Dedicated light meters seem to be well-regarded for their versatility and accuracy of metering.
What puzzles me about them is how can they account for the different light transmittance of different lenses? It's easy for an in-camera metering system that meters through the lens so any peculiarity in transmittance is already applied to light when it reaches the metering sensor. But a standalone meter does not have the privilege of looking at the world through the lens it meters for. I tried looking it up in some light meter manuals and Sekonic FAQ, but this issue was not touched upon at all.
This leaves several variants how it could be handled -
- light meter uses T-stops for aperture display/input, and photographer is expected to perform the adjustments to and from F-stops (which are used by cameras);
- light meter assumes some median transmittance of lenses of its era, and automatically accounts for that;
- photographers simply ignore the matter - even a 75% transmitting lens will be off only by about half a stop, no big deal;
- each light meter used is expected to know that you have to dial in some exposure compensation to account for the light loss;
So how does it work in real world?