Photo Research

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Photo Research Corporation is best known as the manufacturer of the Norwood Director, an exposure meter. The company was founded in 1941 by cinematographer Karl Freund, later known for his work on the American television series I Love Lucy in the mid 1950's. But Freund had shot many Universal Pictures monster movies including The Mummy and Dracula in the early 1930's; and before emigrating to the US, he was one of the cinematographers of Metropolis.

Freund started working with Donald W. Norwood, who patented the concept of the photosphere, which integrates incident light from all directions[1]. Manufacturing started on the Norwood Director exposure meter in 1946[2]. Once the Brockway family got involved in manufacturing the Norwood Director (model B), Photo Research started manufacturing improved meters based on the Norwood Director (model a) under the the name Spectra.


  • Norwood Director
  • Spectra Candela
  • Spectra Candela II
  • Spectra Candela IIA
  • Spectra Combi 500
  • Spectra Combi II
  • Spectra Lumicon series II
  • Spectra Pro
  • Spectra Pro II
  • Spectra Pro IV A
  • Spectra Pro IV A SP
  • Spectra Universal


  1. Norwood was awarded US Patent 2,214,283 (at in 1940, and refined it in subequent patents.
  2. A June 1946 ad in Popular Photography is an early appearance.


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