Light meter app, film processing?

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EdMcG
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Light meter app, film processing?

#1

Post by EdMcG »

I have a 75mm , Rolleiflex twin lens reflex camera with a bunch of accessories that I don’t even know what they are (filters, etc)I’ve had the camera for about 25 years and only used it a handful of times. As a matter of fact, I use it so infrequently, last use was my 25 year old daughter’s First Comminion, that I don’t remember how to use a light meter when I pull it out. So, as with most things I’m a little late to the party.
But I have several rolls of old (10-15 years) film—any chance they are any good?
Where could I get film and where could I get 120 film processed?
What is an easy to use light meter app?
My idea is to photograph streams, occasionally flies and country churches I pass on my way to streams. An artsy way to kill time when not on the stream
Or is this a notion past it’s time and I should auction off the lot and invest in a rod?
Ed

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kimk
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Re: Light meter app, film processing?

#2

Post by kimk »

B&W film may still be good -- all depends on storage. Back of the drawer storage may result in some base fog but it will still make images. Color film is another issue. If it is C-22 process -- can't be done. If it is C-41 processing is still available although hard to find. But there may be some color shift.
New film can be bought form Freestyle Photo in LA. They seem to cater to educational and fine photography users. I did much business with them -- fine folks.
Light meters-- If it takes a battery it still may be good. The older photo cells do not age well.
Old fashioned rule of thumb exposure works surprisingly well --The rule of 16:
Bright sunny day with distinct shadows -- set aperture to f/16 and shutter speed to the approx. equivalent of the film speed. i.e. 400 speed film = shutter speed of 1/500 sec. , Film speed of 125 = shutter speed of 1/100 or 1/125 ( depending on your camera settings).
You can manipulate the shutter and f/stop relation ship in a 1 to 1 relationship. Opening the shutter by one full f/stop ( double the amount of light), and compensating by halving the shutter speed (time) equals the same exposure --- so -- f/16 @1/125sec = f/11@1/250 sec= f/8@ 1/500 sec. If you are tech minded the formula is E=IxT where exposure is equal to intensity multiplied by time. Intensity is controlled by f/stop ( (how wide open the aperture is ) time is controlled by shutter, usually a fraction of a second such as 1/250 of a second. One full increment of either is a doubling or halving -- depending on which way you go.
For what it is worth -- film speeds work the same way -- 400 speed film is twice as sensitive as 200 speed film. So a 200 speed film will need a full f/stop or a full shutter speed more light than a 400 speed film.
Back to the rule of 16-- bright hazy day ( soft shadows) -- open one stop ( smaller #, larger opening), Bright cloudy day -- open two stops. Or the same equivalent exposure increase through shutter adjustment Or any combination that yields the same net exposure. (E=IT)
If you can tell me what kind of meter you have I may be able to offer more.
Photos of the meter would help.
AgMD

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kimk
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Re: Light meter app, film processing?

#3

Post by kimk »

After some thinking, I realized I really should have addressed using the light meter.
If the sensor has bubble like cells it uses light to create electricity which is measured by the meter. These cells do not age well. Probably doesn't work. If it has a smooth lens like glass cover the sensor and takes a battery it may still work. This is a resistance meter.
All light meters will have a place for you to set the film speed -- probably marked ASA or ISO. set this to the speed marked on the film package. Read the light by pointing the meter at the subject and read the output on the meter. Transfer this value to the slide rule like mechanism which will show all the acceptable f/stop and shutter speed combinations opposite each other. Some meters will index the light cell reading with the scales automatically.
All meters assume the world averages 18% reflectance ( middle grey) so avoid reading large atypical expanses of very light or very dark. Reading a lot of bright sky or snow for example. Reading light hued human skin is close enough to middle grey for government work.
If the meter has a translucent white disc or bubble which can be placed over the sensor you can put it over the sensor and read the light hitting the subject by pointing the meter at an angle which points back at the lens position ( 180 * opposite the direction the camera is pointing)
Photos of the meter will allow a better explanation if needed.
AgMD

EdMcG
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Re: Light meter app, film processing?

#4

Post by EdMcG »

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AgMD,
Thanks for the pointers!
You went beyond the call. I am going to print up your response to walk me through some photos.
Having had the darn thing so long, I hate the idea of giving-up on it without ever having really given it its due. I plan a trip of several days to the Driftless next month and will be making day trips as often as I can until the end of the season and plan on bringing the camera along for down time from the stream
The photos are the whole collection of the gear—any insights or musings are greatly appreciated.
I have to check but I think my film and processing needs could likely be met at Central Camera in the Chicago Loop which isn’t terribly far from me
Ed

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kimk
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Re: Light meter app, film processing?

