but maybe I can just start by cleaning it myself and giving it a paintjob?

Thanks for your patience.

Mike in Norway.
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#2 Michael Panfeld

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 02:42 PM

Mike: I've purchased from grizzlybear before. He's a decent seller. You may want to get a 75mm lens. there is a big gap between 50 and that Jupiter 135. cheers
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#3 Kevin Marck

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 03:24 PM

Hi there,

I just got bitten by the bug and splashed on a Konvas 35mm on ebay.

I have no film experience. Im a musician attempting to make "episodic drama/musical shorts".I was actually just looking for a Super8 to start me off :blink:

I started looking about 2 months ago, with a budget of about 600 dollars, and lurked the various forums.

Funny thing was: On the Super8 forums everyone kept using the praise "that Canon 1014 shoot looks almost as good as 16mm!" and on the 16 mm forums I then went to check out it was "Crikey that Bolex shot looks good enough to be converted to 35mm!".

That was how I started to read up on the Konvas. By the time I was lurking here, i had figured that Super8 wasnt going to do it, and really why go for 16 mm when the technique is the same for 35mm anyway?

Then this popped along:
http://cgi.ebay.com/...em=390043801342

Suffice to say. I might have got a bit carried away, but as I saw it at the time - I just spent what a "highend" Super8 costs to get into 35mm.


Now Im determined to make the most of the experience. But obviously the more help I can get the better.

Can I ask anyone who has a bit of time please advise me on what I will probably need to do to get this kit in order, apart from order some film. I'm already taking notes from Konvas.org.

Should I send it straight to the shop for a cleanup? Do I need additional lenses? My budget is pretty blown this month, what with shipping costs to Norway etc, but maybe I can just start by cleaning it myself and giving it a paintjob?

Thanks for your patience.

Mike in Norway.


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#4 Kevin Marck

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 03:31 PM

Hi Mike
Look at this website for great info http://konvas.org/
it is very useful for blimps,loading mags maintenance etc. etc.
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#5 Freya Black

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 04:21 PM

Neat! It's a proper 1M which are becoming rarer and rarer in decent condition. It looks cosmetically in good condition from the pictures too! :)

The earlier Konvas 1's couldn't take sync motors. Only the rheostat motors or the groovy handcrank.

The big downside with the setup you have is no 400ft mags. The 200ft mags for the Konvas are preety strange and people often use them for spares or as doorstops. To use normal Kodak/Fuji film with the 200ft mags you will need to create your own core adaptors. When you have done this you will find that you cannot fit 200ft in the mag, however you can get less in there if you score some very short ends. If you have a soviet core you can put it on the takeupside. The soviet cores are smaller (hence why the mag isn't big enough for 200ft.) Putting a soviet core on the takeup helps a little but you must remember not to send that core to the lab or you may never see it again.

This camera can take normal 400ft Konvas mags tho which don't have this issue. They are available from Rafcamera.
Kodak and Fuji loads are normally 400ft anyway.

The other big problem will be powering the motor of course can't remember the voltage for 15epss just now. Is it 8volts?

Hope that helps.

love

Freya

Edited by Freya Black, 14 April 2009 - 04:23 PM.

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#6 Bruce Taylor

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 08:17 PM

Congratulations on your Konvas!

Do some searches on Konvas motors here. Olex Kalynychenko has written a great deal of information specific to the 15EPSS motor that you have and will need to build a battery pack for.

It's funny how you came to 35mm from Super8. I still have great affection for the S8 look, but these days it should not be seen as a low cost way to shoot film, because it isn't anymore. May as well shoot 16 or 35 for about the same money. I have an article on my site that explains how to shoot 35mm for less than S8.

Konvas.org will have answers to most of the questions you're going to have. I agree, a 75mm lens and some 400ft mags will be very beneficial. As Freya points out, the 200' mags are not that useful. I use them to protect the gate.

I think you should send it out for service too, if you're going to be using it. Olex does very good work (Olex Kalynychenko, olex.camera@gmail.com). They are old cameras and need care and feeding to get optimum results, which they will!

