I am amazed at the prices of konvas cameras. A 35mm camera for under a thousand dollars? This just cannot be true. Can it? I, like most filmmakers, would love to shoot on 35mm but just cant afford the cost. But when I looked on Ebay for 35mm cameras, I was astounded to find that a 35mm konvas camera was less expensive than most 16mm cameras, besides bolex of course. But can this be real? Are these cameras good for anything, if there price is so low? I am a neophyte, as most of you know, but the idea of being able to shoot on my dream format is so apealing. I am going to start researching this on mu own starting right now, but you friendly people here at indietalk may have som input to share. I hope I don't bother you too much.
08-08-2005, 10:30 AM
The Konvas has it's fans in the US. Do a google search and you'll find some sites.
They can make good pictures if you have the right glass on them and if they are in good condition. I have never personally shot anything with one, but have played with one and found it a neat little camera.
08-08-2005, 08:13 PM
They've been popular in Europe for a good while, I've heard.. and they are recently gaining interest in the US.. I've read that FX guys like 'em because they're compact.
08-08-2005, 09:10 PM
But does a konvas in good repair put out images that are high quality enough to serve as your primary kit? All the recommendations I can find are from stores, which I can not trust.
08-09-2005, 01:09 AM
I looked up a few on E-bay, and while the ones listed appeared to have electric motors to drive the magasines they did not appear to be sound-sync'd.
Not sure if that helps in your definition of what you need in a "primary kit". :)
08-09-2005, 11:25 AM
Depends on what you mean by primary? Would they make a good camera to shoot a feature? I doubt it because of the non-sync nature and how noisy they are. As a b- camera, in good condition, it should be fine.
08-09-2005, 01:16 PM
Thanks guys for your info. Ill have to look into ways to fix both of those issues. And if it doesnt get much better, then I will definately take scotts advice as a secondary. Ill keep everyone updated on my search.
08-09-2005, 05:34 PM
They have a 'regulated' speed motor.. which, does mean that yes, they are "sync"... it will run at a constant frame rate. Whether they are loud or not I'm not sure, but you can always blimp it. :)
08-09-2005, 05:59 PM
Ok, I have done some more research. There are the "regulated" speed motors that Will touched on, but there are also full blown crystal sync units that are available. As for the sound issue, they do apear to have some noise issues, but as Will also said, a blimp can improve that. With a good recording system wih some nice cardoid mics, I think I can make the konvas work for me. A little thinking must go into it, but I don't mind with the ability of saving thousands of dollars.
08-09-2005, 09:35 PM
After searching around, I found this FANTASTIC site. Not only do these kind people have great test footage taken with a konvas 2m, they showcase some fantastic gun effects. Definately check them out. http://rarevision.com/home.php#
08-10-2005, 11:12 AM
The Konvas' are the perfect indie 35mm camera. They even have anamorphic available for them. Thank you so much for the link there Ive never been able to see much footage by a Konvas, but apparently there was one film made across the pond that is considered to be one of the most amazing visual experiences ever on film, shot completely with a Konvas. I'll try to look up the title. But Ive been looking at these for a long time, ever since I bought my Krasnogorsk-3, and found it to be fantastic despite not being synch.
08-10-2005, 01:04 PM
Glad I could help WideShot. I have spent at least seven hours a day for the past three days researching the konvas 35mm cameras, especially the 2m. Combing the web and some books, and of course you guys here at indie talk, I have decided to purchase one for myself. The 2m operates at between 55 and sixty decibels. It uses a single lens mount for the oct19 mount, Can be converted to most anything. crystal sync motors available for it are the 17 epss and 18 epss, both have selectable fps. Orientable veiwfinder with the ability for video tap.
To help those of you interested in konvas cameras, I have compiled here the links that I have found to be most usefull. If I find more I will add them here, but these are the ones that held the most information, whereas all of the others that I found simply restated what was held here.
Footage taken from konvas 2m
The BEST dealer of konvas cameras and accessories, and other cameras plus LOTS of info
Information on most popular russian cinema cameras (including 2m)
Please ask any questions that I have failed to answer about its basic specs, because I know I misses many.
08-10-2005, 10:19 PM
Rivet thanks for the amazing links! You've sold me on this camera. I had no IDEA that a 35mm camera could be affordable or even reachable to us indie filmmakers of the low budgets. Of course I don't have near that kind of money to get one right now(or ever! :lol: ), but atleast I know that it can be gotten. I wouldn't have thought that a 35mm camera under 1,000 dollars with pretty much what you need if you buy a package say off Ebay, is ready to shoot and get great results!!!
The site with the clips is truly amazing! I wish they would have been alittle more "action" in them, but great none-the-less. But I'm wondering if anything was tweak before they put them on the net? color correction? But if that's camera originals... my oh, my the things I could do with that camera!!! Makes me really want to get my hands on one and shoot something.
