Talking Stone Film

Film Reviews & Headlines


The purpose of this movie is to go through
some of the basic parts to the 35 mm SLR Film Camera. This camera that I am using is a fully
manual, Nikon camera. It’s a Nikon FM2, kind of a workhorse, it’s all metal construction,
it’ll last a long time. You can buy these used online. I happen to really like this
camera. Let’s go through some of the parts though. Does it have an “On/Off” switch? That’s
a good question, um the answer is yes and no. It has a way to ensure that the meter
–the light meter, which draws battery power, will not come on and that is by pressing the
film advance lever in. So when the film advance lever is folded in like so then the meter
won’t come on and there’s one other advantage to considering that an off position, which
is when it’s folded in you can no longer trip the shutter. So you couldn’t accidentally
make a picture, you couldn’t accidentally expose some film, as long as that is folded
in. That will function as our On/Off Switch, but it’s also the film advance lever. Every
time you make a picture, you have to advance the film and trip the shutter again. Let’s
talk about the two main components of the camera, which are the lens and the camera
body. A 35 mm SLR film camera should be able to take interchangeable lenses, you should
be able to choose lenses of different focal lengths. Right now, I have a wide angle lens
on here, but I’m going to take this off. There’s usually a button somewhere to press and to
dismount the lens from the body like I’ve done here. This is a basic lens, a fixed focal
length lens, which means it doesn’t have any zoom capability. You can’t change the focal
length of it from wide to narrow. The main thing of the lens is that it is where the
aperture is. The aperture is the adjustable opening in the lens that allows light into
the camera body so you can expose your film. On this camera, hopefully you can see that
there’s an aperture ring, which is this thing here. You see numbers and you see a dot that
you can line up to different apertures and those apertures have different sizes. That’s
what it means for them to be adjustable, and if I turn it like so, hopefully you’ll be
able to see as I open and close the lens I am choosing either a small aperture or a large
aperture to let in more light. So that’s how that works. The lens is also, on this camera,
it’s how you focus your image and here’s the focus ring so you can focus from near to far
making it either blurry or sharp or focusing in on whatever you consider the main part
of your subject. So I want to put this back on the camera. To put a lens back on the camera,
every different camera manufacturer has a different sort of lens mount and you should
become familiar with yours. In this case, I just see a black dot there and a white dot
there which I can line up and snap the lens back onto the camera. Alright, let’s move
onto the camera body itself. Every camera will have a lens with adjustable apertures
and also the ability to control the shutter speed. The shutter is the device in the camera
body that opens and closes the allow light to get to the film plane. Light will pass
through the lens and then there’s a shutter, there’s one more thing it has to pass through
to get to the film plain. The film plain is just behind this rear door and there’s a shutter
in front of it that will open and close to allow the film to actually be exposed. The
lens controls the intensity of the light coming through based on the aperture size and then
the shutter controls how long that exposure is allowed to happen. The shutter adjustment
on a manual camera is usually right on a dial here, and it’s a dial that shows numbers,
It displays different numbers, and these numbers are typically fractions of a second. When
I set this to 60 like it’s set right now, it’s set to 1/60th of a second. The shutter
will open for 1/60th of a second and then close again. If I change it to 2, it’ll open
for 1/2 a second and then close again. If I change it to 1, in this case 1 means 1 full
second. Typically, you’ll have a setting called “B” on your camera and “B” means that the
shutter will remain open for as long as you hold your finger down on the shutter release
button or maybe use a cable release so you can do long exposures. Also, you might notice
on your camera that one shutter speed has is displayed in a different color or it’s
got some sort of indication to show that it’s unique in some way, and what that is, is the
shutter fastest speed you can use when you’re shooting flash photography with that particular
camera. We’ll go into more detail on that another time. That’s how the shutter speed
is selected and if you listen to what 1/2 of a second sounds like you can hear it open,
you can hear it close when you get to 1/1000th of a second or something. It just sounds like
