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Expanding the K-3 gate to S16 using a dremel tool?


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#1 Christopher Sheneman

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 09:57 PM

I was wondering if this would be feasable or foolhardy to attempt..grind and cut a good enough but probably not a precise Super 16mm with a dremel tool and accessories.

Is the gate metal super hard nickel or stainless?
What if I mess up- can I order a new gate easily? I don't see any on Ebay or simple google search..
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#2 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 11:54 PM

Yeah.....I wouldn't do that. I also wouldn't transplant my own kidney or start my own fire department. Some things are meant to be left to professionals and a K3 isn't worth the expense of being converted to S16 which also often times involves re-centering the lens on most cameras, so it's not just opening up the gate. It's a good working $200 camera. That's the whole point. Just enjoy it. B)
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#3 Christopher Sheneman

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 04:18 AM

Alright.
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#4 Chris Millar

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 09:54 PM

A dremel has a habit of running away on you in the direction its spinning, like a wheel ... When that happens, you'll drive into the top or bottom of the gate aperture and possibly cut into the frame area of the preceding or following frame - i.e. double exposure. You'd have to crop in transfer to a wider aspect to remove it, which of course is one way to get the super16 aspect in the first place Posted Image
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#5 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 08:33 AM

Yeah I wouldn't use a dremel, a fine jeweller's file will do the job. But there are a number of things to consider. The most important is making sure there are no burrs remaining that might scratch the film. The rails that support the film on each side are chrome-plated and highly polished, so nothing abrasive should be used on them. Any burrs on the filed edges of the support rail need to be polished out.

Also, despite the K3 being one of the easiest cameras to convert to S16, the gate actually isn't really suited for it. By widening the frame into the sound track area to make it S16 you end up completely removing the support rail on the non-claw side. So the film can potentially bow in slightly at that edge when it's positioned over the gate aperture, and result in a loss of sharpness on one side of the image. And even with any burrs removed, because the film can bow in, a sharp corner on the support rail can leave a mark.

Still, plenty of people have done it themselves and been happy with their results - I'm guessing they were either careful, lucky, or not very fussy about their images. But if you do still want a S16 conversion I would recommend getting it professionally done, not only for a more scratch-free gate, but also so that the flange depth can be checked afterwards. Any time a camera gate is removed, there's no guarantee that it goes back at exactly the same depth from the lens mount - all it takes is a few hundredths of a mm difference (far less than the thickness of a human hair) and the wide end of the zoom (or wide prime lenses) will be soft.

There's also the issues of lens re-centering and opening up the viewfinder, but they're not so critical if you're on a tight budget.
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#6 Christopher Sheneman

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 04:44 PM

Thanks for the replies.
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