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You can take a photo of the most spectacular view you’ve ever seen or a picture of the most interesting subject, but if the image isn’t scaled correctly, you won’t know what the result will look like.
Light Camery Application
When I started using fully manual film cameras without a light meter, I immediately realized how important a light meter is.
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Looking through the viewfinder of my Canon AE-1 and Elan IIe, I accepted the meter in the camera, and with other cameras I was like a fish out of water.
My first handheld light meter was a Minolta Autometer IV Super compact and easy to use, the Auto Meter didn’t have too many bells and whistles and was designed to do exactly that: measure light.
I sold it a few months after buying it and I’ll tell you why: I lost it
I don’t like carrying around another device while making sure I have my camera, lens, film, and an extra battery (and I have triple that in my carry-on: phone wallet keys).
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I had a couple of Minolta light meters at the time because I lost one on a photo shoot and had to buy a replacement.
I started looking for more convenient solutions and quickly discovered that there are many applications that turn your cell phone into a functional light meter.
Now I was very skeptical at first. Handheld exposure meters like Minolta (can be found on eBay) and Seconic (can be found on Amazon) are real technology that have been around for decades. How well does my phone work as a light meter?
After downloading a few apps and finding them not user-friendly, I came across My Lightmeter Pro or MLMP.
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MyLightMeter Pro is available on the iOS App Store for $3.99, and the developer has also created a similar app for Android, although it’s not as feature-rich as the iOS version.
My Light Meter Pro is the most user-friendly and efficient light meter app I’ve ever used, and it’s also very reliable.
This app has been my companion on every shoot I’ve done for over a year and is the best light meter app for my film photography.
When you first open the app, you’ll be greeted with the main screen where you can enter the shutter speed, aperture, and frame speed you’re currently using.
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In practice, you can tap the screen, point your phone’s camera at the subject you want to properly expose, press the dial, and MLMP then takes over the task of displaying the correct exposure value.
Below the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO dials you’ll find an exposure compensation slider that allows you to easily over- or under-expose your scene.
Below the exposure value window on the right, you’ll find a save button that allows you to save the exposure value of a particular scene to your phone, which is a really nice feature.
Assuming you’re shooting in a unique lighting situation and want to remember how to meter it in the future, measure the scene in the app and click the Save button. This view
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Buttons one through five at the bottom of the screen are lens presets that the app uses to let you know when you’re shooting with different lenses.
For example, my Pentax MX usually has a 50mm 1.4 lens, while my RZ67 usually has a 65mm f4 lens – when the app suggests that I use my camera with a wider focal range than f/ 4 take photos. to F4, or if I can’t go further than f/4 with my Pentax, that can be opened up to 1.4.
The Classic button at the top right of the app changes the light meter layout to a classic Seconic dial style meter.
The functionality is similar to the regular Pro system. However, I prefer the Pro version as it is a bit more user friendly
Light Camera App Icon
This mod is the layout for the “Pro” version of the app. You can return to Pro mode by selecting “Pro” at the top of the screen
I believe it works as a reflectance meter, but I haven’t tried it yet (You can access this feature by selecting “Mode” in the top right corner of the main screen.)
It can be tricked by strong contrasts within a scene (think street lights on a dark street). I find that accidentally measuring the light you don’t want in your image helps you get as close as possible to what you want to measure.
For example, if you’re metering the highlights of a scene, try filling your camera with the highlight area and metering. This reduces the risk of application mix-up and ensures that you are measuring exactly what you want to calculate.
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If you’re shooting a high contrast scene, MLMP has an averaging feature that, when enabled at the top of the screen, allows you to measure two separate areas and get the average median value of the two areas.
This is particularly useful when you want to retain some shadow detail in a scene but don’t want to completely obscure the highlights.
Measuring key! There are a million ways an image can emerge based on what you measure in a scene (see Amy Berg’s excellent article on measurements).
When taking portraits, I like to measure the light areas of my subject’s face or skin so that the skin isn’t too light or washed out.
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I know many people recommend calibrating the darkest part of the scene, and I do that sometimes, but this calibration technique has proven reliable for me in the past.
Some may argue that swiping your phone every time you want to measure something is a bit annoying and that a dedicated meter is a better option.
Since it is in the pocket, I find the reliability and functionality of the myLightMeter Pro a bit inconvenient.
MyLightMeter Pro is a powerful app and a no-brainer at $3.99 (in comparison, the Minolta Light Meter costs $150!).
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The results this app delivers always speak for themselves and show how handy it is to have in your pocket. This is the best light meter app for my film photography
Next time you need a light meter for your photography, I highly recommend giving this app a try – you might be surprised by the results!
Thank you, John! John is a regular contributor to Shoot It Film here. You can find more articles here, including a review of the Mamiya RZ67 and a tutorial on using flash with film. You can find more of John’s work on his website and Instagram
If you have any questions about using the Light Meter app, leave them in the comments below. You can find the myLightMeter Pro app here in the Apple App Store.
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John Adams is the third regular contributor to Shoot It Film His other articles can be found here, such as “11 Amazing Film Photographers Shooting Film” and “Mamiya RZ67 Review: First Impressions (And Why I Gave Up the 645)”.
Shoot with Film is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and its affiliated sites.
After releasing the Profoto camera app for iOS, one of the questions Profoto received was, “When will it be available for Android devices?” Now with the B10/B10 release, four months after the release of the ProPhoto camera app for iOS. Plus Strobes is currently only available for select Samsung devices, although the Android version is in beta.
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Like its iOS counterpart, the ProPhoto Camera app for Android beta allows Android users to fire many speedlights, strobes, and compact LED lights using the company’s AirX Smart TTL technology. In particular, the app works with ProPhoto A10, P10, P10 Plus, C1 and C1 Plus flash units and offers full support for flash tube sync.
One difference is the synchronization of the external flash with the phone
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