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Modding the K3


Stepan Dolezal
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Hello,

I have been thinking about modding my K3 with few mods to make it more relevant in productions (Music videos, short films etc.)

Since i never saw some comprehensive post or a discussion about modding the K3 i wanted to start this thread.

Any discussion about modding the K3 is welcome.

 

To start of, I saw around a dozen PL mounted K3s around the internet, and i was thinking if there is someone to contact if i wanted to get this mod for myself, or if anybody has some experience with modding the K3 themselves.

Another mod that i wanted to ask about was attaching a camera to the viewfinder to get a monitor and an EVF output, how would one go about that? What cameras would you recommend?

Also is there a possibility of replacing the spring motor with a Crystal Synch one?

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I've got one laying around I've thought of tinkering with.  It doesn't seem like it would be worth doing a lot without at least putting an electronic motor on it.  The one I have was running fast, I piddled with the governor and got it slowed, but I think the spring is starting to go as well, so trying something with a motor is something I've thought of.

I came across this picture a while back where someone was modding a K1. I'd be curious to see how it worked out.

http://owyheesound.com/krasnogorsk.php

owyheesound_16mm_camaera.jpg

Edited by Leanne Summers
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  • 2 weeks later...

Theoretical question. 

If a crystal sync motor would be developed for Krasnogorsk 3 camera, how much the modification could cost to still make it viable option? 

I may have possibility to do this type of modifications this year if there would be enough demand and I will get my crystal sync electronics working reliably with these cameras. By my opinion, only the K3 would be usable for these modifications, the magazine system of the K1 and K2 is too unreliable and awkward to be used for these I think. 

Personally I would recommend keeping the original bayonet lenses of the camera, they are pretty good for the price. If you already have all the PL lenses then a PL modification could be doable but otherwise it does not make much sense I think. 

Some years ago I did a experimental viewfinder prism adaptation to my Krasnogorsk2 to enable it using a video tap via beamsplitter so that one could use the optical finder at the same time. I never had suitable small video camera to use as a tap so I did not develop it to a working system but the camera still has the beamsplitter installed. Might give you great ideas how to do the modification if you decide to attempt it 🙂 

 

Original camera viewfinder optics with the lightmeter sensor attached to the side: 

2598660516_f7fb6a1e07_b.jpg

 

Modified viewfinder optics with the light sensor removed and a angle prism attached to its place. The prism had to be glued in place and it need to be done very precisely to avoid bubbles and poor image quality. I think I took the prism from Krasnogors1 viewfinder optics(the angle prism shown in the upper image in the right-lower corner) but can't remember for sure because it's over 10 years I did this 

4089567340_0c33d545b6_b.jpg

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in the images the first prism reflects the image from the light sensor window upwards and then directs it towards camera top. Another prism is glued to the front cover of the camera to reflect this image through a hole I drilled to the cover. The video tap can be installed outside the camera body and it shoots the image through the hole on the cover. 

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1 hour ago, aapo lettinen said:

Theoretical question. 

If a crystal sync motor would be developed for Krasnogorsk 3 camera, how much the modification could cost to still make it viable option? 

I may have possibility to do this type of modifications this year if there would be enough demand and I will get my crystal sync electronics working reliably with these cameras. By my opinion, only the K3 would be usable for these modifications, the magazine system of the K1 and K2 is too unreliable and awkward to be used for these I think. 

Personally I would recommend keeping the original bayonet lenses of the camera, they are pretty good for the price. If you already have all the PL lenses then a PL modification could be doable but otherwise it does not make much sense I think. 

Some years ago I did a experimental viewfinder prism adaptation to my Krasnogorsk2 to enable it using a video tap via beamsplitter so that one could use the optical finder at the same time. I never had suitable small video camera to use as a tap so I did not develop it to a working system but the camera still has the beamsplitter installed. Might give you great ideas how to do the modification if you decide to attempt it 🙂 

 

 

Offhand, I'm not sure what I'd be willing to pay for that, but something like that could be a good avenue for you to look at.  I'd been looking to see what kind of off the shelf motor I could attach to it.  I haven't put much thought into that.  The K3 seems to be more of a budget camera, so it's something you might need to be deliberative about.  There are plenty around, and I'm sure there would be some owners who would love a motor, but it seems like the budget aspects would need to be right for it to be viable. I agree about the lenses, something like a PL modification doesn't make sense unless you have the lenses already. There were quite a few m42 mount ones, and there's some decent m42 mount lenses you can get at a decent price that work well for what you're doing.

