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I got a Sekonic L 758 DR today


I got a Sekonic L 758 DR today and I am very disappointed
if someone has this model I have a few question :

the main way I want to us it is to SET f/11 or f/16 and find the exposure time.
When I take a mesure (with priority F) it never stays exactly @ f/11 but move a litle f/11.6 or f/11.8 ...
f/11 should be exactly f/11

I want to use it for long exposure and the time it finds is not precise at all, it jumps from 4 minutes to 8 minutes without any transition, I never get something like 58 seconds for exemple

with spot metering it is even worst, I could never get something over 30 seconds, in sted I get a flashing eu

with ambiant light metering @f/11 inside with no light it shos allways eu, if I shoot with the camera the right time is about 3 minutes

do you know if the way I want to use it is possible ?
if not i'll send it back on monday

thank you}
Hi Rufus,

I have the 558 similar but not the same. Anyway I just want to point out that most meters read in standard shutter speeds and 1/10 f-stops so it's probably giving you say 1/4 second at f11.6. As for the 4 to 8 minute jump, remember that's only 1 f-stop and would be the next available shutter speed on a camera. I don't think you'll fine any meter that will give you the exact type of readings you are looking for. Another thing to remember is that most modern electronic cameras adjust sutter speeds and F-stops in 1/3 of a stop increments.

Thank you Franc

Then you think that I cannot use it to find the real exposure time for long exposure, or let's 3 different speeds for HDR ?

in that case I prefer to send it back as soon as possible

Can't help directly with the Sekonic, but am surprised if they don't have an aperture priority mode.

If things don't work out, then the old, old fashioned Gossen Profisix like mine gives an analogue readout in 1/3 stops to 8 hours! In fact, finer divisions can be made, eg. 1/4 stops.

Not that one would want to, especially at such long times as reciprocity failure adds a level of extra uncertainty.

It has a spot meter only as a separate attachment. Pretty dim for low light.

Old ones can be really cheap for such a responsive and long lived meter - enough so to get one along with the more modern Sekonic for daytime stuff. Although the Gossen does that perfectly well too.

It was marketed as something else in North America, in the way of these things...can't quite remember. The Luna-C perhaps?

New Gossens (Starlite) say they have an analogue display, but it can't be the same, as it is on a screen?? Whether they work in the way you want is another matter.

Hi Rufus,

I'm not familiar with the meaning of HDR but in the days of film we used the meter as a reference and bracketed the exposure. After a while you begin to understand your equipment/film combination and you could get really close using your meter as a reference and experience from your bracket exposures and get a good exposure the first time out. Neg film has a latitude of about 1/2 stop under and 1 stop over and slide film has about 1/3 stop under and over. With your 4 minute exposure thats between 3 and 8 minutes for exposure times and you would get a good print/scan from neg film. What exactly are you photographing and with what medium?

> A meter would not be useful (much) for long term exposures anyway. > Reciprocy failure of the film would make the meter readings only > very rough guides at best once you got into a minute or more ( or > even less in many instances). You do better making meter readings, > test shots (bracketed), and then making a record of "indicated" vs > "true" exposure for the film in question.
thanks to all

I am shooting only digital but I thought it was helpfull to calculate the time for 3 or 4 exposures and specially for long exposure

maybe I dont use it well but ISO are = 100 and aperture is blocked @ f/11, I have tried with normal metering (the white ball) and spot metering and it was allways wrong (for my needs)

I have 2 weeks to send it back

Nick maybe you are right I should try to find on ebay an old Gossen for 40 or 50 $

Franc : HDR for High Dynamic Range, you can combine in 32 bits (with Photomatix) many exposures, I am shooting very early landscapes and I like 2 or 3 minutes exposure (with ND Filter)

Robert if you are right then I can save 600 euros ! :)
Hi Rufus,

I would tend to agree with Robert about a meter being of not much use and since a meter is probably calibrated to take some Reciprocy failure into account. I have a friend who does a lot of nighttime landscapes and sky pictures, I mentioned this to him and he said that when he switched to digital he had to do a lot of testing as digital does not have anywhere near the Reciprocy failure of film. He added that an exposure that took 6-8 minutes on film now is less than 3 minutes. He's had to use ND filters to get the same effects in his aurora borialis pictures.

Thanks again Frank

I put all in the packet again to send it back on monday

thanks to all for your help
Hi Rufus,

before sending back such an excellent tool, you may try the following hint:

I'm using an L-608. The default setting for the display of shutter speed and aperture is full stop. In this mode the meter displays times and apertures in full stop and the difference to the correct exposure in 1/10 of the aperture.

