Everything You Need to Know About Lightmeters

2

The outcome of the photos that we take are the result of the setting of the camera and pressing the shutter button. Here are some tips on using a light meter to help you take better photos.

Leningrad Lightmeter

These settings are the shutter speed and the f-stop settings given by the amount of light in the composition. This can be measured with a light meter. Light meters where built to get the correct exposure, by measuring the light. Also, there are two different types of light: incident (amount of light falling on the subject) and reflective light (amount of light reflected from the subject). You must know, a built-in camera light meter measures only reflective light.

Whether you use color negative, black and white or slide film, the camera must be set to a shutter speed and f-stop matching the conditions (for slide film), or to an aproximate value (color negative and black and white film).

Electronic Lightmeter

For negative film, it’s not necessary to own a light meter, the exposure can be measured with the Sunny 16 rule (On a sunny day and with ISO 100 film / setting in the camera, one sets the aperture to f/16 and the shutter speed to 1/100 or 1/125 second) due to the films tolerance.

For slides, for getting the right exposure, is best to use a handheld light meter, a built-in light meter, a digital camera or your iphone (there’s an app for that). To measure with the light meter you must know what ISO your film is and what your camera’s capabilities are (aperture, shutter speed). If you have only one f-stop (say f8) you have to either set to “Aperture Priority” (some meters have this option) or read times for “f8”. Same thing for only one shutter speed, but most cameras have a bulb mode, so I suggest using that, if not push or pull your film, depending on your needs.

Set the ISO speed of your film, set any one of those priorities (aperture or shutter speed) and open the meters window. The result is a correct exposure for the amount of light in your composition. Now, the standard for the film speed has change a bit. Until 3 decades ago there where used about 3 sandards, DIN, GOST and ASA (or today’s ISO). If you use an old russian light meter, who uses GOST film speed, or any other, there’s a chart made by Wikipedia who can be very useful.

FotometerPro

The last method for measure, is by using your iPhone. There are a couple of apps like PocketLightMeter, LightMeter or others, that work the same manner as traditional meters. Also remember, there’s a setting on what type of light you are measuring, incident or reflective light. These apps are using the front and back camera of the iPhone and it may not work in conditions of 2-3 EV (very dim light). I think FotometerPro is the best, has a nice interface and it’s giving results close with a standard electronic lightmeter.

Here are some useful websites:
iTunes - Pocket Lightmeter
iTunes - Lightmeter
Kit DA Studio

Photos for this article was taken from Gossen Photo, Invisible Photographer Asia, Sekonic, Kit DA Studio and Fotodex.

written by pvalyk on 2011-12-16 in #gear #tipster #light-meter #photography #sunny-16 #tutorial #light #camera #measure #film #exposure #meters

2 Comments

  1. liliac
    liliac ·

    thank you for sharing!!!

  2. iandevlinphoto
    iandevlinphoto ·

    You can get one called Lightmeter for the iPhone which is free!!!! its highly accurate i've been using it...

More Interesting Articles

  • Go Skateboarding Rumble

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-06-23 in #competitions
    Go Skateboarding Rumble

    It's time to polish that skateboarding trick you've been practicing. Couple that exhibition with a click of the shutter button and you are all set for this week's rumble!

  • Wide Angle Photography Tips: Photographing Architecture with the Lomo LC-Wide

    written by sirio174 on 2014-06-06 in #gear #tipster
    Wide Angle Photography Tips: Photographing Architecture with the Lomo LC-Wide

    In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the fantastic Lomo LC-A, and while waiting for the new Russar+ lens, I'll dedicate this article to an awesome super wide-angle camera: my Lomo LC-Wide that I like to use in architecture photography. Here you can read some simple tips I used to take a series of photos in the modern city of Latina in the center of Italy.

    2
  • Top Photo Likers of 2014

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-12-28 in #news
    Top Photo Likers of 2014

    Do the photographs in our community often leave you tongue-tied? You can still let your fellow lomographer know how much you appreciate their work by clicking the "Like" button. No matter how simple, this gesture can inspire anyone to go on with their analogue adventure. Here are the top photo likers of 2014.

    4
  • Shop News

    LC-A Iblazr Bundle

    LC-A Iblazr Bundle

    Start capturing images even in low-light conditions with this bundle you can create your own combination of LC-A camera and Iblazr flash. And save 20% off!

  • Check It Out: The Colorsplash Microsite Gets A Makeover!

    written by shhquiet on 2014-07-15 in #news
    Check It Out: The Colorsplash Microsite Gets A Makeover!

