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Digital Camera + Light Meter = Rediscover the Art of Photography!

A product so good that it is worth a dedicated page listing its stellar attributes.

Why do you need an external light meter at all?

  1. you took a picture only to realise later that you did not expose it correctly making its highlight recovery or shadow fill nearly impossible

  2. you believe that your camera's internal light meter is great

  3. you trust the LCD or the EVF or even the histogram

Nothing wrong. We experienced and thought exactly the same as you before.

However, things took a drastic turn when we took an objective view of the limitations associated with most digital cameras & their ability to meter the ambient light correctly. The genesis of doing so was to improve our focus on the composition whilst applying correct exposure to our images at the same time.

Voigtländer Light Meter VC II

Lo & behold! Using the Voigtländer VC II Light Meter with our digital cameras has entirely Rediscovered the Art of Photography for us. Yes, you read it right - with digital cameras.

Trust us on this!

Image © MysticFocus

The VC II Light Meter, although is a plain electro-mechanical instrument, but it has added an indispensable professional tool with a minimalistic footprint that we cannot imagine using our cameras without. Its impact on the quality of the photographs is simply surreal.

The Attributes

  1. the ambient light is more accurately assessed by the VC II meter as opposed to the in-camera meter - we have tried this on both powerful FF & DMF camera bodies and there is no doubt that metering on field using the VC II meter only provides the true reference

  2. when the camera is set as per the VC II meter values, the scene is correctly exposed balancing the highlights & shadows remarkably well - very important if you are an in-camera JPEG only shooter

  3. a boon for manual focus photography as it takes away the burden of looking at exposure level through the LCD or EVF or even the histogram requiring several adjustments based on visual guesstimates

  4. improves your overall speed and focus on the composition rather than the exposure - we have noticed that trying to compensate exposure correctly easily distracts us from the composition or vice-versa

  5. ergonomically, since the VC II meter sits on the hot-shoe of the camera, pointing the camera towards the desired scene alone is enough for the meter to correctly assess the ambient light even before actually beginning to compose your scene

  6. the simple mechanical dials add great tactile feel with easily readable lettering, bright red & green LED lights - all visible under the brightest sunlight

  7. since every subsequent shot is a lot faster, it also helps in conserving the camera battery

  8. the light meter even work for scenarios where the subject is backlit and spot metering is required without overly blowing the highlights

  9. the outstanding feature of sub-indexes show corresponding exposure values - conveniently providing a quick way of applying the correct shutter speed for the desired aperture -

Image © MysticFocus

10. lastly, the minimalist design in a tiny form factor with a durable all metal build elevates both user and ownership experiences

Practical Use

For example, to play with the very basics of exposure triangle by pre-setting the ISO (on camera) and the aperture (on the lens - as aperture priority), one only needs to obtain the shutter speed (provided it stays within stable handheld speed) from the ambient light. In this scenario, when setting the shutter speed as indicated by the values on the VC II meter, your images will be exposed accurately.

Refer to the two shots below

  1. The image on the top is shot using camera's internal light meter (weighted average - as it is supposed to assess a larger portion of the frame on the sensor)

  2. The second image below is shot using the values from Voigtländer VC II meter

As you can see, it is clearly evident that the exposure in the second image below is much more balanced using the VC II meter values. Like, the detail in the cloud is correctly exposed and even though the trees are backlit and appear relatively darker compared to the in-camera metered shot, there is still enough detail in the shadows that can be filled - if or as required. Most importantly, nothing is lost. In the image shot using in-camera meter the highlights are blown to a point that it cannot be recovered without impacting the DR of the image overall.

In summary, the VC II meter provides better highlight recovery as well as shadow fill without impacting the overall DR of the image - this is a major criteria when you are concerned about retaining the micro-contrast in your image.

In no matter in how many scenarios we have tried it, the results always tilt in favour of the shots using values from the VC II meter.

In most scenarios the camera will show a slightly different exposure level when you use values from your VC II light meter, however be rest assured, you can trust the light meter settings for accurate results.

Image © MysticFocus

Get the Voigtländer VC II Light Meter today and transform the way you take your images. If you have more questions, feel free to ask us.


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