Sekonic Studio Model S Ambient Light Meter

Discussion in 'Lighting Equipment' started by charles_rayman, Jul 30, 2011.

  1. [​IMG] [​IMG]
    I just received this light meter as a gift yesterday but I have no idea how to use it. Can anyone help me?
  2. Search the forums first :)
  3. I've got one of these, never used it, its a beautifully made piece of kit though. The design is quite old actually, based on the Norwood Director from the 1940's. The story can be found here:
  4. I also have one that I have never used. I can't seem to remember how to match the f stop to shutter speed. I just remember how to set the ASA
  5. Are you looking for general instructions on how to use a light meter, or specific instructions for this particular meter? I have a much newer version of this meter and it looks like the operation is a bit different, but the basic principle is very much the same. Do you know the basic principles of light metering, ISO speed, shutter speed and aperture values? This would help to decide at what level the help you are asking needs to be. It is a very nice meter.
  6. Well I have never used a hand held light meter before since my Pentax has one built in but this would be much more efficient for medium format or 4x5 work.I think I should learn how to operate this particular meter first and then venture into the new digital light meters. I believe I know the basic functions of metering but any information would be helpful to me and the author of this forum I'm sure. Thanks :)
  7. Check the butkus website. I think the L-398 is similar. He doesn't have manual for this specific model. It seems a nice unit.
  8. First you need to set the film speed on the ASA scale. There is a little pin on the right hand side of the wheel in your picture that helps with the setting. There should be the normal 100, 200, 400 etc numbers available. Then you need to check if the slide is in or out. The metering cell is under the white dome, which you can remove by turning it and lifting it off, to take a look. The dome must be put back in place when using the meter. At the top there is a thin slot wher you can push in a thin metal plate with holes in it. This limits the amount of light reaching the meter. So in a bright day outside you would put it in place and in darker place you would take it out. Sometimes this metal slide is missing in used meters. There is a place to store it at the back of the meter. Your meter has two settings, slide in and slide out. You use the appropriate position on the wheel to convert the measurement into F-stops and shutter speeds. There should be a needle that moves with the amount of light reaching the metering cell. try to point the meter out the window and see if the needle moves. If it does not move, you may have to press a button to release it. In my meter you need to press the center of the wheel to release the needle lock, but in this meter there may be another button somewhere to do the same thing (in the picture it does not look like there is a push button in the middle of the wheel). You take a reading by walking to your subject and pointing the white dome towards the camera (some people like to point half way between camera and the main light). If you are in front of a grand canyon or other great landscape, it is enough that the meter is in the same light as the subject. Just hold it in front of you and point the dome back towards yourself and the camera. If it is reasonably bright day and the slide is in, the needle should point about half way or a bit more on the scale. Now move the outer wheel left or right so that the pointer that says slide in with red marks around it, points exactly to the meter needle. Now you can read all possible aperture and shutter speed combinations from the two scales in the meter. Say F2.8 and 1/1000s, F4 and 1/500s, F5.6 and 1/250s and so on. If it is darker, you remove the slide and take the reading exactly the same way but use the slide out marker with white bars surrounding it, and adjust the wheel so that this points to the meter needle. It is very easy to grasp once you get the basic idea. It is good to compare this meter with your in camera meter to see that you get roughly similar readings. (I hope the above is correct. I am basing it on my meter, that is a bit different, and what I can see in the picture, which is not very clear).
  9. @Ilkka: I knew how to set the ASA, changing the metering cell, and standing away from the camera to measure the exposure. I am not sure how to use the slide in and slide out or what it means. I know that as I turn the wheel the needle responds to the light. The only problem is I am not sure how to match an f-stop to shutter speed and know if it is correct.
    Here is a bigger more clear picture. Hopefully this is the same meter Charles has.
  10. In the last picture, the meter is fitted with the incident metering dome. That is used for normal metering. On the left is the slide that goes in under the dome, over the metering cell, at the little slot in the top of the meter. When that is in, you need to use the SLIDE IN scale or marker that is written in red. Without the slide in place you use the SLIDE OUT white marker. The next, white flat diffuser is for measuring lighting ratios or such, same as the incident dome but more directional, so that side light does not affect the reading. The last one is a reflective light attachment. When you replace the dome with this one, you can point the cell towards your subject and take reflective readings, just like your camer meter does. I think you need to use the slide in scale when using this attachment, even when there is no slide in the meter (as this device also reduces the light that gets in the cell).
    The scale of the meter, what the needle points at, has two sets of numbers. The upper one, just under the sekonic name are foot candles. These numbers need to be somehow transferred to the rotating wheel. Then you can read the aperture and shutter speed combinations from that rotating wheel at the bottom part of the meter. Below the footcandle readings there are also aperture values. These are a bit confusing. They only work with one aperture and shutter speed combination, depending on the slide that is in the meter. You can actually buy a set of slides with different size holes in them so that you can select an appropriate slide for the ISO and shutter speed and then get a direct reading of aperture from the meter scale. But since you do not have these slides, it is better to forget about them, and to not use or think about the aperture values in the meter scale itself. The meter comes with one slide that is just used to lower the amount of light that reaches the sensor, for taking readings in bright light. It looks to work a bit different way than the meter I have (the much newer model). That is why I suggested that you take your camera with a built in meter and use it to compare. Point it at a well lit wall and take a reading. Then you set the same ISO speed and take a measurement with the Sekonic and comparte how the readings match. They should be close enough within a stop so that you can see what wheel you need to turn to get the same or close enough reading.

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