Having recently purchased a 38-LED 2-Watt UV lamp, I decided to take some lume shots. UV light is best for charging photo-luminescent paint, see my article on watch lume. Here's the set-up:
When I switched on the lamp, the watch lume glowed like it was on fire!! However, the first shot was a little disappointing and there seemed to be no camera setting that brought out the brightness. It seemed that the UV itself was messing up the shot by over-exposing the camera sensor in spite of the UV filter on the lens:
So, I tried charging up the lume and then switching off the UV lamp before taking the shot. I ended up with 5 seconds exposure at f/22; consequently, much of that prized initial brightness was lost (f/22 is my standard aperture setting - I leave it there for a good depth field from the 60mm macro lens). Had I shot at say f/8 for a shorter time, the lume would have come out brighter. Still, even at f/22, the resulting pictures came out well and were combined in Photoshop without any processing other than cropping and re-sizing.
A re-lumed 1900's Trench watch:
A re-lumed Hamilton GG-W-113:
A Hamilton MIL-W-46374D with replacement Luminova hands:
In the last shot, the lumed seconds hand sweeps through the 5 secs exposure and the rapid fall in brightness of Luminova, even during that short time, is quite evident.