Quote Originally Posted by robopro View Post
Interesting. I know that film speed is determined by the size, shape, and density of the silver halide chrystals in the emulsion
That's a VERY crude relation. I can make 0.5 micron film/plate emulsion that varies in terms of photographic speed from single digit to three digits ASA speed. Even if the percentage of iodide is held fixed, the sensitivity varies a LOT depending on where in the grain I place the iodide. (Think of a multi-layer tennis ball and which layer contains iodide.)

As I'm using an albumen emulsion right now that requires sensitization by soaking in a silver nitrate solution, it isn't really possible to 'force' crystals to grow -- you just get what you get.
That method is considerably more limiting compared to modern emulsion technology and can't really control anything important in what I mentioned above...

I was hoping there may be some sort of quick 'litmus test' I don't know about I could do to get an idea of the general speed range.
I'm determining exposure times by trial and error and if I could get a better idea of the true speed (probably around a 6 but I'm just guessing) I could control my exposures better.
I'll give you suggestion a try.
I'd contact print a step wedge for a predetermined exposure. But the measurement of speed for print material is done in a different way than negative films (for example, measures the exposure necessary to get midtone, not shadow) and I still recommend to review the ISO method and the idea behing it.