What is the BEST light meter out there

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by jeff_stevenson, Mar 25, 2006.

  1. Hello, not sure where I should post this so I'll give it a shot here.

    Right now I am using a Sekonic L-308S Flashmate. Problem it's a full
    2 stops off. I meter my subject at f/8 @ 1/125 and set my camera to
    match the subject comes out all blown out. Now if I adjust it to
    f/10 @ 1/125 they photos come out just right.

    SO I am a little tired of it and want to know what is the best light
    meter out there? Right now I do a lot of baby portraits but plan to
    start shooting weddings within the year.

    Please let me know what you think.


  2. i don't have a clue about which light meter is the best, but the difference between f8 and f10 is not two stops. more like two thirds. anyway,... if your meter is consistently 2/3rds off, why not adjust the iso setting accordingly, and you'd get the perfect exposures every time??
  3. If you are going to trash your 308S, maybe you could disassemble it and see of it could be adjusted. It's not a complicate meter anyway.
  4. Have you tried comparing your meter, to a 2nd meter? Also you don't say what medium you are shooting?
  5. Funny, my little 308 is deadly accurate. Several nites back at my photo club's shoot 3 different Sekonic models were all spot on-and produced obviously accurate results for film and digital. Get it checked out and/or check whether there's something weird dialed into your camera's exposure compensation.
  6. Jeff - are you shooting film or digital, and are you using natural light (continuous lighting) or flash (studio style flash)?

    The answers to those questions can help me provide some significant answers to your problem.
  7. It's possible the meter if off-calibration, and needs factory service. However, the way in which a meter is used is often more important than the meter itself. Perhaps if you describe your setup and how you take the reading would help with the diagnosis. You should know that f/10 (f/11) is only 1 stop from f/8. This suggests there is a bump in the learning curve.
  8. Where you point your meter,how you hold your meter,and how you interpet your meter is just as Important as the meter itself.My Minlolta V, is as good a meter for what I use it for as any I have tried.
  9. Sorry for leaving out some info on my post, I'm new here and I guess it shows LOL

    I am shooting with a Canon 20D using studio flash (Alien Bees).
    And there is a bit of a learning cruve for me. For a long while I was just shooting with my eyes and adjusting from what I saw or just using one of the priorities.

    Example on how I am using my meter:
    For my main light I will set it up at a 45 angle from where my subject will be sitting. Then I connect my meter to the light and move the meter where my subject will be sitting and point it toward the main light and take the reading.

    Am I doing something wrong?
  10. When using a flash meter I point the meter at the camera and not the flash. If I am trying to check a ratio between 2 or more lights I will then point the flash meter at the light,but for the actual exposure , I point the flash meter only at the camera.
  11. Ok... well it looks like I just don't know what I am doing sadly. I am normally using 2 to three lights while shooting. How do I meter each one and then figure out what I set my camera at?

    By reading the above if I'm just using one light and the reflector I point the meter at the camera and set my settings to what I get the reading off of correct?
  12. I like the meter in my Pentax LX because it goes down to -6ev

  13. pvp


    When using an incident meter, whether with ambient light or flash, you should point the meter directly at the camera position, NOT at the light source. The 180 degree dome will integrate all of the light sources and give you an appropriate reading of what will be reflected back to the camera.
  14. Sekonic Flash Master is dead on. One of the best.
  15. A 2/3 of one stop ill-exposure CANNOT result in "all blown out" pictures.

    I think you do not know what you are doing! Operator error, way back on the learning curve, early times of a newbee, am I right?

    First learn f stops and equivalent exposures, then learn to use a lightmeter (read the manual!) and all will improve for you , I am sure!
  16. Hi Jeff,
    I hope you are not disheartened. I totally remember what it feels like when you first start out especially if your anything like me and more on the arty side than the technical side. It took me a little while to take all the info in but when it clicks you will be well away.
    Give me some info about your set up and i'll try and help you out.
    Are you in a studio or do you use a portable backdrop and is it white?
    You say you use 3 lights, where do you postion them and do you use softboxs, diffusers, honeycombs etc?
    Do you have a backlight lighting the wall behind?
    Let me know and I can tell you where is best to position them and how to meter them all separately for the best results.

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