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Rob Thorogood

Krasnogorsk-3 not loading properly

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I own a K-3.  Have shot 5 rolls on it now, 3 have come out just as planned however 2 have not.  The footage looks totally stretched and unusable.  

The first 2 rolls came out great, the 3rd ruined, the 4th great and the 5th ruined - so I am aware that it is most likely a loading fault. 

However now I am trying to load it with exposed film to practice and test it and noticed that once it passed the pressure plate its as if the film is being pulled back towards the gate and the loops become really small.  The film progresses through the camera but the loops are definitely not big enough.  Have repeatedly tried to load it but the same thing happens. 

Here is a link to what is happening!

Any help would be great! 

 

 

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Hi Rob,
The film must be slipping on the feed side ( top side ) of the sprocket.
Check if the pad rollers are clamping the film perforations into the teeth correctly.

Film is being taken up from the gate ok ( bottom side of the sprocket ), but if the top side of the sprocket doesn't feed the same amount of film to the gate, the loops will get absorbed ( lost ).

John S 😉

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Sorry if this is an obvious question.. it’s a bit hard to see from that video but it looks like the film perfs are on the left side of the film rather than on the right side (where the pull down claw is)..  (If you run dummy film through to a take up spool you need to rewind it to get the perfs on the correct side again if you want to run it through another time - unless your dummy roll is double perf.)

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It's hard to see which side the perf's are on, but I assume they're on the right side. 

If they are on the right side, then you have the same issue I always had with this camera. The pressure plate isn't aligning with the notches in the gate and likewise, is not holding the film in place. This makes the film not pull down. You also need larger loops for sure. I don't like the stock loading system, I removed the loop formers on mine and manually load it with excellent results. I've actually been pretty happy with the results from my K3. For a complete toy camera, it works good, a bit of registration issues, but otherwise good. 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/zhye4i834chkykz/Beach 16mm.mov?dl=0

 

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The Krasnogorsk 16mm cameras can’t bring decent steadiness because the film’s not guided laterally. There’s a surprisingly big number of cameras that have a rigid film canal and I can imagine a certain meanness with people when at the center of motion-picture techniques gravity. Some things were not included in a license package, be it that it went to France or the USSR or Germany. Those cameras are the first Ciné-Kodak, ETM P, Kiev 16 Alpha, Zeiss-Ikon Movikon 16, Siemens & Halske, GIC, Pathé WEBO M, Kinamo ICA, Cinégraphe Bol, Sept Debrie and others. Mr. Goldberg left a number of imperfections with the Kinamo that should be addressed once. My opinion of him as a camera designer is not the highest.

The nominal width 16mm stock should have is 15,95 mm ± 0,025 (ISO 69). If you can set the canal’s width to 15,94 mm, you should be off the issue. Better would be a thin strip of velours on the left hand side as seen from behind the camera towards scene, better still an active device such as a two-prongs leaf spring. It’d be much more valuable to machine out two grooves than to enlarge the aperture for Super-16.

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Thanks all so much for your help on this. Stupidly I had the (exposed) film the wrong way round so the teeth were not catching. Like I said I'm fairly new to this!

So after loading the film the correct way round it goes through fine and the loops look big enough. The only issue I see now is that the pressure plate seems to flap around when the film passes through it. Having watched other videos it seems it should pass through easily, there's sounds and looks as if something is not quite right.

This is running at 24fps.

https://vimeo.com/351880893/b6f84fc866

Thanks again!

image.gif.2f9b4ab2598bd4f0b7cdc3134e3c91bb.gif

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Posted (edited)

This time you fouled the transport by the loop formers. See that these are disengaged, else the loops can’t flap freely, the film is being pushed against the claw.

Edited by Simon Wyss

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Hi Simon - apologies I don't think I quite understand what you mean?  I have ran the film through without the pressure plate and there are no problems, only with the pressure plate in.

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Rob, when the claw doesn't take the hole in the film, did you try to remove the pressure plate and fit the claw with the nearest hole (and handling the loops a little)?
If after doing this, the film goes, it is perfectly normal, the K3 often needs adjustments to the loading. Even the instruction manuals show the thing, and I have to do it myself with my K3s.
If instead the problem can continue even by manually hooking the film with claw, there is some problem with camera.

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7 hours ago, Rob Thorogood said:

Hi Simon - apologies I don't think I quite understand what you mean?  I have ran the film through without the pressure plate and there are no problems, only with the pressure plate in.

The loop formers, those black plastic things, are in the way of the loop. There is a lever at the bottom there which engages and disengages them. I've never had them on my camera, so I sadly can't tell you which way to pull or push the stupid lever. But it's the opposite direction of where they are now. 