I've since acquired an Arri 16s, so it hasn't been much of a priority for me to look at this.  I have been following your other thread, and have been interested in it.  I was looking at cameras for a while and was considering a CP16. They seem to have a big problem with the circuit boards going out from a battery that leaks, and had started looking into using the arduino boards to make a replacement.  Anyway, I'm glad to see people looking at things like this, and doing things to keep these old cameras going.

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39 minutes ago, Leanne Summers said:

Offhand, I'm not sure what I'd be willing to pay for that, but something like that could be a good avenue for you to look at.  I'd been looking to see what kind of off the shelf motor I could attach to it.  I haven't put much thought into that.  The K3 seems to be more of a budget camera, so it's something you might need to be deliberative about.  There are plenty around, and I'm sure there would be some owners who would love a motor, but it seems like the budget aspects would need to be right for it to be viable. I agree about the lenses, something like a PL modification doesn't make sense unless you have the lenses already. There were quite a few m42 mount ones, and there's some decent m42 mount lenses you can get at a decent price that work well for what you're doing.

I've since acquired an Arri 16s, so it hasn't been much of a priority for me to look at this.  I have been following your other thread, and have been interested in it.  I was looking at cameras for a while and was considering a CP16. They seem to have a big problem with the circuit boards going out from a battery that leaks, and had started looking into using the arduino boards to make a replacement.  Anyway, I'm glad to see people looking at things like this, and doing things to keep these old cameras going.

the main problem with the K3 motor modification would be that it takes lots of work to disassemble the camera enough to get even started with installing a motor there. I am estimating (without prior experience modifying them this way but knowing approximately what would have to be done to it to possibly make it work) that it could take about 1.5 to 2 days with normal work hours to do the modification. So it would probably cost couple of hundred bucks to do in every case unless the modification would be user installed and the end user would not count the work hours. The parts are not expensive, the work costs about 90% of it...

With larger cameras like the CP cameras it should be much easier to do, especially because there is more room and the motor and encoder assemblies are already there so most of the mechanical parts are already ready and no need to make and install new gears etc. Would still take time to do but makes a bit more sense than modifying a cheaper camera like the Krasnogorsk.

The advantage of the K3 is that it has OK quality affordable lenses and it is relatively small and lightweight. But the question is, would anyone buy the crystal modified one if it costs for example 600 bucks with the basic zoom? Possibly S16 gate but N16 viewfinder optics.

The Arduinos are great for motor modifications but I am already taking next steps in hardware design after only developing the motor controller for couple of months. Will probably need to experiment soldering SMD microcontrollers and then start to miniaturise the boards... there is very little parts in Arduinos (they are basically just the power regulator parts + oscillator and the easier way to manage multiple output pins of the small microcontroller package) so it makes sense to do the whole board by yourself later on. Helps to make it low profile and a bit smaller. Arduinos work great though when there is enough room to install them and the IDE is pretty handy (at the moment I am using it because the programming language was easiest to learn so that I could get "straight to business" with it. Will probably need to migrate the programs later to make them more efficient but we'll see)

 

The crystal K3 would be pretty neat though, maybe I'll look it sometime as a experiment :)

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Actually I was just thinking that it might be easier to just take the film transport parts out of the K3 and make a new camera body (if one could make many of them at the same time) so that there would be the needed room for the video tap and motor + controller and the possibility to use different type of lens mount. Maybe I will try it with my Krasnogorsk2 sometime, I hate the magazine system anyway so could as well tear it apart and try to make something new out of it 🤣

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I opened my Krasnogorsk2 to take some measurements. The electric motor would be fully possible but it is a bit expensive to make compared to the price of the camera body. A good estimate for a fully working K3 which has stabilized electric motor and S16 gate installed and which includes the shipping and the kit zoom lens, everything in good working order and serviced:  About 800 USD total which includes the price of the camera body and lens. Minimum order couple of cameras and some of the money paid upfront so that I could hunt suitable camera packages from eBay and get the needed extra tools and parts.