    We gave the Colorsplash Microsite a grand redesign. You can find everything that you need to know about Colorsplash products, plus some techniques to try and galleries to inspire you, in this new and improved site! Come take a look and let us know what you think.

    2
  • How to Make Special Aperture Plates for Your Petzval Lens, Halloween Edition

    written by jillytanrad on 2014-10-29 in #gear #tipster
    How to Make Special Aperture Plates for Your Petzval Lens, Halloween Edition

    Halloween fever is in full swing. Everything ghostly, scary or freakishly extraordinary are either on display or being spoken of in hushed voices through spine-chilling tales. Apart from wearing the scariest costumes and taking photos of of your petrifying selves, why not amplify the Halloween spirit a notch higher by using Halloween-themed aperture plates with the New Petzval Lens? Here's a quick tipster that'll teach you how to make special aperture plates and make the most out of them this Halloween!

  • Top Tips For Krab Underwater Case and Fisheye Submarine Users

    written by shhquiet on 2014-07-10 in #lifestyle

    If it's your first time to use the Fisheye Submarine Case (with your Fisheye One/Fisheye No.2 cameras) or the Krab Underwater Housing (with your LC-A+ or LC-Wide cameras), you might still feel a liiiiittle bit anxious about taking your favorite cameras underwater. To help ease your worries I gathered some of the most helpful tips, straight from summer-lovin' Lomographers who braved the waves with their cameras!

  • Shop News

    Diana Mini Flash Bundle

    Diana Mini Flash Bundle

    Ready to dive into the world of Lomography? This Bundle will provide you with all that you need: a Diana Mini, a Diana flash, a flash adaptor and you're ready good to go!

  • Lomo’Instant Quick Shots: Hannah Brown

    written by hannah_brown on 2014-10-28 in #gear #tipster
    Lomo’Instant Quick Shots: Hannah Brown

    There are so many exciting things you can do with the Lomo'instant camera it's hard to know where to start! We've been giving this lovable Lomo camera the full test drive so that you can experience the full potential of this camera in an instant! Here are some top tips on shooting graffiti and doubles with Hannah Brown.

  • Taking Back Tipsters: Go Wild With These Film Destroying Tips!

    written by chooolss on 2014-10-05 in #gear #tipster
    Taking Back Tipsters: Go Wild With These Film Destroying Tips!

    Fancy yourself a very adventurous lomographer? Well, better prepare those acids, bleaches, fire, and almost everything you could think of applying on your emulsions and take on these extreme film destroying tips! Remember to be careful, though!

    1
  • Indoor/Low-Light Photography Tips: Catch the Lights!

    written by adi_totp on 2014-10-11 in #gear #tipster
    Indoor/Low-Light Photography Tips: Catch the Lights!

    Don't be afraid of taking photos indoors or under low-light conditions. As long as there's light around us, the camera will be ready to shoot. Here's a tipster for you. Just remember to catch the lights!

    6
  • Shop News

    The Lomography Experimental Lens Kit opens up a new, creative photographic domain!

    The Lomography Experimental Lens Kit opens up a new, creative photographic domain!

    Satisfy your hunger for creative snap-shooting with this lens package made especially for Micro 4/3 digital cameras! Don't miss the 20% discount!

  • Light Painting Bash with the Lomo'Instant

    written by bgaluppo on 2015-03-02 in #gear #lifestyle
    Light Painting Bash with the Lomo'Instant

    Have you ventured into light painting before? It's so fun and there are so many ways for you to explore it, we promise you'll never get bored. The folks here at HQ had a blast playing around with the Lomo'Instant and the result was a bunch of adorable, colorful photos!

    1
  • Watch: 'One Day In A Lomo'Instant' Video

    written by shhquiet on 2014-06-17 in #news
    Watch: 'One Day In A Lomo'Instant' Video

    A lot happens in a day, made up of those little moments that we usually take for granted. So we asked some of our friends from the Lomography team to capture some instant photos throughout one day, using the Lomo'Instant Camera. The result? A collection of memories that they could catch, hold, and cherish forever. We compiled their instant moments into a cool video, which you can check out after the cut!

  • Lomo’Instant Quick Shots: Adam Powell

    written by hannah_brown on 2014-11-04 in #gear #tipster
    Lomo’Instant Quick Shots: Adam Powell

    There are so many exciting things you can do with the Lomo'Instant camera, it's hard to know where to start! We've been giving this lovable Lomo camera the full test drive so that you can experience its full potential in an instant! Here are some top tips on shooting very long exposures in dark places.

    3