Please Keep me updated if you get one and shoot some stuff with it. I would be very interested to see what you do with it and help ya out anyway I can. If you get one you might look into getting some recans/shortends of different 35mm stocks and just trying them all out. Recans/shortends should be pretty cheap in 35mm and you should be able to find alot of one stock, as "big movies" dump alot after they get done shooting. Just thought I throw that out to ya, but I bet you've already thought of that. :)
P.S. Anyone know of any place that rents the Konvas? Just wondering.
08-12-2005, 10:19 PM
I started looking up some Konvas links.
Here's the wiki-entry
I'm trying to re-find a link I found earlier, that listed which Konvas models were sync (apparently not all are), and which motor-models are the ones to look for.
08-13-2005, 04:27 PM
Glad I could help everyone. I just got back from PA, sorry that I couldnt respond earlier. King, commicam has connections to people who rent konvas cameras, but you could buy a 1m for the price it would cost to rent one for the day. I am planning on purchasing a 2m, when the right deal comes along. As for the crystal sync motors, they are all interchangeable. There ae three main models of motors that may come with the camera. The 15epss is synced almost as well as crystal sync by using the alternating current to time itself. 17epss and 18epss are crystal sync.
08-17-2005, 12:13 AM
I noticed the Konvas cameras on ebay about a year ago. Ive noticed that every person who is selling one lives outside the U.S. in Europe. I understand the camera is Russian. But I am very cautious of buying items from overseas, especially ones that sell for a grand or more.
About the quality of the images shot with with a konvas. The camera itslef has nothing to do with the quality of the image. That goes for all cameras. All 35mm cameras are capable of producing the same quality of images. Same goes for 16mm and super 8. What gives an image its characteristics is the lens, (which technically is not the camera), lighting, focal length, frame rate, f stop, film stock, lens filtration, processing procedure, and color correction and any other video manipulation of the film-to-video transferred image.
Next, although the konvas cameras are relativiely cheap, keep in mind the skyhigh cost of 35mm stock, processing, and video transfer. A couple hundred feet of exposed and transferred 35mm film will eventually cost more than the konvas camera itslef. This is not a subliminal shot at film by a video lover. I do not shoot video, I shoot film. Im just drawing attention to the high costs of this eternally superior medium.
Also, many of those good images on that website seem to be shot with a telephoto lense, which not all Konvas cameras come with.
I am also curious as to exactly how loud these suckers are. Blimps dont always solve the problem.
Having said all this, I too am intrigued by the camera. But after all said and done, buying this camera and shooting something with it is not really cheap and easily affordable
08-18-2005, 11:20 PM
I understand what you are trying to say about the image not depending on the camera, but I DO beleive that the camera does play a part, in constant frame speeds, a steady film plane, and so on. I also wish to assure you that I realize the complexities involved when creating the proper shot. But that is not the purpose of this thread. As for film prices, I am aware of the costs involved in shooting 35mm, but as you say yourself, it is a superior medium. I have years to fund this project, and that is not my concern.
As to the sound levels produced, I can help you, the camera operates at between 50 and sixty db. Of course, a blimp would not remove all film, but a sound wall, good mics and filtering algorithims will remove most of it. The algorithms in themselves can remove 90 percent of the sixty decibals by itself. Thank you for your concern, though, eagle. Hope this answers your questions. (Articles describing the algorithm can be found on commiecam.com)
08-18-2005, 11:55 PM
It's not so much an algorithm as it is a "technique"... essentially you get a sample of the noise, in the case of camera motor noise it's a recurring sound, so you create a seemless loop of it (note, this must be from the SAME recording, or it won't work...not perfectly anyway) then you invert the phase of the sample (loop) and paste it (correctly aligned) over the original...
try it yourself.. take some music, and a recording of your voice saying something stupid like "this is a phase inversion test". mix them together into one track, then take another copy of the voice, invert the phase, and mix it with the mixed track.. voila, like magic, your voice is gone, the music remains perfect, as it was initially (well.. unless it was a bad song, but you know what I mean.)
08-19-2005, 01:36 AM
Phase cancellation. Ive heard of that, but tnever of applying it to such a situation. If it indeed works, thats great.
Ive shot with a few super 8 and 16mm cameras that were quite noisy. In some locations, it drew unwanted attention to what I was doing.
If I were to buy one off ebay, it;d be from someone within the US. What do you do if some nut from overseas if messing with you and doesnt deliver?
Atleast in America there are authorities who will help. Is there an agnecy who will help you force the seller to pay? Russian embassy? Seems hard to believe.
Sending a check for $1000 or more overseas to a stranger is a gigantic leap of faith, regardless of their ebay score.
Be careful, unless you know domestic sellers.
Do you? Im curious.
08-19-2005, 02:44 AM
Domestic sellers are hard to come by. I recommend checking commicam.com, as there is a page of suppliers. Of course there is my favourite online store for onvas cameras, konvas.com.
Thanks vincent for clarifying the term. I never am very good with my words, and sometimes it can lay me into deep piles of crap.
08-19-2005, 07:17 PM
Ebay generally offers buyer protection for purchases of that size.. ;)
08-22-2005, 03:12 AM
In a couple of years, I WILL have one of these cameras.