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Who Still Mods K3 to S16?


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#1 Matthew B Clark

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 01:55 PM

I'm looking to juice the most image out of my 16mm.  I tried Bernie O'Dougherty but he told me he stopped doing the S16 mod to the K3 (too bad, because I wanted to get the full crazy overhaul and lens brightening done - would have been a nice one-stop). 

 

Where would you recommend going to get the K3 gate widened? 

 

I've been playing with the idea of buying a K3 body and filing the gate myself, but I'm not going to trust myself to be better than the experts out there.  I just know there are fine little details in the measurements and polishing of the gate that I do not want to mess up.


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#2 Heikki Repo

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 02:08 PM

I don't know whether this seller is reliable or not, but there seems to be one S16 modified K3 on Ebay right now: http://m.ebay.de/itm...5790?cmd=VIDESC
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#3 Matthew B Clark

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 02:09 PM

Sorry, not "lens" brightening.  Wow.  I meant the ground glass....the laserbrighten process.


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#4 Matthew B Clark

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 02:15 PM

Thanks Heikki!  My only issue is yes, the reliability of that seller.  I'd love to send mine (or a spare body) in to a reliable shop whose work is more of a "known quantity", you know what I mean?  I read some pretty awful things about people filing down their gates themselves, causing all sorts of problems.


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#5 Heikki Repo

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 02:25 PM

Then there's this company: http://www.k3camera..../k3ordering.php

Maybe they have one available?
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#6 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 03:28 PM

Matthew,
Not sure if you are aware of all the things that get modded with a S16 conversion. All cameras are a bit different, and I don't know K3, but these ideas are fairly generic. Hope I don't omit anything.

-Widen gate,
-Recenter lens
-Recenter view finder
-Modify shutter
-Modify ground glass markings.
-Modify rollers etc to avoid contact with the added film area.

Not all conversions are the same. The ground glass for example. Some grind off the ground glass markings and etch S16 frame marks on there. There is a company in the states that does that for the techs, costs about $300-400. Some just leave the standard 16 markings on the ground glass and draw the extra frame area on the side.

Normally the tech will want to bring the camera back to spec before conversion, so you sort of get an overhaul as wel.

Unless you have plenty of money and really love your K3 I suggest you don't convert it. Buy one that is already converted, with all the usual caveats about knowing the service history and condition.

If investing in cameras one has to think ahead to the kind of work or projects one may do. There may be other cameras you can fall in love with that are a better fit and are effectively better strategy
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#7 Chris Burke

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 07:22 PM

Ultra 16 is a better mod for that camera (K3). However processing and transfer of U16 footage (can) be an issue, but now always. Cinelab can handle it. With U16, you don't have to recenter the lens and regular 16 glass covers it.


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#8 Rudy Velez Jr

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 09:38 PM

Dual Camera in NYC still does I think for 450, its 250 for the plastic loop informer removal which i still have yet to get done. I do know about super 16 because I read that you cannot use the meteor lens at focal lengths of 17,18,19,20 and 22, I am not sure, again I haven't had my K3 modified but I read that the amazing meteor zoom lens works at 22-79. Might I recommend that you stick to regular 16. Dan Dorland uses a 16mm camera his stuff he posts on his vimeo account is really awesome, he seems to know how to blow up the image or crop i am not sure but it looks good.

 

I would stick to regular 16mm, embrace it. I was looking at my 16mm and super8mm tests and I believe that 16mm and super8mm is best viewed on iPhones, it would be cool to make it just viewable on mobile phones. 

 

I am contemplating myself also looking into purchasing a 16mm projector and shooting stuff and editing manually and then just projecting whatever I shoot and and for sound I would just play music from iTunes or a cd while the images flickr through the light might not be sync but then again its better than nothing. This stuff I shoot on 16mm wouldn't really dialogue heavy but thats my stuff. I enjoy using the camera like for just capturing street scenes and people. I would like to shoot a music video on it, as I hear many people do and saw your amazing results, kudos to you, i am interested in your lighting and lighting set up.

 

Ultra 16 is probably you best bet if you really really desire the extra space but you lose the top and bottom of your frame which sucks because now you can compose the shot in the viewfinder which for me is essential, there are now at this time a few places to develop ultra 16mm but its now a handful. 

 

i think when you get the camera modified to super16mm they include removing loop informers.


