View Full Version : best light meter?

naomi shon
25-Mar-2008, 20:02
Between the sekonic l 758 and the sekonic l 508....does anyone know which one's better?

the 508 is $100 more than the 758, and I'm just wondering what it has that the 758 doesnt.


25-Mar-2008, 20:16
i have a sekonic and I love it. The 758 was more than what i needed so i went with the a cheaper model. i think it was like 300. i got it from calumet. it was cheaper then B&H and works great.

John Berry
25-Mar-2008, 21:07
I don't know about the 758but, I have the second 508 to hit Seattle and it still works great. I haven't pounded nails with it, but I don't handle it with kid gloves either.

25-Mar-2008, 22:05
The L758 is a newer designation to their L558 (which I used to own)... the newer version has added the capability to calibrate yourself (which I'm unfamiliar with). The L508 is the old version of what is now called the L608 (which I currently own/use).

I'm not familiar with the L758's calibration functions, but as I read the specs it appears to be extremely similar to the L558 in all other functions... which was/is an outstanding meter with full functions as a spot meter, incident light meter, and also flash meter.

The L608 I currently use is also very similar to the L558. Supposedly it's more robust (so the saleman said), and also the spot meter has an added zoom feature (the L558 and I believe the L758 has a fixed 1% spot meter, while the L608, and I assume the L508 had a variable 1%-4% spot meter). All other features as far as I can tell are the same.

I was perfectly happy with the L558, but upgraded for the variable spot meter, which I find very useful for landscapes... 1% fixed at times was simply too narrow for me personally.

You'll be happy with either... depending on how much you want variable zoom on the spot meter. Or.... if you don't use spot metering, you can save even more by buying the Sekonic 358... very similar to the others except without spot metering.

Helen Bach
26-Mar-2008, 00:33
I have both the 758 and 508. Apart from the features already mentioned, here are the differences I can think of:

508 has socket for connection to Sinar Booster 1 or Minolta Booster II, 758 does not.

758 has viewfinder readout, 508 does not.

758 has separate calibration for incident and reflective sensors, 508 does not.

The 758 DR (the only version I've seen) has built-in Pocket Wizard radio flash triggering, the 508 does not.

I find the viewfinder readout to be very useful, and in all the years I've had the 508 I've never used the variable spot function (ie I never used anything other than 1%). It's a shame that Sekonic dropped the compatibility with the Sinar Booster and Minolta Booster on the 558 and 758.


26-Mar-2008, 02:47
Better and better - depends a lot on the rule you use to measure with... But as Helen rightly put it, the viewfinder info is a useful feature, at least for someone. I had the 508 and I gladly exchanged it for (with money +) the 758 because I needed the independent calibration and the view info. But I liked the size of the 508 better - here you have it.

Walter Calahan
26-Mar-2008, 04:32
Your brain.

Steven Barall
26-Mar-2008, 20:05
I wish I could recalibrate my brain.

Don Hutton
26-Mar-2008, 20:27
I've owned both - Helen has the difference well sorted as far as I can see - I upgraded for the wireless PW ability with the 758. Both meters seem to be very robust and accurate.

26-Mar-2008, 20:59
You can take a look at the Gossen Starlite which has served me well for six years now.

Sheldon N
26-Mar-2008, 21:19
I have the 558 and the viewfinder info is wonderful. It's not just that it tells you the exposure in the viewfinder. You can also meter/save multiple points (shadow, highlight, midtones, quarter tones) then hit average, then scan the scene with the spotmeter while pressing the meter button. The viewfinder displays the exposure differential from the average calculation, i.e. +1.6 or -2.2, in real time. This is great for seeing where your highlights/shadows fall relative to the meter's "average" recommendation.

Of course, you still have to use your brain to decide whether the meter is right or wrong.

I'm no help on calibration with that. :)

26-Mar-2008, 22:01
I wish I could recalibrate my brain.

They're in Hollywood and do all the light meters for the film studios. If they can't calibrate it, it's very likely uncalibratable. It's your option on having it returned or not, in the event they can't help you.:D :p ;)

15-Apr-2008, 02:54
I'm just starting out with large format, and currently have only an L308S meter - I'll be shooting a mixture of environmental portraiture and urban landscapes, will this meter be sufficient or will I find it unnecessarily difficult?

I have other cameras with much better metering than the 308, should I use them instead? (I'd prefer not to if at all possible).

I'll be shooting with a Sinar P2, should I consider getting a meter that can utilise the booster or is that just way over the top? (I can always just bracket right?)

Ralph Barker
15-Apr-2008, 08:25
As with most things photographic, I don't think there is a single "silver-bullet" meter. The "best" meter, I think, is an individual decision - based on a combination of what you shoot, how you prefer to meter it, what additional features you find handy at times, and how intuitive you find the meter's operation.

I use the older L-508, and like it. When it came out, it seemed like the best do-almost-everything meter available. But, I also like the pistol-grip style, dual-spot, reflective-only L-778, which (sadly) was discontinued. The L-778 had 3 additional tick marks in the display for shadow, mid-tone, and highlight that could be moved as a group when making decisions about exposure compromises.