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First 35mm, Konvas 1KCP-1M coming from Krasnogorsk 3


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#1 Matthew B Clark

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 02:05 PM

Howdy.  I'm seriously considering taking the plunge on a Konvas. 

 

Long story short, I am really attracted to the idea of growing into the Konvas (and the 35mm format), but I have some concerns about parts, motor especially.  Being that I'm coming from a hand-cranked K3 as my only camera - besides my super 8 camera - I'm a little worried I'm getting all the right pieces lined up, or knowing what to check for. 

 

I'm hovering around all these eBay listings...but I'm seeing a lot of camera bodies, some with lenses, but I am pretty mystified by the "battery" and "accesory" situation.  I'm pretty mystified about what constitutes a full Konvas package basically.  Since I'm really looking hard at this I figured I'd ask the pros...

 

As always, thanks.


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#2 Matthew B Clark

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 02:14 PM

I know it looks funny reading about a "Konvas" being "a plunge" to take haha!  But in all seriousness, it's serious to me.  My decision to attempt 35mm work that is.  Not something I want to screw up.  Or be ignorant to the pitfalls of. 


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#3 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 02:16 PM

Depends on your budget. Nowadays it might make more sense to go straight into an Arri BL package (III or IV). Had an awesome BL IV kit close to my house sell for $3,700 and it came with 3 wooden tripods, all the accessories you could ever want, and was serviced within the last year.


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#4 Matthew B Clark

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 02:29 PM

Very low budget.  Around $1,500-2,000 somehow has to get me up and running for at least basic tests. 


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#5 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 02:33 PM

Yeah, you are in the Konvas territory then. Unless you go handcranked...or even Arriflex 35?


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#6 Matthew B Clark

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 02:38 PM

Pardon my filmmaking literacy...or lack of it really.  But if hand-cranking means it will keep me away from batteries while still producing comparable images with comparable stability to say, a "battery powered Konvas equivalent", then sign me up for a hand-cranked camera.  I have zero qualms about my arm hurting from my K3 winding, and I actually like not having to think about batteries.  It feels more freeing actually.


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#7 Steve Zimmerman

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 02:41 PM

Even more than the camera, your glass is almost more important.

 

I have used Kinor and Konvas cameras, and another thing to think about is the lens mount.... For most Russian camera the mount is OCT-18 or OCT-19.  That means you are locked into only using old Lomo lenses.  Many lens techs will not work on them, and blind buying them on ebay you may be stuck with a lemon.  We bought a set of Lomo's from a prominent Russian camera owner and all of them were totally hazy.  The 2perf Kinor was an excellent camera, but the lenses were poor.  I guess some people are lucky with quality Lomo's I was not.  Our Foton zoom lens is very nice though it is only workable from f/5.6 and up.

 

Luckily my Konvas is PL mount.


Edited by Steve Zimmerman, 28 April 2014 - 02:43 PM.

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#8 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 02:50 PM

 

Luckily my Konvas is PL mount.

Blessing and curse. Blessing: best lenses in the world made for this mount. Curse: Price to go with it.


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#9 Matthew B Clark

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 02:55 PM

I'm cool with risking the Lomo's that come with it.  My main concern is the battery situation.  Which is why I am definitely open to suggestions for hand-cranked cameras.  I'm just trying to take what I can get and be smart about it. 


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#10 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 02:57 PM

well then, how about an Eyemo like this:

 

http://www.ebay.com/...=item3a8f6fce4e


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#11 Matthew B Clark

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 03:32 PM

Interesting...

 

What about the whole Konvas battery situation?  Anywhere I can get those pieces?  And what pieces?!  Forgive my ignorance please, but again, I just want to get what I need nailed down, and that's my main missing link in deciding.  Battery issues and availability.  Resulting image etc. as compared between a hand-cranked camera and a normal battery Konvas or Eyemo etc.   


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#12 Steve Zimmerman

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 03:39 PM

You can adapt many rechargeable power tool batteries for use. My first Konvas battery was a 12V for drills.
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#13 Matthew B Clark

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 03:45 PM

You can adapt many rechargeable power tool batteries for use. My first Konvas battery was a 12V for drills.

 

That's great to hear.  But keep in mind I'm only experienced with a K3 16mm hand-wound camera, so as far as betteries go at all, it's Greek to me.  Do I just get the camera body and then grab a DeWalt battery and then find someone who mods them to that 4-PIN XLR set-up and plug it straight into the camera?  And know of anyone who does good mods or sells these you know of?  Anyone?


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#14 Steve Zimmerman

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 11:42 PM

There are reasonably priced ready made batteries as well.  The  Konvas 17EP motor's power cable can be modified by soldering a 4 pin XLR connector to the battery end of the cable.

 

http://www.bhphotovi...Top Nav-Search=


Edited by Steve Zimmerman, 28 April 2014 - 11:46 PM.

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#15 aapo lettinen

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 02:19 AM

I am using the 1KCP-1M model, it's even the old top-latch version and also have the hand crank and rheostat motor for it. 

I was able to find quite small and affordable 6V gel batteries from the local hardware store (about 100 x 50 x 70mm, 6V/4.5 Ah and cost about 7€ a piece) . 

There is also the side latch version of this old straight-viewfinder Konvas model which is more common than this top-latch version.

 

Newer 1M version has orientable viewfinder but the motor usually needs the battery regular box which adds to the weight and needs a 8V battery (I suppose you could use a 8V gel battery with the box). Maybe you could find a rheostat motor for it, these are not that common but I saw at least one at eBay. 