BUT. BUT. When taking measurements I came up with much simpler and much more interesting modification for Krasnogorsk cameras. I don't have a K3 here but I could relatively easily make my Krasnogorsk2 HAND CRANKED and it is still possible to control the TOP SPEED of the hand cranking with the speed selector. This still requires full disassembling of the camera and a custom part or two but it is much easier to make. Estimated price for this type of upgrade: 200 USD plus the price of the camera body. Minimum order one camera. 

Let me know if you are interested in one of these systems. The hand crank is pretty neat feature and I am going to mod my own K2 camera to use it right away.

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15 hours ago, aapo lettinen said:

I opened my Krasnogorsk2 to take some measurements. The electric motor would be fully possible but it is a bit expensive to make compared to the price of the camera body. A good estimate for a fully working K3 which has stabilized electric motor and S16 gate installed and which includes the shipping and the kit zoom lens, everything in good working order and serviced:  About 800 USD total which includes the price of the camera body and lens. Minimum order couple of cameras and some of the money paid upfront so that I could hunt suitable camera packages from eBay and get the needed extra tools and parts.

BUT. BUT. When taking measurements I came up with much simpler and much more interesting modification for Krasnogorsk cameras. I don't have a K3 here but I could relatively easily make my Krasnogorsk2 HAND CRANKED and it is still possible to control the TOP SPEED of the hand cranking with the speed selector. This still requires full disassembling of the camera and a custom part or two but it is much easier to make. Estimated price for this type of upgrade: 200 USD plus the price of the camera body. Minimum order one camera. 

Let me know if you are interested in one of these systems. The hand crank is pretty neat feature and I am going to mod my own K2 camera to use it right away.

To my knowledge, you can do that with a k3 no problemo. If you just start with the camera unwound, press the record button, and then start crankingnig it like you would normaly do, with the butterfly thingy. I reckon you could just 3d print out a simple lever so its easier to do this, cause you dont want to screw out your wrists...

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3 minutes ago, Stepan Dolezal said:

To my knowledge, you can do that with a k3 no problemo. If you just start with the camera unwound, press the record button, and then start crankingnig it like you would normaly do, with the butterfly thingy. I reckon you could just 3d print out a simple lever so its easier to do this, cause you dont want to screw out your wrists...

I am intending to do a lock system which can be used to lock the rec button down when you want. Keeping it pressed while cranking at the same time is just too impractical. I believe people would want to keep the spring drive possibility so taking the button system completely away may not be the best option.

Metal lever is easier to attach to the camera. I am intending to use ball bearings in the lever handle to make it easier to use and reduce the noise.

It is possible to hand crank it without any of these additions but the modifications make it much easier. If someone would want, I could do a digital FPS meter and footage counter for additional price

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  • 1 month later...

just a little follow up with the K2 electric/crystal motor modifications stuff. 

I had time to check it again and it does not seem to make much sense to do a crystal modification for this type of camera. It is possible of course but the main thing is that the camera body and mechanics are pretty restrictive and the huge amount of gears make lots of noise which would need to be blimped. the viewfinder is not very good for this type of stuff either. And one would want a video assist too of course which would complicate it even more. Larger mags would also be a huge benefit. It would still need to be affordable but that would not be possible because there is so much work to modify it to meet all the expectations.

There is one good possibility though if someone has any interest in it. One could take the film movement+mirror+gate assembly and the ground glass assembly and part of the viewfinder optics and the main sprocket drive and some other parts out of the K2 or K3 camera and make a completely new camera body where these would be installed. So one would just scrap the outer shell of the Krasnogorsk camera and build a new camera using some of the inner parts from the K-camera. This way one would get room for the motor and the video tap, one could make a orientable viewfinder for it and use separate larger mags with it and one could also install a more practical lens mount to it. And one could use a belt drive between some of the components to get rid of the large number of gears. And one could make it much more silent to begin with.

