Whenever you read books or articles on film noir, you encounter expressions like this:
Another influence on the visual style of the films was the development of camera and lighting technology in the late 'thirties: faster film stock, coated lenses (which significantly increased the light transmission) and more powerful lights.
- 'Film Noir, Introduction', Michael Walker, in "The Book of Film Noir", edited by Ian Cameron, The Continuum Publishing Company, 1992
In fact, almost all literatures I have been reading recently reiterate the same thing: faster film stock, high-speed lens and powerful light. Some critics inserted these lines in the beginning of their writings so that they can go on rumbling about the analysis of film noir stylistics and aesthetics. I started to wonder, what are they? How did they differ from the previous technologies? So I dug a little deeper into this little problem.