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Achieving S16 ... conversion or via transfer/post?


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#1 Marc Bertel

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 03:15 PM

I recently bought a Krasnogorsk K-3 16mm and I wonder which way is better/cheaper to achieve Super 16mm? Either a conversion of the camera itself or a transfer of the film into 16:9 HD? (as mentioned here: http://www.cinematog...showtopic=55073)

Also, what would the price range be for a conversion/film transfer?

Thanks for your help!
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#2 Will Montgomery

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 05:57 PM

The K3 is one of the easiest cameras on the market to convert to Super 16.

There are two steps. One is simply widening the gate. Du-All camera in NY and Bernie O'Doherty at Super 16 Inc. would both do excellent jobs at this and would probably cost around $150 or so.

The 2nd step is optional but helpful and that is to re-center the lens mount. There was a company on eBay selling these machined parts for like $35 at one time but haven't seen (or looked) for them in a while. You don't HAVE to do this, but it will allow you to zoom while filming (otherwise you'll get a weird offset zoom since the lens isn't centered) and your framing will be more accurate. This is probably something that any machine shop could do for you and you could get the specs from whomever does the gate widening for you.

You can also widen the viewfinder itself (basically drill it out) and Du-All did that for me.

Also, most camera techs recommend removing all those film guides from the K3 as they tend to cause more problems than they solve. Manually forming the loop is really easy.

One of the best mods I did on my K3 was having Bernie do his "laser brighten" process on it which brightens the viewfinder significantly and therefore helps with focusing. Bernie could do all those things at once plus clean and lubricate the camera for you. You'd have to contact him on pricing as it may have changed since I did it.

Here are the websites for the people mentioned above:

Super 16, Inc

Du-All Camera
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#3 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 06:23 PM

I recently bought a Krasnogorsk K-3 16mm and I wonder which way is better/cheaper to achieve Super 16mm? Either a conversion of the camera itself or a transfer of the film into 16:9 HD? (as mentioned here: http://www.cinematog...showtopic=55073)

Also, what would the price range be for a conversion/film transfer?

Thanks for your help!


Well cropping down to an aspect ratio has been done for years, just do a frame leader (a white board with arrows marking you frame edges) at the front of your footage the telecine operator will crop down as standard - should be no extra charge!

Converting a camera built and designed for one format to another is bit more difficult, though certainly not impossible!
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#4 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 08:19 PM

Well cropping down to an aspect ratio has been done for years, just do a frame leader (a white board with arrows marking you frame edges) at the front of your footage the telecine operator will crop down as standard - should be no extra charge!


BUT don't confuse that with Super 16! Super 16 modifies the camera to use the space originally alocated for the sound track for MORE image area. It used MORE of the film surface for each frame. Cropping to get a wide screen on an unmodified camera uses LESS of the film surface for each frame.
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#5 Will Montgomery

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 10:29 AM

BUT don't confuse that with Super 16! Super 16 modifies the camera to use the space originally alocated for the sound track for MORE image area. It used MORE of the film surface for each frame. Cropping to get a wide screen on an unmodified camera uses LESS of the film surface for each frame.

And YES, you can tell the difference... Super 16 does look slightly sharper than Regular 16 cropped down to 16:9. Not amazingly huge difference, but noticeable if you're looking for it. Not to say that an regular 16mm Arri S with a great lens can look just fine cropped down to 16:9. But for a K3, it's worth the upgrade since it is so inexpensive.
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