Have got a copy of "Graphic Graflex Photography, The master book for the Larger Camera", by Morgan and Lester? Great resource for you and me. Mine is 1944 7th edition. It covers everything and has many wartime ads, images and methods. Buy one from Abe's.
Kawaiithulhu there are two on eBay right now and they are both affordable. The one with Buy It Now is going to get you a birthday present to yourself for less than 20 dollars. The other has case and accessories and paperwork. Get them both, how can you go wrong?
Some German pre-war made exposure meters to consider (I've found these on the excellent homepage by James Ollinger):
Electro Bewi Super
Kiesewetter Mini Photoscop
Metrawatt Temphophot T-4
or meters like
Super Bewi Precision
I pressume the "Sunny Sixteen Rule" was quite a, or even the most, common way to get good exposures by that time.
My father in-law was a photographer on the Russian front, he never used a light meter. I found this out after he visited us in Australia in the late eighties. He was shooting slide film on an ancient Agfa camera from the sixties, he wasn't using a light meter. Once or twice he asked me what I was shooting (the same film) at. Turned out he was invariably using the same shutter/aperture combination.
I developed his films after our Australian holiday and before he returned back home to Germany, very good to brilliant exposures, all without a light meter.
Cameras were sent up in unmanned Zeppelin ships to about 150-200 metres in height on a cable, fired off with cable, air or some other method, I'm not too sure really, then quickly pulled back down before they were shot down, this was on the Russian front. Another method of taking pictures was in trenches using a TLR upside down on a stick and a cable release. Composition was obtained by looking on the inverted ground glass.
Essentially if you shoot enough film for long enough and often enough and develop and print it yourself, you end up knowing what settings are required. I would guess that many war photographers may have started with a light meter, but probably didn't wear them out once they had their eye in.
Some press photographers I know never used a light meter and even when automatic cameras came along, still didn't use the inbuilt meter.
I can pretty much guess the correct (for me) shutter/aperture combination before I take a reading, invariably I'm within a bulls roar of agreeing with my light meter.
Sunny sixteen was what we used when I first started in photography, still works today.
I should have aimed at the 50-60's years, given the scarcity of working war era gear But with these suggestions and stories it's become a journey, as cliche as that may sound. I predict that even starting early like I am I won't be done until long after my birthday but I'm OK with that.
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A final note to finish off this thread:
I got hold of a black bakelite Weston 715 in really good shape + leather case. Thanks for the recommendations and historical references, everyone. The 715 weighs a ton and measures a broad range within 1/2 fstop of my luna pro, I couldn't be happier with this piece of my puzzle.
This sounds like a fun and rewarding project. Please let us know of your progress. You might find this website interesting:
I have one of these, http://www.westonmeter.org.uk/650.htm which was given to me about 1974-5. It still works!
Originally Posted by Bill Burk
I have both a Weston Master model 715 and Master II, and the emulsion speed dial works the same on my two meters. However you have to be sharp-eyed because some samples (UK?) are one mark different than mine.
In this thread, we explored the difference.
The bottom line for me, I set my Weston's at 160 to equate to EI 250 which is the speed I prefer to shoot ISO 400 films.
A bit convoluted, but you can see that you probably should not set the meter at 400
I have an antique APEC photo enlarger that I believe is from WW2. I picked it up at a flea market a few years back and just finished cleaning and polishing and rewiring it. Other than the cords, I believe it is all original and the bulbs still work. It is a floor standing model.
The name plate lists it as a model EKS ser# 3309. It is painted OD green and has included a short cord adapter for European plugs that is original.
i do not know for sure the year of it but am interested in selling it and would entertain offers.