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Seconic L-358 lightmeter
Old 07-08-2008, 03:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi,
I just got for myself new Seconic L-358 Flash master lightmeter.
I have never used it and with first try I find that I need some tips since I do not understand it 100%.

in cord flash sync in my small studio at home I can use only Shutter priority option and not Aperture priority...OK.... but

1. there is ONLY 1/125 and 1/250s... what happend with 1/160 and 1/200s. I have max 1/200s sync on my Canon350d and when I use 1/125 I got my f stop to high since I got small room. What I have to do in order to have f2.8 for example... Sometime I can not go too low power with my flashes like 20% of the its power...

2. On the screen of the Seconic, bellow the f/stop and Shutter speed value there is ANALOG SCALE that represent full and half values for measurement, memories and average values. What does it means in practice. For example I measure on 1/125s the f/5.6 but the analog scale indicate f8... and when I check my screen on camera with first values sometimes seames OK exposed and sometimes overexposed but when I change to analog value that is f8 it is seames OK then.... Where is the true...


Some explanation would help a lot.....
Thanks in advance.....
Regards ZAK
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Re: Seconic L-358 lightmeter
Old 07-08-2008, 08:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You need to check and calibrate the meter and the camera's chip. I standardize my meter at 100 ASA in bright sun to give an exposure of !/500 @ f:8.0. The Sun doesn't vary a lot regardless of Al Gore's opinion.

Then you need to shoot a calibration set which you can read about in Lee Varis's book SKIN. You could probably Google the article he wrote in Digital Photo Pro and find the info online as well.

You will not change your flash exposure by changing your shutter speed, only the contribution made by the ambient light. Distance to subject or power settings on the flash or camera f:stop are the only things that will change the flash exposure as it relates to the camera
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Re: Seconic L-358 lightmeter
Old 07-08-2008, 09:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Check your manual for the meter. I have the same one and you can set the meter to use the same stop stepping as your camera (full, half, third stop).

There is a really good video on the web for Sekonic meters for by Will Crockett here. http://www.shootsmartertv.com/videos.html
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Re: Seconic L-358 lightmeter
Old 07-09-2008, 10:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zakd View Post
I just got for myself new Seconic L-358 Flash master lightmeter.
I have never used it and with first try I find that I need some tips since I do not understand it 100%.
The 358 is a very good light meter - once you get comfortable with the meter you'll find it to be a very good addition to your toolbox.

Quote:
in cord flash sync in my small studio at home I can use only Shutter priority option and not Aperture priority...OK.... but
If you are metering an external flash that is not controlled by the camera, then the very first thing you do is take your camera off of automatic anything and set it to manual. You want to have complete control over the shutter speed AND the aperture. Forget shutter priority, ok? If you are metering a flash that's controlled by the camera, you don't need the 358 - since your camera will be controlling the exposure.

When you are metering the external flash, you normally care less for the intensity of the ambient light since, normally, your primary light is coming from the flash. Therefore, the fact that the 358 does't give you the option of 1/200 shouldn't bother you greatly. Set it to 1/250 and meter it there.

Don't believe me? Then try this:

Go into a darkened room and using only the external flash set your camera to the highest sync speed you have, and then get your exposure right by trying a few shots. Let's say you've wound up with 1/200 at F8 as a good exposure (remember, the only light in the room is coming from the flash).

Now, set your camera to 1/100 and keep the apertureat f8. The exposure should be the same if you don't have any other light in the room. Try it again at 1/50. Some folks would think that the expsoure would be two stops overexposed, but it's not... it's still the same amount of light that came in at 1/200, even though the shutter is 1/4 as fast.

Try it again, now, at 1/25, and then keep going. You shouldn't see any difference since the flash unit effectively sets your shutter speed when it is the only light in the room.
That's why it doesn't matter if your meter is set to 1/250 or 1/200 when you're metering a flash that's the primary source of the light - the effective shutter speed is set by the duration of the electronic flash.

Quote:
On the screen of the Seconic, bellow the f/stop and Shutter speed value there is ANALOG SCALE that represent full and half values for measurement, memories and average values. What does it means in practice. For example I measure on 1/125s the f/5.6 but the analog scale indicate f8... and when I check my screen on camera with first values sometimes seames OK exposed and sometimes overexposed but when I change to analog value that is f8 it is seames OK then.... Where is the true...
The truth lies in your interpretation of the meter's data... it can only tell you how much light it thinks it sees. The analog scale is OK if you want to use it... I've found that I just use the digital scale (I have my meter set to 1/3 of a stop values - see the instruction manaul on how to set up the 358) and find that, after I've calibrated it to my shooting, that 1/3 of a stop is just fine.

Does that help at all?
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