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Hi Guys,

I own a Krasnogorsk K-3, I purely use it for fun, not professionally. I've put about three rolls through it at this stage, and although I'm happy with the quality of the footage, I notice a large dust build up on all the the footage, as well as some continuous straight scratching on the right side of the film. Have been quoted £400 to have the camera professionally cleaned and serviced, but it's not worth that so I'm not really willing to fork out that much just for a camera that I use for fun. Was wondering if anyone here has experience of cleaning this camera themselves? And if they could give any advice to potentially fixing this at home? I gave the camera a good blow with compressed air, and a little brush the last time I put a roll through it, but still got the recurring issues. Any other help would be massively appreciated!

I have attached some images for reference.

Best,

Jack

Screenshot 2019-06-28 at 14.49.10.jpg

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I used to have a K3 that I converted to S16 myself, so I'm familiar with the camera. First of you have to clean as much as you can inside the film compartment. If you see dust I would start cleaning with a toothbrush, (carefully) then compressed air is a good idea. The stuff that you are seeing on top and bottom of the image is dirt accumulated on the pressure gate. If you are not familiar with removing the pressure plate, watch some videos on you tube  to see how to remove the pressure plate and then clean the gate and the area. That stuff is massive and looks like emulsion accumulated on the gate after some time without a good clean. You can remove that stuff with a wooden or even plastic tooth picker. Never use anything made out of metal to clean the gate or any other parts of the camera really. You can use alcohol to clean the gate, the pressure plate and the rollers that touch the film.

I can tell the camera was converted to S16. The scratches that you are seeing are on the area that was not designed to be used with film, so you will have to clean those areas that I mentioned before and ideally polish those pieces. If you camera has the loop formers that's another thing that you should remove. They are famous for scratching film. I don't think that's the case here but that's a good idea anyways.

I had the same problem with my camera and as soon as I polished those parts the scratches were gone. I used a $10 dremel tool and polishing compound to do the job. Be careful with plastic parts, a rotating tool would damage those, so don't use it on plastic parts.

I know this is not the ideal method, but if you don't want to spend the money getting the camera serviced that's a good work around.

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15 hours ago, Ruben Arce said:

I used to have a K3 that I converted to S16 myself, so I'm familiar with the camera. First of you have to clean as much as you can inside the film compartment. If you see dust I would start cleaning with a toothbrush, (carefully) then compressed air is a good idea. The stuff that you are seeing on top and bottom of the image is dirt accumulated on the pressure gate. If you are not familiar with removing the pressure plate, watch some videos on you tube  to see how to remove the pressure plate and then clean the gate and the area. That stuff is massive and looks like emulsion accumulated on the gate after some time without a good clean. You can remove that stuff with a wooden or even plastic tooth picker. Never use anything made out of metal to clean the gate or any other parts of the camera really. You can use alcohol to clean the gate, the pressure plate and the rollers that touch the film.

I can tell the camera was converted to S16. The scratches that you are seeing are on the area that was not designed to be used with film, so you will have to clean those areas that I mentioned before and ideally polish those pieces. If you camera has the loop formers that's another thing that you should remove. They are famous for scratching film. I don't think that's the case here but that's a good idea anyways.

I had the same problem with my camera and as soon as I polished those parts the scratches were gone. I used a $10 dremel tool and polishing compound to do the job. Be careful with plastic parts, a rotating tool would damage those, so don't use it on plastic parts.

I know this is not the ideal method, but if you don't want to spend the money getting the camera serviced that's a good work around.

Hi Ruben,

Thanks a million for the quick reply, will give the camera a good clean again today, putting another roll through it this weekend so fingers crossed it comes out a little better. Will try remove the loop formers also, just wondering if that will make the camera trickier to load? 

Thanks again,

Jack

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No problem Jack,

Yeah cleaning everything will definitely help, specially the gate and the pressure plate. try cleaning the rollers with alcohol sprocket, by sprocket if you can't polish them.

Removing the loop formers will make the camera "manual" to load. Is not difficult at all, just watch some videos on youtube, try loading the camera a few times with dummy film and run it trough it and you will get used to it. I used to do it in total darkness and a lot of people have done it too.

A good trick to make sure the sprocket holes are properly engaged is to move the film with your fingers back and forth when the film is engaged in the rollers (sprocket) and make sure it is engaged on the puller when it goes trough the gate and pressure plate. That guarantees the film will stay in the same shape and loops are not going to change in size.

 

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The dirty one could also be a residue of the foam, often in K3 there is that kind of residue.
However, Ruben's indications are excellent.
On loop formers: I had two K3s, one with and one without, but I never found any differences, both didn't give loading problems (apart from having to move the film by hand if jammed during the load) or scratches during shooting .

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