Last Updated on December 1, 2023 by Daniel Osakwe
Best Light Meters for Photography
|Product||Features||Where to buy (New)||Where to buy (Per owned)|
|Sekonic L-308X Flashmate||Reflected metering: Yes| Incident metering: Yes| Flash: Yes||Get it on Amazon||Get it on eBay|
|Voigtlander VC Speed Meter II||Reflected metering: Yes| Incident metering: No| Flash: No||Get it on Amazon||Get it on eBay|
|Sekonic L-398A Studio Deluxe III||Reflected metering: Yes| Incident metering: Yes| Flash: No||Get it on Amazon||Get it on eBay|
|Gossen Digisix 2||Reflected metering: Yes| Incident metering: Yes| Flash: No||Get it on Amazon||Get it on eBay|
|Sekonic L-208 Twin Mate||Reflected metering: Yes| Incident metering: Yes| Flash: No||Get it on Amazon||Get it on eBay|
|Sekonic L-858D Speedmaster||Reflected metering: Yes| Incident metering: Yes| Flash: Yes||Get it on Amazon||Get it on eBay|
|Lumu Power 2||Reflected metering: Yes| Incident metering: Yes| Flash: Yes||Get it on Amazon||Get it on eBay|
|Gossen Digisky||Reflected metering: Yes| Incident metering: Yes| Flash: Yes||Get it on Amazon||Get it on eBay|
Do you want to get the best light meters for photography?
Light meter for photography is an indispensable tool for any professional photographer. A light meter is a device that helps a photographer determine the amount of light in a scene, and thereby control the intensity of the lighting in a photograph. It also enables you to determine the shutter speed, aperture, and exposure compensation.
Here, we have a collection of the best light meter for photography that will help you to get the best quality pictures.
Table of Contents
The 8 Best Light Meters for Photography
|Reflected, incident, and flash metering||Bigger than the Digisix 2 and Twin Mate|
|Affordable||A bit complicated|
See our full review: Voigtlander VC Speed Meter II
|Hotshoe mount||Less common SR44 batteries|
|Battery-free design||Narrower EV range|
|Classically cool styling||No flash|
Apart from its compactness, the Gossen Digisix 2 excels in speed and simplicity.
A single press of the measurement button records a reading, which is kept and shown until you click the button to take another, giving you plenty of time to transfer your settings to the camera. The exposure readout is visible on top as you aim the meter towards your subject or the camera.
With a quick flick of the thumb, the diffuser can be slipped over the metering cell, making incident measurements just as straightforward as standard reflected readings. Flash metering is not supported by Digisix 2, although it is in Digiflash 2.
|Simple to use||No flash|
|Very small and light||CR2032 cells are harder to replace|
|Gives an immediate sense of the light level||Uses a CR2032 button cell|
|Wonderful retro look||No flash|
|Adjustable Lumisphere shape||Big, complex, expensive|
|Hugely powerful flash measurement|
|Very small incident diffuser||Expensive for every option|
|Free app for reflected readings|
|Flash and movie metering features||High specification means high price|
Things to take into account while selecting a light meter
Reflected versus Incident
When you point your camera at something, it will measure the amount of light that reflects off of it and enters the lens. It’s gauging backlit light. This functionality is also provided by many specialty light meters. However, handheld devices frequently also measure accidental light, unlike built-in meters. This kind of meter gauges the amount of light falling on the target. This necessitates placing the incident meter quite close to your target.
In most cases, reflected light meters are enough, but incident light meters can be quite useful in a studio scenario for adjusting strobe ratios or comparing the amount of light hitting various regions of your image.
The majority of the models on this page include both types of measurements, making them quite adaptable.
Spot metering is a feature that some more sophisticated or specialized models will include. It enables you to obtain an accurate reading of the light in a very tiny and focused area of the image. If you’re attempting to expose a portion of a frame that is surrounded by problematic light, this type of meter can be quite helpful. Consider a portrait with a strong backlight where the subject would be noticeably underexposed with a standard meter.
In order to accurately measure reflected light, manufacturers typically state the angle that the reading will cover. While a spot meter will provide a considerably narrower view of 5 degrees or perhaps 1 degree, a typically reflected meter may sample an angle of up to 40 degrees.
For studio work, strobes are a must, and some meters have built-in wired or wireless triggers for them. Make sure the flash meter you choose for wireless use is compatible with the strobes of your choice. High-end models can come with built-in ports that can take wireless transmitters from different systems.
Some variants still use older PC ports if you don’t mind a cable connection, which can be useful for using older equipment.
Digital versus analog
There are still some analog light meters available, despite the fact that digital light meters dominate the market in general. For instance, the Sekonic L-398A uses an amorphous silicon photocell to monitor light continuously without the use of a battery. Although analog may not be the most practical option, it can offer a unique experience that you may find appealing.
Despite the fact that many models offer both photo and cine modes, make sure the meter you select can handle your most typical shooting situations. The last place you want to be messing with settings is during a crucial photo or video shoot, so you also need to think about whether you prefer switches and dials or a touchscreen choice. There are significantly fewer options available if you require a spot meter with an extremely narrow-angle of view. If you make the right decision, your meter will probably stay at your side for a very long time.