a new way to direct light

Ad for original (Model A) Norwood Director

Toronto. Incident or reflected light, that is the question. This advertisement touted a new way to measure light, especially critical in the early days of low sensitivity, somewhat contrasty colour film materials.

Instead of reading reflected light values from selected shadow and highlight areas, the Norwood Director used a translucent hemisphere to gather incident light falling on the subject. The light value could then be translated into a correct camera setting giving optimal negative and transparency exposures. No wasted shots.

The major reflected light meter makers responded by selling attachments like the Weston ‘Invercone‘ (I have one) to offer readings of incident as well as reflected light. Some years later when sensitive CdS cells arrived on the scene, better meters like the Gossen Luna Pro offered a means to take either reading as well (Gossen had a sliding hemispherical ball, tinier than the Norwood’s to accomplish incident light readings).

This ad from the June 1947 issue of Popular Photography is courtesy of good friend and photo historian George Dunbar. The magazine link has been repeated for the convenience of the viewer.

This entry was posted in history and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.