Lime II Light Meter for Analogue Cameras: User Experience

I have never used a digital light meter and have wanted to try one of the newish, tiny hot shoe ones for ages. I kept looking at them and reading about them online, but the price of them made me cautious about clicking the buy button blind when the app on my phone worked quite well.

Then Alan from Canny Cameras sent me a message, he had a new one and would I like to try it? YES!!! A few days later the Lime 2 arrived. He has just posted his very detailed review of the example I now have. That post has all the technical details you might want. So I decided to go for a straightforward user experience as that suits my style/website more.

Straight out of the box, it was so easy to use. I did not look at the instructions once and could figure it out. I attached it to a camera without a light meter, the Canon IV SB2, and relied on it entirely for a day out. The light conditions for my walk were tricky. First, there was quite heavy fog at times, which I always struggle to meter, and then I went to a museum where flash was not allowed. Plus I decided to push a film and use another expired film. That way I would not be able to “guess” the camera settings easily and cheat. I had to stick to relying on the meter.

Here is the meter attached to the Canon.

The first film I used was an Exeter Pan 400 which I pushed to 1600 in 510-pyro during development. Once I set the ISO on the Lime 2, I left it and changed the aperture to give a reading of 1/125th so I could shoot handheld. I quickly found that having the camera on the strap and resting against my belly would turn the dial so I had to adjust it each time. As my belly was turning the dial, the auto power off never really kicked in. There is a locking function, but for this first walk, I decided to use it without reading the instructions and didn’t know about it. I was checking how intuitive it was to use. I found this a minor issue. For me, the screen was easy to read so could see immediately the speed reading had changed. The ISO hadn’t changed so it was just a matter of turning the dial back.

Here are some of the results from that film.

For the next test, I tried an expired Orwo NP27 which I rated at 50 iso, this was used inside a museum and around the grounds. This meant I was sometimes at the other extreme, low speed and low light. The camera had an f1.4 lens attached which helped, but at times I was still handholding at 1/30th. Again, I used the meter to find the settings for the camera. Where there was significant backlighting I aimed the meter at the ground in front of me rather than at the light. The meter readings changed as I moved the camera position so I could take an average reading.

I developed this roll in Rodinal, and here are some of the results.

As I only had the light meter for a little time, I thought I would use it again with my nemesis camera…the Nikon FTn. I managed to get another example which worked better than my original version but it was not perfect. The light meter worked intermittently, therefore it benefitted from adding this meter.

The Lime 2 didn’t look as great on this camera, but that was in part due to the wobbly hot shoe. When the camera’s light meter worked, it matched the Lime perfectly. So when the camera’s needle failed to move, I knew the Lime reading would be spot on.

For this walk, I loaded a roll of fresh Kentmere 400 which I shot at box speed. I visited my favourite location which was in and out of trees, so in and out of different lighting conditions. I left a couple of shots to take at night. No vintage meter I have will work in such dull light and most of my cameras would struggle. I didn’t make any adjustments for the street lights or cars. I just pointed it, took a reading, and set the camera. Here are some of the results, developed in Pyro.

Finally, I tried an expired colour film, Fuji Pro 160, in a Kiev 88. I was a bit worried about the heavy camera damaging the meter or breaking the attachment, but it faired well. It was still in one piece after the day out.

Here are some of the results, taken on the same foggy day as already mentioned.

I love fog, but what did I think of the meter?? I loved it too. Would I buy one over using an app on my phone? Yes, I would. I loved that it was right there, attached to the camera. I didn’t have to dig out my phone and swipe through apps, and on a cold day that was so nice…especially as my gloves did not have a touchscreen section.

All the photos came out either perfect or acceptable, in all conditions.

Alan has posted about the original Lime light meter here and compared it with a few others. This version of the Lime, the Lime 2 has some tweaks so is even better. You can read another review and more technical details in this post on 35mmc.

You can visit the Hedeco Lime II website here for more details on prices and ordering. Just to note, after trying the meter and writing most of this post I had every intention of buying this meter. I even sorted a couple of cameras to sell in order to raise the funds. Then, after I packed the meter but before I got to the post office, I received a message saying I could keep this prototype. Yahoo!! Lucky me. So I have been compensated for this post, but it was ‘unintentional’ or ‘unpremeditated’ whichever word you like best.


15 thoughts on “Lime II Light Meter for Analogue Cameras: User Experience

  1. Kurt Ingham says:

    I have used the Voigtlander ancestor of these for many years -but prices were always climbing. These and a few like them seem good substitutes They integrate especially well with rangefinder cameras, but are OK with almost anything that has an accessory shoe. Much more convenient than a handheld meter or the phone

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peggy says:

      Totally agree, I am converted to this. There are many adapters if there is no hot shoe. That’s the beauty of 3D printing, anything is possible.


  2. brineb58 says:

    Great results!!! I have a few different modern digital lightmeters and can honestly say they all get you in the ballpark … your results make me want a Line II, but my budget says not now!!!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. William says:

        I concur with Roger below, and ah, well, I am embarrased by the paucity of the throwaway and almost meaningless cliches that I used to express my reaction to the shots of grasses and dead buds against the fog and mist. It is impossible to describe the resonance – words fail where your photos succeed. It’s like, oh … listening to “I Giorni” arranged for cello

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Roger B. says:

    Those foggy b&w shots with the Canon f1.4 …. WOW. Beautiful! That lens in both M42 and FL/FD versions may be the finest f1.4 standard ever made.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Darrell Meekcom says:

    I still use my Leningrad 4 with fairly decent results, used when Ive lost faith in my definition of Sunny 16! The Lime II certainly looks very capable and your shots are fab as usual Peg, well done.

    Liked by 1 person

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