I don't know if this makes any sense in the end but it would definitely be possible because almost all the precision parts could be taken from the Krasnogorsk camera and only things like viewfinder tubes and the camera housing etc. would need to be manufactured which does not require special tools or that much expertise (just lots and lots of time). This option would only make sense as a DIY pastime project for camera enthusiasts but could be pretty useful and affordable if one does not count his/her own working hours. The final camera should be usable in indie films if one makes it silent enough.

If someone would like to try this type of "frankencamera" Krasnogorsk project we can draft something out here and make a project out of it :)

I should be able to provide an OK priced simple crystal sync system for this type of camera later this year if someone would be interested. As I said one would need to build one's own camera body for the project to make financially any sense but this type of camera could work as a "semi-opensource" project or something :)

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  • 4 weeks later...

Drafting just for fun. I had some spare time so I checked the K2 just one last time. Took it completely apart and took some measurements and put it back togethere again. Weighed pros and cons of different designs. 

- It is possible to make these cameras Crystal Sync as said in the previous posts. It is not even that difficult to do. But the real question to ask is WHY. Why one does want to make it crystal sync? what does one want to shoot with it which would require very stable speed? The camera is relatively noisy and it does not have that good of bearings if one wants to shoot tens of thousands of feets with it at a time so I would not want to shoot a feature film with it. 

So why make one running with Crystal Sync electric motor? And would larger magazines really benefit anyone even if they would look good on paper? What other restrictions the cameras have which would make them less ideal for such a conversion?

-------------------------

The cameras are pretty small and lightweight for not being sound cameras and for being originally meant for low budget fast shots. They also have very affordable and relatively good lenses. So I would say that one would want to keep the camera body just as small and lightweight than it originally was and one would definitely want to keep the original lens mount. 

- these goals negate the use of larger magazines. One would want the camera to run 100ft daylight spools. It is not meant for A-camera use on feature films, it is meant to be lightweight and small camera which is fast to setup and use.

- the cameras would work best for pickup / B-roll type of shots and for music videos. 

- to make the cameras more usable for the music videos which would be their main use, one would need to get a orientable viewfinder. Not want to get it, one would NEED to get the orientable finder. Fixed viewfinder just does not cut it. But making a orientable optical finder takes lots of work and it is less ideal for that use. So I would suggest replacing the original optical viewfinder with a internal 100% HD video tap. So it does not have optical finder at all but has a good video tap which enables focusing. The camera could then be used with gimbals and steadicam easily if needed and low/high angles would be no problem. Makes it also faster to use.

- mandatory speeds would be 24.00fps, 25.00fps, 48.00fps and 50.00fps. Others would be possible but not necessarily needed.

- Most of the original parts could be used. If wanting to make the camera S16 one would need to manufacture a new ground glass for it. These cameras are not ideal for S16 conversion but for this type of use the quality should be OK.

------------

So I drafted the possible modification this way:

- Uses the original camera body and most of the internal parts 

- original film capacity (100ft daylight spools) 

- original lens mount to be able to use the relatively good and very affordable original lenses (PL mount would look good on paper but no one would really use PL lenses with this camera in the end. At most they would end up using the original KMZ lenses with K-bayonet to PL adapter. So no need to bother with changing the mount for no reason)

- Only basic sync speeds and high speeds. No low speeds necessary though they would be possible if one would need them...

- 100% HD video tap. No optical finder at all 

- Meant for pickups, B-roll and music videos. No one shoots features with this noisy cameras so feature use does not need to be considered (though it would still be fun if someone would end up shooting a feature with one of these)

- S16 conversion probably mandatory with replacement of the groundglass and the modification of the gate, sprocket wheel and guide rollers

- Might be possible to include all the control electronics inside the camera body (external box would be cheaper but no one generally wants the additional boxes in this type of use). Possibly the motor itself needs to be external, there is very little room for it inside the camera body. Mechanical parts need to be manufactured to fit the electric motor.

