View Full Version : Sekonic L-758DR Digitalmaster

7-May-2016, 09:30
Anyone use the 758DR for film capture? What are its pros and cons?


Randy Moe
7-May-2016, 09:34
I like mine, but I bought it with the useless to me PW radio. I use it daily.

If you want to torture yourself try the calibration scheme, which I did a couple times 8 years ago with DSLR.

Unnecessary for my current usage.

7-May-2016, 10:21
I received mine yesterday (new from B&H) and playing with it last night while watching TV the readings seemed to agree perfectly with my Pentax Digital spotmeter (also new. For example just now a took a reading with the Sekonic of the screw holding the telephone connector box on the wall of the kitchen and took the same reading with the Pentax. The Sekonic read 8 seconds at f16.9 and the Pentax 8 seconds at f16-2/3. I'm going to use both meters side by side until I am comfortable with the Sekonic and the various functions that are available with it.


Randy Moe
7-May-2016, 10:34
Mine also agrees exactly with my Paul C Buff Cyber Commander, but the PCB is only good for flash.

The calibration I refer to was to match a DSLR the 758DR, as I recall one could match up to 3 DSLR.

Bill Burk
7-May-2016, 13:26
It's great for film.

I spread the clipping points out to whole stops to agree with Zone I and Zone II, and Zone VIII and Zone IX

Then I pasted this reminder onto the dial so I could see Zone placement at a glance (pick the f/stop opposite corresponding clipping point to place whatever the single reading was on that Zone).


8-May-2016, 09:13
I went out yesterday with the Sekonic and quickly bonded with it!

After looking at the manual without the previous evening multi-tasking (drinking beer, watching TV, reading the manual and playing with the meter – all at the same time) I switched the setting from measuring incident and reflected light simultaneously to the standard setting which simplified things greatly.

The meter doesn't give you the average exposure for a given scene like my Pentax 67II will, but you will get the same result by taking several spot reading throughout the scene and using the mid-point. Of course the Pentax Digital Spot Meter will do the same thing but you have to mentally do the math whereas the Sekonic will store the reading in its memory and pressing the Avg button delivers the mid-point. What's more, it shows where each of the reading fell on the analogue scale so you can see at a glance where each is in relation to mid-gray – just like the Pentax – and each of those tick marks will be displayed until you erase. This eliminated the concern that the Sekonic wasn't as visual as the Pentax. It is and more so as it shows where each of the measurements fell on the scale in relation to the mid-point and each other.

Once you realize that the Sekonic gives the aperture readings to the 1/10th stop (e.g., a reading I just took with the Sekonic read 1 second at f5.6(6) and the Pentax gave 5.6 and a third at 1 second) both agree remarkably well other. Considering that the Pentax was much older that the Sekonic this was mildly surprising to me notwithstanding the absolutely flawless results the Pentax has been delivering over the years. One would think that the advance in technology during the intervening years would have resulted in a more accurate meter and maybe it did by measuring to the 1/10th stop. But Sekonic's distinct advantage is in the magnification that the view finder provides giving you a closer view of the 1-degree spot area and the resulting darker and much easier to see measuring circle than in the Pentax. The only con that I can think of is that with the view finders magnified view you have to be more conscious of the compositions parameters when taking readings.

Finally the weight and size of the Sekonic is essentially the same as the Pentax and it come with a soft padded case that looks to be made of water repellent rip-stop nylon with a compartment for a spare battery and a belt loop to accommodate various widths. There are supposedly provisions for storing up to 3 film exposure profiles that I have to look into which if true will eliminate the need of carrying exposure curves and the applications for flash photography are truly remarkable. Curiously just last week I ordered The Hurrell Style: 50 Years of Photographing Hollywood thinking that portrait photography would work well with the various alternative processing that I am using and the flash and the meter's incident and flash capabilities would be a perfect fit for.

In summary, for me the Sekonic L-758DR is the perfect replacement for the Pentax Digital Spot Meter.


Randy Moe
8-May-2016, 09:43
Always carry a spare battery.

