View Full Version : using a Sekonic L-778 practical step by step? please help...

12-Oct-2015, 14:00
Just got a 778, I'm trying to wrap my head around it, since its a huge leap up from my Minolta Autometer IV.

Id like to start using it with the zone system.

When I used the Minolta, I would meter the darkest spot, hit memory, then meter the lightest area and then average.

I'm a little unsure on how to use it, the manual is quite technical, but not super practical... hoping someone could give me the "for dummies" version of using it....

Thank in advance....

12-Oct-2015, 19:59
I used to use that meter. My method was to use it in EV mode and take readings from shadows and highlights to determine exposure range. For example, shaw reading of 4 and highlight reading of 12 is an 8 zone range. I would expose for the shadows and develop for the highlights (e.g. N-1 in this example). I did not find the zone system function on the meter that helpful. Since I always used the same film, I made a table with exposure settings for EV readings. So if I measures the shadows at EV4 and the development was N-1, then I knew I would expose at a particular shutter speed and aperture from my table. It worked for me.

13-Oct-2015, 06:56
I do (did) it differently (black and white sheet film)...

1. Set meter to my EI.

2. Take reading in lowest shadow in which I want detail.

3. Calculate exposure two steps less vs. meter reading to place shadow ad EV-2.

4. Recalculate with filter factor (if any).

5. Compensate exposure based on color of filter vs. color of shadow light and subject color (a guess).

6. Decide on shutter speed / f-stop combo.

7. Read brightest highlight in which I want detail.

8. Determine proper development to increase/decrease overall negative contrast to fit scene contrast.

9. Adjust exposure to compensate for effect of development on film speed.

10. Shoot two sheets at determined exposure and two more one stop over.

11. Develop one each sheet taken at determined exposure and one stop over.

12. Evaluate processed negs and develop the remaining two sheets, adjusting time as needed.

NOTE: I always underprocessed my film and selenium toned to bring up neg contrast appropriately.

*** I never used any whiz-bang automated anything form any meter. I guess I'm a control freak. These days, if/when I ever get started again, I'll surely be more sloppy. Although I'll still adjust development and selenium tone, if I'm in the ballpark regarding exposure it'll be good enough for me provided I don't underexpose the least bit or grossly overexpose.

13-Oct-2015, 08:06
This might be very useful to you. http://www.alanbrockimages.com/blog/2015/5/30/how-to-meter-using-the-zone-system

I also like metering highest and lowest I want to retain detail... and use the averaging. That generally is the same answer as an incident reading so unless the scene is unusual I just do an incident reading if I can.

13-Oct-2015, 08:16
... but in general what I needed to do with the Sekonic was to "live with it" for a while - meter in one hand and manual in the other. When I stop using it for a while I need to re-visit that technique to recall all of the functions I use (and recall how to ignore the many functions I don't use).

21-Oct-2015, 11:32
here's my recipe:
-mesure the lightest tones you want to keep
-memo of exposure
-set the device to make the delta
-mesure the darkest area i want to keep and press the button so you know in real time what is the exposure value difference so you know if you have to make any adjustment with exposure and lab' work