Very few photographers in WW11 used light meters they weren't common in the 40's they mostly used "sunny 16" and their experience. I know British military photographers were not issued with them, and they weren't in common usage generally with most pro photographers,because being able to judge light and distance is part what photographers did in those days.
Last edited by benjiboy; 03-13-2014 at 04:28 PM. Click to view previous post history.
"I am piecing together a full, WW2 era set of gear from camera to darkroom for my birthday. I like a creative challenge, and I like the craft and history in general.
With as few concessions as possible I want to take pictures of areas and things from the 1940s with appropriate gear and then develop them using yet more period gear and techniques. Locations will be easy on the west coast here, with auto and plane museums, the SS Lane Victory is here in San Pedro, even a tank museum out in the desert, historical markers and so on. Plus the air show if it comes around.
Fortunately for me, chemistry and technique haven't changed much so all I have to worry about is finding the right pieces and reconditioning what I can. This all started with a Combat Graphic and now I've got enameled trays, timer, chemistry sources, even a vintage Kodak printing frame for the enlarger.
Now my only sticking point is finding an enlarger that wasn't scrapped long ago. Saw a Federal 450 recently but the price was too high for a hobby budget and it needed repairs. Worse comes to worse I will make 4x5 contact prints, I've done that before and with the right subject the presentation can work very well I think.
Then later I'll do something similar with my grandfather's Leica M3 and late 50's and 60's era locations and subjects (but not so purist on the gear, just the subject matter). This all should give me a year's worth of fun from a simple birthday present.
Now I'm off to try and find someone who can recondition shutters in a combat speed graphic that looks like it was swallowed whole by a turtle The one shop I knew of in Culver City isn't taking any new large format cameras and is backlogged for several months."
Hey, I think this is a great idea! How far have you gotten, and do you have any material up yet? I am really interested and I would love to see.
Last edited by kaantuncel; 03-23-2014 at 02:08 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: Forgot to quote
ditto Light meters in the 40's were expensive and not very reliable. The only type available were selenium meters. They have a memory problem when exposed to bright light. Most people even professionals guesstimated the correct exposure.
Originally Posted by benjiboy
So to be historically accurate you should omit them from your kit.
I am piecing together a full, WW2 era set of gear from camera to darkroom for my birthday. I like a creative challenge, and I like the craft and history in general.
Last edited by Gerald C Koch; 03-23-2014 at 07:34 PM. Click to view previous post history.
A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
The training USMC cameramen at cine school at Quantico definitely used light meters though.
Thayer Soule mentions this in "Shooting the Pacific War". By his order they cleaned out the quartermaster and PX store, when he took over the school in 1943.
I've got an olive drab Graphic "45" (aka combat graphic) with a working FP shutter, good lens but the Supermatic shutter it's set in needs a ton of work and a CLA may not rescue it. I've run some sample shots through it, and hand held it's sharp even so.
Originally Posted by kaantuncel
I've never found a 4x5 enlarger from the period so I'm limited to contact prints, but I can live with that. I did find a Federal 296 in surprisingly good shape, but it's only 6x9 at the largest so I use it for my century graphic and 120 back
The rest of the darkroom is set with trays, timer (a wheezy Time-o-Lite), contact printer (Albert) and safelight (also Albert, in Chicago).
I'm trying to decide on a developer and film combo (any suggestions?), for now I'm using my usual HP5 and alternately Xtol or Pyrocat-HD to get the camera tested.
Now I'm waiting for the summer season to kick off at San Pedro, where the USS Iowa is berthed for my first target. Then later probably the USS Lane Victory, which is nearby.
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You do know the Combat Graphic was only used by the USMC photographers and the US Navy, right?
I picked one up last year in great condition, except that it was painted black after the war, and it's missing the data-tag...like they all do
Yes, Pacific Theater and only very late in the war, 1944 and later which is why so few were made and most converted for civilian resale. My first target, the Iowa, which is berthed nearby was in the Pacific which is kind of what got me started on this.
Originally Posted by Mr_Flibble
I wish mine were in better shape, but serendipity and all that.
I've only seen one with the original tags, and it was a fully restored kit with flash and way out of my price range.
Both theaters were using Anniversary graphics, which would have been easier to work with in hindsight
What is refered to by "data-tag"?
Camera specification or army designation, inventory number and such?
Is the Omega D-2 (or II, not sure which it is without looking at it again) of that era? If so, let me know if you have any interest in one.
Originally Posted by Kawaiithulhu
p.s. I think I recently read that the Lane Victory is on vacation in England. Not sure if that info was accurate or not.
IIRC, the D-II preceeded the D-2. But I don't know dates.
Originally Posted by BrianShaw
"Far more critical than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know." - Eric Hoffer