8-May-2016, 10:43
Always carry a spare battery.

LOL.....Well at least you learned something Randy and it didn't cost you $1500/hour!


8-May-2016, 11:52
I also moved from the Pentax Digital Spot Meter to the L-758DR. I rarely use flash, but when I do, spot flash metering and the PocketWizard triggering are incredibly useful.

8-May-2016, 12:06
I'm so far behind you guys. I just bought my 1st Pentax Digital Spot Meter a couple of weeks ago ;-b

Keeping my entry-level Sekonic for incident & reflected (non-spot) metering, 'though.

Maris Rusis
8-May-2016, 14:22
Always carry a spare battery.

Yes! My L-758D has had only two battery failures. Both times it was on top of a mountain that I'd just carried my 8x10 outfit up. The spare battery saved me from making expensive guesses, er mistakes, about exposure.

8-May-2016, 21:58
I was back out with the Pentax and Sekonic this afternoon. Yesterday it was cloudy with intermittent rain all day but it cleared to partly cloudy around noon and sun glasses were appropriate. That's when I noticed a distinct difference between the two meters: First the data display in the Sekonic's view finder is much smaller than in the Pentax and is blue rather than the Pentax's red. This makes it hard to see while wearing sunglasses (at first I thought that I didn't have the meter turned on) and it is necessary to shield the finder from the light with your hand to read it. The reading in the Pentax, on the other hand, is big and a bright red and easily read. Not using sunglasses when reading the Sekonic makes a big difference. On a smaller note, the Sekonic's shoulder strap, like today's shoe laces, is waaaaay to big. I'm medium height (5'10") and with the shoulder strap the meter falls almost to my knees! Who's responsible for this fad?

As far as spare batteries, I routinely carry a spare but there is no place for carrying one in the Zone VI holster so it goes in the pack. Trouble is I have 3 dedicated photo packs depending on the gear which means that I must find and transfer the spare battery to the current pack. The spare compartment in the Sekonic case eliminates that and ensures that the spare will always be with the meter and not with the pack.


11-May-2016, 07:25

Once you realize that the Sekonic gives the aperture readings to the 1/10th stop (e.g., a reading I just took with the Sekonic read 1 second at f5.6(6) and the Pentax gave 5.6 and a third at 1 second) both agree remarkably well other


I redid that reading last night and it appears that I didn't have the sensors exactly aligned with each orher: Avery tiny movement with the Pentax and it displayed 5.6+2/3 stops which is identical with the Sekonic. Pentax really had its stuff together back then.


Greg Davis
11-May-2016, 07:59
I've been using my L-758DR for a few years and love it. I bought it to replace a Sekonic 318 and Pentax digital spot, but I rarely use the spot function anymore. If you shoot different types of film, such as b&w and color, that are rated at different speeds, it is easy to set up iso 1 and iso 2 without having to dial up and down a lot. I shoot a lot of color and their C-500 color meter is a great companion meter.

Bill Burk
11-May-2016, 10:18

One of the padded blocks in the padded case... is hollow and held on with Velcro.

Guess what fits in there...

12-May-2016, 12:13
if you don't plant to calibrate (what people don't note is that you can actually not just calibrate camera, but also ISO.. so you can in fact calibrate to specific responses of specific film or shutter) - and dying for spot-metering - 578 model with zoomable spot might be better fit. Also 578 using regular AA battery, and its a tad lighter.

Both are great. I used both on regular basis (yes, after having my first 758 stolen, i use 578 when going around places, 758 sits mostly around home studio zone)

12-May-2016, 15:17
What is a 578?

12-May-2016, 16:00
Anyone use the 758DR for film capture? What are its pros and cons?


Yes, I use my Sekonic L-758DR for films. I work as a Director of Photography for TV shows, commercials and indie films.

I also use it when I am working with my 4x5" large format film cameras.

And, yes, I use the radio transmitter with my several PocketWizard transceivers to trigger Alien Bee, White Lightning and Nikon strobes.

It is a trusted versatile tool.