Kenko KCM-3100 Color Meter

KCM-3100 Color Meter

Knowing the color temperature before taking a photograph saves you time and money.
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Ambient Light Readings

First set the appropriate film type, choose the display mode and memory channel (if present). Set the Mode switch to "AMBI", then simply aim the meter’s light receptor at the scene and press the measurement button. Measurement readings will be calculated and appear in the almost immediately and color temperature measurements will be taken as long as the measurement button is held down. The KCM-3100’s measuring range for ambient light is EV 3 to 16.3 using ISO 100.

Three Display Modes

LB (Light Balancing) and CC (Color Compensating) Indexes

The LB index is used to select the right amber or blue LB filter needed to balance a light source. Its measurement is the mired difference between the photographic color temperature specified for the selected film type and the temperature of the light source. The CC index is the value of the required magenta or green colored CC filter.

Filter number and CC index

The Kodak Wrattan light balancing filter number (or numbers) needed, display directly in the LCD to make easy selection of amber or blue LB filter (s). The CC index is the value of the required magenta or green colored CC filter.

Photographic Color Temperature

The photographic color temperature of the light source is measured in degrees Kelvin and determined according to the spectral sensitivity of color films.

Nine memory channels for customizing the meter to your working style

Film and lighting equipment manufacturers all claim that their products are balanced to "daylight" (5500K) or "tungsten" (3400K or 3200K). However, their testing is performed in laboratories under highly controlled conditions. We live and photograph in the real word. CCD and CMOS sensors from different manufactures read and interpret color differently. Film from different manufacturers render color differently. Different batches of the same film render color differently. Different lighting equipment renders color differently. The quality and age of that equipment is also a factor. The sun cannot even be relied upon, rarely shines at a perfect (5500K) and can vary widely depending on time of day, weather and pollution in the air. 

The KCM-3100s nine memory channels make coping with these challenges much more simple. Once you determine the correct filt ration for the film or equipment being used you can simply enter the difference between your filt ration and the meter reading into the meter’s memory. The meter will adjust all future reading accordingly. 

Flash Light Readings

First set the appropriate film type and choose the display mode. Set flash range selctor switch to Hi or Lo depending on the output of the flash unit (s), set the shutter speed to be used (from 1 sec. to 1/500 sec.). The total flash measurement range is from f/2.8 to f/180 at ISO 100. 

Flash Reading With Sync Cord

For Sync Cord setting, set the mode selector switch to"CORD" and connect the flash sync-cord to the Sync Terminal in the front of the KCM-3100, Then a temperature reading can be taken by simply pressing the Measurement button on the side of the meter. The flash will then fire, a measurement will be taken and the measurement reading will appear in the LCD display. 

Flash Reading Without Sync Cord

When using a non-cord flash set-up, set the mode selector switch to "NON.C." Pressing the measurement button sets the meter in stand-by mode. When the flash is fired manually, a measurement will be taken and the measurement reading will appear in the LCD display. 

Analyzer Mode for Flash Light Measurements Only

By setting the shutter speed to "F", the KCM-3100 will only display measurement readings for the light from a flash.

Useful Shutter Speed Range

A selectable range of shutter speeds from 1 full second down to a fast 1/500 of a second set in full stops for flash measurement. Lighting for Flash photography usually is made up of a combination of flash and ambient light. The KCM-3100 measures the "mixed" lighting at the selected shutter speed. After measurement the shutter speed set in the meter can be changed which effectively changes the ratio of ambient light to flash. The meter will automatically recalculate the results and display the new reading for the new shutter speed.

Names of Parts

  1. kfm3100_1Receptor diffuser 270 degree swivel with buit-in white flat diffuser.
  2. LCD Data display.
  3. Power Button.
  4. Memory Channel (M-CH) Button Press and hold to access and select memory channels using the up/down control.
  5. M (Memory) Button Press and hold to change Data in memory using the up/down control.
  6. DISPLAY Button The button changes the display mode in the set following order. ...' LB/CC indexes ' Filter Number/CC index ' Photographic color temperature ' LB/CC Index…
  7. Sync Terminal.
  8. Measuring Mode Switch Selects Measuring Mode "AMBI" – Ambient Light Measurement "CORD" – Flash Measurement with Sync Cord "NON.C"- Flash Measurement without Sync Cord.
  9. Measuring Button.
  10. Up/Down Control Changes shutter speed in "CORD" and "NON.C" modes. Changes memory channel with used Memory Channel button. Changes data in Memory when used with memory button.
  11. Flash Range Switch Sets range for flash measurements Lo: f/2.8 to f/22 Hi: f/22 (approx.) to f/180.
  12. Film-type Switch Selects film type D: Daylight film balanced for 5500K B: Type B tungsten film balanced for 3200K A: Type A tungsten film balanced for 3400K.
  13. Filter Tables.
  14. Battery chamber cover The KCM-3100 uses 2 AA sized Alkaline or carbon zinc batteries.
General Info
Kenko KCM-3100 Color Meter
Three-color hand-held digital color meter for color photography (determines photographic color temperature of light sources and filtration required)
Main Characteristics
Reception Method
Incident-light readings
Incident-flat diffuser
Rotating receptor head 90° right / 180° left
Receptor Elements
3 silicon photocells filtered red, green, blue sensitivities
Measuring Modes
AMBI - ambient light, CORD - flash w/sync cord, NON-CORD - flash without sync cord
Measuring Range
Ambient light: EV +/- 3.0 to 16.3
Flash light: F 2.8 to 180 in 2 ranges
Range (for Flash)
1/500 sec. to 1 sec. in 1-stop increments
Display Range
LB index: -500 to 500 mireds
LB аilter № 80A~80D to 85D~81EF
CC index: 200M to 200G
Additional Info
Two AA alkaline dry-cell batteries (LR-6/1.5V)
Operation Temperature Range
-10° to + 50°C with 85% relative humidity
Measurements (WxHxD), mm
Weight, g
Case, Strap
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