Since I have done a lot of night time photography, here are some indications of what you may expect in night time scenes:
Light meter set at EI 320, film Kodak TriX400 or Ilford HP5:
- EV 2-3 for darkest shadows (Zone I-II), general readings on concrete or brick walls with some light on it in the range of EV4-8, and lamps themselves EV12-14.
- Most of my correct night exposures, including reciprocity correction, turn out to be around 15 seconds - 30 seconds or 1 minute at F8. Very well illuminated in town maybe 4-8 seconds at the same aperture.
- If you want to do a pull development to tame contrast, you may wish to overexpose to retain shadow detail. So instead of 15 seconds, maybe 30 or 1 minute. A pull development means shortening the development time. Taking 40% off the regular time isn't strange at night, just be sure you give plenty of exposure to maintain shadow detail.
- If you are going to do 4x5, you will generally wish something more than F8, more likely F11, F16, F22 minimum. My reciprocity corrected exposures generally turn out to be something like 2, 5 or 10 minutes. Of course, stopping down significantly (F45), will put you down for much longer times... You may wish to consider Kodak TMax 400, which has one of the best reciprocity characteristics, combined with relative high ISO at 400. I have shot TMax 400 in an F256 pinhole at night, and gotten good results with exposure times generally around 20-45 minutes, on HP5, I would have had to wait for 3-5 hours!!!
Here are some actual examples with exposure info to give you an idea:
Kodak TriX 400, F8, 30 seconds exposure, pull development -35% of development time:
Printed on Kentmere Fineprint VC Glossy, sepia toned. Printed at grade 1 with 20 seconds exposure, with an additional pre-flash of the paper at grade 2 to tame overall contrast. Only the bright lamp head required additional burning in: 40 seconds at grade 1 and an additional 40 seconds at grade 3.
Kodak TMax 400 in 4x5, 4x5 LF Zero Image F256 pinhole, 45 minutes exposure:
Printed on Ilford Multigrade RC Warmtone, selenium toned.