To light meter or not to light meter...

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Cinka, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. Cinka

    Cinka TPF Noob!

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    I've been seriously considering getting a light meter. I've been looking at the Sekonic L-758C and while it's gotten some great reviews, it's a tad on the expensive side. I like that you can capture ambient and flash light remotely with this one and not have to worry about a card or some other attachment.

    At the moment, I can spend the money. Not sure I want to - if there's a less expensive model with equal capabilities. I'm still new to the world of light meters, but I'm sure it will help me step up my game.

    Does anyone have any thoughts? Advice?
     
  2. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    What are you going to use it for? Studio, outdoor nature, all around??? I have the Sekonic 358 an it does everything I need. If you need a spot meter and Pocketwizard transmitter then the 758 C would be cost effective. I don't need the spot meter and happened to get mine with a free Pocketwizard transmitter so I was set at a much cheaper cost.
     
  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I think the L-758C might just be a bit overkill for one's first-ever light meter--that is unless you plan on becoming a very dedicated cinema/videography shooter. The in-built Pocketwizard transmitter would be nice for serious studio shooting working alone.

    I am not sure why one needs to capture ambient light readings "remotely", or what you mean by "remotely". Maybe a bit more specifics about your needs would help people give yoy a better recomended meter to begin with. First of, the 758-C is for cinematographer's use mostly, with a LOT of unneeded capabilities for digital still photography uses. Maybe you'd rather have the 758-DR Digital Master model, which has the ability to load profiles of various cameras,with their specific dynamic range limitations, to allow the meter to allow the photographer to skillfully and with scientific precision place various tonal values at the appropriate location on what would be the modern equivalent of a Zone System scale. Unless,of course, you need the meter for cinematography uses...

    As far as just checking ambient light levels, your camera will do a fabulous job of telling you what the ambient light level happens to be,even if you happen to be using a polarizing filter. Also, simple combo meters of much lower price and specs will meter ambient light levels. Have you considered other meters, like some made by Minolta or Gossen? How much do you want to pay?
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I agree, the 758 is most likely overkill.

    I'd recommend the 358 or even the cheaper L-308s.
     
  5. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Sekonic L-358 is the one that I have. It does all that I want and more... and is about 1/2 the price of the one that you want.



    As an alternative, you can usually find many 2nd hand light meters in pawn shops and camera fairs for $30-$75.

    You do understand that this is 99% a studio only tool, yes? I do tons of wedding photography, formals and portraiture, and NEVER use a light meter there. I always use it when in the studio, though... mostly to measure my ratios and what not.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2014
  6. Phranquey

    Phranquey TPF Noob!

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    I have the L-308s, and it is a great little meter. It's a digital readout, reads to a 1/10th of a stop, and is pretty accurate. I will still take a test shot, and may have to tweak a little to my liking.

    Jerry is correct, though. I really only use it in a studio setting as well.
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    +1 on the L-308s. I use my meter outside, only when shooting portraits.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2009

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