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Experiences with Sekonic 558/758 and digital Leicas


BAASCH
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I bought a Sekonic L-558, secondhand, for a good price, because I want to improve my exposure. I know some say that for digital, the histogram will suffice, or a lot of so-called chimping is the way to go, but I am quite convinced they are wrong, so please, let's not have that discussion again. I would be interested, instead, to hear about experiences with light meters, especially the Sekonic L-558 or L-758 (they're largely similar) from digital Leica shooters. How do they fare with calibration of the meter for use with their cameras? How many stops of dynamic range do they work with, in day to day practice, when calculating the perfect exposure? Any tips and tricks I should know about? 

 

I expect I'll be using incident metering a lot, as I do already when shooting portraits and nudes (I have an old Sekonic L-28C2), but with more precision and speed than before, and I am going to try meticulous spot metering for nudes, treating the model's body like a landscape, so to speak (perhaps I'll also take up actual landscape photography with this meter). I particularly liked this workflow, that I someone explained on YouTube: spot meter the important highlights and the important (deep) shadows, let the meter calculate the average value, and then check the important parts of the scene with the spot meter again: leave it on Average, and while focusing on the various parts press the measurement button repeatedly, and the meter will say how much this part will be under- or overexposed relative to Zone V, or 18 percent grey. Adjust as needed, shoot.

 

I don't use strobes very often, but I can imagine any tips and experience reports concerning those may be interesting to others stumbling upon this topic.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I bought a Sekonic L-558, secondhand, for a good price, because I want to improve my exposure. I know some say that for digital, the histogram will suffice, or a lot of so-called chimping is the way to go, but I am quite convinced they are wrong, so please, let's not have that discussion again. I would be interested, instead, to hear about experiences with light meters, especially the Sekonic L-558 or L-758 (they're largely similar) from digital Leica shooters. How do they fare with calibration of the meter for use with their cameras? How many stops of dynamic range do they work with, in day to day practice, when calculating the perfect exposure? Any tips and tricks I should know about? 

 

I expect I'll be using incident metering a lot, as I do already when shooting portraits and nudes (I have an old Sekonic L-28C2), but with more precision and speed than before, and I am going to try meticulous spot metering for nudes, treating the model's body like a landscape, so to speak (perhaps I'll also take up actual landscape photography with this meter). I particularly liked this workflow, that I someone explained on YouTube: spot meter the important highlights and the important (deep) shadows, let the meter calculate the average value, and then check the important parts of the scene with the spot meter again: leave it on Average, and while focusing on the various parts press the measurement button repeatedly, and the meter will say how much this part will be under- or overexposed relative to Zone V, or 18 percent grey. Adjust as needed, shoot.

 

I don't use strobes very often, but I can imagine any tips and experience reports concerning those may be interesting to others stumbling upon this topic.

Hello,

 

I used to have an L558 an now use the L758. My L788 has been calibrated with the exposure target II for my digtal cameras (M246, M9, Nikon D3x, Nikon D4). I also shoot film and for film I use the default calibration of the meter. There is a remarkable difference between default and each of the digital cameras. For example the Mono calibration is one stop more light than default.

 

I use spot with the Mono, I measure the highlights and add two stops (programmed ISO 2 button). With film I use spot to measure Zone III areas and I cut two stops via the ISO button. When I am not sure I take 3 to four readings and calculate the average. It happened to me that I forgot to delete the stored values, bad luck!

 

Consider that the correction values apply for spot and incident reading separately, since the meter actually has two seprate cells for incident and reflective.

 

I use also incident readings for my strobes and for portraits. Incident measurements don´t work with backlit scenes! The meter has a lousy user interface and definitely requires practice. Once you get accustomed to it , it will be your friend you can rely on it. I love this meter and would never do without!!!

 

I think reflective metering doesn´t make sense when shooting nudes or portraits even with available light. There is only one correct exposure.

 

 

Best regards

 

Theodor

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