The way motion picture works is that the film is pushed into and pulled out of the mechanism at a constant speed. Film can't be exposed at a constant speed right? It would just be a blur if it were. So it needs to STOP, get exposed and then START again. So how does one achieve that, if the film is being pushed and pulled at a constant speed?

You have a buffer of film above and below the exposing area (the gate). Then there is a little pull down claw in the gate that pulls the film to the next frame when it needs to be pulled. 

What's happening in your picture is that the buffer above and below your gate doesn't exist, the film is being pushed into the plastic and when the pull down claw is trying to do it's job, it can't, there isn't enough film there for it to pull down. 

Make sense?

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There is a plunger just below the sprocket which opens the loopformers when you depress it. When the lid is fitted it automatically depresses that plunger and moves the loopformers out of the way, but you can press it down by hand to check that the film is not hitting those loopformers. Sometimes you may need to manually open the sprocket guides to adjust the size of the loop.

The plunger mechanism is sometimes a bit dodgy and the loopformers don't move away enough to clear the film, which is why many people remove the loopformers completely and set the loop size manually.

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Thanks everyone for you help on this.  

@Luigi Castellitto I did try this and the pressure plate continued to flap around even after popping it back in and manually feeding the film into the claw... 

@Tyler Purcell thanks for this - have you seen my updated video?  I think the loops look big enough, and the take up and feed both seem to be working as they should be, just the pressure plate continues to flap which leads me to believe that there is an issue with the claw?

 



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You‘re still running the film with the loop formers closed, which means the loop cannot oscillate back and forth as the film is alternately held and then moved to the next frame. So it bulges out at the pressure plate.

Try running the film while holding down the plunger that moves the loop formers out of the way. 

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Hey Dom, thanks so much - that's worked a treat!! Seems to be going through without any problems.  Please check the video below - want to make sure with that it's spot on, looks and sounds good to me! 

 

 

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Yeah much better, but notice that the loop formers don't move that far. Sometimes the film can still brush against them as the loop oscillates and you can get scratches. Hard to see but check that isn't happening at the top loop former, and maybe run through a fresh piece of film and examine it for scratches. You can always manually adjust the loop a tiny bit shorter or just remove those loop formers altogether.

We still haven't worked out what went wrong with your original footage though. Maybe upload a sample?

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Hey Dom - yeah I see what you mean.  Starting to think that it might be worth taking the loop formers out altogether.  

Here is a link to part of the film that didn't come out! 

 

 

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10 hours ago, Rob Thorogood said:

Hey Dom - yeah I see what you mean.  Starting to think that it might be worth taking the loop formers out altogether.  

Here is a link to part of the film that didn't come out! 

 

That's what it looks like when the film isn't being stopped in the gate to expose. Just the film rolling by the gate. 

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The system that moves the loop formers out of place is made out of threads, which in the best case scenario is at least 30 years old. If the system doesn't have enough tension the loop formers don't move far enough causing scratches and in "registration" issues. I would definitely remove the loop formers. I just got a K3 to play with and that's one of the first things I'm going to do with it.

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We see that all the time with the K3.

Autoload never worked on the camera well like a Filmo70 or Bolex and most K3's which work have had the Autoload formers removed.

Also the pressure plate in those cameras often need to be fitted better to the gate as it can stick and loose the loop.

My first 16mm camera at NYU was a K3 and I did a ton of work trying to get the mechanism to run smoothly and not lose the loop but eventually got a better 16mm camera.

YMMV on those.

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You can also use this as an effect, if it suits the content. 

this was my first film project, and I made use of the mistakes.  It was a little embarrassing for me after writing detailed treatment, flying a band out, lighting and dressing the 'set', first-time-quasi-directing random people and generally being way over my head by my own doing only to hear your 'trusty K3' start whizzing and whirring irregularly.  "ummmm, smoke that again....please".  Those shots gave me a sinking feeling, because I didn't know what the hell that was going on inside the camera, so I was just praying it wasn't an internal film explosion of coils.  It wasn't.  So I shrugged it off like a very good K3 owner would 😉 When I got this footage back, I actually wanted to make an entire video out of just the couple minutes of these shots!  The "cigarette in the flame" and the "wiping the skull's tears" shots.   The limitations of the K3 can be used impressionistically I guess.  That's the moral of the story, in a circular, weird way I guess.  But it has to sort of relate to the theme or it would be stupid looking.  Going forward, I would totally buy a 'screwed up K3' just to get this insane effect to be honest.  Hindsight is sort of valuable.

 

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