Light meters are now old fashioned thing because of the invention of digital cameras, but it hasn’t removed it entirely. Many old film cameras don’t have metering, and the accuracy of those that do is often under suspicion.
Digital photographers are designed to get the exact spot, flash, and ambient lighting levels or in some cases, color temperatures. While you can pick up basic light meters for cheap, they’re not designed for photography
You’ll spend more bucks to photographers, but good light meters don’t have to cost a fortune. While high-end versions can cost over a thousand dollars, reliable models for beginners can be picked up for much lower than that which can be afforded if you plan to do so. This article comprises of a list of the Best Light Meters that you can buy to channelize the photographer in you hence keep reading.
1. Kenko KFM-1100
If you don’t want to spend huge amount on a dedicated light meter, go for the Kenko KFM-1100. This light meter is Able to measure both ambient and flash light levels; the meter can also analyze both together to come up with the lighting ratio for any given scene. Sensitivity is about what you’d expect at this end of the market, with exposure times between 1/8000 and 30 minutes, and an aperture range of f/1.0 – f/128. The meter requires just a single AA battery.
2. Sekonic L-398A Studio Deluxe III
This classic light meter is entirely analog, using dials and a needle rather than buttons and a digital screen. The selenium photocell generates enough power to move the needle by itself, meaning there’s no need for a separate battery. Being fully analog, there’s no flash integration or other connectivity—it’s strictly for spot and ambient metering. Handling ISO values between 6 and 12,000 in ⅓-step intervals, from f/0.7 to f/128, the meter is flexible enough to handle most indoor and outdoor shooting requirements.
Weighing 6.4 ounces and measuring 4.4 x 2.3 x 1.3 inches, it’s small enough to hold easily in one hand and comes with a protective case if you plan to take it outside the studio.
3. Sekonic LiteMaster Pro L-478DR-U
PocketWizard’s wireless triggering system for off-camera lighting was a boon for professional photographers of all kinds. Sekonic’s L-478DR-U light meter incorporates the technology, letting you control the firing and power output of flash units up to 100 feet away.
Models are also available that support Phottix and Elinchrom remote triggering, and the touch screen L-478DR-U offers a wide array of features beyond its wireless support. Able to measure ambient and flash lighting simultaneously, the meter displays the percentage of flash in any reading.
Equally at home in still or motion-capture situations, there’s support for shutter speed on HD SLR cameras, or shutter angle and frame rates in Cine mode. Light measurement is provided in foot-candles or lux units, either alongside exposure or by itself.
4. Sekonic L-308X-U Flashmate
The compact Sekonic L-308X-U is ideal when you’re traveling or shooting on location, measuring just 4.3 x 2.5 x 0.9 inches, and tipping the scales at merely 3.5 ounces. Despite its small size, though, this pocketable meter doesn’t skimp on essential features.
This light meter isAble to measure both ambient and flash lighting levels at up to a 40-degree angle, the meter can measure from 0 to 19.9 EV at ISO 100, and can work with flash between f/1.0 and f/90.9. Both shutter priority and aperture priority modes are available.
The L-308X-U does double duty for both photography and cinematography thanks to a pair of Cine modes. Given its reasonable pricing, small size, and versatile feature set, it’s a straightforward portable pick.
5. Sekonic C-700-U
This light meter is Best for Measuring Color Temperature. Accurate measurement of lighting color temperature can be vital in professional shooting situations, whether you’re capturing still or moving images. That’s particularly true when working across a variety of lighting types and brands, as the temperature can vary widely and require large amounts of post-processing work to correct if it’s not accounted for at the time.
The best option on the market currently is the Sekonic C-700-U, able to handle everything from LEDs to fluorescents, plasma and tungsten lamps to electronic flash and more. There’s also a C-700R-U version, with PocketWizard wireless support built in.
Measurements are displayed on the touch screen as a zoom able color spectrum graph, along with CRI, Kelvin, and luminance values. Light source filtration and filter correction values for major light sources and lens filters are also available. True color meters like this are expensive items with specific professional uses, and you’ll likely know if you need one or not. If so, it’s very hard to go past the Sekonic C-700-U.
Pocket Light Meter isn’t available on Android, but the appropriately-named Light Meter is a worthy substitute to a pocket light meter. As long as your phone has appropriate hardware support, the app can measure both incident and reflected light, with an attractive retro design.
As with any phone-based light meter, results will only be as good as the hardware on the device, but most recent mid to high-range phones deliver accurate information. ISO, f-stop, and exposure time are all clearly displayed, along with exposure value (EV).