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focal plane shutter Photography Is A Technique Of Producing Permanent Images On Sensitized Surfaces



Photography is a technique of producing permanent images on sensitized surfaces by means of the photochemical action of light or other forms of radiant energy.

     In today's society, photography plays important roles as an information medium, as a tool in science and technology, and as an art form, and it is also a popular hobby. It is essential at every level of business and industry, being used in advertising, documentation, photojournalism, and many other ways. Scientific research, ranging from the study of outer space to the study of the world of subatomic particles, relies heavily on photography as a tool. In the 19th century, photography was the domain of a few professionals because it required large cameras and glass photographic plates. During the first decades of the 20th century, however, with the introduction of roll film and the box camera, it came within the reach of the public as a whole. Today the industry offers amateur and professional photographers a large variety of cameras and accessories. See also Motion Picture.



The Camera and Its Accessories

     Modern cameras operate on the basic principle of the camera obscura (see Historical Development, below). Light passing through a tiny hole, or aperture, into an otherwise lightproof box casts an image on the surface opposite the aperture. The addition of a lens sharpens the image, and film makes possible a fixed, reproducible image. The camera is the mechanism by which film can be exposed in a controlled manner. Although they differ in structural details, modern cameras consist of four basic components: body, shutter, diaphragm, and lens. Located in the body is a lightproof chamber in which film is held and exposed. Also in the body, located opposite the film and behind the lens, are the diaphragm and shutter. The lens, which is affixed to the front of the body, is actually a grouping of optical glass lenses. Housed in a metal ring or cylinder, it allows the photographer to focus an image on the film. The lens may be fixed in place or set in a movable mount. Objects located at various distances from the camera can be brought into sharp focus by adjusting the distance between the lens and the film.

     The diaphragm, a circular aperture behind the lens, operates in conjunction with the shutter to admit light into the lighttight chamber. This opening may be fixed, as in many amateur cameras, or it may be adjustable. Adjustable diaphragms are composed of overlapping strips of metal or plastic that, when spread apart, form an opening of the same diameter as the lens; when meshed together, they form a small opening behind the center of the lens. The aperture openings correspond to numerical settings, called f-stops, on the camera or the lens.

     The shutter, a spring-activated mechanical device, keeps light from entering the camera except during the interval of exposure. Most modern cameras have focal-plane or leaf shutters. Some older amateur cameras use a drop-blade shutter, consisting of a hinged piece that, when released, pulls across the diaphragm opening and exposes the film for about 1/30th of a second.

     In the leaf shutter, at the moment of exposure, a cluster of meshed blades springs apart to uncover the full lens aperture and then springs shut. The focal-plane shutter consists of a black shade with a variable-size slit across its width. When released, the shade moves quickly across the film, exposing it progressively as the slit moves.

     Most modern cameras also have some sort of viewing system or viewfinder to enable the photographer to see, through the lens of the camera, the scene being photographed. Single-lens reflex cameras all incorporate this design feature, and almost all general-use cameras have some form of focusing system as well as a film-advance mechanism.

Camera Designs

     Cameras come in a variety of configurations and sizes. The first cameras, pinhole cameras, had no lens. The flow of light was controlled simply by blocking the pinhole. The first camera in general use, the box camera, consists of a wooden or plastic box with a simple lens and a drop-blade shutter at one end and a holder for roll film at the other. The box camera is equipped with a ... more

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The camera

The Camera

The camera is defined as an apparatus for taking photographs or film or television pictures.  It is a lightproof box through which an image is focused and recorded on film.  Today there are many different types of cameras in use, all of them more or less advanced versions of the first camera. Nearly all of them are made up of the same basic parts:
-A body (the lightproof box)
-A lens and a shutter to control the amount of light reaching the light-sensitive medium
-A viewfinder to frame the scene
-A focusing mechanism.

Still Cameras

Focusing and Composing the Scene

All cameras use a lens for focusing, except for pinhole cameras, which focus the image on the film through a tiny hole.  The focal length of a lens, i.e., the distance between the rear of the lens (when focused on infinity) and the film, determines the angle of view and the size of objects as they appear on the film.  The image is focused on the film by adjusting the distance between the lens and the film.  In most 35-mm cameras, this is done by rotating the lens.  With twin-lens reflex and larger view cameras, the whole lens and the panel are moved toward or away from the film.  To view an object for composing nearly every camera has some kind of viewfinder.  One of the simplest types is a screen that is placed on the back of the camera and replaced by the film in making the exposure.  This time-consuming procedure is avoided in the modern 35-mm single-lens reflex cameras by placing the screen in a special housing on top of the camera.  Inside the camera there is a movable mirror that bounces the image from the lens to the screen for viewing and focusing, and then flips out of the way when the shutter is tripped, so that the image hits the film instead of the mirror.  The mirror automatically returns to place after the exposure has been made.  In rangefinding cameras, the object is viewed by two separate windows; one views the scene directly and the other contains an adjustable optical mirror device.  When this device is adjusted by rotating the lens, the image entering through the lens can be brought into display with the image from the direct view focusing the object on the film.



Controlling the Light Entering the Camera

Its maximum opening through which light enters the camera indicates the speed of a lens.  This is controlled by an iris diaphragm, which is a series of overlapping metal blades that form a circle with a hole in the center whose diameter can be increased or decreased.  A shutter controls the time during which light is permitted to enter the camera. There are two basic types of shutters:
- Leaf-type
- Focal-plane.
The leaf-type shutter employs a ring of overlapping metal blades similar to those of the iris diaphragm.  It is normally located between the lens elements but sometimes placed behind or in front of the lens.  The focal-plane shutter is located just in front of the film plane and has one or two cloth or metal curtains that travel vertically or horizontally across the film frame.  By adjusting the shutter speed, the proper amount of light for a good exposure can be obtained.


Features of Modern Cameras

Most of today's 35-mm cameras incorporate a rapid film-transport mechanism, lens interchangeability, and a built-in light meter.  Many also have an automatic exposure device where the shutter speed is regulated automatically to produce the “correct” exposure.  Accessories include filters, which correct for deficiencies in film sensitivity; flash bulbs and flash mechanisms for supplying light; and monopods and tripods, for steady support.  Simple box cameras are fixed-focus cameras with limited or no control over exposure.  Twin-lens reflex cameras use one lens solely for viewing while the other focuses the image on the film.  Other popular cameras are compact 35-mm rangefinding cameras, 126 cartridge cameras, and the subminiature cameras, which uses 9.5-mm film.


Development of the Camera

The first camera was invented during the Grecian times.  It was a dark box large enough for the viewer to stand inside; with a small hole in one side.  A ... more

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