- Complete overhaul of the camera body would be necessary as well to make it well working again. 

---------

However this is pretty much theoretical drafting because I calculated quickly that making this type of conversion could cost something between 1200 and 1500 USD which is probably too much for any user. This would be a totally unique camera system for music video stuff so I can see lots of uses for it but the price tag is probably just too much. 

However, if someone would be interested in ordering one, I could do this kind of modification for the Krasnogorsk 3 camera. It is just time consuming and really that expensive and some of the money would need to be paid up front to enable manufacturing the custom groundglass and HD tap and other parts. Let me know if you are interested of this type of super-expensive but also super handy S16  camera. At least the lenses are cheap 😄 

 

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Aapo, have you asked if Elokuvakonepaja would like you to build one for them? I guess it wouldn't really make much sense for private person to own a camera oriented for so specific case but a rentals company might be interested...

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1 hour ago, Heikki Repo said:

Aapo, have you asked if Elokuvakonepaja would like you to build one for them? I guess it wouldn't really make much sense for private person to own a camera oriented for so specific case but a rentals company might be interested...

I think this type of camera would work best as a owner-op system for someone shooting lots of stylistic music videos or "tv series opening credits sequence" type of stuff. But it would not hurt to ask if a rental house would be interested  :) 

One of the things I noticed is that most of the K3:s out there seem to have M42 mount instead of the bayonet. So it is a bit challenging to get a camera which is both the latest model and in good condition AND has the bayonet mount so that the better quality primes could be used. Otherwise one would be limited to the kit zoom unless shooting extreme telephoto where one could use stills lenses as well. The cheap lenses are the whole point of this K3 modification so the bayonet mount is pretty mandatory. Probably I could convert a M42 mount camera to bayonet by myself though, the Krasnogorsk bayonet is very simple construction and I could probably make one with metal lathe and hacksaw if needed :D 

It would be possible to switch some parts between cameras so it would be possible to scavenge the bayonet mount fronts and good working camera bodies separately. This would be relatively expensive though so would need couple of the cameras to be built to justify the time and expense. If someone would order a single camera I would probably purchase 2 or 3 camera kits from eBay and use the best working one as a base and the others for spare parts. Some of the machining needed for the modification is a bit risky so it is best to have spare parts available if something goes wrong. And then it would be possible to get the gears and bearings which have the least amount of wear etc. 

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  • 2 months later...

For various reasons I changed the target to modifying the Kiev-16UE instead. It has similar style of lenses but it already has some kind of electric motor so no need to manufacture lots of precision mechanical parts to get it working. This should keep the price of the final system in tolerable range of about 500 - 600 euros or so. 

I already purchased couple of 16UE cameras to test this and to build one for my own use. If anyone else is interested, please let me know by PM. So the goal is to build a usable Kiev-16UE with couple of crystal sync speeds and which would cost 600 euros including the camera body and some lenses. 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 8/26/2020 at 10:01 AM, aapo lettinen said:

For various reasons I changed the target to modifying the Kiev-16UE instead. It has similar style of lenses but it already has some kind of electric motor so no need to manufacture lots of precision mechanical parts to get it working. This should keep the price of the final system in tolerable range of about 500 - 600 euros or so. 

I already purchased couple of 16UE cameras to test this and to build one for my own use. If anyone else is interested, please let me know by PM. So the goal is to build a usable Kiev-16UE with couple of crystal sync speeds and which would cost 600 euros including the camera body and some lenses. 

Got the 16UE today. The crystal sync modification is possible as a motor-only modification (the motor is fully separate so one would just remove the motor from the camera and send it to me, then it could be modified and sent back. no need to ship the camera back and forth) . I don't want to purchase, repair and sell complete camera packages (too much hassle and work for me) so I will just modify the motors :) 

Possible price tag for the Crystal modification for the Kiev16 would be around 400 to 500 USD.  I am going to build some kind of test camera later this year, probably a 5 or 6 speed version with all speed Crystal

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  • 3 months later...
On 3/10/2020 at 2:37 PM, aapo lettinen said:

Theoretical question. 

