What to look for in a light meter

We’ll use this high-end Sekonic L-858D as our guide to some key light meter fea­tures

Digital Camera World - - KIT ZONE -

Spot me­ter­ing

The L-858D’s spot meter is used with the meter held side­ways. You look through this viewfinder eye­piece (which has a diopter ad­just­ment) to view the scene through the lens on the other side, lin­ing up a small cir­cle in the cen­tre with the area you want to meter.

Touch­screen dis­play

The larger screen on the L-858D not only dis­plays more data, it of­fers ex­tra space for touch­screen con­trol of oper­at­ing modes and set­tings. You can tap on shut­ter speed or aper­ture val­ues, for ex­am­ple, to see dif­fer­ent com­bi­na­tions of ex­po­sure set­tings.

Ro­tat­ing head

When you’re tak­ing in­ci­dent light read­ings, it’s not al­ways easy to find some­where to stand that doesn’t block the light. With the Sekonic, how­ever, you can ro­tate the lu­mi­sphere head through 180 de­grees left to right, mak­ing the dis­play vis­i­ble what­ever an­gle you mea­sure from.

Re­tract­ing lu­mi­sphere

In­ci­dent light me­ter­ing is vi­tal in many sit­u­a­tions, but needs to be car­ried out care­fully. The L-858D has a spe­cial lu­mi­sphere that’s ex­tended for me­ter­ing 3D ob­jects and re­tracted for mea­sur­ing even­ness of il­lu­mi­na­tion across flat sub­jects.

Sync socket

Test­ing flash power is much eas­ier when you can trig­ger the flash di­rectly from your meter. You can con­nect your flash by ca­ble to this sync socket, but the L-858D also takes plug-in wire­less flash con­trollers for Elinchrom, Pock­etWizard and Phot­tix sys­tems.

Weather­proof de­sign

It’s prob­a­bly not some­thing you’d give much thought to, but if you’re shoot­ing in bad weather or harsh con­di­tions, you’ll need a meter that’s pro­tected against the weather as well as your cam­era is, oth­er­wise it’s no help. The L-858D is equipped with weath­er­proof­ing seals.

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