Bruce Taylor
www.indi35.com
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#7 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 03:43 AM

Service the camera, the mags and have the lenses checked. Raf Camera makes core adapters for 200 ft mags, they cost 28 backs each plus shipping and you need 2 per mag. The load you will be able to use with the adapters drops from 200 ft to 170 ft. All Konvas cameras are "MOS" which means filming without recording sound because the Konvas operates at 55 dbs so it is very loud. The motor you have is a "stabilized" motor so it is resistant to drifting from exactly the FPS (Frames Per Second) rate you set it at but is not perfect. A Crystal-Sync motor is available for the Konvas 1M and 2M, you can find those on Ebay from time to time. The cameras are very tough and makes very good pictures, also short ends (left over lengths of un-exposed filmstock) become very useful with the Konvas. Keep checking ebay. Accessories come up for these cameras all the time and things like the original mattebox and other items will be most useful for you if you plan to use the camera a lot. I would also go back and read all the posts in this topic while you wait for your camera to arrive and serviced, there is a wealth of information here and stuff you will need to know.

The one thing to keep in mind with Russian equipment is the Soviets did things totally independently from the west. They use different voltage rates, the filters were made in different sizes. They had a different way of making movies (for example they shot all their films silent then added dialog and sound in pot production). Learn to embrace these differences and you will love the camera. Once you've shot film and projected it, you'll never look at video the same way. To quote the heading on the now sadly defunct Commiecam site "Comrade, Make Cinema Now!!" Take this advice and from myself, Dasvidania, comrade Konvas owner!

Edited by James Steven Beverly, 16 April 2009 - 03:48 AM.

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#8 Michael Mann

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 04:58 PM

Thanks for the informative answers!

There's obviously a bit of a learning curve to this - and the hidden expenses can't be denied.

In retrospect I should probably have had the camera shipped straight to service - but oh well.

At most I've got a few hundred dollars a month budget for filmaking...and I need batteries to get the camera going. Should I worry about upgrading the motor straight off for 6volt? or invest instead in a general overhaul, relying on cheap camcorder batteries until I can afford to upgrade later?

I am still a bit uncertain of batteries tho: An electrician I spoke to reckoned that a modern 7.2-7.4 videocamera battery should keep within the nominal voltage requirements of the 15EPSS (6-8.5V): and this manual seems to bear that out:
http://www.antonbaue...08Handbook.pdf.. I posted some more questions regarding this in another post:
http://www.cinematog...showtopic=37111 (Motor options), and I hope someone can give me an answer on what is an immediate safe battery for the 15EPSS, as reading the forum it appears this will be good enough at least for the first stages of learning...

thanks again for your time and responses!

m
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#9 David Auner aac

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 01:50 AM

Should I worry about upgrading the motor straight off for 6volt? or invest instead in a general overhaul, relying on cheap camcorder batteries until I can afford to upgrade later?

I am still a bit uncertain of batteries tho: An electrician I spoke to reckoned that a modern 7.2-7.4 videocamera battery should keep within the nominal voltage requirements of the 15EPSS (6-8.5V): and this manual seems to bear that out:
http://www.antonbaue...008Handbook.pdf..


I hope you're not thinking of Anton Bauer battery packs as a cheap option. Those things are insanely expensive for what they do. V mount packs are expensive too, but not that insane. But most camcorders today use 12-14.4 volts. A really cheap option to look into are battery packs for cordless tools. There is a number of people who use these. Look for older packs for 7.2V Makita cordless drills.

Also, if you're a bit of a DIY guy you can solder your own. Get a couple of subC 1.2V NIMH cells at your local RC car shop. If you want a 6V battery pack take two series of 5 1.2V cells wired parallel. Use the high quality copper links for soldering. When done shrink wrap the whole thing and you got yourself a nice battery pack for around 70-100 bucks depending on the capacity and the quality of the cells.

Regards, Dave
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#10 Oliver Christoph Kochs

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 04:28 PM

Hi, these batteries do the job.
http://www.panasonic..._LC-R061R3P.pdf
Yes, they're lead acid and not so environmentally friendly, but that's just what these cameras were powered by in the days they were built. They also can take the "power peaks" that the Konvas motor is causing (that's for the older Arri types as well). These lead acid type batteries charge 14 hours overnight so maybe get two.
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