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LFLarry
11-Oct-2018, 19:55
I am not sure if this is the right place for this question, so redirect me if needed.

I am working with some vintage dry plates that probably have an ISO rating of 1, or maybe even less. My meter only goes down to ISO 3, so this got me to thinking that I may want to develop some type of conversion that I can use. Since 100 is a simple multiple of 1, I thought it may be a place to start by creating a formula to convert my ISO rating to ISO 1.

If you have any ideas, please let me know.

Thank you.

paulbarden
11-Oct-2018, 20:04
What I do when dealing with this very same problem is: set the meter at 4 ASA, and simply open the aperture two stops more than what the meter says (or alternatively, select a shutter speed two speeds slower than indicated for 4ASA) That will give you an exposure for 1ASA.

Eric Woodbury
11-Oct-2018, 20:05
Stops are factors of 2x (not base 10). It will be simpler if you give your ISO another +1/3 stop and count stops back from ISO 128 -- 64, 32, 16, 8, 4, 2, 1 -- or seven stops.

I have no idea about reciprocity failure with such slow product.

LFLarry
11-Oct-2018, 20:05
That's a great idea Paul. Thank you.

What I do when dealing with this very same problem is: set the meter at 4 ASA, and simply open the aperture two stops more than what the meter says (or alternatively, select a shutter speed two speeds slower than indicated for 4ASA) That will give you an exposure for 1ASA.

Two23
11-Oct-2018, 20:05
I've been doing this lately. I have a Minolta IVf meter that only goes to ISO 3. So, I set it to ISO 4 and take a reading. I then add x2 stops to shutter speed. I.e., shutter speed at ISO 4 is 1/2s, I hold out two fingers and count, "1 second, 2 second." I use 2s as my exposure time. The alternative is to use Sunny 16 if it's sunny out. That works too in the right conditions.

Kent in SD

LFLarry
11-Oct-2018, 20:18
Thanks Kent. That is simple and straight forward.

Sounds like you have some experience with slower emulsions (dry plates). Do you have any idea if reciprocity applies or not? I have been playing around with some liquid emulsions, and got some plates from Jason Lane, and also just picked up some vintage plates. The concept of reciprocity just surfaced in my mind and I thought I better ask to see what the deal is.

I've been doing this lately. I have a Minolta IVf meter that only goes to ISO 3. So, I set it to ISO 4 and take a reading. I then add x2 stops to shutter speed. I.e., shutter speed at ISO 4 is 1/2s, I hold out two fingers and count, "1 second, 2 second." I use 2s as my exposure time. The alternative is to use Sunny 16 if it's sunny out. That works too in the right conditions.

Kent in SD

Two23
11-Oct-2018, 20:35
Thanks Kent. That is simple and straight forward.

Sounds like you have some experience with slower emulsions (dry plates). Do you have any idea if reciprocity applies or not? I have been playing around with some liquid emulsions, and got some plates from Jason Lane, and also just picked up some vintage plates. The concept of reciprocity just surfaced in my mind and I thought I better ask to see what the deal is.

Since they were designed for exposures of a few seconds, I've had no trouble at those speeds. When it comes to exposures of 1 minute or more, yes reciprocity failure is setting in.

Kent in SD

Nodda Duma
12-Oct-2018, 05:07
Larry the rule of thumb I’ve used for my plates is add 50% time beyond 45 seconds and double the time above 2 minutes.

To be honest Kent probably has better working knowledge nowadays with my plates than I do and can tell you better... Between work, coating and testing plates, kids, and shooting slide film for the fall colors, I haven’t found a lot of time to shoot my own plates outside of characterization exposures..and my exposure times are typically only a few seconds where reciprocity isn’t an issue.

Cheers,
Jason

LabRat
12-Oct-2018, 13:53
If you do this a lot, the Gossen Luna Pro series of meter goes down to very low ISO settings, so a good meter for that range...

Note that the needle models used an obsolete battery, but conversions are available...