Edited by Rudy Velez Jr, 06 May 2014 - 09:38 PM.

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#9 Matthew B Clark

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 01:03 PM

Hi Rudy.  I understand what you're saying.  I have a tendency to jump into things, and yes, maybe I should shoot a few tests and crop the scans.  But, I also know I would like to eventually at least modify one K3 (they are really nice cheap cameras, so it's kind of like..."why not"?) to see what it can do.  I doubt I'll see a major difference, but sometimes when all the stars in the constellation of choice are aligned (lens choice, lighting, film stock, and yes, guage) you might be able to eek out some very special nuances from the s16 frame.  I prefer the 1.66:1 aspect ration a lot of times too.  The FUNNY thing is...a lot of my favorite films ever are shot in 1.33:1!  It actually is a really curious thing sometimes that some of the most stunning visually involved films I've seen are in 1.33:1!  Valerie & Her Week of Wonders...Hausu...just to name two directly of the top of my head.  So yeah its not "necessary" to even crop it.  I think people do that today too often as a knee-jerk reaction, thinking they "have to" do it for various reasons.  In my case, the reason I'd want S16 is purely for image resolution.  I am extremely curious about the area "between 16 and 35".  I almost hate "too clean" images.  Don't mean to sound rude, but I love the definitive nature of "film being present" in my favorite images.  Not "overbearing", but "present".  It's a play-thing.  An accomplice. 

 

Hey Rudy, as for lighting (and thanks for the kudos!), I basically bought myself a bunch of Arri knock-offs and cheapo red-heads, and I got these really great Storaro gels.  I think he did a bunch of Argento's work...so "Storaro" goes a long way with me even if he just signed his name on it for all I care....I'll try em!  Thank you Mr. Storaro.  But anyway, I used a redhead with a green gel to make a nice wide overhead "broad" fill of color...then I added a lower-placed 300w fresnel (with a gold gel) to sort of act as a hot, close "key-meets-rim" light.  It's bright enough to be the key but the angles I chose let it act like a rim a lot of the time.  anywho....wait til the edit is done before you say it's any good!  It should be released to the public soon...this month.  It's going up as an online premiere somewhere for their album so it'll be posted here when done! 

 

In short, I totally embrace 16.  Regular 16.  But I just like...you know..."exploring".  And I get the sense you do too!


Edited by Matthew B Clark, 07 May 2014 - 01:03 PM.

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#10 Will Montgomery

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 08:43 AM

Dual would be your best bet if Bernie's not doing it anymore. Dual was actually able to drill out the viewfinder and widen it for me a few years ago. The trick on that conversion is finding a lens mount that has been moved over. Some Russians were selling them on eBay years ago but haven't seen any for a while. You don't HAVE to move the mount over but if you are zooming while filming you'd need it. If you use m42 lenses meant for 35mm still cameras on it coverage isn't an issue. If you use the stock zoom then it may not cover the full Super 16mm frame under 22mm or so.


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#11 Matthew B Clark

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 09:45 AM

Thanks for that, Will.  And Rudy.  I'll try Duall.  The whole thing is...I'm thinking K3 bodies are so cheap, why not get one overhauled and then "have S16" capability. 

 

As for the centering of the lens....good thing I just picked up some M42 primes!  Will the Peleng 8mm work on that S16 frame too?  I have that, a 50/1.4 Takumar, and 135/3.5 Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar and the 8mm Peleng.  If I can use the stock zoom lens down to 22, I have no problem just foregoing the range of 9-21mm. 

 

Speaking of primes though....for this S16 body....does anybody like the Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 20mm?  Maybe I could just snag that M42 lens and have an S16 set meant for use with a decent set of primes...8mm, 20mm, 50mm, 135mm


Edited by Matthew B Clark, 08 May 2014 - 09:47 AM.

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#12 Will Montgomery

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 10:15 AM

Will the Peleng 8mm work on that S16 frame too?

Yes, absolutely but it will have noticeably distorted, curved edges. There's a Russian Kiev 16mm in m42 that is about the perfect wide angle for this camera with only a little distortion.

 

Look for the Pentax Super Takumar in m42 mount. 24m 35 or 50mm. These lenses are beautiful and have a switch to make the aperture manual or auto (for a still camera). You can also get adapters to make some of them PL mount so that's nice to have for future use.