 

The 2M version could be best for you if you shoot drama, the oct-19 lenses are better suitable for that purpose than the old tiny oct-18 lenses. For oct-18, the Foton zoom may be the best bet for drama shooting, you can even use a follow focus with it nicely if using lens support. anamorphics would also be a wonderful choice for this mount, but they are very rare nowadays and would cost you much much more than the budget allows

 

ps. if using the Foton zoom, you can easily swap mounts to it (takes less than a minute because the lens has an intermediate mount) so it would also be possible to buy several different camera bodies if needed (oct-18 and oct-19 models, PL mount is also easily available for this lens) and just use the Foton with all the cameras. It is quite slow lens though, I usually use it at T8 or T11 to get a somewhat sharp image with tolerable amount of chromatic aberration


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#16 aapo lettinen

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 02:40 AM

as for the Konvas, I would not buy one if you are not able to do the basic service and modifications to it by yourself (power, lubing, all the necessary film tests, cleaning, etc.) 

The cameras may also be quite smashed up, old and used in hash environments so don't expect to be able to shoot right out of the box unless you have bought from a camera tech 

or cinematographer who has already serviced and adjusted the camera and shot something with it to make sure it works properly.

 

Most of the eBay sellers buy these cameras from places where they may have been laying around unused maybe dozens of years and no one really nows if they are working or not. 

My camera, for example, was told to be some spare camera from a Russian company and was very slightly used, but had one incompatible magazine out of 3 and I had to grind away a small dent which was near the tachometer to get the mags to the camera. The dent seemed to be a factory error other than something that could form in everyday use... 

 

My point is, just be aware and if the seller is not very reputable and the camera and lenses are already tested with film and work properly, you should maybe prepare to buy 2 packages to get one working camera. Also, all these cameras usually need service just because they are really old and no one has probably serviced them since the collapse of the Soviet Union  :ph34r:


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#17 Will Montgomery

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 10:23 AM

I would recommend finding an Arri III or a 2C with a modern motor and possibly a PL mount. You can find the older Zeiss and Schneider glass for the 2C and put cheap PL adapters on them then rent the best glass in the world when you need it.

 

Main reason to stick with Arri is that there are so many competent techs out there that can work on them and parts can still be found...even if you have to buy another camera to get the parts.

 

They are crazy reliable, built like tanks, and produce a wonderful image. The Arri III's are pin registered (look for a 3rd generation version if possible) which add significant stability. The magazines are cross compatible with 2C, III and 435 models so there are TONS of magazines out there as well.

 

I also have a motorized Steve's Cine modified Eyemo that I LOVE but unfortunately is not reflex. They are great to use but the 1 minute load is challenging for most applications.


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#18 Freya Black

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 02:44 PM

Even more than the camera, your glass is almost more important.

The 2perf Kinor was an excellent camera, but the lenses were poor.  I guess some people are lucky with quality Lomo's I was not.  Our Foton zoom lens is very nice though it is only workable from f/5.6 and up.

 

Luckily my Konvas is PL mount.

 

Well yes you need to get lenses that don't have haze or other forms of mould. That's true of Nikons or any other kind of second hand lenses too tho. My experience of the lenses has definitely been better than the cameras.

 

I think Lomo's are great. So many great soviet movies shot with lomos, what's not to like:

 

spsn68imag1mg7.jpg

 

Non mouldy OCT-19 lenses, as used by kinor cameras, can be very nice indeed. It's hard to find good examples now however as they have been gobbled up by people shooting digital.

 

OCT-18 lenses are much easier to find, often in good condition for cheap prices but obviously despite the nice glass, the lenses in OCT-18 are more like stills lenses. You couldn't use a follow focus with one or anything. The housings in OCT-19 are way better but as has been suggested the lenses are rare in that mount now.

 

Freya


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#19 Freya Black

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 02:54 PM

To answer some other questions. You are right to be concerned about motors. The electronics are the weak spot in these cameras. I had a crystal sync motor made in the 80's and was shocked when I saw what was inside. It looked something like 70's electronics wired up in a kind of 60's way. Incredibly complex looking stuff too.

 

The hand crank is exactly that. A hand crank like used in old silent movies or in those Tony Scott films.

There was a wind up spring motor but it is incredibly rare and Konvas fans always gasp when one surfaces. It is also limited to running at 16fps. Which could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your point of view.

There was also the animation crank for shooting single frames.

 

There were a number of motors and they require different voltages depending on the model. The easiest to work with is the crystal sync motor which runs off 12 volts. 17EP I think it was? There was also the 15EP which was a sync motor but not crystal but required 8volts or something. The rheostat motor ran off something like 6v-12v.

 

You needed to be very careful about observing polarity on the crystal motor. Get it the wrong way around and it was a fried motor. You can get the electronics replaced with much nicer modern electronics by Olex tho.

 

Freya


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#20 Freya Black

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 02:58 PM

I would recommend finding an Arri III or a 2C with a modern motor and possibly a PL mount. You can find the older Zeiss and Schneider glass for the 2C and put cheap PL adapters on them then rent the best glass in the world when you need it.

 

Main reason to stick with Arri is that there are so many competent techs out there that can work on them and parts can still be found...even if you have to buy another camera to get the parts.

 

They are crazy reliable, built like tanks, and produce a wonderful image. The Arri III's are pin registered (look for a 3rd generation version if possible) which add significant stability. The magazines are cross compatible with 2C, III and 435 models so there are TONS of magazines out there as well.

 

I also have a motorized Steve's Cine modified Eyemo that I LOVE but unfortunately is not reflex. They are great to use but the 1 minute load is challenging for most applications.

 

How about the Moviecam Compact too? I have seen some great looking kits kicking around cheaply lately. Of course the big problem then is what lenses are you going to use with it!

 

Freya


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