A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J

K | L | M | N | O | P

Q | R | S | T | U | V | X | W | Y | Z

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A index

Aperture
In the camera, the aperture refers to the opening in the aperture plate which determines the size and shape of the frame. In the lens, the term aperture refers to the adjustable opening that controls the amount of light reaching the film. Some cameras will automatically read the light and adjust the aperture. Some cameras also allow the filmmaker to set the aperture manually. The size of the aperture affects the depth of field. The smaller the aperture opening, the greater the depth of field.

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B index

Background
The space in the composition which is farthest from the camera.

Bracketing
Once the correct aperture is determined, bracketing involves forcing the camera to overexpose the scene by one or more f-stops and then to underexpose by one or more f-stops. This gives the filmmaker more options.

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C index

Cable Release
(also called the cable plunger in the Kinoflex directions) A flexible sheath with an inner shaft, used to activate the single-frame (SF) mechanism on the front of the Kinoflex. The cable release screws into the socket marked S.F. next to the trigger. Depressing the plunger will expose one frame of film.

Camera
Any mechanical device used to expose film. It usually consists of a lens attached to a light-tight box. Our super-8 camera, the Kinoflex, contains a compartment to hold the super-8 cartridge, a zoom lens, and other adjustable features.

Close-up Lens
A lens setting on the camera or a lens screwed onto the front of the camera lens which adjusts the optics (in much the same way a magnifying glass works) to allow photographing a subject or object very close to the camera. Because depth of field is reduced with a close-up lens setting, careful focusing is crucial. The Kinoflex has two close-up attachments (the F-250 and the F-667) which permit focusing on objects as close as 11 inches.

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D index

Depth of Field
The measurements of the closest and farthest planes in front of the camera lens between which everything will be in sharp focus; a depth of field from 5 to 16 feet, for example, would mean everything closer than 5 feet and farther than 16 feet would be out of focus.

Distance Ring
The barrel on the farthest end of the camera lens. In order to be in focus, the distance ring should reflect the feet or meters between the film plane and the object or subject being photographed. The Kinoflex distance ring reads in meters.

Dolly
A camera support with wheels, used in making tracking shots.

Dolly Shot
Any shot during which the camera physically moves through space. This may be toward, away from, or around the subject. Such shots are usually smoother than the same shot done hand-held.

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E index

Exposure
Usually used as a synonym referring to the f-stop, as in "What's the exposure?"

Eye Piece
In a camera viewfinder, the lens at the end of which the operator's eye is positioned. The eyepiece must be focused (by rotation) so the filmmaker can then focus through the viewfinder on the scene to be shot.

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F index

F-Stop
A number indicating the diameter of the lens opening, for example: 1.4, 4, 5.6, 8, 11 and 16. The larger the number, the smaller the aperture opening and the greater the depth of field.

Film Cartridge
The plastic box which holds 50 feet of super-8 film. The film to be exposed is visible on the side of the cartridge which faces toward the front of the camera when inserted into the cartridge compartment.

Film Exposure Speed
A measure of the film's sensitivity to light. Faster film (higher ASA numbers such as ASA 160) reacts quickly to light and, therefore, needs less light to get a good exposure. Slow film (lower ASA numbers such as 40 ASA) requires more light to record a good image. Note: this is not the same as film running speed, which indicates the number of frames exposed per second.

Film Plane
A symbol indicating the exact spot (or plane) at which light hits the film being exposed.

Film Speed or Film Running Speed
A number indicating the frames exposed per second during a run of the camera. The normal speed for super-8 film is 18 frames per second. Note: This is not the same as film exposure speed.

Filters
An optical attachment screwed onto the front of the lens, which in some way alters the exposure or an internal optical adjustment. 1. Filter attachments: we have two filters that screw onto the Kinoflex lens. The neutral density filter reduces the level of light entering the lens and should be used whenever shooting outdoors under bright light. A yellow filter increases contrast levels with black and white film. 2. Internally, a daylight filter is put in place by rotating the filter switch so the light bulb symbol faces the red dot. The daylight filter should always be in place when shooting color film under tungsten light.

Filter Settings
Internally, a filter is put in place by rotating the filter switch so the light bulb symbol faces the red dot. The filter is removed when the sun symbol faces the red dot. The filter should be in place when shooting color film indoors under tungsten light.

Focal Length
The distance from the center of the lens to the point at which the light rays meet in sharp focus. The focal length determines the perspective relations of the space represented on the flat screen. Other terms to explore: Normal lens, Telephoto lens, and Wide-angle lens.

Focal Plane
The plane or the point at which light rays converge to form an image. Proper adjustment of a lens brings an object or a subject into sharp definition on the focal plane or film surface.

Focus
Sharp rendering, that is, the maximum definition of an object or subject on the film plane. This is achieved by correct optical adjustment for the distance between the object or subject and the film plane.

Footage Counter
An indicator of the amount of film remaining or used from a 50-foot super-8 cartridge. The Kinoflex counts down from 15 meters (50 feet) to zero. Therefore, the footage counter on the back of the camera indicates the number of meters or film left to be exposed in the film cartridge. The counter will reset to 15 when a cartridge is removed from the camera.

