A few weeks ago I wrote an Android App that I felt I needed myself when I was out and about in the field photographing. I’m glad that it has now almost 100 more than 220 installs. As you are well aware of, most films do need correcting for reciprocity failure to avoid underexposing your negatives for exposure times of over a second. This really gets important for Large Format or pinhole photography, and also for night photography of course.
Until now I had a folder with a few printed PDFs with tables of exposure correction information for the different films that I regularly use. I kept the folder in my camera bag where I had to replace the prints regularly due to wind, rain and other damage; an App on a phone you’re already carrying is of course easier to use.
As a bonus, in the Reciprocity App I could also include the findings of Howard Bond from his article in the Photo Technique magazine which had been formulated into an easy formula by Patrick Gainer.
It is a simple App, but packed with the reciprocity details of most black and white films currently being sold. Works fine on my Android phone as well as on my Android tablet. All information is contained in the App so no data connection is needed when you’re on a photo shoot abroad, on top of a mountain or in the deep countryside without any connectivity. It’s free, make sure to grab it!
As for an iOS version for Apple devices, I don’t have the possibility to develop an iOS App and you are probably better off with an Android device anyway. 😀
The fun part of pinhole photography is that it is so low-tech: No real lens involved, no focussing, great results without any hassle. Or so you might think. For me, pinhole photography means that I need to bring my Android tablet, a grey-card and Sekonic 758D lightmeter to get the job done and get a predictable exposure. It is probably as hi-tech as I need to get for all of my photography. 🙂
My technique with which I have now been able to get decent and reproducible results, comes down the following steps:
Use the Film Crop Assistant app to get the location of the tripod and the composition right as you cannot look through the lens, of course.
Use the grey-card and the lightmeter to get a reading.
Use the Pinhole Camera Calculator app to convert that reading into an basic exposure time that matches the f-stop of my pinhole lens.
Use reciprocity failure correction tables specific to the film that I use the Reciprocity app that calculates the exposure time to use for a given film and metered exposure time.
Use the Timer option of the Android Clock to time the exposure.
No doubt you can find similar or better tools for the Apple world.
Now that ADOX CHS 100 II film is available on 120 format (as well as on 135 format and many, many different sizes of sheet film) it is getting really interesting. I have used a lot of ADOX CHS 100 ART on 120 format and loved the results and ADOX CHS 100 II film is said to be just as good. As a medium and large format shooter, I’m really happy that this film is now available in all formats. ADOX provided a technical sheet for this film here, but crucially, the reciprocity failure correction information was missing. I emailed them, and they kindly obliged and provided me with the following information. I have not been able to verify any of this, I hope that you can let me know how you got on with the information below; it will certainly be a good start:
Up to 1 second, no correction required.
2 seconds: 1.5x (3 seconds)
4 seconds: 2x ( 8 seconds)
8 seconds: 2.5x (20 seconds)
15 seconds: 3x (45 seconds)
30 seconds: 4x (120 seconds)
60 seconds: 6.5x (6 minutes 30 seconds
In a graph it looks like follows (time metered on the horizontal axis versus the required exposure time on the vertical axis):
See also Howard Bond’s article on reciprocity departure for a really good article on the subject which is also referred to as the Schwarzschild effect.
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