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Crank That Camera
Crank that Camera
How to lock and load the film in a 16mm camera -

In subdued light, take the new spool of film from its can and immediately put it into the camera, pressing it firmly home onto the top spindle. The film should curl off of the roll in a clockwise direction on it's way to the camera gate. (You should make sure the gate is clean and free of dust, etc. to avoid the famous 'hair in the gat' syndrome.) The emulsion side (dull or lighter side) of the film stock is what should be facing the lens side.

Some cameras (Bolex) have an auto load facility which you click into position and feed the film through with the camera running. Others need to be done manually following a marked outline (see pics). Once through the gate, the film is then wound onto the take up spool, with the end of the film tucked into the slit in the spool. Push the spool firmly onto the bottom spindle and turn it clockwise by hand to take up any slack. Once the cover is back on, run the film for a few seconds to make sure the leader has gone through the gate.

Before filming -

Check that the camera running speed is correctly set, you will want to film at 24frames per second for normal action. At this setting, the shutter speed is an 80th of a second for reflex cameras, and a 60th for non-reflex, and this is the figure to be used when calculating exposure with a separate light meter.

The most consistent reading with a light meter will be obtained with an 'incident' reading rather than 'reflected' reading. Most light meters have a white cone that fits or slides over the light sensor. With this in place, point the meter back at the camera from the subject or subject area. Adjust the meter, having 'dialled in' your ASA or DIN film speed number found on the film stock can, so that you can now calculate what your 'f' stop should be turned to on the lens. This will give you the correct exposure for your filming.

Loading a Camera
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