Light meters
Does anybody still use these and can you learn from them.Cheers..

Comments (11)

Lightmeters serve a purpose in all situations where the camera either has no light meter or where it's internal lightmeter becomes inadequate..

For most of us, the internal lightmeter, when used properly, will be enough for good exposures..

Unless you have outgrown your camera's possibilities, don't waste your money buying one, unless you do professional studio work that is...

Comment #1

The digital ones give you _one_ answer (although it will be correct) and the two dial (analogue) ones let you see all the variations of shutter speed and aperture very quickly..

Either will usually give you a incident light reading which works well for dodgy/tricky set-ups..

When it gets really tricky I use the P&S and then look at the histrogram, which is infinitely better than a Polaroid back on my MF SLR....

Regards, David..

Comment #2

Wayne33 wrote:.

Does anybody still use these and can you learn from them..

Flash-capable meters are the only ones that it's worth buying these days, but can be omitted from the kit without much trouble. I hardly use mine, anymore... Regards,Baz..

Comment #3

Totaly useless if you leave your camera on auto mode.

Priceless if you are just starting out and are using manual lenses that dont have exposure settings..

Also invaluable for film users, especially novices...

Comment #4

Hello David , please excuse my ignorance but what is P&S and have you any thoughts on the sekonic 380 flashmate for a sterter like myself or would I be better spending a little more money and get a better one.Cheers Wayne..

Comment #5

Wayne33 wrote:.

Does anybody still use these and can you learn from them.Cheers.

Does anyone still use them?.

I still have several film cameras, which I use on a regular basis, as well as a P&S and a Bridge camera. One of my film cameras (dating from the 1950's) is totally manual and doesn't have any electronics whatever -not even a lightmeter..

I have two Cadmium Sulphide lightmeters and a Minolta/Sekonic semi-pro flash/lightmeter (which I have yet to use in action), although I use the old Cadmium sulphide (no batteries required) models regularly..

When it comes to my digital cameras, I find the on-board metering does such a superb job that I haven't been even tempted to use an external meter at all..

Can you learn from them?.

Well, in order to get a reasonable result, you need to learn a fair bit before you start to use them. You also learn how much easier and faster things are with modern equipment .

When it comes to any reasonable DSLR, I would think the built-in metering will do in a flash what you and your hand-held meter will take a minute or two to accomplish and, by then (if outdoors), the light will have changed or your subject walked away..

Overall, with your on-board options spot, centre weighted and matrix metering, as well as exposure compensation, it's hardly worth your while to bother, really. Also, with digital, there is the histogram, and you can always take another shot, if not satisfied...

Comment #6

Mikelis wrote:snip....

.......although I use the old Cadmium sulphide (no batteries required)models regularly..

I think you've got that wrong, Mikelis..

All the cadmium sulphide meters I ever used, which was quite a few, needed to be powered by a battery, usually a button cell..

This was because the CdS light sensitive element itself, whilst very sensitive to low levels of light, was not photo-generative, only photo-'resistive'.... meaning that it had to be powered up in order to swing the needle of the meter..

It is Selenium cell meters that are 'solar powered' and need no battery... and photo-voltaic cells of that kind (photo-generative) have developed into a useful source of power for so many things... not just light meters. Regards,Baz..

Comment #7

Barrie Davis wrote:.

I think you've got that wrong, Mikelis..

All the cadmium sulphide meters I ever used, which was quite a few,needed to be powered by a battery, usually a button cell.Regards,Baz.

O.K.I just use 'em, I don't make 'em!.

Thanks. ..

Comment #8

Wayne33 wrote:.

Hello David , please excuse my ignorance but what is P&S....

Gosh, it's hard to believe that you don't know what "P&S" means. But if you say you don't know then I believe you and will NOT be the one to spoil your innocence. Just understand that "P&S" is a bad word, even though it has only 3 letters. .

Charlie DavisNikon 5700 & Sony R1HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog:

Comment #9

Mikelis wrote:snip....

I just use 'em, I don't make 'em!.

Well, presumably, if you are using 'em, but never yet needed to replace a battery.....

... then it is the Selenium kind you have.Regards,Baz..

Comment #10


Sorry I didn't get back in time. I've no thoughts on the sekonic which sounds like a flash meter: you can count the flash pictures I've taken this year on your fingers. Apart from or power for fill in I never use flash. Sorry..

Well, "P&S" means "Point and Shoot" and is used to mean those things without controls like aperture and shutter sped. In other words, you switch the things on, squeeze the shutter button and that it..

Well, usually that's it but most have "scene modes" which do some of the work for you and leave you to puzzle out what they haven't done. Others, thank heavens, have EV compensation built in or (if you chose well) centre weighted or spot metering. Both of which are very easy to use and get good results with..

As for meters with batteries, there's a lot to be said for them but the old Westons were OK. And they go dirt cheap these days, even checked and adjusted ones. Having said that I wondered why I carry a large lump of meter around with the Bronica when the LX2 is smaller and gives a histrogram. But the LX2 doesn't do incident light and I'm scared the LX2 will show up the Bronica, which I rather like....

Regards, David..

Comment #11

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