Listed below are commonly used terms and acronyms used throughout this website. Click on the first letter of the word you would like to look up and you will be taken to that section of the glossary.
- Short for "American Bolex". This brand name was used on a few items manufactured in the USA for the American Bolex Company.
- American Bolex Company
- The sole distributor for all Paillard products in the United States from 1936-1948; manufacturer of AMBOL and Cinea movie equipment. More information can be found in this article.
- Anamorphic Lens
- A lens that optically squeezes an image during filming and then unsqueezes it during projection to produce a widescreen aspect ratio.
- An optically corrected lens that produces a distortion-free image.
- The process of taking single-frame exposures of otherwise inanimate objects, drawings or titles; these objects are manipulated between each exposure to create an illusion of motion when projected.
- The variable lens opening that controls the amount of light entering the camera; measured in f-stops.
- Aspect Ratio
- The relationship of the width to the height of a picture; e.g. a standard television screen is 1.33:1 aspect ratio (4:3).
- Acronym for Anti-Reflection coating. The letters AR are seen on the barrel of some Kern lenses, although all Kern cine lenses were AR coated even if not marked as such. See Coated Lens
- Rewinding previously exposed film in the camera for the purpose of filming titles, special effects or superimposition.
- Barrel, Lens
- The chassis that contains the iris and lens elements.
- Bolex Reporter
- A magazine originally published by Paillard Products Inc. in the USA from 1950-1974. The magazine was also later published in France and Germany, in their respective languages, by Paillard SA, Switzerland. Not to be confused with the Bolex "Reporter" grip.
- Cable Release
- A wire device attached to the camera, directly or with an adapter, that releases the shutter and allows filming without touching the camera.
- Cement, Film
- A quick setting adhesive used to join processed strips of motion picture film.
- A Japanese manufacturer of Super 8 cameras in the 1970s. Chinon produced all Bolex super 8 sound cameras.
- Coated Lens
- A lens that has been coated with an anti-reflection deposit on the surface of the lens elements. This coating can be recognized by a bluish/orange or purple/yellow tint.
- Color Temperature
- A measurement, expressed in degrees Kelvin (K), of the color of light radiated by a heated black body. Lower color temperature is considered "reddish" (approximately 1900K for a candle or 3200K for indoor tungsten lighting), while higher color temperature is considered "blueish" (approximately 5500K for noon daylight or 7500K for daylight diffused by overcast sky).
- The practice of orderly arrangement and balance of the subject matter within a picture.
- An early Paillard Bolex marketing term used to describe certain pocket size 8mm cameras with built-in lightmeters. It referred to the ability of the light meter to "automatically" calculate a correct reading required for proper exposure.
- Film length indicator on a camera or projector used to measure increments of feet, meters or frames.
- Critical Focus
- The point or plane, as seen through the lens, that produces the sharpest visual image.
- Daylight Spool
- A plastic or aluminum spool that contains 25', 50' or 100' of motion picture film that protects film from being completely exposed when loading the camera.
- Depth Of Field
- Area, as seen through the lens, of acceptable visual sharpness in front of and behind the plane of critical focus.
- Depth Of Field Scale
- A visual reference located on the barrel of the lens, usually in the form of a ring or series of dots (see: Visifocus), that indicates the depth of field for any distance and aperture setting.
- Diaphragm Ring
- The adjustable ring on the lens that increases or decreases the aperture to allow more or less light to pass.
- Dichroic Filter
- A blueish filter that converts a tungsten-balanced light source to daylight-balanced.
- The gradual fading out of one scene with the simultaneous fading in of another.
- The action of moving the camera toward or away from the subject.
- Double Run 8mm
- Film stock that is 16mm wide but only exposed on half its width. When a roll runs completely through the camera, the spool is then inverted and run through again, exposing the other half. When processed, film is split vertically and spliced together giving twice the amount of length for projection.
- Element, Lens
- An individual disc of optical glass by which rays of light may be made to converge or to diverge. A lens element may be spherical, cylindrical, paraboloid, or hyperboloid. A photographic lens may consist of several elements.
- Gelatin coating on film that contains light-sensitive silver halide particles.
- Emulsion Speed
- Sensitivity rating of film when exposed to light.
- The image formed on film; a product of the admission of light through the lens, intensity of the light and the amount of time the light is allowed to act on the film's emulsion.
