You Don’t Need a Light Meter

Concerned about your exposure? Don’t be. While the astronauts of the Apollo program had a lot to worry about, exposure wasn’t really one of them. 

Take a close-up look at the photographic cheat-sheet affixed to the 70mm Hasselblad film magazines that accompanied them to the moon:

Shadows? No problem — f/5.6. In the sun? Easy — f/11! It couldn’t be simpler. Just set the distance (we would call that “focusing”) and fire away. This magazine pictured contains HCEX, which was a specially developed Kodak Ektachrome 160 ASA film.

Of course, the astronauts weren’t likely to get overcast conditions in the Sea of Tranquility, nonetheless, we can probably learn something from these instructions’ simplicity.

The Apollo 11 Lunar Camera and Film Magazine is held by the Smithsonian Institution.

ID# 2009-4813

View the item at

Using Format