“You approach with camera and tripod, and ask permission to photograph, and set up. “First you must focus through the camera’s ground-glass back, using a small pocket magnifier. Then, put in the metal plate holder with its glass plate, and remove the slide. Next you have to watch very closely. Click-click – about a half-second exposure.. Replace the slide, remove the plate and holder. ONE shot! You want another? Then you must repeat the whole procedure.
“Our formal clothes were specially tailored with reinforced pockets for the heavy metal holders and glass plates we used. I learned to follow an unvarying routine in the respect – unexposed film in my left pocket, exposed in my right so I couldn’t make a mistake.
“Needless to say, we didn’t tend to overshoot in those days.
“I developed the film myself, later that evening, in my hotel room,. I was using Ilford-Zenith glass plates, rated about the equivalent of ISO=32. They had a green antihalation backing that came off in the developer and turned it black. Terribly dirty and messy to work with, but I was delighted that the pictures had turned out.”
(The Eye of Eisenstaedt, The Viking Press, NY, 1969, quotation paraphrased.)
He was using an Ermanox, which produced negatives 4.5x6 cm!