Luminance Meters

The earliest light meters made by Weston in America measured the light falling on a photovoltaic cell in foot candles. They did not have any form of dial or table to calculate the lens apertures and shutter speeds needed for different types of photographic materials. Many of them were used by photographers who would calculate these values manually.


Weston continued to make some models of luminance (only) meters for measuring light levels for industrial purposes. Tables of recommended light levels for various types of workplace were included with, and sometimes listed on the reverse of the meter. I have included two other meters in this section, designed to be used with the Wollensak Fastax High Speed Cine camera. These do have exposure calculator dials with them, but they are not integrated into the basic meter. They are primarily of industrial configuration and sit better in this category than any of the others.


Weston meters all use a Selenium cell (with two exceptions). 

It is photovoltaic, generating a voltage when struck by light. This operates the meter needle. This type of meter was eventually superseded by the photo resistive Cadmium Sulphide (CdS) meter which could detect lower light levels.



Weston Illumination Meter Model 603



An early 3 range illumination meter using two cells in a bakelite probe. The meter housing is crackle finish metal in an oak wooden case. This model is characterised by having the meter scale in the 6 o'clock orientation, rather than the conventional 12 o'clock position.

Weston Model

E703 Light Meters

(Various Types)

This listing links to an abstract covering the E703 range HERE.

A table of Workplace Recommended Lighting Levels can be found HERE.



This simple design of luminance meter was made in huge numbers In Newark U.S.A. and early models in Surrey, England. Several types, with varying minor specifications, were made under the Weston name and for several other electrical companies.

Weston Photographic Analyzer Model 877



A metal and bakelite laboratory densitometer based on the model 594 photronic cell housed in an armature with a small reduction cone for density spot measurement of negatives. Uses a reference incandescent light source in base unit and scaled to 3 dens. and 650 metre canldles.




Foot-Candles meter produced continuously from the early '30's through to '50's. Solid bakelite hinged case. 3 ranges and 4 way selector switch. Instructions for use and recommended workplace levels posted inside lid. Cell hinges up. Identical to later battery operated 615.

Weston Light Meter Model 756



Although this example is from 1968 this model pre-dates the model 757 below which was based on it. With a separate probe this highly accurate incident light meter had 2 cells switched individually or together to give 3 ranges to 20, 100 and 500 foot candles. This later version has incident cones fitted to the cells.

Weston High Level Illumination Meter Model 757



An adaptation of the Model 756 for high range light level use. Uses a single cell with 2 range baffles to give 3 ranges. Measures foot candles x1000. This bakelite model is identical to the Wollensak 9916 but is not badged beyond Weston and does not include an exposure calculator in the case.



Made by Weston for the Wollensak Fastax High-Speed Cine camera. An adaptation of the model 756, this model had a baffled and desensitised paddle-mounted cell and measures foot candles x1000. Cell and meter are accurately matched.

Weston Photometer Sight Light Meter Model 719



A small meter for workplace assesment with the cell and meter in the same assembly. Art Deco fan moulding, coloured zones from 0 to 250 foot candles. Zone descriptions on meter face and table on back.

weston 719.jpg

Weston Lite-Check

Environmental Luminance Meter



A simple cheaply fabricated working environment meter in a plastic case with the cell on the same face as the meter under a plastic lenticular panel.

lite check.jpg



Made by Weston for the Wollensak Fastax High-Speed Cine Camera. It has the same cell & baffle type as the 757. Measures foot-candles x1000. Cell & meter are built into one solid cast iron housing for use directly from lit subject face. Instructions and a calculator dial are attached to the reverse face.

Weston Photometer Model S5.11 Lux Meter



Light Grey Meter measuring incident light in lux. Two baffles over the cell extend the range to 2500 and 5000 lux. Suggested light levels for different environments listed on back. Manufactured in Enfield. As with the model S85, this meter was available with calibration for alternative units of illumination.



Small compact luxmeter for workplace assessments. An assessment guide is on the back of the meter. Range up to 3000 lux. Enfield Manufacture. This model appears with differing units of light measurement.

Weston Model 879 Low Level Illumination Meter



Plastic cased desktop laboratory style low level meter with illuminated meter face. Plug in cable 594 photronic cell in housing. Internal battery. (low level signal amplifying?). Fitted leather case. Six ranges from 0.5 foot candles to 100




A wooden cased home-build luminance meter comprising of a model 594 Photronic cell and a model 301 microammeter. Dual range and not marked up in light units. Rheostat provides loading and ranges at opposite ends. Possibly a WW2 build.

weston box.jpg



A remanufacture of the classic Weston model S5.11 luminance meter from East Kilbride between 1980 to 1984. It was transferred to Megatron in 1984 who vended it in 1993.

megatron S511.jpg



The Model 615 is an upgraded version of the 614. Although appearing almost identical, it incorporates a 9v battery and signal amplifier to give the meter extended sensitivity at low levels and increased range.