Posted 31 January 2016 - 09:03 PM
When I used to work in a studio, I use the place's lightmeter, a gossen. later, I would borrow one when I needed it. Then, I decided to buy one sometime in the nighties. A Sekonic L-408, it is weathered sealed. I used it all over the place, and now I use it for my home studio. It doesn't have the bells and whistles of the ones you can get today, but it does the job.
As long as you know what you want to use it for, like for studio stuff like your learning, it is a good investment. And, it's is an investment, in money and time. Mine doesn't trigger a flash, but like Gary said, it can read a flash. I also don't recommend getting one that will trigger a light. I use one of the pocket wizards in my hand to to trigger and measure the lights. Works like a champ. You won't be tied to any one trigger.
I don't use it for landscapes anymore. But, it's in the bag. And, if I intend to take a black and white, I sometimes use it to avenge the light with multiple spot readings. It can average it for me, and I can do the same for flash. Back to the black and white, I use it, well, for figuring out zones. Especially if it is not at the good time for lights, I can calculate what an ND might do.
I can't add anymore than what has already been said. You will have to learn it, the camera meter is far faster. But, not in complicated lighting situations. Get one used is all I could recommend. A lot of folks get them, and then never use them. You can get a class act on the cheap. They are pretty rugged and should last a long time.
Photography: 100 percent art, 100 percent technical. It takes a photographer to blend them into an image.
Film: That tangible image that you can see and hold.
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Member; Colorado Springs Creative Photography Group
Nikon D4, D200, Fm2, FM, Mamiya RB67.