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Cheap K3 Super 16 upgrade on Ebay...


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#1 Bon Sawyer

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Posted 02 August 2005 - 08:36 AM

Hi all,

Just found this on Ebay:

Super 16/ Widescreen upgrade for your Krasnogorsk 3

Anyone had it done through this company before? It's the first time I've seen it listed (and I browse the Movie Camera section of Ebay Australia on a semi-regular basis).

It's the first conversion service I've seen advertised that includes any kind of upgrade to the viewfinder, but not much detail is given about this.

Also, I think it's the first time I've seen Ebay advertisements for "services" rather than physical "goods". Is this permitted?

-Bon
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#2 obie williams

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Posted 02 August 2005 - 10:06 AM

I recently modified my K3 (gate, loop formers, viewfinder), and it is rightful to be suspicious about any kind of viewfinder upgrade. It can't be properly done without a ridiculous amount of time and access to ground glass. K3camera.com hints at the ability to modify the viewfinder but gives no instructions... which I took as a challenge. I extended my viewfinder mask, which involves taking off the baffle plate, extracting the viewfinder tube (making sure to lay it on its side so the light meter needle isn't bent), taking the thin metal viewfinder mask out and extending it using an exacto, then replacing it and the tube into its original position. This is complicated enough, but imagine how ecstatic I was to find that a viewfinder mask modification doesn't work at all. This E-bayer states that there will be vignetting in the viewfinder mask... he's correct there. Extending the gate from 4:3 to nearly 16:9 gives an extra 20% image area. Unfortunately, the K3's image path (the image as reflected off the shutter, through all the ground glass and ultimately through the viewfinder to your eye) needs to be routed, the focusing glass replaced, and the base of the first receiving prism filed out. Without this, a viewfinder modification will still show a 4:3 image. The "vignetting" that he speaks of is not so much vignetting as the shadow of the holder of the focusing glass. You will still have to imagine what is in that black area on the left side of your viewfinder... it's not a small vignette... out of that extra 20% that you need to see you will see about 1% (and IT'S distorted)... except now instead of a nice mask you have a blurry black line on the left side. Don't do a viewfinder mask modification! As for the rest of the modification, I can't justify spending $180 on something that would take a novice (with the instructions on k3camera) about 3 hours to do themselves. I've learned a tremendous amount about my camera by doing this. Sure I've seen mods go for a lot more, but only to reputable companies. I'm not an avid E-bayer but you bring up a valid point about "services" being permitted. Sounds sketchy. Maybe someone else can help you out in that arena.
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#3 Bon Sawyer

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Posted 02 August 2005 - 10:29 AM

Thanks for the comprehensive answer!

I thought it seemed too good to be true. After all, Reel Trading's Super 16 packages are nearly US$2000 more than their standard ones. (Any idea where they get their conversions done?)

As for modifying the gate only, I'm not too keen on having a Super 16 image that I can't properly see in the viewfinder. I'd rather stick with the regular 16mm format.

Cheers,

-Bon
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