A new type of settling tube has been designed for analysis of settling velocity distribitions in sediments having diameters ranging from clay to gravel size. This tube employs two different sample introduction devices for coarse- and fine-grained samples and also features an optional sample recovery system. The output of the tube's photocell has been calibrated in terms of theoretical settling velocities of glass spheres using glass microbeads and employing simple photo-extinction theory. The results agree with those predicted by theory to within about 2% and are reproducible in most cases to within 2%. The main reason for this improved precision and accuracy is the high sensitivity of the system which allows analysis of very small amounts of sample and thus reduces the effects of grain interactions to a minimum.