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Rebuilt Krasnogorsk3 - Video assist, PL, Super16mm gate


Jacob Epstein
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Just came across these guys in Russia who've been rebuilding Krasnogorsk3 and calling them K4's. They outfit them with Gopro based video assist, super16mm gate, PL or EF mount. They also create an on/off running motor. No more winding or blinking! I've been looking for a 16mm alternative to an XTR or SR in the ~$2k range and this camera looks amazing! 

Just felt like I had to share with everyone here. 

 

https://www.shtrihfilm.com/online-store/K4v-Videoassist-s16-PL-mount-p268373196

https://www.instagram.com/shtrihfilm/

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2021-05-21 at 9.59.06 AM.png

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How is this an alternative to a SR or XTR? 

Honestly, how is this an alternative to a Bolex SBM, EBM or even EL, which you can get for the same price range, all be it, without the PL adaptor (easy to get from Du All camera or video tap). 

No matter what, you will never get perfect focus off a video tap on a film camera. So the idea he removes the viewfinder and uses a Go Pro is kinda blasphemy in the world of film cameras. Maybe if he shoved a 1080p imager where the ground glass goes,  maybe it would work ok, but not through a ground glass, the critical focus would not work. 

Second... again, how is this a sync-sound, silent, motor drive 400ft magazine camera with a bright viewfinder, PL mount, quick release mag, rod integration? This is just a K3 with a video tap and PL mount, nothing special. You can convert K3's to super 16 for around $200 bux. So why would you bother with this thing for $2,000? His motor upgrade is a train wreck. All ya gotta do is put a small motor inside where the wind up mechanism goes and you're good to go. The board to run it could be a very basic motor control, doesn't need to be as overly complicated as the one demo'd on his instagram. Then he wants $3k for his Frankenstein K4 with the motor and belt sticking off the side? 

Also, hate to break it to ya, but the K3's registration is horrible. Nearly all of the good 16mm cameras have a spring loaded rail, which pinches the film and helps keep the registration. The K3 does not have this and having been in mine dozens of times, I don't think you could even do it without changing the entire pressure plate design as well. The pressure plate is also total garbage, not necessarily the manufacturing, but also the spring loaded system it uses, it's just horribly poor. You can't get decent registered images out of a K3, even when new. The film will have quite a bit of lateral wobble. Just look at how elegant the Bolex system is. Heck even the B&H Filmo's have a better design. 

This camera is an alternative to no cameras I know. I'd rather have an Arri S or SM or M or Bolex of any kind. Heck even a Beaulieu R16 would be better, all be it, a camera I vigilantly stay away from due to the electronic issues. Just because it has a video tap, doesn't make it a good camera. It's just a gimmick. 

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29 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

How is this an alternative to a SR or XTR? 

Honestly, how is this an alternative to a Bolex SBM, EBM or even EL, which you can get for the same price range, all be it, without the PL adaptor (easy to get from Du All camera or video tap). 

No matter what, you will never get perfect focus off a video tap on a film camera. So the idea he removes the viewfinder and uses a Go Pro is kinda blasphemy in the world of film cameras. Maybe if he shoved a 1080p imager where the ground glass goes,  maybe it would work ok, but not through a ground glass, the critical focus would not work. 

Second... again, how is this a sync-sound, silent, motor drive 400ft magazine camera with a bright viewfinder, PL mount, quick release mag, rod integration? This is just a K3 with a video tap and PL mount, nothing special. You can convert K3's to super 16 for around $200 bux. So why would you bother with this thing for $2,000? His motor upgrade is a train wreck. All ya gotta do is put a small motor inside where the wind up mechanism goes and you're good to go. The board to run it could be a very basic motor control, doesn't need to be as overly complicated as the one demo'd on his instagram. Then he wants $3k for his Frankenstein K4 with the motor and belt sticking off the side? 

Also, hate to break it to ya, but the K3's registration is horrible. Nearly all of the good 16mm cameras have a spring loaded rail, which pinches the film and helps keep the registration. The K3 does not have this and having been in mine dozens of times, I don't think you could even do it without changing the entire pressure plate design as well. The pressure plate is also total garbage, not necessarily the manufacturing, but also the spring loaded system it uses, it's just horribly poor. You can't get decent registered images out of a K3, even when new. The film will have quite a bit of lateral wobble. Just look at how elegant the Bolex system is. Heck even the B&H Filmo's have a better design. 

