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Thread: Metering question (using a Sekonic L-858)

  1. #1
    Tom Replogle
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    Metering question (using a Sekonic L-858)

    Hello everyone, new member here, I just picked up a Sekonic L-858 meter (my Pentax V broke) and Iím learning my way around this fancy meter while Iím quarantined (potential exposure to this darn virus). With my previous meter, when shooting film, I would meter the shadows that I wanted texture/detail and then place that EV, 2 EVs below (actually I had a zone scale so would place in zone3). I would then analyze the highlights and see where those EV values fell on the scale. Iím trying to develop my workflow with this new meter thatís similar to what I know. Iíve read the manual (amazing, huh) and noticed that it has exposure compensation. What Iím thinking is that I could set a -2 compensation and meter my important shadows. Then select average mode and meter the rest of the scene to analyze the mid tones and highlights (which would show me how many EVs above or below the shadows that the metered tones lay as I move the meter around the scene). What do you think? Any issues with this workflow? Better way? I appreciate any and all input.

    Regards,

    Tom

  2. #2

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    Metering question (using a Sekonic L-858)

    Thereís many ways...

    What I do is meter the darkest, store, then the brightest, store, and average. Then if you press the meter button again and leave it press it will tell you EV relative to that average so you can check that everything is within the +/- range that you want.
    If I use a 2 or 3 stop grad filter (mostly for color) then I just ignore the sky altogether and only look at min/max on the rest of the scene, then average.

    Pretty simple, really.

  3. #3
    Tom Replogle
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    Re: Metering question (using a Sekonic L-858)

    Cool, thanks!



    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwi7475 View Post
    Thereís many ways...

    What I do is meter the darkest, store, then the brightest, store, and average. Then if you press the meter button again and leave it press it will tell you EV relative to that average so you can check that everything is within the +/- range that you want.
    If I use a 2 or 3 stop grad filter (mostly for color) then I just ignore the sky altogether and only look at min/max on the rest of the scene, then average.

    Pretty simple, really.

  4. #4
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: Metering question (using a Sekonic L-858)

    On my Sekonic I use the exposure compensation as the Zone with a simple calculation.

    Indicated Exposure Compensation = 5 minus the Zone.

    So if the Exposure Compensation shows "+3" I know that means I'm metering for Zone 2. Etc.
    If the Exposure Compensation shows "+4" I know I'm metering Zone 1.

    Another nice thing is that 2.5 is the same in both systems, and I actually use zone 2.5 for almost all my exposure readings

    I have had the meter for some time now and I now just think of the zones based on the meter's Exposure Compensation value.

    The nice thing is that on my meter this value is shown in the viewfinder.

    You can also use the same technique to analyze the saved values that show on the bottom of the screen, by pulling up the saved value and adjusting the Exposure Compensation to any placed zone using the guidelines above.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Sekonic Viewfinder.png   L558 Zone Summary.jpg  

  5. #5
    Tom Replogle
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    Re: Metering question (using a Sekonic L-858)

    Thatís awesome! Iíll try that out. Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by ic-racer View Post
    On my Sekonic I use the exposure compensation as the Zone with a simple calculation.

    Indicated Exposure Compensation = 5 minus the Zone.

    So if the Exposure Compensation shows "+3" I know that means I'm metering for Zone 2. Etc.
    If the Exposure Compensation shows "+4" I know I'm metering Zone 1.

    Another nice thing is that 2.5 is the same in both systems, and I actually use zone 2.5 for almost all my exposure readings

    I have had the meter for some time now and I now just think of the zones based on the meter's Exposure Compensation value.

    The nice thing is that on my meter this value is shown in the viewfinder.

    You can also use the same technique to analyze the saved values that show on the bottom of the screen, by pulling up the saved value and adjusting the Exposure Compensation to any placed zone using the guidelines above.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Oct 2015
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    893

    Re: Metering question (using a Sekonic L-858)

    I have an L-558. I set exposure compensation to "+2" and meter shadows where I want some detail knowing this is Zone III. Then, I store that value, press/hold the read button and scan the scene; mostly concentrating on the high values at this point. If I don't see anything beyond +5, then I know the overall scene is within the textural dynamic range of the film. Pick a shutter speed / aperture combo and shoot.

  7. #7
    Tom Replogle
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    Re: Metering question (using a Sekonic L-858)

    Wait I'm confused....if a meter is calibrated for zone V and you add +2 exposure compensation to the reading, wouldn't that be zone VII? It seems that you'd need a -2 compensation for zone III. That's what I'd do on my Pentax V...meter the shadows and then set that EV to zone III on the scale. What am I missing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan9940 View Post
    I have an L-558. I set exposure compensation to "+2" and meter shadows where I want some detail knowing this is Zone III. Then, I store that value, press/hold the read button and scan the scene; mostly concentrating on the high values at this point. If I don't see anything beyond +5, then I know the overall scene is within the textural dynamic range of the film. Pick a shutter speed / aperture combo and shoot.

  8. #8

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    Re: Metering question (using a Sekonic L-858)

    Quote Originally Posted by W4ND3R View Post
    Wait I'm confused....if a meter is calibrated for zone V and you add +2 exposure compensation to the reading, wouldn't that be zone VII? It seems that you'd need a -2 compensation for zone III. That's what I'd do on my Pentax V...meter the shadows and then set that EV to zone III on the scale. What am I missing?
    Nothing. It's totally counterintuitive with my L-558 and I've never understood why it works that way. Like everyone else, I would think -2 was the correct setting, but if I set my meter to that compensation value I'll get an incorrectly exposed negative. I've verified this oddity against my Pentax digital spot meter. Could be I'm simply doing something wrong with the Sekonic.

  9. #9
    Tom Replogle
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    Re: Metering question (using a Sekonic L-858)

    Wow! That's strange. Well, at least you've got it figured out!

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