The Film Camera


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A primer on the Bolex film camera. A breakdown of its parts and components.

Republished with permission from its original owners and creators: Karen Carpenter and the rest of the CSUN faculty.

Published in: Education
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The Film Camera

  1. 1. The Film CameraBolex 16mm Film CameraSince 1933
  2. 2. Bolex partsA. Run ButtonB. Run Switch: M stands for motor for hands-free, continuous run P (for pixillation) exposes a single frame for stop-motion animationC. Winding CrankD. Footage Counter: 0-100 Ft. Resets when door is opened. Several feet must pass to avoid flares that occur upon loading.E. Diopter - adjusts the viewfinder to the eyesight of the operator.
  3. 3. To set the diopter:is no lens in front ofFirst rotate the turret so that there the gate. It is easier to set the diopter without an image to distract you. Or use a lens racked way out of focus with the aperture wide open.Loosen the locking ring, closest to the eyecup.Turn the adjustment ring while looking through the camera. Different planes within the viewfinder will come into focus. The groundglass is the same distance from the lens as the film plane. When the grainy pattern is at its sharpest the diopter is set.Tighten the locking ring.It’s easier to see the grainy pattern if the camera is pointed at a light source or bright subject.
  4. 4. Bolex partsF. Viewfinder Door Lever - prevents light leaks if you have your eye away from the viewfinderG. Frames Per Second Dial - (adjusts frame rate - ie. 24fps)H. Frame CounterI. Back-winding ShaftJ. Motor ShaftK. Variable Shutter lever
  5. 5. Variable Shutter LeverWhen it is in the upposition the shutter isopen. When in is in thedown position theshutter is closed and apointer is visible in theviewfinder. There areindicators for closingthe shutter by 1/2 astop and 1 stop.This is used forcontrolling exposure,but should be avoidedfor your shoot. Shutter is open Shutter is closed
  6. 6. Bolex partsL. Spring disengage lever By turning this lever to “0” and setting the run switch to “M” the camera’s spring is disengaged. The camera can then be backwound or an electric motor installed on the camera.M. Instantaneous/time switch This only effects single frame shooting. When set on ”I” the camera will give a consistent exposure. When set on “T” the shutter will remain open for as long as you hold the run switch. “I” stands for instantaneous and “T” for Time exposure.Thank you to The New School Film Department for this ppt. Information.
  7. 7. Bolex partsA. Supply (Raw Stock on Daylight Reel)B. Take-up (Empty Daylight Reel)C. Loop Formers: These allow for automatic threading of the camera during loading. In the closed position to load then open for shooting.D. Loop Form LeverE. Film CutterF. Pressure PlateG. Spool EjectorH. Metronome: When this lever is in the down position the camera will click once every second when it is running.I. Filter Holder: Needs to be in place even if unused to prevent a light leak
  8. 8. Bolex parts A. Run Button B. Turret Lock: Can be used for heavy lenses otherwise it’s not necessary C. Turret Handle: Uses to revolve turret to change lensThank you to The New School Film Department for this ppt. Information.