I have a good news! Pocket Light Meter app on iPhone is legit! It is accurate!
Recently I bought a Rolleiflex twins lens reflex (TLR) that comes without a built-in light meter. As I am so used to having a built-in light meter in the camera, it can be quite insecure at first.
In the very olden day before light meter was even invented, photographers depended on Sunny-16 rule to set their exposure triangle. This rule is still very much applicable today.
However, sometimes, I am in certain circumstances such as indoors or at night, where I don’t know how to apply the Sunny-16. After all, this rule is designed for use in daylight.
There are different type of light meter system in the market: incident or reflective light meter. I find the theory of incident and reflective light meters slightly overwhelming. Hence, I shall skip the theory of it. (Not that I am very familiar with)
Of course, if you are reading this, you are probably just another hobbyist like myself. Because professional film photographer mostly uses the real light meter. Hence, if you are not doing commercial work, I think a light meter app is good enough.
With this pocket light meter app, I just need to tell the app what fixed ISO and shutter speed I use, it will give me the desired aperture for proper exposure.
There are very minor downsides of the app compared to the real light meter:
- unlock the iPhone (in Singapore where we tend to get sweaty palm because of hot weather)
- go to the app
- set the aperture/shutter
Why I say it is inconvenient to set? Because the sliders are quite small.
Of course, you get what you pay for. So I shouldn’t be complaining about these minor inconvenience coming from a free app.
Notably, you need to set the aperture and shutter speed to ‘full stop’ in the setting. Otherwise, there will be a lot of aperture & shutter speed stops. It’s can be tiring scrolling from f/2.1, 2.2, 2.3 …… all the way to f/22.
I am not sure if I would invest in a light meter. Once (if) I do, I will blog about it. Meanwhile, I could say this Pocket Light Meter app on iPhone is dependable.
Updated 7th November 2017: This light meter app is only dependable if you shoot black & white film or colour negative film. Why? Because the dynamic range for both of these films are very wide. So, it’s not easy to blow up your exposure.
However, you cannot use this light meter app to meter exposure for colour positive slide film. I have tried it and most of my photos were underexposed. That being said, the light meter app is not accurate, but is good enough for economy shooters who shoot BW and colour negative films.