Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/12/09

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Subject: Re: [Leica] how can I know the light compensation in indoor photo
From: Nathan Wajsman <>
Date: Thu, 09 Dec 1999 12:32:42 +0100

Hi Grégoire,

> I would like to know (maybe this is a non-Leica question) how could I know
> how much I have to compensate what my cell give me in an indoor situation
> (incandescent light) in order to have the best result in Black&White neg.

This is difficult to answer. Obviously it depends on where you are pointing your
meter. If you make sure that there are no light sources within the metered area,
then I do not see why you would meter any differently than outdoors.

> Also (I know, it depends of the skin tone) What is the distance (in focus
> stop) between the neutral grey and a normal pale skin, 1, 2, 3 stops? Can I
> measure it right with a handhld cell, one time in reflective mode, second
> time in incident mode, am I right?

Assuming B&W film, I would place a Caucasian (white) face in Zone 6, i.e. one
stop above the neutral gray. If you are using slide film, just meter off the
face. The best way to meter a portrait in my opinion is to use an incident

> P.S. I just bought a second hand Macro-Elmarit R 1:2.8/60mm and would be
> pleased to have your appreciation on this lens, and maybe a comparision with
> the Summicron R 1:2/50mm

I like this lens very much and in fact use it as a standard lens on my R bodies,
having recently sold the 50mm Summicron that came with my Leicaflex SL.

> P.P.S. What kind of film should I use to shoot without a tripod, with just
> one or two incandescent 75watt, iso1600, is it enough, or should I directly
> go to iso3200?

If you use the 3200 films like Delta 3200 or TMax 3200, you should rate them at
1600. The ratings printed on the package are optimistic at best. Most tests I
have seen put the true speed of those films at 1000-1200. I would assume that
Neopan 1600 is similarly optimistically rated. For Delta 3200, I have gotten
good results by exposing at 1600 and developing for 7 minutes in XTOL stock at

- --
Nathan Wajsman
Overijse, Belgium
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