Foreground
In composition, the area or space in a scene closest to the camera. This may include actors nearer the camera or the space in front of the actors who are at some distance from the camera.

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G index

Gauge
A term referring to the width of the film being exposed. Our film is super-8 meaning its gauge is 8 millimeters. The film itself is 8 millimeters wide.

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H index

Hand-Held
The use of the camera operator's body as a camera support, either holding it by hand or using a harness.

Head Room
The space between the top of the actor's head and the edge of the frame. Too much space often contributes to a weak composition. Too little space makes the actor or actors look cramped in the frame.

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I index

Iris
The adjustable aperture opening incorporated into the lens barrel. With the Kinoflex in the automatic seeing, the opening becomes smaller under greater light. By contrast, it opens to let more light in low light conditions. The iris is calibrated in f-stops. (See aperture)

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J index

Jam
Refers to some malfunction that prevents the film from running smoothly through the camera. The fault may be in the film cartridge or the camera's film transport mechanism.

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K index

Kinoflex
The name of our super-8 camera.

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L index

Leading the Subject
In a pan shot, leaving approximately 2/3rd of the screen space in front of the subject. This gives the feeling that the subject has room to continue to move in the composition.

Log Sheets
A shot-by-shot, written record of the details of production. Log sheets should include the type of film exposed, a separate number for each take, f-stops, filters used (if any), and any other relevant details of each shot.

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M index

Medium Shot
A framing in which the scale of the object shown is of moderate size; a human figure seen from the waist up would fill most of the screen.

Midground
In a composition, the area or space which is in the middle portion of the frame. In front of the midground and closer to the camera is the foreground. Behind the midground and farther from the camera is the background of a scene.

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N index

Normal lens
A lens that shows objects without severely exaggerating or reducing the depth of the scene's planes. In 35mm-filming, a normal lens is 35-50mm. Other terms to explore: Telephoto lens, Wide-angle lens. In super-8 filming with the Knoflex, a normal lens setting is 20-25mm.

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O index

Overexposure
Intentionally, or unintentionally allowing too much light to strike the film, causing a scene to look lighter, brighter, and more washed out than it would at a correct exposure.

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P index

Pan
A camera movement with the camera body turning to the right or left on a stationary tripod; on the screen, it produces a mobile framing which moves across the space horizontally.

Perspective
For filmmakers, this usually refers to the relative size and the apparent relationship (including distances) between people and/or objects in a composition. It can also refer to a character's point of view in a film.

Production Notes
Written information recorded during film production giving important details of the activity. See Log Sheets.

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Q index

Quality
Often said of a light source to identify how hard or soft the light is. The quality of light under bright sunlight is said to be hard. The quality under incandescent bulbs (indoors) is often soft.

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R index

Rack Focus
Shifting the area of sharp focus from one plane to another during a shot; the effect on the screen is called "rack focus." This is also called pulling focus if the focus moves from the background to the foreground.

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S index

Slate
Information recorded on film identifying important details of a shot. For professional productions, this includes the film's title, the director, the cinematographer, and the number of the shot and take. For our exposure roll, the slate should include identification of the shot attempted and the f-stop.

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T index

Telephoto
A lens of long focal length that affects a scene's perspective by enlarging distant planes and making them seem close to the foreground planes. Other terms to explore: Normal lens, Wide-angle lens. On our Kinoflex, the 38mm setting is the telephoto setting.

Tilt
A camera movement with the camera body swiveling upward or downward on a stationary camera; it produces a mobile framing that scans the space vertically.

Trigger Button
The silver button on the front of the camera under the lens. When it is depressed, the camera will run at the frames-per-second (fps) speed set on the running speed on the left side of the camera. 18 fps is the normal running speed for super-8 film.

Tripod
A support for the camera, usually with three legs, giving the camera stability.

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U index

Underexposure
Intentionally or unintentionally allowing too little light to strike the film, causing a scene to look darker than it would at a correct exposure.

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V index

Varible Speed
A camera, which can expose film at different frames per second, is said to have variable speed. The Kinoflex camera has variable speed controls that allow you to shoot from 9 frames per second to 32 frames per second.

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W index

Wide-Angle
A lens of short focal length that affects a scene's perspective by distorting straight lines near the edges of the frame and by exaggerating the distance between foreground and background planes. Other terms to explore: Normal lens, Telephoto lens. On our Kinoflex, 9mm is the most extreme wide angle setting.

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X index

Xenon lamp
A very bright bulb used in super-8 projectors.

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Y index

Yellow Filter
A filter attachment for the Kinoflex which increases contrast on black and white film.

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Z index

Zoom
A lens with a focal length that can be changed during a shot; a shift toward the Telephoto range enlarges the image and flattens its planes together, giving an impression of moving into the scene's space, while a shift toward the Wide-angle range does the opposite.

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INDEX | KINOFLEX OPERATION | EXPOSURE ROLL | GLOSSARY


St. Louis Community College at Meramec
11333 Big Bend Blvd
Professor Diane Carson

Produced Through the Facilities of Media Services
1999