I have treated myself to a Sekonic light meter. How hard is it to use an analogue instrument ? I spent a whole evening and the next day just trying to work out how to use it !!!!!  Anyway the penny has finally dropped I am glad to say , but why have I chosen to use a light meter when my digital camera has through the lens metering?
A problem with the camera's TTL meter is how it sees and measures light: using reflected meter readings it is easily fooled into over or under exposing images, 
 whites becomes dingy , blacks lose their rich deep tones. Without using an incident light meter it is easy to remedy this TTL metering foible by simply  increasing  exposure for a lighter  than average subject ,decreasing for darker, and possibly bracket the shots as an extra precaution.Perhaps the most important factor to successful photography is learning how to use light effectively and creatively, by measuring ambient not reflected light the Sekonic meter can (hopefully) be used to help me take more accurate exposures in tricky situations. I realise that it will not always be practical to use the hand held meter, but in a controlled situation with plenty of time I shall be using it.  

Putting my light meter to the test I took an ambient light reading and a through the lens reading using my camera outdoors on a really bright day in a slightly shady
area of my garden. 

F5.6 @ ISO 100: TTL exposure  1/40  
F5.6 @ ISO 100:  Light meter exposure 1/125

 I am really happy with the result because with little effort on my part the light meter has made a better job of allowing me to make the correct exposure for the main
 subject--William. This is a jpeg image without any further post processing but I shall probably still bracket shots when I am not 100 % certain and do not want to lose the opportunity to obtain a good well exposed shot in  camera.

The TTL exposure @ 1/40 showing unacceptable clipping with a loss of information and colour saturation.

Clipped areas in red


andy brown
09/11/2012 5:00am

Hi, I've just bought one of these and find it's low light (interiors) performance off the boil. I understand it's not really designed for natural low light conditions so I'm still a happy bunny as it seems well made and lightweight. As a sort of test I used it yesterday as a reflected light meter by taking the Lumisphere off, twisting the head towards the subject and taking a few readings..it was giving me 1/30th @f2 which compared well with the camera reading (an F Photomic) and an ancient selenium meter and I was thinking that if this is reasonable way of using it, this becomes a brilliant meter!

Any thoughts?

09/11/2012 12:43pm

Hi Andy , I have found the Light meter invaluable in tricky lighting situations & have used it indoors with very little light with good results. (I always bracket my shots as well ). I haven't used it as reflected light meter only for ambient readings so will have to try that. Best wishes Judy


Leave a Reply.