I don’t have much experience using light meters. Most of my cameras have built-in metering and because I tend to take more than one camera out with me at once, I can normally get away with metering on one camera and copying the settings to the other.
I am upping my game. I have recently been just carrying my TLR camera with me which requires me to meter externally. I did have a light meter at one point but it was basic and it died. I tried using a meter on my phone but I just find it a bit shit.
I read some reviews online that led me to believe that the Weston Master V would be a good meter for me and my budget. I got it from eBay for £20.
When it arrived I looked at it for a few seconds and after the initial – ooooh it’s so pretty – I thought, this is complex! I need to download and print out the manual, then study it for a few days!
…A few days later…
This meter is so cool! Now I don’t know if it is still relevant because the lattitude of film might have changed since this meter was built? – if anyone wants to pipe up and tell me about this that would be awesome.
From what I understand, with Black & White film you can find your average reading; either by standing next to the camera and pointing the meter towards the scene or by walking into the scene and measuring the lightest point and the darkest point and then setting the meter in between these two readings.
Once you have your average reading you can then look at the Weston Master V and note that any light measurement that falls between U & O positions will be visible in the photo you take. This is super helpful for me because before I had this meter I was just metering for the light or dark and then hoping that the rest of the image would be exposed enough to see some detail.
Time will tell if I have grapsed how to use this correctly and if it is still relevant for today’s film. Either way it feels like an important next step for me to be making in learning how to expose an image correctly without just using the camera’s internal metering system.
Weston Master V Manual – http://www.cameramanuals.org/flashes_meters/weston_master_v.pdf