- Exposure Meter
- A device used measure the intensity of light falling on or reflected from a subject.
- F Number
- A number representing the size of the lens aperture and measure of light gathering capacity. The F Number is equal to the ratio of the focal length of the lens divided by the diameter of the aperture (F-number = focal length/aperture diameter). The smaller the F number (e.g. f/1.4), the wider the aperture; The greater the F number (e.g. f/22), the narrower the aperture.
- F Stop
- Individual numbers, located on the diaphragm ring of a lens, that indicate the current setting of the aperture.
- A gradual darkening of a shot to black ("fade out") or gradual brightening from black ("fade in"). This can be accomplished automatically on H model bolexes which accept the Rex-O-Fader.
- Fast Lens
- A lens with a wide maximum aperture (e.g. Kern f/0.9 or f/1.1 lenses) that allows a large amount of light to enter; desirable for filming in low light conditions.
- Field, Field of View
- The conical area viewable by the camera lens. Wide-angle lenses have a wide field; Telephoto lenses have a narrow field.
- Glass, gelatin or other transparent material used in front of, or behind the lens.
- Filter, Gelatin
- A thin sheet of gelatin containing light-absorbing pigment or dye; gelatin filters are placed in the filter holder and inserted into the filter slot behind the lens on certain Bolex H models.
- Flate Base
- Refers to later model Bolex H cameras that have a rectangular base containing three tripod sockets (Two 3/8" thread and one 1/4" thread). Flat base cameras can usually be placed upon a flat surface without an accessory means of support. The front of the base also serves as mount for the Bolex Matte Box.
- An unsteady jerking caused by poor picture projection, or resulting from unsteady registration in the camera during exposure.
- Focal Length
- The distance from the optical center of a lens to the film when the lens is focused on infinity. More commonly expressed in millimeters; occasionally in fractional inches (e.g. a 25mm lens, or a 1/2" lens).
- Footage Counter
- Indicates the amount of film exposed in feet or meters.
- Undesirable effect on film caused by extraneous light leaks.
- Frames per second; The number of frames captured or projected per second.
- A single picture or exposure on film.
- Frame Counter
- Indicates the elapsed number of frames passing through the gate, in forward or reverse motion.
- Refers to the measurement of the width of film, in millimeters (e.g. 9.5mm, 16mm, 8mm (double run 8mm), Super 8mm, etc).
- Gate, Film
- The aperture assembly behind the lens of a camera or projector, through which an image is exposed or projected, respectively.
- Groundglass Screen
- An etched glass surface, located at an equal distance from the film plane as the lens, that shows the precise focus.
- H model
- Bolexcollector.com occasionally uses the term 'H model' or 'model H' to encompass all Bolex cameras with at least a 100 foot film capacity, regardless of lens mount type, film gauge or viewing system.
- Iris Diaphragm
- A curved series of metal blades in a photographic lens, controlled by the diaphragm ring, which constrict and expand in diameter to alter the size of the aperture.
- Light-gathering system, made up of several optically corrected glass elements that focus to form an image. Although the element itself is a lens, in photography the term is used to define the entire picture-taking assembly of barrel, iris and elements.
- Lens Cap
- A device, made of aluminum, leather or other material, which prevents light from entering the lens when not in use; protects the front element from dust and scratches.
- Lens Hood
- A black-lined tube or conical shaped cover attached to the front of a lens which prevents extraneous rays of light from entering.
- Magnetic Stripe
- A narrow strip of magnetic oxide applied to processed film stock for the purposes of recording sound.
- Maximum Aperture
- Size of the largest opening possible for a specific lens diaphragm.
- A result of allowing excessive light to reach the film during exposure.
- Parallax, Parallax Error
- The vertical or horizontal difference between what the lens sees and what is observed through the viewfinder.
- Parallax Correction
- A method used to eliminate the displacement of parallax in a viewfinder, when using lenses of various focal lengths, by means of prisms and angles.
- Perforation, Perf
- A series of small holes, located along one or both edges of film, that act as a guide to stabilize the mechanical movement of film through a camera or projector.
- Pocket Size
- A generic term, used on this site, referring to smaller sized 8mm cameras. While never an official Paillard Bolex term, "Pocket Size" was often used in their advertising and catalogs to refer to all models of B, C and D cameras, usually capitalized and in quotes.