 

Some of the best Super 16 images I ever shot were on a K3 with a Pentax Super Takumar 50mm 1.4 with Kodak Double-X B&W. Just make sure you have a really heavy tripod when you use lenses higher than 35mm or so. A cable release is also useful so you don't keep your finger on the trigger.


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#13 Matthew B Clark

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 10:31 AM

Great!  I have a Pentax SMC 50mm 1.4, so maybe the 24 would be in order instead of the 20mm Flektogon.  Can you school me on cable release breifly?  I was always wondering about that!  I have the little cable the K3 comes with, that plugs into the back of the camera.  But it seems like it's only meant for shooting single-frame (regardless of the speed setting on the camera, it just pushes one frame).  I'm glad to hear there is some way to do this, because I've been driving myself nuts about that!  My hands always keeping steady around the trigger.


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#14 Matthew B Clark

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 12:16 PM

Nevermind!  I found where it goes.  I just drove home on my lunch break to get out my camera and see where the cable release plugs into the front (so THAT's why there's a little hole in the trigger!) 


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#15 Bengt Freden

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 05:14 PM

Hi Will and Matt,

There actually IS an eBay seller in Russia at the moment selling M42 ZENIT K-3 mounts that are shifted 1.7mms to the right (seen from the front) for the Super16 format: http://www.ebay.co.u...=STRK:MEBIDX:IT  You just remove the screws and exchange the whole lens mount block in the camera body.

And - there is a guy in New York, who specializes in K-3 cameras, who does conversions to Super16, and also sells kits with the wider Super16 gate. All you need to do is remove the Regular16 gate and screw in the new one instead. I'll try to find the link...

 

The main problem, though, is that you still have to consider a wider format in the viewfinder, panning to the left to see what you get outside of the frame (on a tripod), and perhaps use a slightly wider lens hood or matte box. Obviously, you also probably need to re-collimate and check the back focus for the lens, so that you are dead sure to get sharp focus at the wide end and exact focus correlation with the ground glass image.

 

I don't know about problems with guide rollers in the camera, that might scratch the film, but I suppose you can make a snip test or shoot a short reel of film to see this.

Best,
Bengt in Stockholm 

 


Edited by Bengt Freden, 11 May 2014 - 05:17 PM.

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#16 Bengt Freden

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 05:22 PM

I found him on the first try: http://www.k3camera....-super-16mm.php
I have actually bought his excellent little zinc-air battery adapter for my K-3 camera

Have fun!
Bengt in Stockholm


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#17 Antoni Rudnicki

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 07:54 PM

Hi Matt an Bengt

 

I picked up a 2nd hand  re-centering ring and S16 gate from eBay about a month ago and performed the modification myself.  Installing the new ring was no problem, the gate requires more effort and care but was fairly easy following videos that can be found on the link posted by Bengt.  I shot a test roll and there were no scratches  (even with loop formers left on).  I would however remove the loop formers if you do the modification as this will make the camera easier to load.

 

cheers

 

Antoni


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#18 Bengt Freden

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 07:40 AM

Cheers, Antoni!

There you go! I didn't think it would be too complicated. This camera is very robust and straightforward. Glad to hear that you didn't have any scrathes. I might try this relatively inexpensive conversion myself, if I can only align the drive sprockets in my camera properly - it chews (and re-perforates) film pretty bad at the moment, and the adjustment of the spindle up or down is very crude (small screw on the side of the spindle).

 

I will probably have to have a camera tech look at this at some point (or buy a second body). I have removed the two plastic film formers, by the way. The system of threads at the back of the bottom plate for the release of the formers is also very crude, to say the least - the Russian way.

 

Best regards,
Bengt in Stockholm


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#19 Will Montgomery

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 10:44 AM

Hi Matt an Bengt

 

I picked up a 2nd hand  re-centering ring and S16 gate from eBay about a month ago and performed the modification myself.  Installing the new ring was no problem, the gate requires more effort and care but was fairly easy following videos that can be found on the link posted by Bengt.  I shot a test roll and there were no scratches  (even with loop formers left on).  I would however remove the loop formers if you do the modification as this will make the camera easier to load.

 

cheers

 

Antoni

Yes, changing out the mount takes about 5 minutes. That's a great purchase for anyone going to S16 on their K3.


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#20 Will Montgomery

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 10:47 AM

Don't know if these guys are still doing mods or their quality but might be worth a call...

 

http://www.javaphoto.com/16mmpage.html


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