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Mark Wallace: Hey everybody, welcome to this week's Adorama TV. We're going to be talking
this week about light meters, specifically Sekonic light meters. I've been using these
guys for years. I really love them, and I want to tell you why I love them so much.
So we're going to be talking about two light meters, and you've seen these in tons of videos
that I've made.
This is the Sekonic L-358, and this is the Sekonic L-758DR, and I'm sure if you've watched
any of the videos in the past you've seen both of these guys over and over. Well, let
me tell you what I love about them. They both do some things and have a lot of things in
common, so I'm going to start talking about those first.
The first thing is they share a bunch of modes in common. So, they both have ambient-light
metering so you can meter ambient light, for your scenic photographers and non-strobe people.
And then both of them have two different studio metering modes built in by their default.
One allows you to shoot without a sync cable. You can push your metering button and it will
wait up to 90 seconds for the flash to fire. The other one is to actually plug in the sync
cable to your light meter, and that way you can trigger your studio strobes.
Now, there is an optional little module that you can plug in here, and this is a Sekonic
module 32, and what it does is it allows you to trigger PocketWizard radios from right
within your light meter. And when you plug this in to your light meter, what that allows
you to do then is it gives you another mode, and that is wireless triggering mode. So then
when you push your metering button, it triggers your PocketWizard radios and fires your strobes.
And so, that's a really nice module to get, and I highly recommend it because you can
get it for less money when you buy it at the same time as you buy your meter, than if you
buy it later on and add it on to your light meter.
So, the other thing that these guys have in common is their ability to have two different
ISO settings. And so you can set ISO one to something like 200, ISO two to something like
800, and so if you're shooting with two different cameras or two different film stocks, you're
able to easily go between those without having to re-meter every time. So you can just meter
once, and look and say, "Well, what is this for camera one and camera two?" So, two different
They also both allow you to do some exposure compensation, and that allows you to make
sure that your meter is matched to your camera. So if you're consistently seeing something
is overexposed a little bit, well, you can go in here and you can change your exposure
compensation in tenth-stop increments to make sure that your meter matches your camera exactly.
Now, there's a better way to do it with the 758, but we'll get to that in a second.
So they also have an EV scale and aperture value scale at the bottom that allows you
to sort of look and see exactly where you are. There's some memory modes, so you can
do some averaging; you can tell the difference between two lights using a delta EV mode.
And look at Digital Photography One on One. We're making some videos to show you some
of these advanced features of these light meters. But it allows you to do light ratios
and things very, very quickly just by using the built-in calculations on your light meter.
Now let's talk about -- and by the way, this guy is the 358. It's about just over $300
for this meter. This meter here, the 758, is about $570, so this one's a little bit
more expensive, but let me tell you what this one does that sets it apart from all other
light meters that I've seen.
The big advantage is this light meter allows you to use some software on your computer
to do camera profiling, and not just camera profiling, but camera system profiling, meaning
your camera body and a lens. So, a 24 to 70 lens is going to behave differently than a
70 to 200 or a 300-millimeter lens or a wide-angle lens. The exposure is going to vary a little
bit, and you can dial that in on this light meter using this guy.
This is the Exposure Profile Target II, that you have to purchase separately, but I highly
recommend doing that, because what it allows you to do is take your camera and lens and
take a few pictures of this guy, and then you import that into some software on your
computer, and then it'll tell you exactly what the capabilities of your camera and lens
are as far as dynamic range and exposure.
Then, this has a USB port on the side of the light meter. You plug this into your computer,
and it imports all of that data. And so you can have different camera profiles, and you
can access up to three at a time inside your meter, so if you're using different cameras,
again, you can have different profiles to make sure that the metering matches your camera
and lens exactly. And you can store as many of those profiles as you want on your computer,
but you can only load three at a time on your camera.
Now, the thing it does is it puts a -- there's a little bar at the bottom of this. You probably
can't see it, but there's a tiny little bar, and that is the dynamic range of your camera.
So then you can use this meter to meter different elements in your scene to see where they fall
inside the dynamic range of your camera. You can add those to memory to see how they stack
up, so you can see where your darks are, your mid-tones, your lights.
And using this meter, you can actually execute the Zone System perfectly and know exactly
what your scene's going to look like before you ever take a picture. Now, that takes some
time to do that, but you can do that with no problem.
Now, this guy has an EV scale and an aperture value scale, and you can zip between those
really easily by hitting Mode and Aperture. So that will zap you back and forth between
those modes there.
And if you forget how to do anything, by the way, there's a cheat sheet on the back of
your meter that tells you all of that stuff. So, it'll tell you how to get between the
different settings, exposure compensation, camera profiling, mode changes. You can lock
the jog wheel. There's all kinds of things that you can do with this guy.
Not only that, but this also has not only incident metering, which is what you get with
this lumisphere, but it has reflective metering. So just by turning this, now I can look through
this -- and it has a little targeting reticle -- and I can do some metering, and use reflective
metering if I'm a scenic photographer, or if I'm using the Zone System and I want to
really quickly look through my scene and get my darks and mid-tones and brights, and then
I can lock those in, set the midpoint for my middle gray, and I'll look at that on my
scale. And because I've metered and calibrated my system, I can see how those are falling
and if it's going to work exactly right. It's a really, really powerful tool.
Now, this also allows you to program it. There's some custom functions. You can find those
-- there's a little cheat sheet that's inside here. And there are about nine different custom
functions that you can set, and those are things like the different exposure compensation
settings, the half, full stops, third stops, EV scale, where the mid-tones are -- how that's
You can flip back and forth the Measure and Memory button, so some people like to use
this button for Measure and this for Memory, unless they go from incident metering to reflective
metering; then they want this to measure and this to go into memory, and so that works
really, really good.
So remember, this all has cheat sheets on the back, and so if you forget how to do any
of this stuff, it's built right in.
So there you have it. This is the flash meter L-358. This is really terrific for people
that are in the studio most of the time and aren't doing fine-art photography or scenic
photography. If you're doing more advanced metering, then really go with the 758DR, because
it's got a lot of features that professionals really need to lock in. Again, this one's
about $570. This is just over $300, so both are exceptional values, and I recommend both
of them. I use both of them in the studio every single day.
Well, thanks for joining us this week. Remember, if you have questions about photography or
photography-related gear, you can send those to me at email@example.com. Thanks for joining
us this week, and I'll see you next week.
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