How to use a light meter?

Light meter




Yesterday I wrote an article about the light meter. What is light meter?
A light meter is a device which meters the light by providing the exatct datas to get a perfect exposure on the spot you have been metering.

It is more accurate than the on camera light meter. For two reasons :

Your built-in light meter meters the reflected light.
Cameras are programed to find that 18% of reflected light is the ideal light. This provides most of the time good results but it has its limits. For instance, when you take picture of your friends while they are skiing, it will be way too grey and too dark. Why ? The snow reflects more than 18% of light. But your cam does not know it and it makes some adjustments as if it would only reflect 18% of the ambiant light. The same thing applies for dark pictures but in the other direction : shoot (I mean photogarphically) a dark dog on a black background, the picture will be way too bright.

–> The camera has its limits.

The light meter has a white dome where the light is metered. It meters the light that falls on the subject, it does not matters how dark or bright it is. Set the ISO in the light meter. Aim the dome toward the light source or the camera and make a mesurement. It gives you f-stops and shutterspeed. Set your cam on the M-Mode. Then, enter these datas in the camera and you are done. Your exposure will be perfect. You can change the f-stops in your LM, and it will give you the appropriate shutterspeed. Same thing if you change the ISO or the Shutterspeed, it will provides you the right datas based on the metering you have done.

–> Takes time but is more acurate.

More to come…


2 thoughts on “How to use a light meter?

    1. Sorry for the delay,
      Fank Doorhof, a teaching photographer made a video on youtube which pretty great and explains it very well step by step.

      Here it is !

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