Steve K

Mark Sampson
12-Oct-2018, 19:30
Luckily, the longer your exposures get, the less critical your exposure time becomes.
Remember that the old-timers developed by inspection, so they could compensate (to a point) for inaccurate exposure. That's how it was done before exposure meters or ISO numbers... it worked for Edward Weston, and thousands of photographers before him.
With the advent of faster, panchromatic emulsions, roll and 35mm film, and exposure meters, the 'time-temperature' method gained acceptance. Helped along by Archer, Adams, and White with the Zone System, but that's another story.
In the words of my old teacher David Vestal, "Don't underexpose, don't overdevelop."

LFLarry
13-Oct-2018, 03:57
Hi Jason, thanks for the info. We are really enjoying your plates that we got from Freestyle. You are doing good work!

Larry the rule of thumb I’ve used for my plates is add 50% time beyond 45 seconds and double the time above 2 minutes.

To be honest Kent probably has better working knowledge nowadays with my plates than I do and can tell you better... Between work, coating and testing plates, kids, and shooting slide film for the fall colors, I haven’t found a lot of time to shoot my own plates outside of characterization exposures..and my exposure times are typically only a few seconds where reciprocity isn’t an issue.

Cheers,
Jason

ottluuk
13-Oct-2018, 04:09
For a while, I've been shooting a mix of digital, "normal" film and slow stuff like Harman direct positive (I shoot it around ISO 1.5) and paper negatives (ISO 3-6). I normally use ISO 100 for the film so that's what the meter (and digicam) is set at most of the time.
To help with the conversion for slow materials, I just jotted down a quick table of ISO 100 vs 1.5 shutter speed equivalents in the range that one encounters in usual ambient lighting. I keep this cheat sheet clipped to the viewing hood of my Crown Graphic. Personally, I find this less accident prone than dialing meter ISO back and forth all the time.
I guess one could design these cards neatly on a computer, add little "sun and cloud" reminder marks for sunny-16, include reciprocity failure correction, print and laminate... but a five minute job with a pen and ruler will go a long way.

LFLarry
13-Oct-2018, 04:09
Thanks Steve. If I recall, the Luna Pro takes mercury batteries which I think are no longer available? Am I remembering that correctly? I like the idea for sure, and if I can get an analog meter to use for the dry plate exposures, that would be fun.

If you do this a lot, the Gossen Luna Pro series of meter goes down to very low ISO settings, so a good meter for that range...

Note that the needle models used an obsolete battery, but conversions are available...

Steve K

MartinP
13-Oct-2018, 07:24
The Gossen LunaPro has (or had) an official, 'drop-in', adapter which took two silver cells and was fairly cheap. I have one in my meter now. About five years ago Gossen stopped maintaining and rebuilding the LunaPro, so if a secondhand example needs some work I don't know where one would send it these days. The film-speed dial is marked down to ISO 0.8 and up to ISO 25000, which covers a useful range! The LunaPro spot-meter adapter gives views of 15 and 7.5 degrees, which might not be small enough for super-precise metering but helps somewhat.

Edited to add: The meters with black body mouldings are more recent than the model with grey plastic. None are new, so individual condition is probably more important than age.

LabRat
13-Oct-2018, 13:57
George at QLM in Hollywood services them, and I think has the conversion parts...

There is also the LED readout Luna Lux SBC model that avoids the service step...

Steve K

brucetaylor
13-Oct-2018, 15:27
I like my Luna Pro too. I got one of the battery adapters when they did the calibration, but I have also heard there is no longer factory service available. You can always stack a couple of CRIS adapters and send to Quality Light Metric to calibrate.

Nodda Duma
13-Oct-2018, 17:08
Hi Jason, thanks for the info. We are really enjoying your plates that we got from Freestyle. You are doing good work!

Thank you for the kind words. I'm really happy that folks like you are enjoying them... it is such a cool medium.

Cheers,
Jason