If a crystal sync motor would be developed for Krasnogorsk 3 camera, how much the modification could cost to still make it viable option? 

I may have possibility to do this type of modifications this year if there would be enough demand and I will get my crystal sync electronics working reliably with these cameras. By my opinion, only the K3 would be usable for these modifications, the magazine system of the K1 and K2 is too unreliable and awkward to be used for these I think. 

Personally I would recommend keeping the original bayonet lenses of the camera, they are pretty good for the price. If you already have all the PL lenses then a PL modification could be doable but otherwise it does not make much sense I think. 

Some years ago I did a experimental viewfinder prism adaptation to my Krasnogorsk2 to enable it using a video tap via beamsplitter so that one could use the optical finder at the same time. I never had suitable small video camera to use as a tap so I did not develop it to a working system but the camera still has the beamsplitter installed. Might give you great ideas how to do the modification if you decide to attempt it 🙂 

 

Original camera viewfinder optics with the lightmeter sensor attached to the side: 

2598660516_f7fb6a1e07_b.jpg

 

Modified viewfinder optics with the light sensor removed and a angle prism attached to its place. The prism had to be glued in place and it need to be done very precisely to avoid bubbles and poor image quality. I think I took the prism from Krasnogors1 viewfinder optics(the angle prism shown in the upper image in the right-lower corner) but can't remember for sure because it's over 10 years I did this 

4089567340_0c33d545b6_b.jpg

I will love to have a  crystal sync motor for the K-3, K-3 is a lovely camera but unlike bolex, the hand crank on the K-3 just to much for me to crank, a hand crank mod or a motor mod will make this camera so much batter! 

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7 hours ago, He Ci said:

I will love to have a  crystal sync motor for the K-3, K-3 is a lovely camera but unlike bolex, the hand crank on the K-3 just to much for me to crank, a hand crank mod or a motor mod will make this camera so much batter! 

Nice to hear that people love to still use the Krasnogorsk cameras!

I kind of abandoned all the Krasnogorsk crystal motor designs because it is too much mechanical work to adapt the electric motor to work with the cameras. Additionally the cameras need a complete overhaul to be able to work with any electric motor system and even if serviced, they are still mechanically unsuitable for running very large amounts of film through (that is just my opinion but for example the bearings of the camera need constant care if you are intending to shoot thousands of feets of film with it in a short period of time like would happen if shooting for example a feature film with it).  So the combination of large amount of mechanical work + the camera body being not very optimal to be used for filming extensive film amounts by my opinion + the relatively small profit one could possibly make modifying these compared to the large amount of work it would require.... that is why I decided it is not worth it financially to modify these cameras. Maybe in a country where the work hours cost less than here (China, India, Russia, etc.) .

However if you are able to do the mechanical parts of the modification by yourself it would be possible to adapt some of my existing crystal sync designs to work with the camera. basically meaning that a suitable motor and speed "tachometer" encoder design would be chosen and you would handle all the mechanical stuff by yourself, I would just provide complete control electronics for the camera according to the specs.

The stuff I need to know is what kind of encoder sensor the system uses and how many pulses that encoder provides per one exposed film frame (taking into account all the possible gear ratios between the motor and the film movement, the encoder slot number, etc.). and what kind of motor it uses (brushed, brushless, the exact specs of the motor, operating voltage etc.) and the battery options you are going to use with the system. It is a bit easier to adapt a brushed motor to work with the camera because there is more suitable motor options then. Most of the brushless options I have found are plain bad for camera use (unsuitable RPM, noisy, bad driver boards, etc. or unsuitable Hall  outputs for crystal sync which necessitates still using a separate encoder disc system with the motor which ruins all the benefits of the brushless in the first place) .

Let me know if you are interested in adapting the K3 to electric motor use by yourself and would need the complete Crystal electronics for it so that you would only need to handle the mechanical parts of the modification. The complete control electronics would probably be somewhere around 400  or 450 USD  I believe depending on what you need (the basic would be a 12-speed crystal sync system with a rotary selector to select different speeds. no display or extra features)

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13 hours ago, aapo lettinen said:

Nice to hear that people love to still use the Krasnogorsk cameras!

