Doomo Light Meter
Accessories Light Meters

Doomo Meter D Light Meter Review – for the “Analogue” Experience

February 8, 2021

I seem to have fallen into a bit of a rabbit hole of shoe-mount light meters. The latest to land with me is the Doomo Meter D – a new LED readout, dial based meter that is *cough* somewhat reminiscent of the Voigtlander VCii

In fact, it’s similarity to the long-since discontinued Voigtlander was what intrigued me the most about it. I really love that meter, and despite all these new-to-market shoe mount meters, with their tiny size and speed of use, the Voigtlander still remains the one I am most drawn to. There’s just something instantaneous and easy about the understanding the meter readout gives that makes it a pleasure to use.

The biggest issue with the VCii – at least from the point of view of someone who writes about these sorts of things – is that it’s difficult to recommend to people. These days they are just that little bit too hard to come by on the second hand market place. And when they do pop up, they sell for a little bit too much money.

When I spotted the Doomo Meter D, I was therefore very interested to see if it could make an ideal alternative recommendation to the Voigtlander. Could it be the new perfect shoe-mount meter for people looking for that more “analogue” feeling experience that comes with using dials rather than a digital screen and buttons? The short answer is yes… but, it’s a yes that comes with something of a caveat.

Doomo Light Meter vs Voigtlander VCii

The Doomo Meter D

The Doomo Meter D is a dial-controlled, shoe-mount, reflective-only light meter. It comes in three colour-ways, the all black version I have, silver version and a black-with-silver-dials version (that looks even more similar to the VCii). Alongside the dials, the only other features are the LED readout, a meter button that activates the meter on the back, a window on the front with the light receptor behind it, and a foot that comes separated from the meter and can be screwed to the bottom in a couple of different places (screws and slightly crappy screwdriver included in the box). The LED readout is given via 3 lights, a red – and + for under and overexposed respectively, and a green circle of correct exposure.

It has a narrower settings range than the digital meters I’ve otherwise been been playing with recently, though it does have a metering range of EV 1-20. As you can see, shutter speeds range from 1 second to 1/2000th and apertures from f/1.0 to f/22. The ISO selection is hidden within the aperture dial and ranges from 25 to 6400 ISO. By rotating the top of the dial, you select your desired exposure index (ISO), and then rotate the dial as a whole to choose your aperture.

Doomo Light Meter

The two dials the make for a metering system that can effectively be used in either shutter or aperture priority “mode”. For shutter priority you choose your desired shutter speed, press the meter button to take and temporarily lock in the reading and then rotate the aperture dial until the green dot is lit. For aperture priority, you select the desired aperture, press the button and rotate the shutter dial. And of course, a system somewhere between the two can also be used. After pressing the button when rotating rotating the dials, the settings are determined from those that line up with the red dot between the dials. When the green dot lights up, you have yourself correct exposure – in theory at least.

Build quality

One thing that immediately jumped out at me when I first handled the Doomo Meter D was just how well made it feels. Unlike the Hedeco which has a this sheet of aluminium around a 3D printed inner and the Reveni which is entirely 3D printed, the Doomo Meter D has an entirely metal housing with a screw in metal foot. The light meter receptor has a tiny bit of glass or clear plastic in front of it, the aperture dial rotates smoothly, the shutter dial with nice clicks, and even the button has a nice click to it. In short, it’s a very nice feeling bit of kit, and certainly has a better quality feel than the Hedeco and Reveni. In fact, it’s right up there with the Voigtlander, if not better quality feeling – though some of that might be down to the fact that my Voigtlander is ancient now. It’s also a gnats whisker smaller than the VCii.

Screw holes for foot mounting in different positions

Battery

The Doomo Meter D takes a CR1632 battery. Heard of one of those before? No, nor me. Unfortunately it didn’t come with one, so I had to order one off eBay. They were plentiful on there, so I assume they’re not uncommon – I was just a little surprised it didn’t run off an LR44. I can’t confirm or deny the stated 60 hours, but it’s certainly not run out in the time I’ve been using it.

Metering accuracy

When I mentioned correct exposure above, I said that the Doomo should give you correct exposure “in theory at least”. There are of course plenty of ways user-error can come into play when metering, but as a kick off, it’s good to have a meter that is at least going to give a “correct” – at least by your standards – reading when all the variables are otherwise understood and under control.

