TTArtisan presents an upgrade to their external on-camera light meter, the TTArtisan Light Meter II. While there are a few ornamental updates, most importantly, the manufacturer has upgraded the accuracy of exposure readings by improving the metering module.
A new convex lens configuration promises an improved light-gathering effect and a stepped light inlet reduces reflections. The metering module works on an average metering basis with a 45-degree angle of view, similar to the initial version. While the Mark I was often reported to be 1-2 stops out from other meters, TTArtisan has taken this feedback into account in improving the accuracy of the Mark II design.
Constructed of the same 6061 aluminum, the changes on the instrument body consist of more shutter speed stops, a dimension reduction, and a swap made to a smaller battery. The Light Meter I had 12 shutter speed options while the upgraded version has 23. It has also dropped from the prior dimensions of 40x40x15 to now 40x35x16 and lost 1 gram in weight. The CR2032 battery has been downsized to the smaller CR1632 option.
The new version adds clickability to the dials to prevent them from being moved often by accident. This is a welcome improvement as the first version had dials that were mentioned in reviews as being too loose. (Source: Kamerastore and Japan Camera Hunter).
If you are not familiar with the initial version of the meter, let’s go through some of the basic features that remain unchanged. The TTArtisan light meter design mirrors several other meters on the market but at a more affordable price point.
On the small boxy form, there are two visible dials, one for shutter speed and one for aperture. Within the aperture dial is the mechanism to change the ISO. After setting the desired ISO, you can adjust the shutter speed and aperture dials and the central readout will light up in response.
The readout works in a simple, minus-equal-plus, system where the dot in the middle lights up green when proper exposure has been read. “Minus” for one-stop underexposure and “Plus” for one-stop overexposure. It’s perhaps easier to visualize in a graphic so see the image below for how this system works visually. It’s very similar to various models of analogue cameras such as theBessa L.
There is a hot or cold shoe mount attached to the bottom of the meter by a set of screws. You can remove these if it doesn’t work best to have the meter mounted on top of the camera. Alternatively, if you’d like a different positioning on the cold shoe mount of the meter, there are three placement options for the screws.
The battery still has to be changed by unscrewing the compartment for the CR1632. However, TTArtisan rates the battery life for up to 60 hours so this won’t have to be done often. To help save power, the meter has “standby” and “sleep” modes. After 10 seconds of inactivity, the meter will go into standby and after 60 seconds, it will sleep.
Cold shoe meters have been a popular item on this website and if you are interested in reading more, follow the link here to see Hamish’s comparison of various types. While he didn’t personally review the original TTArtisan Light Meter I, Frankie Bina did and you can read this review here. Frankie’s conclusion was positive for the TTArtisan version calling out the great value for price and build quality that was a “joy to use”.
Available in the usual black and silver options, you can find the TTArtisan Light Meter II on Pergear’s shop at this link here for GBP 50 or USD 62.
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