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Krasnogorsk good footage...anyone? K-1 potential?


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#1 James Clement Cook

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 09:53 PM

Hi there- this is my first post- and a bit of an odd one, however, i must ask.
Has anyone... ever... shot anything professional on a Krasnogorsk, K-1,2, or 3?

I should qualify that to mean, specifically, anything of good quality? (I understand the meaning of subjectivity, but this is a Cinematography forum and it is full of good-natured and encouraging people)
I would just like to see somebody workin' it to the max. It's hard to tell if the camera is capable of great images as so many users are beginners just getting their chops up. I know that the camera has no registration pin, but would love to see the best work ever done with the thing.

Also, I saw one company tricking out a K-1:
http://www.owyheesou...krasnogorsk.php

would love to know more about that. I am a tinkerer and am interested in the potential of the Russian cameras for which so many have affection. Is it just nostalgia? A longing for the days when then were starting out? Or is there any real potential in the K series.

Thanks Everyone.

I love this Cinematography.com and read it all the time.

James
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#2 Ian Cooper

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 03:23 AM

Hi there- this is my first post- and a bit of an odd one, however, i must ask.
Has anyone... ever... shot anything professional on a Krasnogorsk, K-1,2, or 3?

I should qualify that to mean, specifically, anything of good quality? (I understand the meaning of subjectivity, but this is a Cinematography forum and it is full of good-natured and encouraging people)
I would just like to see somebody workin' it to the max. It's hard to tell if the camera is capable of great images as so many users are beginners just getting their chops up. I know that the camera has no registration pin, but would love to see the best work ever done with the thing....


The person/film that seems to get mentioned every time the subject of the K3 gets raised is "Spike Lee" who apparently shot some scenes of his film "Get on the bus" using a K3.

If you want the best from the camera then sending it off to be collimated and serviced seems to be the most sensible option.

I'm afraid I fall into the 'getting their chops up' category, but the camera wasn't the weak link in some of the films I shot with it, although they look infinately better on a proper TV than they do online. (example). You just have to remember that any clockwork MOS camera does have limitations, work within those and don't try to use it for tasks to which it isn't really suited.

I'm aware of the K3 having been used commercially in the past as a cheap low-risk camera aboard a dive boat. Apparently it accidentally went overboard, got fished out and after a wash through with fresh water and a dry continued to give sterling service. I'm afraid I can't quote names/locations, it was a tale told to me by Les Bosher about just how rugged the camera is.

As for having no registration pin, neither does the Bolex, Beaulieu or Aaton. A reg. pin isn't essential for good registration.
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#3 James Clement Cook

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 11:44 PM

I'm afraid I fall into the 'getting their chops up' category, but the camera wasn't the weak link in some of the films I shot with it, although they look infinately better on a proper TV than they do online. (example). You just have to remember that any clockwork MOS camera does have limitations, work within those and don't try to use it for tasks to which it isn't really suited.

As for having no registration pin, neither does the Bolex, Beaulieu or Aaton. A reg. pin isn't essential for good registration.


Thank you Ian! What a nice response! I truly appreciate it!
Actually your footage looked to be the best of anything I've ever seen shot with the thing. I am interested in a clockwork camera to play Dr. Frankenstein with. I know that the Bolex's can go pretty deep in that respect- I just feel that the K- should have the same traction in some sense.
Your footage was very clean and steadily shot. Rich color- although it seemed to me that some ND kind of darked it.. or something. Looked like a sunny day yet the shots were a little coolish looking. I loved it though. The subject was completely charming and I had to let it play and play.

I'll let you know what cockamamy scheme I come up with for fun. looking at the filmos too.

All the BEst,

James
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#4 Ian Cooper

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 03:13 AM

Thank you Ian! What a nice response! I truly appreciate it!
Actually your footage looked to be the best of anything I've ever seen shot with the thing. I am interested in a clockwork camera to play Dr. Frankenstein with. I know that the Bolex's can go pretty deep in that respect- I just feel that the K- should have the same traction in some sense.
Your footage was very clean and steadily shot. Rich color- although it seemed to me that some ND kind of darked it.. or something. Looked like a sunny day yet the shots were a little coolish looking. I loved it though. The subject was completely charming and I had to let it play and play.

I'll let you know what cockamamy scheme I come up with for fun. looking at the filmos too.

All the BEst,

James


Thank you for your kind remarks.
As ever, using a tripod helps give steady shots compared to hand held. I have on occasion noticed a slight vertical registration jitter when footage has been viewed on the computer, which can't be seen when viewed on a TV.

I think the best online footage I've seen shot with a K3 was done a few years ago by James Westbrook who was (still is?) a forum member. There used to be a higher quality version available, but all I can find now is the compressed youtube one.

As for the colour etc. of mine, that's more a factor of the film stock and telecine grade than the camera. The piece was shot over the course of two days, the first being overcast and dull, the second featured a few sunny bursts. There wasn't any ND used, but I did feel the 'best light' telecine grade came back very dark - I had to lighten it on my PC. Not really ideal, but on my (lack) of budget sitting alongside the colourist isn't an option. I also took stills photos on reversal film using the same EV as I used on the moving pictures, so can be fairly sure the neg. wasn't underexposed. Hey ho, one of those things. But again, it isn't really a function of the camera - I used the roll-bars on a TV to set the camera speed to 25fps (well, pretty darn close for a clockwork camera!).

Depending what modifications you intend making, the K1,2,3 series of camera are probably more suited to a redesign than the bolex. The Krasnogorsk is pretty basic inside, and easy to take apart. It's also dirt cheap!


Best of luck with your projects.
Ian.
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#5 Will Montgomery

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 09:13 AM

I think the best online footage I've seen shot with a K3 was done a few years ago by James Westbrook who was (still is?) a forum member. There used to be a higher quality version available, but all I can find now is the compressed youtube one.

I remember that video and was amazed at the color. Was James talking about that maybe 3 years ago? You're right, it hurts to look at the YouTube version... way too much compression. The original was gorgeous.

Some of it can be seen on his reel here.

Not sure what was shot on a K3 but perhaps that video was.
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#6 Ian Cooper

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 11:45 AM

I remember that video and was amazed at the color. Was James talking about that maybe 3 years ago? You're right, it hurts to look at the YouTube version... way too much compression. The original was gorgeous.

Some of it can be seen on his reel here.

Not sure what was shot on a K3 but perhaps that video was.


Yep, beginning of 2007 - trust me, took a while trawling back through the archives! Lol

All of that KitAshton "You You You" music video was shot on a K3. I seem to remember it was serviced by Olex and fitted with a Kinor zoom lens when James bought it. I also think the Tk was done by Todd-AO. There used to be loads of behind-the-scenes photos on their websites, together with the really good, high resolution sharp version to watch online.

I think James's video just goes to show that it's the person behind the camera that makes a stunning film. The camera plays a relatively minor part, and a K3 is capable of great things!
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#7 Raz Birger

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 02:57 PM

Hello James.
I just shot a test roll with my modified super 16mm Krasnogorsk-3. I don't consider it professional, it's only a test, but I tried my best. I planned to shoot for 2.39:1 aspect ratio, but the viewfinder was made 4:3 for regular 16mm and I had to imagine the extra area on the right side + how much the black bars are going to cover.
Here is the link for my post: http://www.cinematog...showtopic=45547

I hope you will find it helpful.

Best,
Raz.
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