How to Use a Manual Camera

Each of us has our time when we want to freeze the moment and save the memory of those occasions that mean the most to us, with the invention of the camera this has been made possible. A camera records images by using a lens, which flashes a light onto a surface and then re-captures its reflection and save the image so it can be reproduced and placed on paper or other mediums. The images taken by a camera can either be still or moving. Read through this article to find out how you go about using a manual camera. Enjoy

Things you will need

  • Camera (manual)
  • Camera flash
  • Camera lens
  • Camera bag
  • A roll (or pack) of film


  1. If you don’t already have a camera, you need to either purchase one or buy one along with a pack of film. Then find the latch on your camera that opens the back of the camera. On most cameras this is located to the right side of the camera.
  2. When you have found and opened the back of the camera, then insert the roll of film and close it. Whine the film onto the spool until the frame counter on the top left of the camera reads 1.
  3. Use the dial on the camera and set the film speed, which is normally located on the top left of the camera. Then set the shutter speed on top of the camera and the aperture on the camera lens by using either a built in or handheld light meter to determine the correct setting.
  4. You can also add a flash device onto the hot shoe on the top of the camera and turn the mount to secure it; the flash device helps to brighten the picture especially if the area does not have a lot of natural lighting. Adjust the flash and adjust the shutter speed at 1/60th of a second.
  5. Attach the lens and attach it by aligning the dot on the camera body with the dot on the base of the lens. Depending on the brand of camera the lens may be have a release next to the lens so turn the lens base until it firmly attaches to the body of the camera.
  6. You can either hold the camera in your hands or place it on a tripod. If you want to use your hands secure that the straps are fastened onto the camera. When you are ready to take the picture, look through the viewfinder window and focus the camera onto the object or person you want to take and adjust the focus ring on the lens. Frame the image and then press the shutter release on the top right of the camera to snap the picture. Then wind the film so you can take the next picture.
  7. After you have taken all your pictures and the roll of film is finished, open the back and take out the film. Now you can take the film to the Photoshop (photo studio) to have the film processed and printed.

Do’s and Don’ts

  • When the camera is not in use, always keep the lens covered. The lens is a very sensitive part of the camera and can be easily damaged or destroyed.
  • When you wind up the film, make sure you see one in the frame counter. This shows that the film is properly wound on the spool prior to taking your pictures.
  • Do not take out the camera film until it is finished and you have taken all your pictures. If you do so, you will lose all the images that were previously taken.
  • When your camera is not in use, be sure to have it safely stored in your camera bag.
  • After every use, be sure to inspect your camera and clean your lens at the appropriate times as necessary.