You can change this to your needs using the custom setting functions. Setting the increment of shutter speed to 1/3 stop will solve your problem. Don't know the procedure for your meter, but the manual should help.

Regards Rainer
Rainer I am searching everywhere but I cannot find the way to change this settings, they say page 43 and what should be the numbers but not at al the way to change this numbers
Hi Rufus,

I had a look in the manual of your meter. You will find the procedure to customize your settings on page 40f.

First turn your meter off. Then hold down the Mode-button while turning on your meter. You can select the desired function with the jog and change the setting by pressing the Mode-button, scrolling thru the options. The funtion for the increment of aperture and shutter speed in 03. The default setting is 0 for full stop. To change it to 1/3 stop increments select 1 ( 2 = 1/2 stop ). Turn your meter off to store the changes. In my L-608, I can select the increments separately for aperture and shutter speed.

The Sekonic meters are very sophisticated and you probably need some time to get used to all it's functions. But after that you will find your meter to be an absolutely reliable instrument - for me it is.

Regarding HDR use: Optimizing the meter for ZONE-System, I changed the function of the ISO2-button to 'filter compensation'. This should be helpfull for HDR too.

Regards, Rainer
Thanks a lot Rainer

and do you think it will work exactly for my needs ?
If you are shooting for HDR problably you are doing the same : finding 3 or 4 metering for sky, ground, shades, trees and so on

if you are on messenger or Skype it will be great to speak :) .. I know ! my english is not good at all
I have tried with new settings and it is really better, nearlly the same than what i get with my camera
but if I try indoor with no light I get for f/11 and ISO 100 allways eu, with normal or spot metering

it seems impossible to use it for darkness or night shooting

I have read somewhere that for night metering a Gossen Lunasix 3S is working fine
Rufus, are you sure that you not took the measurements in spot-mode with the cap on the lens? Under no light conditions every meter will have trouble taking measurements ;-).

Practically I never had a problem even under low light conditions. Looking in the datasheets of different meters there are no great differences for the lower limit. You can boost the lower limit gaining 3-4 stops under low light removing the lumisphere and compensating by setting a suitable correction factor. That should be enought even for night shots - astrophotography is a different matter. Repeating your reported experiment shading the lumisphere by my hand gave me a reading of 8 min and f11 at ISO 80, even in my darkroom under red light I got an measuremet.

Technically the meter should give you all the information you need and even more. It is possible to take a series of measurements building an average. Using ZONE-System you can take a series for a single targetzone, or you can take a series over the whole contrast range building an average exposure for the scene Very nice the capability to measure the contrast range of your scene to judge the numer of frames for your bracketing sequence. For HDR I take a measurement for a 'normal' exposure, calculating the sequence whitout any calculator beside my head - it should be possible to double times whitout a mainframe computer ;-).

At first you should become familar with your meter and learn how to interpret the indicated information. Finding the right exposure is mainly a matter of interpretation of the meter reading, not just transfering the displayed information to the camera.

There are meters that will give you a time/f-stop display for a reading and nothing more. Maybee you find that's enough. But the seemingly precise reading is treacherous. Gaining further experience you will appreciate the further information to judge and correct the diplayed reading. That's the real benefit using a dedicated meter instead the build-in solutions.

You should decide by yourself if the meter suits to your personal style taking pictures, technically it will do. The requirement of interpretating the reading, will be the same with all meters.

Regards, Rainer
Rainer I have tried ,not in spot mode with the cap :) but with the white ball , ::
ISO 6400 and f/1 in a room dark but where I can see very well chairs and table (a normal room at 7pm with only the lights of the windows), I get a flashing and very disappointing eu !

you said "Very nice the capability to measure the contrast range of your scene to judge the numer of frames for your bracketing sequence"

this is exactly what I am looking for
Rufus, don't expect to gain any advantage by setting a higher ISO-speed or wider aperture. The instrument takes an absolut measurement, all the rest is merely mathematics. Either it measures something, regardless of your settings of ISO-speed, f-stop, etc., or not. The only trick to gain sensitivity of the meter, without the need for hardware modifications, I know from, is the mentioned trick removing the sphere.

It seems to me that you would like to measure in very dark environments. I don't know where you life, here in germany 7pm is not even twilight, it's night, with the sun already 18 degrees below the horizon. Give up, if you try to find a meter that gives you a reading under such conditions.

I would suggest that you first try the meter under daylight conditions, checking if it gives you reasonable readings. Afterwards you may checkout its performance under your worst case conditions.

Regards, Rainer