- Pressure Plate, Pressure Pad
- A spring loaded device which secures the film passing through the film plane for steady exposure.
- Viewing of the subject is done directly through the lens. Bolex H model reflex cameras use a unique prism system behind the lens and in front of the shutter; light from the image is diverted into the viewfinder and onto the groundglass. Other reflex still and motion picture cameras use a mirror reflex system, where the image captured by the lens is reflected off a mirror on the shutter while in a closed position.
- Reversal Film
- Color or B&W film stock which, when exposed, yields a positive image.
- Round Base
- Refers to earlier Bolex H model cameras having a pillar-type or cylindrical tripod base that extends approximately 15cm from the bottom of the camera body, and is approximately 3cm in diameter (with a 3/8" thread socket). "Round base" models sometimes have difficulty remaining upright when placed upon a flat surface, with lenses attached, without an accessory means of support.
- The letters "RX" on certain Kern lenses (equal to or below focal lengths of 50mm) specify its use only with H model Reflex cameras. Repair and service manuals also used the letters to refer to the H-16 Reflex (H16RX) and H-16 REX models with a variable shutter (H16RXVS).
- Rexofader, Rex-o-fader, Rx Fader
- An accessory device used on model H reflex cameras having a variable shutter. The mechanism automatically produces fades by opening or closing the shutter.
- A marketing term that was predominately used in the U.K. to describe a later model H reflex camera sold with the rexofader accessory included.
- Side Release
- A three-position shutter release knob, located on the side of H model cameras, that permits continuous running (M), shutter stop (STOP) and single-frame exposures (P). M and P are derived from the French words "marche" and "pose".
- A device that governs the time per frame during which light is allowed to expose the film.
- Slow Lens
- A lens with a narrow maximum aperture (e.g. f/5.5 is considered a slow lens, compared to a lens with f/2).
- An editing device for joining two pieces of processed film into a single piece for the purpose of projection.
- Stereo (Stereoscopic)
- An illusion created by a system of two lenses, set at slightly different angles, that simultaneously produce a pair of images on the same frame. When projected and viewed through special eyeglasses, the observer interprets the pair of images as a single picture with three-dimensional depth.
- Filming a moving scene, static image or title, onto a previously exposed length of film.
- Super 16mm
- A film format designed to use the maximum film area on single sprocket 16mm film. The camera is modified with a wider gate, resulting in a 1.66:1 aspect ratio or 46% increase in image area over standard 16mm.
- Taking Lens
- A lens positioned on the turret that is located directly in front of the gate.
- Telephoto Lens
- A lens with a long focal length and narrow field of view.
- Words, letters or numbers which may be filmed to describe a scene or location, express dialogue in silent film, or to help transition between scenes.
- Time Exposure (T)
- A long exposure made when the shutter is held open for a controlled length of time; either by cable release or time-lapse motor.
- Time Lever (IT Lever)
- A lever (or knob) on the body of H model Bolexes that governs the shutter speed setting between Instantaneous and Timed exposure. The time lever is only used in conjunction with the P position on the side release knob: when set to I, a single exposure will be made and the film is advanced to the next frame; when set to T, a single exposure will be made as long as pressure is applied to the side release knob at position P.
- A rotating device on which two or more lenses of different focal lengths may be mounted and moved into position for filming.
- Turret Lever
- A device that allows the turret to be easily rotated without accidental movement of the diaphragm or focus setting on the lens.
- A result of allowing an insufficient amount of light to reach the film during exposure.
- Variable Shutter
- A rotating disc shutter that can be adjusted to allow more or less light to reach the film.
- An optical device used to show the subject area that will appear on the film.
- A dark or diffused appearance surrounding the border of an exposure.
- Trademark name for a depth of field scale indicated by a series of orange dots. Visifocus was exclusive to Kern-Paillard lenses and introduced in 1950.
- Wide-Angle Lens
- A lens with a short focal length and wide field of view.
- Winding Crank
- Handle or key used to build up tension in the spring motor.
- Winding Lever
- Hand operated lever used to move film forward or backward to the next or previous exposure. Also referred to as the backwind lever.
- Zoom Lens
- A variable focal length lens that can be continuously adjusted between a specific range.
- Zoom Viewfinder
- An optical device that uses a continuously moveable prism to magnify an image, allowing the view to be adjusted so that it corresponds to the subject area seen by lenses of different focal lengths.