This camera is an alternative to no cameras I know. I'd rather have an Arri S or SM or M or Bolex of any kind. Heck even a Beaulieu R16 would be better, all be it, a camera I vigilantly stay away from due to the electronic issues. Just because it has a video tap, doesn't make it a good camera. It's just a gimmick. 

I hear you. I think I got excited with their ingenuity. Maybe this is all a lot easier to do than it looks. Anyway, appreciate the educated knowledge drop here. 

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There is another thread where I had an idea of making Krasnogorsk2 or 3 crystal sync and adding a video tap but then I shot my own ideas down because the camera body is not good enough to justify a 1k - 2k usd conversion. 

That is exactly what has happened here. The camera body is not good enough to justify that amount of work hours and expense. It is a nice demo project but does not make any financial sense unless it is just for getting content to a youtube channel and you will get the revenue from ads and sponsors.

Btw I could sell a simple user installable crystal sync controller for 200 to 300 usd which could run this type of camera. One would need add a motor and encoder but still the crystal conversion would only be couple of hundred usd if user installed. No need to pay 1k for it....

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7 hours ago, aapo lettinen said:

No need to pay 1k for it....

Exactly. There are so many very basic motor designs that would fit inside that housing easily. 

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I saw these at some point. It's kind of cool that they did it, but I can't imagine buying one.

Honestly, I don't really get why people put so much effort into trying to change their K-3s. The only modification I did to mine was having the loop formers removed (since it seems to be so unanimously recommended in order to prevent scratches). Beyond that, I'm just not very interested. I bought a K-3 because it's a cheap, basic camera that I could learn to shoot film with. Why try and make it into something it's not?

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  • 1 month later...

Feel like this project would’ve been way cooler as an open source/DIY thing- I.E. “We’ll sell you these parts for a couple hundred bucks, here’s how to modify your K-3 and have a sweet camera for under 1K”

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2 hours ago, Kevin Neal said:

Feel like this project would’ve been way cooler as an open source/DIY thing- I.E. “We’ll sell you these parts for a couple hundred bucks, here’s how to modify your K-3 and have a sweet camera for under 1K”

The main issue would be that most people don't have the mechanical expertise or machining tools to make the conversion by themselves. 

I have understood that the russian k3 mod is with a wild motor and not crystal sync?  I would expect it to be crystal for that price but maybe they have issues designing one?

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On 7/8/2021 at 5:18 PM, aapo lettinen said:

The main issue would be that most people don't have the mechanical expertise or machining tools to make the conversion by themselves. 

Yea that's obviously an issue haha- personally I don't really understand setups like this anyways when they cost around 3K. That's getting close to, or equal to,  the price something like an Eclair or SR but with less features.

I believe the K-3 mod these guys are doing is crystal sync actually, they've posted some clips on their IG of the encoders and mention it being crystal.

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8 hours ago, Kevin Neal said:

I believe the K-3 mod these guys are doing is crystal sync actually, they've posted some clips on their IG of the encoders and mention it being crystal.

from other sources I have understood that the crystal controller is not ready yet but it may be that they got it working. No possibility to know without getting one of those cameras and measuring with a oscilloscope how the motor reacts in actual running conditions.

Additionally, sometimes people are confusing simple speeds regulating controllers with actual phase locking crystal sync systems. The easiest way of regulating speed with a microcontroller is to count how many pulses one gets from the encoder per second and then calculate the speed from that number and compare the reading to the target speed one wants to reach. This way one gets a little better timing accuracy than one encoder pulse lasts in seconds.

In comparison, a real crystal sync controller uses phase comparison of the encoder pulses to get much much better accuracy than an individual encoder pulse lasts. In my earliest prototypes the accuracy was maybe about 1/100th of the duration of one encoder pulse so it was already massively more accurate than a simple pulse counting system is... my newer designs are much better of course.  The disadvantage of the real crystal sync systems is that developing a working algorithm is very hard work and takes a long time, at least from 3 months to half a year (when a simple pulse counting algorithm can be written from scratch and tested in an hour )

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello.  I am an Editor in Los Angeles new to the forum, and have been reading up on the Krasnogorsk3 16mm film camera, having grown up shooting on Super 8mm film.  Now I use Canon lenses with my Blackmagic 6k camera, so I ordered a K3 with a Canon mount from  https://www.shtrihfilm.com/ , which is the same websight referenced at the top of this thread.  I was hesitant to go outside of E Bay, and now 4 months have passed and the 16mm camera has not been sent.  Originally I was told 1 to 2 months, and my emails in the last week have not gone answered.  

