Quote Originally Posted by Chan Tran View Post
What I meant is that to accurately measure luminance requires a much more expensive meter than an exposure meter.
I was responding to the OP's stated reasons for wanting to read in foot candles because he thought it was better for determining a luminance range. It was not in response to anything you wrote.

The best tool on that meter for determining the brightness range of a composition is the spot meter, set at it's narrowest setting. As long as you aren't also using it to determine exposure, the actual units used are irrelevant. Only the number of steps between the measurements are meaningful.