A Sekonic light meter is a device used to measure the amount of light. In photography, a light meter is often used to determine the proper exposure for a photograph. Typically a light meter will include a computer, either digital or analog, which allows the photographer to determine which shutter speed and f-number should be selected for an optimum exposure, given a certain lighting situation and film speed.
Light meters are also used in the fields of cinematography and scenic design, in order to determine the optimum light level for a scene. They are used in the general field of lighting, where they can help to reduce the amount of waste light used in the home, light pollution outdoors, and plant growing to ensure proper light levels.
Use in photography
A handheld digital light meter showing an exposure of 1/200th at an aperture of f/11, at ISO 100. The light sensor is on top, under the whiteintegrating sphere.
The earliest type of light meters were called extinction meters and contained a numbered or lettered row of neutral density filters of increasing density. The photographer would position the meter in front of his subject and note the filter with the greatest density that still allowed incident light to pass through. The letter or number corresponding to the filter was used as an index into a chart of appropriate aperture and shutter speed combinations for a given film speed.
Extinction meters suffered from the problem that they depended on the light sensitivity of the human eye (which can vary from person to person) and subjective interpretation.
Later meters removed the human element and relied on technologies incorporating selenium, CdS, and siliconphotodetectors.The earliest type of light meters were called extinction meters and contained a numbered or lettered row of neutral density filters of increasing density.