Does anyone have any experience with shtrhfilm?  I have waited to cancel the order, but now 4 months have passed and I think I need to resolve this soon.  The company looks legitimate on Instragram, with various modifications of the K3 and K4, so I took the chance to drop $800 on a company from Russia, and now I am not getting any responses from Max or shtrhfilm, so I thought I would come here for advice on how to proceed forward.

Thanks,

Don

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Ah good! I'd like to see what he ends up doing to the K4. Wonder if he'll ever fix the gate issues. To me that's the biggest issue with the camera; creating a wobbly image due to not having any lateral holder for the film. 

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...

When I purchased a K-3 with a Canon mount from Shrihfilm.com, I was told it will take 1 to 2 months.  After over 4 months of not receiving the camera, and evasive answers, I cancelled the order to receive a refund. 

First, I was told 1 to 2 weeks for the refund.  After 3 weeks, I was told another week.  Then another week after two weeks had passed. And now another week for him to get the money refunded.

I am getting the run around from Shrihfilm.com, and I would not trust this person with your money. The instagram pics make him look like a reputable businessman (https://www.instagram.com/shtrihfilm), but dealing with him you realize he is full of it.

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this is like with any new tech: best to wait until the design is actually finished before paying them anything. Even if the seller would be reputable, it can take forever to finish camera modification designs and it makes them look very bad if they take someone's money and not delivering promptly 😕 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Regarding Shtrihfilm, I gave Max Ivanof 4 months to send the K-3 Krasnogorsk 16mm camera with a Canon Mount that he advertised, after his repeated vague messages on Instagram.  Now six months have passed by, and after repeated attempts to get the $800 refunded, he is no longer answering any messages.

It would be a big mistake for ANYONE to send money to Max Ivanof in Russia and his Shtrihfilm for any reason, if you ever want to see your money again.  I am surprised Paypal allows him to use their service, as surely this is not his only case of fraud.

Thankfully, due to this forum, others can be warned before sending him money.

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12 minutes ago, Donald Milne said:

Regarding Shtrihfilm, I gave Max Ivanof 4 months to send the K-3 Krasnogorsk 16mm camera with a Canon Mount that he advertised, after his repeated vague messages on Instagram.  Now six months have passed by, and after repeated attempts to get the $800 refunded, he is no longer answering any messages.

It would be a big mistake for ANYONE to send money to Max Ivanof in Russia and his Shtrihfilm for any reason, if you ever want to see your money again.  I am surprised Paypal allows him to use their service, as surely this is not his only case of fraud.

Thankfully, due to this forum, others can be warned before sending him money.

One could easily design and manufacture such a camera completely out of scratch in 6 months even working on it part time.  So it is probably safe to say now that it is not a real product at all

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Wondering what you guys think of this, unlike the (I'm assuming) previous model (judging by Jacob Epsteins photo of May 21) it's now possible to view through the viewfinder and video assist at the same time.. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/CQnlrv4C9uR/

How would this be achieved do you think? An additional beamsplitter prism to route some of the light from the viewfinder towards the gopro, which is in the body somewhere? 

To clarify: I don't plan to buy one of these K4's, just wondering how it was done and if I could do something similar with a reflex bolex. 

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All krasnogorsks have a beamsplitter in the viewfinder optics next to the groundglass which splits some of the light to the light meter cell of the built in meter. One can use this beamsplitter for getting the image to the video tap, I tested this some 10 years ago and it works though one needs additional prism to get enough room for the tap to install it. But the beamsplitter is already there because the original internal exposure meter uses it

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An additional beamsplitter would make sense as the proper way to do it. Getting the exposure information from the gopro would be a bit of a hack but functional. I'm not sure this is better than an off the shelf sensor or miniature camera for the video tap and costs a lot more.

All that aside, going by the OP link it's now only crypto payments which is a huge red flag. Red flag on the level of 'you have no recourse if anything is wrong or not delivered' at the very least. A gopro shoved inside a k3 for 2k, payable by crypto only from Russia at least to me sounds extremely sketchy especially after the regular testimony.

I could see someone doing those mods to a k3 as a project or to see what they can do to improve it or as a first step in making modified cameras, so I can't judge there. 2k of crypto for a k3 with a gopro put inside it though. Yikes.

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