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July 10, 2006

Sekonic L-358 Flash Meter

As I mentioned a couple days ago, I picked up one of Sekonic's incident light meters for a song. I've been drafted to do a bunch of portraits and I've been starting to toy with the idea of using studio strobes, so I really needed (1) something more accurate than the reflective meter in my SLR and (2) something that could meter flash.

Now that I've had a couple days to acclimate to the meter, I'm loving it. The basic functions are easy to figure out without reading the manual, and the rest of the features are really just a matter of trying it once or twice so it sticks. It's quite accurate in my brief experience, as well... It read out the sky in accordance with the Sunny 16 rule. I also shot off three quick shots of myself this morning with great results. Much better than the camera's meter—which eagerly told me I was underexposing by more than two stops—would have given me.

The L-358's a great product. My only complaints with it don't even relate to the functionality of the meter, but peripheral stuff. Stuff like the lanyard, which is not only way too long for human beings to wear (it leaves me with the lightsphere dangling in front of my own dangly bits, quite apropos, eh?), but has a discomforting springy quality to it. Or the carrying case, which is the most vile, retch-inducing kind of pleather China manufactures: Sure, it looks like leather, but it smells like an industrial accident at a chemical plant.

If you need or want a meter, I'd definitely recommend it. Not that you really have much of a choice, what with Sony reportedly having zero plans to continue producing Minolta's meters...

Posted by Colin at July 10, 2006 1:33 PM

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