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Thread: Sekonic L-758 or Minolta AutoMeter III/IV/V?

  1. #1
    SE Penna. and coastal CT
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    Jul 2011
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    461

    Sekonic L-758 or Minolta AutoMeter III/IV/V?

    Hello all. I am familiar with the basics of meters (through 35mm TTL experience) but have never had a hand held for MF or LF. What are the thoughts on Sekonic vs. Minolta? I am looking at this purchase as a once and done thing. Which means I want to buy a meter that will be useful for indoor flash lit family portraits, and naturally lit outdoor still life/landscape. Soon I will be shooting mostly 4x5, but will probably also return to 6x7 MF and some day might do 8x10.

    Any comments are appreciated.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Grand Junction,CO
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    602

    Re: Sekonic L-758 or Minolta AutoMeter III/IV/V?

    I'm not familiar with the minolta, but the 758 has all the bells and whistles you could ask for. I don't know what half the stuff is on the 758, it's quite complicated IMO.
    Regards
    Erik

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2002
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    9,344

    Re: Sekonic L-758 or Minolta AutoMeter III/IV/V?

    I like the simple, inexpensive Minolta Autometer IVF, which does flash and ambient (needs a different disc for reflective but most people use them as incident meters). The same design is now made by Kenko and I think they are identical except for branding.

    A lot of the photographers here will also opt for a Pentax digital spot meter for reflective readings. The combination of both meters will cover everything... or get the Sekonic (or Gossen) uber-meter and study the manual and learn what all those crazy buttons mean ;-p

  4. #4
    Thomas
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    Apr 2007
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    Bielefeld and Hamburg, Germany
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    165

    Re: Sekonic L-758 or Minolta AutoMeter III/IV/V?

    I use older models Sekonic (608 and 508) but I understand the 758 works mostly the same way - with some new features.

    I don't agree with quite a few posts in this forum saying that the Sekonics are complicated. I have found them very easy to operate and a joy to use.

    What I like particularly about the Sekonics:
    - They are "one does it all" meters: spot meter, ambient light, flash meter (with the option to trigger the flash by the meter). And it takes only 3 seconds to switch between the modes.
    - The memory function combined with spot metering makes it very easy to measure and understand the dynamic range of a scene which helps me a lot with zone system exposure. All memorized metering results are displayed nicely on a graphical scale, and you can scroll through the exposure time / aperture combinations until you find the best fit. That is really useful.

    Greetings, Thomas

  5. #5
    Adamphotoman AKA Grant
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Vancouver Island Canada
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    161

    Re: Sekonic L-758 or Minolta AutoMeter III/IV/V?

    Hi There,
    I have used both a Minolta Flash Meter IV and a Sekonic Zoom-Master L-508.
    The Sekonic replaced the Minolta when the circuit board fried. I was in the dry prairies
    in a Gallery which had a carpet. I needed to be in socks as if I was in rubber soles just walking past the flash units would fire them. Anyway, I forgot to take the shoes off. I was about to plug in the Minolta and an ark of static electricity leapt from the flash to the meter and fried the circuit.
    Over all they both functioned well. The Minolta was perhaps slightly more accurate within 1/8 stop whereas the Sekonic was perhaps 1/6 of a stop. Splitting hairs really. You will get more variation in processing.
    I will send a PM
    Grant

  6. #6
    jadphoto
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
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    Solvang, California
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    468

    Re: Sekonic L-758 or Minolta AutoMeter III/IV/V?

    Chassis,

    You don't mention if you'll be doing reflective or incident readings. If you want a spot meter don't overlook the Sekonic 778. It's not much talked about but one of the very best meters if you use the zone system.

    It's a spot meter but will do ambient and flash readings, can be set up (easily) for zone system work. It's not available new any more, but they don't seem to demand too much on the used market although it was an expensive meter when new.

    JD

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    1,170

    Re: Sekonic L-758 or Minolta AutoMeter III/IV/V?

    I like my Sekonic 758DR. Does ambient, flash and spot. Manual is terribly translated, so it will take work to use the advanced features like profiling it to a particular digital camera. I have no need for that. The basic functions for film use are easy to grasp from the quick start guide. Both types of manuals are online so you can see how it is.
    Last edited by John NYC; 23-Aug-2011 at 17:52. Reason: Typo

  8. #8

    Join Date
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    1,959

    Re: Sekonic L-758 or Minolta AutoMeter III/IV/V?

    Quote Originally Posted by chassis View Post
    Hello all. I am familiar with the basics of meters (through 35mm TTL experience) but have never had a hand held for MF or LF. What are the thoughts on Sekonic vs. Minolta? I am looking at this purchase as a once and done thing. Which means I want to buy a meter that will be useful for indoor flash lit family portraits, and naturally lit outdoor still life/landscape. Soon I will be shooting mostly 4x5, but will probably also return to 6x7 MF and some day might do 8x10.

    Any comments are appreciated.
    The Minolta will be less expensive. The Sekonic l-758 is one to the top of the line meters and you may get by with a lesser model like the L-358. Both the L-358 and 758 feature a flash triggering module if you use Pocket Wizard flash triggers. It's a nice option that I like using.

    The L-358 is really nice but doesn't support a spot metering attachment if that is important to you, but isn't really necessary, though useful. I believe the Minolta uses standard batteries while the Sekonics use specialty batteries.

    Both meter brands will work well, just consider the options each provides. And visit the Sekonic website for demo videos.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Grand Junction,CO
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    602

    Re: Sekonic L-758 or Minolta AutoMeter III/IV/V?

    Quote Originally Posted by D. Bryant View Post
    The Minolta will be less expensive. The Sekonic l-758 is one to the top of the line meters and you may get by with a lesser model like the L-358. Both the L-358 and 758 feature a flash triggering module if you use Pocket Wizard flash triggers. It's a nice option that I like using.

    The L-358 is really nice but doesn't support a spot metering attachment if that is important to you, but isn't really necessary, though useful. I believe the Minolta uses standard batteries while the Sekonics use specialty batteries.

    Both meter brands will work well, just consider the options each provides. And visit the Sekonic website for demo videos.
    What D.bryant said is good info but the 358 supports a spot attachment but it is expensive and the batteries required are cr123 which are quite common I believe.
    Regards
    Erik

  10. #10
    SE Penna. and coastal CT
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    461

    Re: Sekonic L-758 or Minolta AutoMeter III/IV/V?

    Thanks for all the input folks. I am new to LF so I sort of want a meter that does it all, really well. Or something close to that. The L-758 seems to be that meter.

    I want/need a spot meter, and I also have ideas of using strobe lighting. My main subjects will be landscape, nature and portraits. I plan to use the zone system for exposure and development processes (black and white, self processed).

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