I kind of abandoned all the Krasnogorsk crystal motor designs because it is too much mechanical work to adapt the electric motor to work with the cameras. Additionally the cameras need a complete overhaul to be able to work with any electric motor system and even if serviced, they are still mechanically unsuitable for running very large amounts of film through (that is just my opinion but for example the bearings of the camera need constant care if you are intending to shoot thousands of feets of film with it in a short period of time like would happen if shooting for example a feature film with it).  So the combination of large amount of mechanical work + the camera body being not very optimal to be used for filming extensive film amounts by my opinion + the relatively small profit one could possibly make modifying these compared to the large amount of work it would require.... that is why I decided it is not worth it financially to modify these cameras. Maybe in a country where the work hours cost less than here (China, India, Russia, etc.) .

However if you are able to do the mechanical parts of the modification by yourself it would be possible to adapt some of my existing crystal sync designs to work with the camera. basically meaning that a suitable motor and speed "tachometer" encoder design would be chosen and you would handle all the mechanical stuff by yourself, I would just provide complete control electronics for the camera according to the specs.

The stuff I need to know is what kind of encoder sensor the system uses and how many pulses that encoder provides per one exposed film frame (taking into account all the possible gear ratios between the motor and the film movement, the encoder slot number, etc.). and what kind of motor it uses (brushed, brushless, the exact specs of the motor, operating voltage etc.) and the battery options you are going to use with the system. It is a bit easier to adapt a brushed motor to work with the camera because there is more suitable motor options then. Most of the brushless options I have found are plain bad for camera use (unsuitable RPM, noisy, bad driver boards, etc. or unsuitable Hall  outputs for crystal sync which necessitates still using a separate encoder disc system with the motor which ruins all the benefits of the brushless in the first place) .

Let me know if you are interested in adapting the K3 to electric motor use by yourself and would need the complete Crystal electronics for it so that you would only need to handle the mechanical parts of the modification. The complete control electronics would probably be somewhere around 400  or 450 USD  I believe depending on what you need (the basic would be a 12-speed crystal sync system with a rotary selector to select different speeds. no display or extra features)

Yeah... making a motor power K-3 sound too much lol,  make the hand crank more comfortable to use is pretty much all I want,  the K-3 hand crank just bad, wish it has a bolex hand crank.

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  • 1 year later...

Hey Aapo, Im really interested in knowing more about the orientable viewfinder for the K3. The only thing I hate about the K3 is that the viewfinder is in the back, instead of having an orientable one in the front left part, as other 16mm cameras (Arri, Eclair, etc). How would you do that? Having this option will make the camera much more ergonomic, being able to hold it with the shoulder like the eclair acl.

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On 2/16/2022 at 2:47 AM, Tiago Almança said:

Hey Aapo, Im really interested in knowing more about the orientable viewfinder for the K3. The only thing I hate about the K3 is that the viewfinder is in the back, instead of having an orientable one in the front left part, as other 16mm cameras (Arri, Eclair, etc). How would you do that? Having this option will make the camera much more ergonomic, being able to hold it with the shoulder like the eclair acl.

Hi!   I would try to take a orientable finder from some other camera model and mount it on the top of the camera directly over the groundglass by taking the first prism away from the light path, then making a hole to the camera body to allow the finder to be mounted on top. Then it is a matter of getting the finder ergonomically positioned and getting a correct magnification for it to be used comfortably. It should be possible to use additional prisms to route the image if needed (for example the prisms you have removed from the original viewfinder optics, or basic prisms you can get from ebay or companies selling basic optical parts) and then just use something like a small electronics project aluminium housing permanently mounted to the camera to protect the assembly and to mount the viewfinder to it.

It would be a good "rainy day" project for you if you have basic machining tools and can find a good orientable finder for the use (I would check if you can get a Konvas 1m finder working for the use as they are cheap and available. for example Angenieux finders should be possible to modify too I think).

It is not worth it to bother camera technicians with a project like this (way too expensive and time consuming for the end result) but as a self made project it should work pretty OK

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