Unfortunately, at least for the way I meter I find the Doomo Meter D to read slightly under when compared to metering as similarly as I can with the Voigtlander. Interestingly, I got more similar results from the Doomo Meter D and my Lumu app when measuring uniformly lit plain coloured surfaces. Make what you will of that.

Doomo Light Meter Voigtlander VCii on Bracket

I spent quite a lot of time with these two meters on this bracket, there was quite often this slight discrepancy

This leads me to caveat I mentioned earlier. Unlike the Hedeco and Reveni I have recently reviewed, the Doomo Meter D can not be user calibrated. As a result, were I to commit to using the Doomo Meter M, I think I’d find myself compensating by setting the ISO to a speed a-bit-of-a-stop slower than my desired exposure index. That is to say, if I wanted to shoot at 400, I’d set the meter to somewhere closer to the 200 setting just to make sure I wasn’t going to fall foul of any underexposure.

Doomo Meter D Vs. the Voigtlander

The metering accuracy aside, the user experience and meter as a whole is very similar to that of the Voigtlander VCii with just a few very small differences – some positive, some negative.

To begin with, the battery compartment on the Doomo Meter D is a significant improvement over the Voigtlander. I have to bluetack my VCii battery compartment short of it ditching the batteries on the floor on a whim. The Doomo Meter D battery compartment is screwed shut.

I also prefer the – o + readout on the Doomo Meter D over the > o < on the VCii. The Doomo is more intuitive, after a while of not using the VCii I have to remind myself which LED means over and which means under.

For those two plus points of the Doomo, there is one thing I really like about the VCii and that’s the reciprocal readings denoted by the extra lines that join up the shutter and aperture settings. Of course you can still draw these lines imaginarily on the Doomo Meter D, but having them on the VCii just feels like it makes alternative readings explicit at a glance.

Doomo Light Meter VS Hedeco / Reveni

Doomo Meter D vs the others

As I alluded at the top of the post, I have reviewed a few shoe-mount meters now. I have a few more coming too, and will ultimately do a comparison post of them all. In brief though, compared to the Hedeco and Reveni I have so far looked at, the Hedeco scores points for speed of use, the Reveni for its tiny size, and as I’ve said the Doomo for its more “analogue” nature. Both Hedeco and Reveni can be user calibrated too.

Final thoughts

After the other two meters I have reviewed recently, I can’t help being a little bit disappointed that the Doomo Meter D can’t be user calibrated. The Reveni I received was slightly out by my reckoning, but I was able to tweak it to taste with ease. The Hedeco was on-the-nose accurate but could also be calibrated to taste if I’d wanted to. With the Doomo Meter D there is no tweaking to taste or for the sake of it being apparently out of whack. The readings it takes are what they are, and there’s no deviation from that. This would be fine if it was accurate to my needs, but it’s not quite there for me. Your mileage may vary.

Of course, the slight inaccuracy can be worked around by setting a different exposure index. There’s nothing to say that the next person might find it perfectly accurate, or at least perfectly acceptable for their needs, and to be fair if it is out, it’s not by much anyway.

And all that said, apart from it not being quite accurate to my taste, I otherwise really like the Doomo Meter D. The build quality really is excellent, it feels very well made and though it doesn’t have the lines joining up the reciprocal settings that I like on the Voigtlander, the screw-sealed battery compartment and – o + readout appeal to me above and beyond what the Voigtlander offers!

You can find the Doomo Meter D on there website here.
Also available on Kamerastore

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17 Comments

  • Reply
    Philip Lambert
    February 8, 2021 at 11:37 am

    Very helpful review.
    As to meter accuracy, the first film you get back from processing will give you a clue. Apart from that
    (a) How accurate are the shutter speeds in your camera?
    (b) I prefer slight overexposure and might set 200 iso print film at 160 on the meter
    (c) Do you get inaccurate exposure sometimes using the meter you have already and if so, is it your technique that needs refining? Mine does.
    (d) Does a meter become inaccurate as the battery reaches end of life? I use a selenium meter out of doors (no battery and smaller than my CDS meters.)

