How Does Metering Work on a Rangefinder? – Complete Overview with FAQs, Tips, & More

People often ask how does metering work on a rangefinder?

Let’s find out.

How Does Metering Work on a Rangefinder?

Operating Principle

A laser distance meter sends out pulses of laser light. These pulses travel through the air and reflect off objects. The time it takes for the reflected light to return to the distance meter is measured by a computer inside the distance meter.

The distance to an object is calculated using the time of flight principle.

Calculating Distance

The distance between the meter and the target is given by D ct / 2, where c equals the velocity of light and equals how long it takes for the round trip between the meter and the object.

This formula is accurate over short distances (feet) and long distances (miles). But it is less accurate over close distances (inches) and far distances (light-years).

Note: If you want to know a complete guide about rangefinder click HERE.

Receiving Optics

Laser distance meters work by bouncing a laser off an object and measuring how long it takes for the laser to return. To make sure the laser doesn’t bounce back into the laser source, it uses narrow-bandwidth filters, split beams, and a tiny iris to block out any unwanted light. These measures help ensure accuracy.


Laser distance meters and rangefinders are useful tools for many different purposes. They are used by engineers and architects to construct 3D models.

Golfers use them to measure distances to targets. Archery requires precise measurements to determine how far away an arrow needs to be shot. Hunters use them to calculate the distance to prey.

Off the Film Metering

ADM metering uses a grid pattern of white squares to measure the amount of light hitting the sensor. The timing of the second curtain is adjusted according to the actual light hitting the sensor.

This gives the camera the ability to adjust to changing lighting conditions during the actual exposure.

Leica later used a variation of the OTF system, as did Pentacam with their IDM in the LX camera. An early version of this “OTF system” was used on Olympus E-Series digital camera to fine-tune exposure just before the first curtains were released.

For this to work, the curtains were coated in a neutral grey.

Note: If you want to know What Batteries Do in Rangefinder Cameras click HERE.

How Does Metering Work on a Rangefinder?

How Does Metering Work on a Rangefinder?

Through the lens flash metering

Flash photography is done by using a flash unit attached to the camera body. The flash unit uses a built-in sensor to measure the brightness of the subject.

The camera then adjusts the shutter speed and aperture settings accordingly.

TTL (through-the-lens) flash metering is an automatic method of measuring the amount of light coming into the camera. It measures the light bouncing off the subject and then compares it to the light bouncing off the background.

TTL allows you to take pictures without worrying about how much light your subject needs or how bright the background is.

Digital cameras use an image sensor instead of film. This allows them to take pictures without having to load film into the camera. These sensors do not reflect light as much as the film does.

A digital camera using the analog method takes photos by shining light onto a piece of film. This causes the film to change shape and absorb some of the light.

When the film is developed, the camera prints out a picture based on how much light was absorbed.

Digital TTL works as follows: Pre-flashes are emitted before the actual exposure. Light returning through the lens is calculated and used to determine the amount of light needed for the actual exposure.

This information is then sent to the camera to adjust the power of the flash.

Rear curtain flashes fire when the shutter closes. The front curtain flashes fire before the shutter opens.

When you focus on a subject, the flash will adjust the amount of light it emits according to how far away the subject is from the camera. If you focus on the background, the flash will emit less light than usual.

Off-Camera Flash Lighting is a method of controlling multiple flash units remotely. A Commander Unit is used to control them.

The photographer can vary the light ratios between them. The technique of using Preflashes to get a correct To exposure is still used in Automatic Flash Modes.

Note: If you want to know What Is Bushnell Rangefinder Jolt Technology click HERE.

Distance Meters

A distance meter is an instrument used to measure distance. It uses light beams to determine how far away something is. Laser distance meters use lasers to send out pulses of light and then receive them back. This allows them to be accurate and precise.

Binocular rangefinders are great for measuring large distances. Hunting rangefinders are useful when you’re looking for a game.

Monocular rangefinders are smaller than binoculars and are usually used for short distances.  

Laser Distance Meters

Laser rangefinders measure distances by sending out a beam of light and measuring how long it takes for the beam to return. This is done by bouncing the beam off an object and then back to the sensor.

Laser rangefinders use lasers because they are very accurate and easy to use. Laser rangefinders work well indoors and outdoors. Laser rangefinders come in many different sizes, but most are designed for indoor use.

A common type of laser rangefinder is the handheld device. These devices are usually battery-powered and have a display screen. Some models also have a digital compass, altimeter, and barometer.

Note: If you want to know How to Use Bushnell Medalist Rangefinder click HERE.

Why Lasers?

Lasers are powerful beams of concentrated energy. They are used to measure distance and are less likely to spread than white light. Lasers are more effective at traveling long distances.

Laser distance meters use lasers to measure the distance of objects. Laser beams are very narrow and high energy, but they are affected by atmospheric distortions.

Diffuse reflections reduce the likelihood of the original beam being returned. Phase shift methods avoid this problem.

Laser Distance Meter Kits

Laser distance meters are used to measure distances accurately. They are used by architects, engineers, surveyors, and other professionals who need to know exactly how far something is away from them.

Rangefinder Viewers

Rangefinders can be used to extend the range of vision by 15,840 feet. This allows you to see farther than normal.


We hope that now you know how metering works on a rangefinder. If you have any queries feel free to reach out in the comments section below.

If you want to gain more information about rangefinder click HERE.


  • John Moses

    John is the Editor in Chief here at The Outdoor Stores. His area of expertise ensures that there is no one better to suggest which rifles are most suitable for your hunting experience. He is also available for you to contact him personally to discuss the types of animals you want to hunt and the terrain you will be hunting on. Feel free to read his posts for expert opinion on Rifles, Scopes, Rangefinders, Bonoculars and Monoculars.

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