Should I buy a light meter for street?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by justin_ng|1, Jun 13, 2017.

  1. Should I buy a light meter for street?

    I want to buy a voigtlander vc meter, but not sure if I need one for street, as my phone or sunny 16 would work. any suggestions? Thanks
  2. I don't think anyone here can tell you if you need a lightmeter to do your photography, except you. Do you miss having a lightmeter around? Do you get a lot of exposures that are off or inconsistent? Or is in fact a smartphone app and sunny 16 working well enough for you? If you haven't tried via smartphone and sunny 16 yet, try that first to get an idea of how much easier a lightmeter would be for you, or whether it would be wasted money.
  3. If your phone works well enough; why replace it?
    I haven't figured out how to utilize mine and like some of the meters I have. - I would not buy or use any meter that resides in my cold or hotshoe. To me the advantage of an external meter is to be independent and not warning my subjects about my photographic intentions. I made it a habit to meter and set my camera first and just get it up when I spot a subject.
  4. SCL


    In my experience, light doesn't change that often during the day (sunrise & sunset of course different). If you're adept at sunny 16 or use your phone, I see no reason you need another independent meter, unless you just like collecting gear.
  5. "In my experience, light doesn't change that often during the day."

    - That depends very much what part of the world you live in. In many countries or regions the expression - "If you don't like the weather; just wait 5 minutes!" - applies.

    However, that Voigtlander meter looks like a gimmicky thing. It's a reflectance only meter with a wide acceptance angle and limited sensitivity. As such, IMHO a wet finger stuck in the air would be as accurate. Get a little Shepherd/Polaris for half the price! And take incident readings.
  6. Don't putz around with the VC. For slightly less $$$, you can get the superb little Sekonic 308s.Yes, you can use a meter, and yes I use mine often when street shooting. Because the Sekonic is so small, it's no effort carrying around. It's deadly accurate for both incident and flash metering. Next to venerable 398, it's the next longest-running model in the Sekonic line.
  7. If you're happy with the results from the phone app there's probably no need to bother. If you want something both cheaper and more versatile than the VC you might look at the Gossen Digisix, which is small and has an optional shoe mount, but also does incident light.
  8. You don't say what film. Then there is the issue of your style. I worked with old Leicas, and various Nikons on street. I would periodically adjust f stop for light, set for zone focus, and take my chances. Mostly Tri X. As fast as opportunities appear and vanish, not a lot of time for adjustment. A bit like the joke about the Ivy Leaguer, fill in the school, who got a beautiful woman to come to his room. He thought everything was going swimmingly, but by the time he got the trees in his shoes, she had left.

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