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Minolta Color Meter II Review

minolta color meter II Life Pixel Infrared Conversion

B&H Photo - Video - Pro Audio


January 2007

The Minolta color meter II had its peak in the pre digital era, and was found in allot of photography studios. They used to color correct slide films to remove color cast. Now with the digital era the color meter has a comeback, at least it has for me. Being able to measure the color temperature (kelvin) you get accurate white balance, and you spend less time post processing you`r pictures. Even when you shoot in raw, the color meter has it advantage. But hey, you can change the white balance in a "raw" program, like Nikon View you say, yes you can, but with a color meter you get the accurate white-balance, and not the white balance our eyes "tells" us is right looking into a monitor.



  • Measuring button with lock
  • Light balance (LB)
  • Color-compensating (CC)
  • Kelvin (K)
  • 3 Film presets: Type -B Tungsten 3200K, Type-A Tungsten 3400K, Daylight "D" 5500K

Function readouts:

  • Light-Balancing (LB) filter indexes in mireds (micro-reciprocal degrees) automatically calculated from blue: red-reading ratio.
  • Color-compensating (CC) filter indexes in decamireds automatically calculated from green; red-reading ratio.
  • Color temperature in K (Kelvin) calculated from blue: red-reading ratio.


  • LB indexes ±2 mireds
  • CC indexes ±1 decamireds
  • Color temperature ±2 mireds (kelvin figure varies with color temperature; e.g. ±20K @ 3200K, ±50K @ 5000K, etc

Power source:

  • One 9v battery (6lr61)

Minimum illumination required:

  • 10 lx (luces) (=EV 2 @ ASA 100)

Independent Ranges:

  • LB indexes: -762 to +999
  • CC indexes: -99 to +99
  • Color temperature: 1600 to 40,000K

Price paid: 180 USD (second hand) This item is discontinued.


  • Accurate. Get accurate white balance
  • Easy to use


  • Expensive. If bought new.
  • Flash. The color meter II can only measure flash if you buy a additional head to it.
  • Size. Its big and bulky, and not very ergonomically
  • No built in light meter .


Value is dependant on price, specially for digital photography. Since I paid 180 USD, I would say the value for that money is really good. I was not very interested in a color meter until I actually tried one for a couple of days. You can really see a big difference in the pictures, there seem to be a bigger difference on the D2H then the D200, to me it seems that the D200 has a much better Auto white balance setting.

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Gossen color-pro 3F. From: $974.95 USD

Kenko KCM-3100. Price: $1,399.00 USD

*Prices are subject to change. Listed price is from July 31, 2009

Sample Pictures

auto setting d200
Nikon D200 WB: Auto

D200 Direct sunlight
Nikon D200 WB: Direct sunlight

D200 cloudy
Nikon D200 WB: Cloudy

d200 measured
Nikon D200 WB: measured with colormeter II : 5600K


© 2009 Fredrik A. Rasmussen. All rights reserved.