one sound. That’s how you control the shutter, I am going to show you now what the shutter
looks like in action and to do that I have to open the camera back and on some cameras,
and this camera has a Camera Back Lock Lever. This is a safety mechanism to prevent the
back of the camera from opening when you don’t want it to, because if you open the back of
the camera you don’t want it to expose your film. Usually, most cameras the way you open
the back is you tug up on this knob here. The Film Rewind Knob, but in this case I can’t
tug up on it. That’s an indication that I shouldn’t force it, that there’s something
else I need to do. It might be difficult for you to see, but there’s a small tab here, a lever that I need to pull down simultaneously while I pull this up and then I can tug it a little
further and the back will open. There you can see the shutter immediately and that’s
this little window here. The shutter is a part of the camera you never want to touch.
It can be quite fragile depending on what kind of a camera it is. So never touch that,
sometimes people ask, Can I touch this pressure plate? There’s no reason to touch it, but
it’s not as critical that you don’t touch that as it is that you don’t touch that shutter.
This is just a pressure plate to hold the film flat when you film is loaded in there.
Let’s get back to the shutter and show you what it looks like when it opens and closes.
I’ll go to 1 second this time, and…. that’s what happens. So the light comes through the
lens of the camera and then you allow it to come through the open shutter and the film
is lying across there, so that’s how you make your exposure. Anything else about this, let’s
see, Shutter Release Button? No. I am going to close this up and I’ll do another film
on loading the camera in a little while. So you can see that. Okay, we have shutter selection,
another adjustment you need to know about on your camera is how to set the ISO. The
ISO is an indication of the light sensitivity of the film you’re using. The higher the number,
the more sensitive it is to light. The lower the number, the less sensitive it is to light
and you need to tell your camera what ISO film you’re shooting so it can help give you
suggestions with the light meter as to proper exposure for whatever scene you’re shooting.
It needs to know, the camera computer needs to know or the light meter needs to know what
kind of film or what sensitivity film you’re using. That’s just on the box of the film.
It’ll say 100 or 400 and that’s something you indicate to the camera right when you
load the film. In this case, there’s a window here, a little ISO Indicator and there’s a
ring on the outside which is hard to see but it can pull it up and as I spin that I can
change what number is indicated in that small ISO window. Then you just put it to the ISO
that you want to shoot, whatever film you’ve got and you’re done for that whole roll of
film. The Shutter Release Button is usually right there on the right, on the top. Pretty
self-explanatory this camera also has a couple of other features. It has a Multiple Exposure
Tab that can help you make multiple exposures. It’s not necessary to go into that too much
right now. Most cameras, 35 mm cameras will have a Hot Shoe Mount and that’s where you
can put a Flash if you want. Most cameras will have a Tripod Thread you can mount this
to any tripod, it’s a standard thread. This is the Battery Compartment. One other thing
before I finish this film, although I’ll cover it more in loading and unloading the film,
but when you are shooting a roll of film, each time you make a frame you’ll see a Film
Counter window which will keep track of how many pictures you’ve made in this window.
So if you’ve loaded a roll of 36 exposure film when you get to number 36 or so you’ll
go to advance the film and you won’t be able to because you’re at the end of the roll.
It’s important not to force that, because you will actually end up tearing the end of
the film off of the take up spool and that’s something you really do not want to do, but
when you get to the end of the roll, it’s time to rewind it. To rewind the film you
use the Film Rewind Knob, usually has a lever like that, and an arrow indicating which way
you’re supposed to spin this. But it is very, very important that you release the Film Rewind
Release Button. You press the Film Rewind Release Button, which on this camera –and
most cameras, is just a little tab, a little button that you need to push in and that will
allow you to reverse the direction of the rewind. Once you push that in then, you can
go ahead and rewind your film, but I’ll show that again later, I just wanted to show you
where that was. Let’s see…. I think that’s about all for now, and I’ll talk to you in
the next film. Bye-bye.

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