    • Reply
      Hamish Editor
      February 11, 2021 at 2:24 pm

      I don’t think the difference in the meter is actually big enough to show with most films. As you allude, the other variables are just as likely to throw you out by a fraction of a stop.
      I’m not sure about (d), but I doubt it

  • Reply
    davesurrey
    February 8, 2021 at 5:07 pm

    Hamish, I for one would love to see a comparison post.

    • Reply
      Hamish Editor
      February 11, 2021 at 2:21 pm

      It is planned

  • Reply
    James Evidon
    February 8, 2021 at 8:18 pm

    I ordered the Doomo as soon as it came out. Delivery from China was prompt to thye USA. As for accuracy, all of my meters vary.I have a rebuilt Weston V, a Gossen Luna-Star spot meter and a Gossen Digisix. All of them differ slightly and my Doomo seems to be within the range of the others. The tiny size is great and is a nice clip-on accessory for my various manual film cameras.

    • Reply
      Hamish Editor
      February 11, 2021 at 2:21 pm

      For sure – I suppose I have been spoiled by the recent offers being adjustable

  • Reply
    Stefan Wilde
    February 8, 2021 at 8:52 pm

    Hi Hamish, thanks for this review! I have a Voigtländer VC, which is I believe, the slightly smaller predecessor of the VC II. I believe the vc II is superior because it is easier to read and features the connecting lines you write about. I also believe my copy of the vc is slightly under. But the biggest issue I have with it is my own stupidity. It sits nicely on top of the camera, very close to the shutter speed dial. I allow myself to be fooled by the looks of the dials on the meter. When I fiddle with its dials it happens that I forget to actually set the shutter speed on the dial on the camera, I might be better off with a meter that has a display with a digital readout to avoid confusion. But maybe it would be best to just practice using sunny 16…

    All the best from Hamburg

    Stefan

    • Reply
      Hamish Editor
      February 11, 2021 at 2:21 pm

      Hi Stefan, I think the ii is slightly smaller, is it not? And yes, I make that mistake a lot too!

      • Reply
        Stefan Wilde
        February 11, 2021 at 2:30 pm

        Hi Hamish, I believe I can ´t post a picture of the vc I here in the comments. There is a side by side picture of the I and II in a review here: https://richardhaw.com/2018/03/21/review-voigtlander-vc-meters/

        • Reply
          Hamish Editor
          February 12, 2021 at 10:40 am

          Oh yeah, smaller, but taller – I’d say I have a slight preference for a lower profile look, so perhaps that is what I’ve had in my head

      • Reply
        Huss
        February 11, 2021 at 9:20 pm

        Ha! I’ve done that too! Good to see I’m not the only one!

  • Reply
    Stephen J
    February 9, 2021 at 9:04 pm

    Nice piece Hamish, many thanks, the current rash of tiny light meters continues apace.
    I don’t particularly want look up your sleevies to view where you keep your armies, but would I be right in thinking that you have one for the ‘zonies’ coming up in the form of the Reveni Spot meter?
    If so, I am looking forward to see what you make of that before I jump in!

    • Reply
      Hamish Editor
      February 11, 2021 at 2:20 pm

      Yep, I’ve spoken to Matt – it won’t happen before the end of the kickstarter though

  • Reply
    Kodachromeguy
    February 11, 2021 at 3:43 am

    Thank you for testing and comparing these little meters. After reading your article, I took at a look at the ‘Bay and was amazed at the prices the Voigtlander meters fetch (or at least are optimistically listed). For a low-tech simple electronic device, they are $200-$300. Years ago, I had a Leicameter MR4, which had the advantage of coupling with the shutter speed dial of a Leica M camera body. It was easy to use. Of course, I should have never sold it, but you know that story.

  • Reply
    Leo Tam
    February 16, 2021 at 9:53 pm

    What’s the angle of view of this meter? Wish more companies did a semi spot or something in this format!

    • Reply
      Hamish Editor
      February 18, 2021 at 11:19 am

      35 degrees

  • Reply
    Reveni Labs Light Meter review - Kosmo Foto
    March 13, 2021 at 10:23 am

    […] other meters have appeared, including the Hedeco Lime One and the Chinese-made VC Meter clone from Doomo. Both of these meters constantly update their recommended shutter/aperture readings as the light […]

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