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#1 Ellis Lorison

Ellis Lorison

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 04:34 PM

I'm looking for some(hopefully) positive and practical advice about that old workhorse the K-3.Just acquired one off eBay.It looks sound,motor's fine,lens is in good nick...the problem.area for me and this camera is the viewfinder: one half of the frame is bright(wish) whilst the right-hand half of it is a foggy black blob.Tried pointing it up into a bright sky with no improvement to the overall brightness.I've read elsewhere on here that the viewfinder on other people's K-3s appear to have identical(?)or similar issues.Now my questions relating to this are thus:
*does this sound like the standard viewfinder problem or something worse?
*If the former,what ways are there to improve the visibility? If the latter,what on earth could it possibly be?
*Is it to do with the light path? Will anything untoward show up on the exposed film?
*I read somewhere that light bleak through the viewfinder can lead to flashing/over exposure of film stock?
If true: how/why/what can you do to rectify it?

Hope someone will be good enough to help out here.I'm itching to get out and make some shorts,but I'm naturally Huber cautious to do so without genning up about glitches as it's an eyewateringly expensive medium to shoot on
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#2 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 05:18 PM

Welcome Ellis,

Optical viewfinders are very tricky to see through. They require your eye to be perfectly centered, if not you may see issues with the image. So the first thing is to move your eye around the viewfinder to see if the problem changes or goes away entirely.

The next step is to unscrew the lens and see if the problem goes away. My guess is, the problem will stay.

Third thing would be to take container of canned air and blow off the ground glass, which is right above the mirror. Sometimes bits of material get stuck on it over time.

If none of those things make on iota of a difference, then it's something wrong with the viewfinder system itself. Most likely one of the mirrors that reflects the image, has some growth on it. I haven't been through the viewfinder on my camera yet but you'd have to pull the entire front off the camera in order to gain access. This is why a little bit of compressed air, can sometimes dislodge things that are floating around.

Just an FYI, the auto threading system really sucks on these cameras. I had nothing but problems trying to get it to work and finally gave up. The camera likes large loops and with the auto treading kit installed, the loops can't be big enough. I also had issues with the pressure plate not holding position, so the film would sometimes skip a tooth whilst running. All of that to say, make sure you run some test film through it first, before going out and wasting money. My camera would absolutely never worked had I not gone through it with a fine tooth comb before contemplating running actual film through it.

The camera is very easy to work on, but it does require understanding of mechanical devices and you've gotta have the right tools. So if you aren't ready for the challenge, I'd absolutely send it to someone and pay them to make sure it works right.
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