For Teachers

Camera Parts

Click the small picture to see a larger version. The large picture can be dragged around! Click the thumbnail again to make the larger version go away.

Viewfinder - what the operator looks through to aim, focus the image and get other camera settings ready.

Lens - lets the light in and focuses it on the film or a mirror which reflects the image to the viewfinder. If the image through the viewfinder is not in focus, the light on the film will produce a blurry image.

Mirror - is in use when the shutter is closed. It reflects light of the image through a prism to the eye of the photographer. When the shutter is open, the mirror moves up and the light rays fall on the film, taking the picture.

The top picture to the left is the mirror up. The bottom picture shows the mirror down.


Prism - This is the only camera part without a photograph. The prism is located on the inside of the camera near the top. It is a solid transparent object which refracts [changes the direction of] light.

Shutter Release Button - the control that releases the aperture opening, lifts up the mirror, and exposes the film to the light.

Aperture - the opening in the lens that controls how much light gets into the camera and how long it is allowed to expose the film.

The photos to the left show large, medium and small apertures.

Shutter Speed Dial - this regulates how the aperture stays open. The slower the shutter speed, the more light will come in. The faster the speed, the less light will get in to expose the film. A dial setting of 60 means 1/60 of a second, which is slow.

F-Stop Ring - this is the control which sets the size of the aperture opening as the picture is taken. The settings run from 2 or 4 to 22, 2 or 4 being the largest openings and 22 being the smallest. The smaller the opening, the less light will get in to expose the film.

ASA Dial - The ASA number assigned to film reflects how sensitive to light it is, or how quickly it will react to light. To take a picture of fast action or low lighted objects, use fast film. The higher the number, the faster the film and anything above 200 is considered fast film.

Film Advance Lever - this is used to advance or move over each small piece of film after the picture is taken. The film comes out of the film canister and moves across to the film take up reel.

Rewind Crank - this is used only after all the pictures have been taken. It is used to rewind the exposed film back into the canister.