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Light leaks and no accurate fps on Krasnogorsk-3 first test roll

Marcos del Villar

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Hi, everyone


It's my first time posting here :) I've received my first test roll (Kodak 200T) from the lab, shot with my K-3 and the 17mm-69mm Zenit. Loaded carefully in semi-darkness and unloaded in total darkness.

Camera was covered with plastic tape when filming (except the meter counter). I found two issues:


There are light leaks all over the footage. Not following a constant pattern, some shots are more affected than others but always with the same shape. I've attached two stills of them.


I set the speed at 24fps but the footage is in fast motion with the telecine at 24fps. It looks as it was filmed between 12fps or 14fps. I made two shots at 48fps additionally and that ones are running at the correct speed to me. Is it possible that the fps dial is not matching the actual speed?


Thank you very much everyone,









Edited by Marcos del Villar
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Thanks for the video.


So in my eyes, it looks like a very small amount of light was penetrating around the outside edges of the film. This would most likely be a direct light leak, in line with the film itself. This is why the image pulses until eventually the leak goes away. When you stop the camera, another section of film will get leaked on once more and the same phenomena should happen again.


I just got a K3, I don't know much about them, but I have had mine apart entirely, so I'm learning more about it. Honestly, I don't know where a leak of that magnitude could have come from. Light does get under the tray into the spring wind area, so it COULD leak around the edges and into the actual area where the film goes. However, I can't imagine that actually happening. Taping the edges was a good call, I assume you also taped the door handle.


Now... I removed the auto thread mechanism from my camera, which left a huge gaping hole leading down into the spring wind area. Maybe there is something similar going on with your camera?


Another thing you can do to test any of this, is tape a bright flashlight to the lens mounting area with black gaf tape and then in a dark room, see if any light shines through with the camera running. You MAY see a bit of something coming from the gate area, but everything else should be pitch black. That maybe the first/easiest test.


Finally, where did you get the film from? Did you load it onto the 100ft spools?

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My question to you is where did you get the film? Those cameras are also a bit of a crap shoot. some are great others are not. Given that you were very careful about loading and unloading and taping the camera. I would be suspicious of the film itself. Was it already flashed by mistake?

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Hi Tyler and Chris,


Thanks for your answers. I got the film from Frame 24 Ltd. It was a Kodak 100ft daylight spool. Not expired or re-can. Film could be damaged in the first place but would be strange.


I've just made a preliminary test following your advices. Pointing a small flashlight directly to the meter counter I clearly see light leaking inside the camera (Picture attached). For the position of the light this could be the issue. I should made another test to confirm this.


I shot this test in a dunes area from midday to sunset so the camera was exposed to direct sunlight most of the time.


On the other hand, there is something wrong with the fps dial. At 24fps the camera is rolling at 12fps or 14fps. If I set 8fps the camera starts rolling very very fast. Much faster than with the 48fps position.


Thanks again for your help,




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I also have a Krasnogorsk-3 and I do not think that it is the film material.

But maybe there is more then one reason for the light leaks. One of them I think you found with the help of Tyler.


I also had at the beginning some light leaks with my Krasnogorsk-3. I try to remember, because used the camera the last time about ten years ago (bought some Bolex afterwards). My camera was fine. I bought it brandnew.

But the spring mechanism is a bit tricky. When you only wind it up, then it could be that the transport system and the mirror is asynrchonous and then you get also light leaks. I found out that you have to turn the spring arm a bit forward and back and then the mirror get in the right starting position.

Then I did this every time and it worked perfect every time and a shoot many 100ft rolls with this camera.

Maybe you can test this without film material.

I am sorry I cannot explain it better, because I am at the moment not at the place, where my Krasnogorsk is stored.


I also have seen material shooted with another Krasnogorsk-3 and there was also a problem with the picture at some speeds. They were flickering up and down.


To your other problem: You can test every speed without film and you can hear if it is the right speed. Ok, only with some experience.

Maybe you find a position with no mark and the camera is running, then you only have to correct the button. I think this should be easy to fix.


Taping is very good, especially with a big black tape, but I also loaded my Krasnogorsk everytime in total darkness, because there are so many possibilites to get some light on the material, if you load it in semi darkness. Maybe try this, when you make your next test.

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Hi again,


Tyler, yes :wacko: It's missing. That was problem almost sure.


Wilfried, thanks for your advice. I would do that with the spring arm from now on.


I will do another test soon covering the counter both from inside and outside. I also will check the fps dial meticulously.


Thank you everyone for your answers. I will write back with the new tests.






Edited by Marcos del Villar
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