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In recent months, this light meter has become my constant companion!
The operation is easy to handle and I have made the settings that suit me, e.g. I now use the single measurement with measurement value storage again - in contrast to some time before, when I let the light meter measure continuously.
No matter if Rolleiflex SL26, Rollei 35, Hasselblad 503cx or Contax RTS - even if these cameras have internal exposure meters, the Hedeco Lime I is always there - for control metering, metering with low-sensitive films (like Fuji Superslow 1.6 ISO / Fujichrome CDU2) and for long exposures over 30sec. it serves its purpose in an excellent way!

This is not paid advertising, just my own opinion from practical experience.

But why would you use a handheld exposure meter?

Object or light metering - the two exposure measurements in comparison
A handheld light meter, with its metering characteristics and analysis functions, offers features that no light meter built into a camera body can match. Naturally, you need a handheld light meter for cameras that don't have a built-in light meter out of the box.
This is true for all large format cameras, many medium format cameras, and "historical" analog 35mm cameras without autofocus. However, a handheld light meter can be an effective tool for all other photographers as well.

Skeptics may object that the modern multi-field metering methods of in-camera exposure meters provide very reliable exposure results. In many cases, this is absolutely correct. But modern multi-field metering systems "patronize" the photographer in deciding what "properly exposed" means and, moreover, leave him in the dark about any in-camera, automatic exposure correction. The photographer therefore learns nothing about the subtleties of any exposure correction that may be necessary. An example would be the exposure metering of a subject standing in front of a very bright background. Here, I rely on the built-in light meter, which offers center-weighted integral metering.

[Center-weighted integral metering is well suited for many subject situations was therefore the standard exposure metering method on many analog 35mm cameras for a long time. With integral metering, the brightness is determined over the entire image area of the image format. With center-weighted integral metering, the center is additionally weighted more heavily. Center-weighted integral metering is particularly interesting for centrally placed main subjects or in conjunction with metering value storage. Slight changes in the image detail have less effect with this exposure metering method than with integral metering].

my main subject will inevitably be underexposed because the exposure meter is influenced by the bright background and selects an exposure time that is too short or an aperture that is too small. In this example, the exposure time would have to be increased or the aperture would have to be opened further (a combination of both parameters would also be possible).

Of course, more modern analog 35 mm or medium format cameras offer other internal metering methods, such as selective metering (here a small percentage of the image area is used to determine the exposure values, e.g. 6.5%)- or spot metering (here the percentage of the image area is even smaller, e.g. 1% of the image area) as well as even multiple spot metering (the camera calculates an average value from the measured areas), but all built-in exposure meters are based only on the so-called object metering.

In object metering, the light reflected from the object is measured. Thereby every exposure meter always assumes that the subject corresponds to a standard subject and reflects back so much light, which always corresponds to a light quantity of a 18% gray value. The calibration of each light meter is adjusted to this. It is easy to imagine that the amount of light can vary greatly depending on the subject, time of day and other subject characteristics. These, in turn, will then cause the built-in light meter to be deceived, resulting in incorrect exposures. In controllable light situations, the exposure meter can achieve this ideal value on a gray card placed in the area of the important image detail, close to the subject. The gray card is measured by spot or selective metering, the value is stored and after removing the gray card the actual exposure is taken.

Hand-held exposure meters also enable more precise light metering.

Light metering measures the light incident on an object.

Light metering is only possible with a hand-held light meter, because it measures the light hitting the subject from the subject in the direction of the camera. This method has the advantage that the light is measured independently of the object properties. It does not matter whether the object is bright, dark or reflective. Even backlighting and the subject's color do not play a role and cannot irritate the exposure measurement. White areas remain white, black areas black and reflections do not lead to underexposure.

If you have the possibility to measure from your subject or from a place with an identical light situation, the light metering results in a measuring accuracy that even a modern multi-segment metering of a 35 mm camera faces problems that often cannot be compensated automatically.

Contrast analysis through multiple spot metering

All modern spot metering devices, whether in-camera or handheld, offer multiple spot metering. If you measure the brightest and the darkest important area, the multiple spot metering calculates an average value. This results in an exposure value (aperture and shutter speed pair) that includes both subject areas equally in the calculation. Of course, this metering method does not protect against erosion or loss of detail in the bright and dark areas when the subject contrasts are very high.

However, by measuring the brightest and darkest areas that should still have detail, the overall subject contrast is determined.

This allows you to analyze whether the film material you are using (or the sensor, if you are using a digital camera) is capable of converting the contrast at all.

For example, the exposure metering value in the brightest areas results in the exposure value

1/1000 sec. at f/11 and in the darkest areas an exposure value of 1/8 sec. at f/11 so the total subject contrast is 7 exposure steps. For this you simply count the shutter speed series backwards from 1/1000 sec. to 1/8 sec. and get the result.

Based on this analysis, you can then decide whether a brightening or a change in the lighting situation is necessary. If the subject contrast is too high, you can concentrate on the most important area of the image by taking further specific measurements and get a correct exposure result for this at least.


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