The ikan MK350 Handheld Spectrometer, from UPRTek

The MK350 handheld spectrometer is a marvel of engineering. It slices, dices, and makes coffee. Okay, it doesn’t make coffee, but it is the first self-contained handheld spectrometer—awesomely impressive, as prior spectrometers were either bulky desk units with separate probes or required connection to a computer to give you readings. The MK350 Spectrometer weighs just 8.8 ounces, is 5.7 inches long, and will run for about 5 hours on a full charge. It reads light quickly, and about three seconds later provides all its calculations as numerical or graphical info, all while you hold it in your hand. Designed to read LED light sources, this spectrometer displays LUX, Color Standard, Color Temp, Spectrum, Peak Wavelength, and Color Rendering Index.

Providing such an astonishing amount of information makes the MK350 a valuable tool for a DP, LD, gaffer, or anyone involved with a significant amount of LED-based lighting. This spectrometer gives you an objective reading of the light before you turn on the camera. For me, the CRI-reading capability may just be this little unit’s best feature. I think of CRI as being an indication of the richness or fullness of a light, and with a rise in use of LED sources, the CRI of your light becomes very important to know. You may be wondering why CRI matters—after all, if the light is bright enough, won’t that provide rich, deep colors? Well, no—and while the question isn’t all that complicated, it isn’t all that simple either.

Remember that white light consists of all the wavelengths of visible light. But in fluorescent and LED lights, although the light output looks white to our eyes, some of the wavelengths are missing. This means, for example, that if you’re using a low-CRI light source to shoot a deep, rich purple color, the result you get may not look so rich, or even purple. You may not notice so when shooting, but you will when reviewing your footage. The CRI number gives you an idea of how well your light is reproducing the full spectrum of light. Sunlight is going to regsiter at 100, full and rich, while a CRI below 80 is pretty thin and won’t deliver good colors. A handheld tool that can read the actual CRI of a light is a very neat little tool to have, as you won’t have to depend on what the manufacturer tells you.

As I mentioned above, this spectrometer also displays luminance, color temperature, and peak wavelength values. It will also graphically plot and display the spectrum of a light on a graph based on the CIE 1931 or 1976 standard. While looking at a graph of the spectrum is cool in a geeky sort of way, besides checking your CRI, the color temperature reading is probably the feature you will use most, as nowadays some manufacturers put a “daylight” label on any light with a color temperature from 5000K to 6500K and above. Such inaccuracies could cause you great surprise when you review your footage, especially if you mix light sources, because the range from 5000K to 6500K is vast.

The human eye can’t objectively judge color temperature because our eyes (eye/brain combinations, rather) adjust and get used to light—just imagine walking from a dim interior to a bright exterior and not even noticing the contrast as early as a moment later. Cameras, however, are very sensitive to color temperature. You tend to get better results when you give the camera the color temperature it is expecting. Thus, a color temperature meter is a very valuable tool. It helps you balance your lights to ensure you get the results you want. It even lets you measure a change in color temperature as you dim a light.

The MK350 displays results on a large 3.5” touchscreen LCD. It also lets you save these results on an SD card in Excel and BMP formats, enabling you to compare results with those of other units, from months or even years previous. The MK350 is very simple to get up and running: just cap it with the included cover, enter Dark Calibration mode, and you’re good to go. Dark Calibration is necessary every time you start the unit, and ikan does offer testing and calibration services. The MK350 is easy to use and carry around and is shipped in a hard case. You can take it with you to almost any location.

For more information on this spectrometer, stop by the B&H SuperStore in New York, or speak with a sales professional over the phone at 1-800-606-6969 or online via Live Chat.

SensorCMOS linear image sensor
Spectral WidthApproximately 12 nm (half bandwidth)
Receptor Size6.6 mm +/- 0.1 mm diameter
Cosine CorrectionYes
Measurement Range70 to 70,000 lux
Wavelength Range360 to 750 nm
Integration Time Range8 to 1000 ms
Capture FunctionOne time / continuous
Integration ModeAuto / manual
Measuring Modes1. Basic Value mode
2. Spectrum Graph mode
3. CIE 1931 Chromaticity Diagram mode
4. CIE 1976 U.C.S, Chromaticity Diagram mode
Measuring Capabilities1. Luminance / lux
 2. Spectral Irradiance
 3. C.I.E. Chromaticity Coordinates
      a. CIE 1931 x,y coordinates
      b. CIE 1976 U.C.S. u', v' coordinates
 4. Peak Wavelength
 5. Correlated Color Temperature (CCT), in Kelvin
 6. Color Rendering Index (CRI); Ra (Rendering Average) 
Digital Resolution16 bits
Dark CalibrationYes
Stray Light-25 dB max
Wavelength Data Increment1 nm
Wavelength Reproducibility± 1 nm
Illuminance AccuracyIlluminant A @ 2856K at 20,000 Lux
± 5%
Color AccuracyIlluminant A @ 2856K at 20,000 Lux
CIE 1931 x,y: ± 0.0025
Color RepeatabilityIlluminant A @ 2856K at 20,000 Lux
CIE 1931 x,y: ± 0.0005
CCT AccuracyIlluminant A @ 2856K at 20,000 Lux
± 2%
CRI Accuracy @ RaIlluminant A @ 2856K at 20,000 Lux
± 1.5%
Touch PanelYes
Screen Size (Diagonal)3.5" (8.9 cm)
Resolution320 x 240
Maximum FilesApproximately 2,000 (on optional 2GB SD card)
TypeRechargeable Li-ion
Capacity2500 mAh
Battery Operation TimeApproximately 5 hours on a full charge
Language SupportEnglish, traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Japanese
Data Output InterfaceSD card / USB 2.0
Data FormatCompatible Microsoft Office Excel / BMP Date Format
Operating Temperature32 to 95°F (0 to 35°C)
Storage Temperature14 to 104°F (-10 to 40°C)
Dimensions (HxWxD)5.67 x 3 x 0.94" (144.2 x 78 x 24mm)
WeightWith battery: approximately 8.8 oz (250 g)



Can you lable what you just metered? I mean can you use the touch screen to lable the picture of the light that you just metered? My sales team that sell led lights are looking for a meter that can label what you just metered so we dont have to carry a pen and paper to write down the id number that the camers give for each metered light... Please let me know?




Yes, according to Ikan, you can label what you just metered and then save it to  your computer via USB.

What is the price of the units

What is this for photography? Give the data for white balance? Does it function as light meter?