#5

Post by kimk »

Ed,
Nice equipment, and best yet you have a Luna Pro, a meter I know well.
Put some new batteries in it and see that it works. if it does:
--In the center black dial there is a silver window -- set the ASA film speed to whatever it says on the box of film you are using.
-- On the right side of the meter there is a white toggle switch, forward is for low light and the display window shows the scale from 1 -->12. Bush the toggle back, for brighter scenes, and the display shows the scale from 13 -->22. The needle indicates the light reading as read on the scales.
-- The value indicated by the needle is entered on the black center dial, in the yellow window. Use the yellow triangle as your index point. In your pix the dial is set just above 22, the highest value.
--On the outer ring about 12:00 to 2:00 position, you will see one scale marked time and one marked f/stop. These are indicating the prober exposure options available. Any one of these results in the same exposure -- as the f/stop option changes to allow less light the corresponding shutter speed changes to allow more.
-- In front of the meter is a white dome which slides back and forth and may be placed in front of the sensor. Slide the white dome to one side leaving the sensor uncovered. Read the lighting by aiming the meter at the subject matter as though it were your camera. Tip it down to avoid lots of sky even if you are shooting a lot of sky.
-- OR -- slide the white dome over the sensor and read the light falling on the subject by standing in front of the subject and facing the camera. If the lighting is consistent you can just turn around with your back to the camera and make a reading that way.
Remember the meter thinks all the world is middle grey, and it usually is. But consider the small kid in a dark snow suit in a field of snow. Believe your meter and the exposure will be perfect for printing the snow as middle grey and the kid will look like a dark lump. When in doubt you can read your own hand and close enough.
Unless the light changes, a new meter reading is not needed for every pix. For instance if you were fishing a stream flowing through an open meadow, all the exposures would be the same untill the sun angle changes significantly. If it is a beautiful blue sky day with the occasional big puffy cloud that puts your subject in it's shade, you might need two settings -- one for open sun one for under the cloud.
Old film -- might be just fine but I would not trust it to important pix -- like the fish of a lifetime.

I noticed you have some filters. The clear one looks like a UV or Haze filter. Color film is sensitive to a range of UV light that we are not sensitive to. It can result in a bluish cast in finished prints. Folks usually use one of these as "safety glasses " for their lens. They put it on and leave it unless thy are using a different filter. Let it take all the cleaning and scratching while the true( expensive) lens stays pristine.
No discernible effect on B&W.
The red filter is for B&W --- If you shoot big puffy clouds in a blue sky with this filter, the red will block much of the blue light from the sky making it dark and the white clouds will be BRILLIANT. Think all the John Ford/John Wayne/Monument Valley movies. That is how they did it. You will notice the red rock formations are also brightened against the darkened sky and shadows.
The other filter looks green I think. If so, it works the same way, only different--it transmits green light, making green foliage brighter and red barns darker.
The colored filters work by blocking light and so require a change in exposure or "Filter Factor" . If the filters are labeled by # you can Google for the filter factor value. Probably one stop or less.
I also see a lens shade -- used to keep light from the side hitting the front of the lens and causing glare like you get on your windshield.

There are also what looks like accessory lenses. If so -- they mount on the existing lenses and modify the image -- telephoto, wide angle, close up?

Compur shutters may stick if they haven't been used much -- so -- Sit in your chair while watching a good movie and fire it off, cock and click, cock and click, etc. Run through the whole series of shutter speeds. 10 or 12 repetitions per setting. More if things seem sticky. I have salvaged shutters that took seconds to close at 1/125.

Don't try to hand hold at shutter speeds of less than 1/125 sec. -- if you are really steady you might get away with 1/60 -- but better to use a tripod.
Quality equipment -- in a twin lens reflex the Rolliflex was as good as it gets. And the Schneider lenses ain't bad either. You should have fun.
Enjoy
AgMD

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ChuckC4
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Re: Light meter app, film processing?

#6

Post by ChuckC4 »

The Luna Pro is a great Meter -- the real problem is it is almost impossible to get a battery for it that really works.

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BrownBear
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Re: Light meter app, film processing?

#7

Post by BrownBear »

I checked in with a bud owning several Luna Pros and proud of them. He reports that these batteries work just fine for him.

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wiscoy
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Re: Light meter app, film processing?

#8

Post by wiscoy »

film wise, 120 is still readily available, i buy it by the carton on line from B&H, but you can just go to Amazon

and any good camera store can still arrange developing for C-41 - I buy the kits and do it at home. there are dozens if not hundreds of film labs you can find on line that accept film by mail. old film may have some color loss, but if it has not suffered from high heat in places like an attic it could still be fine.

C-22 processing is obsolete, i know of one place that mixes their own version, i do not know if it works since i have not used them, and its not cheap, but if you look online you can find places that will do c-22 film as B&W, i found an old 127 roll of c-22 in the bottom of a box a few weeks ago, i'll be doing that my self as B&W as soon as i figure out the time in the soup and modify one of the plastic film reel to accept it

many obsolete mercury batteries have modern replacements i use the Wein batteries in a couple range finder cameras, as stated they work just fine
"It is better to tie one good fly in an hour than a dozen that would only be taken by a trout with a sense of humor"
Uncle Bill

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