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Sekonic L-398M Studio Deluxe II Light Meter Light Meters

4.33/5 (9 Reviews)


Product Description

An industry standard for still and cinematographic ambient light reading. Swiveling light receptor. Readouts in multiple still and cine scale or direct readout with optional ISO index slides. Selenium photo cell requires no battery.


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Reviews 1 - 5 (9 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by irivlin a Expert

Date Reviewed: December 13, 2011

Strengths:    Easy to use (but see commend under weaknesses).
Reliable
Superb value
Accurate


Weaknesses:    There is a learning curve to using this meter. Once that it over with, it's fast. Just don't expect perfect exposures in the very first shoot. Make a lot of test exposures first and write every one down in a notebook.
I have a feeling they are not made any more (could be wrong here...). This would beg the question - "what happens if it developed a fault?"


Bottom Line:   
I got this meter from a well known Australian cinematographer, who made the transition from film to digital. I still shoot film - mainly B/W but quite a bit of color too. Since the sun in Queensland can be very brutal and contrasty, an incident light meter is pretty well essential for landscape photography - especially reversal film. A spotmeter doesn't suit distant shots for landscape, as the spotmeter would be "seeing" areas of different luminance within the spot window. Even cameras' own meters are pretty well useless for the same reason. Incident metering is really the only way to go. I used to use the Weston aster (with the invercone) but the selenium cells seem to deteriorate rapidly, if exposed to bright light for extended periods. The Sekonic doesn't seem to have altered in the 15 years I've had it. The meter comes with a number of different grids for different ASA films, Just put the appropriate grid in, and you'll get the direct F stop with a press of the button. I suspect there may be even better incident meters out there but nothing comes close when the price is taken into account. (It's paid for itself many times over, in correctly exposed shots). I use it for portrait lighting too. All in all, it's robust, accurate, reliable and easy to use. Highly recommended. (For color or black and white). Check out my comments on the Pentax Spotmeter V. With both of these meters, you couldn't really ever make a bad exposure.

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Duration Product Used:   21+ years

Price Paid:    $250.00

Purchased At:   Austraia

Similar Products Used:   Weston Master Euromaster, with invercone.

Type of photography:   Outdoor


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Christian M Fisker a Professional

Date Reviewed: October 19, 2003

Strengths:    All*****
easy to read
needs no batteries
strong built


Weaknesses:    a little heavy
can be a little clumsy


Bottom Line:   
This is a faboulous pro meter which never fails or let you down.In My case i have brought mine anywhere,travelling around often to help metering my old Nikon F or Praktica or even new Canon EOS equipment ! the meter is always very very precise!
¨What i also like so much is simply that it dont need batteries and that it is so simple to read and understand,It is an absolutely classic and a wonderfull working tool.
Go for it.DONT LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT*****
best regards
Christian Maldonado Fisker

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Duration Product Used:   11-20 years

Price Paid:    $100.00

Purchased At:   photoshop dk

Similar Products Used:   many from gossen minolta sekonic...e.q

Type of photography:   People


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Austin Moore a Intermediate from New York

Date Reviewed: February 25, 2003

Strengths:    This thing is really solidly built, and it doesn't need batteries, and is a nice size that fits comfortabley in your hand.

Weaknesses:    Photocell deteroriates over time.

Bottom Line:   
This is one kick ass light meter. The great thing about this meter is that it built like a tank and it can go anywhere. Another thing I like about it is that it is easy to use once you get to know it. You can do inciednt and reflective light readings with it. And if you have the set of direct reading slides you don't have to use the dial.

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Duration Product Used:   6-10 years

Price Paid:    $161.00

Purchased At:   B&H

Similar Products Used:   Gossen Pilot 2

Type of photography:   Fine Art


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by joe fazio a Professional from Pennsylvania

Date Reviewed: August 12, 2001

Strengths:    interchangeable dome and grid,hi slide,easy to use,no batteries.

Weaknesses:    swivel head is weak

Bottom Line:   
great studio meter,but not for travel..too touchy for photographers who do not baby their equipment , swivel head comes loose every once in a while,I had mine for 10 years and it took two trips to the local repair shop to fix the swivel head,but exposures were right on..and an novice could figure out how to use it in a day with i.b.

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Duration Product Used:   11-20 years

Price Paid:    $120.00

Purchased At:   used

Similar Products Used:   lots of different meters ...Gossen,Minolta,etc...

Type of photography:   Other


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by T Samuel a Intermediate from NYC

Date Reviewed: July 13, 2001

Strengths:    Classic, tried and true.
No batteries.


Weaknesses:    Can be easy to mess up readings bigtime if you aren't concentrating.

I don't think this meter is all that tough -- the top plastic rotating section snaps off pretty easily at the narrow part. Can be super-glue fixed though.


Bottom Line:   
Seeing some of the old, great cinematographers holding this is enough to convince me.

However I much prefer the simplicity of newer digital meters and I think the old greats would too. I knew people (students) using this meter who blew whole days of shooting because they forgot the "hi" slide was in or they were using the wrong line somewhere on the dial. These are silly mistakes but this meter makes you think a little bit and there is the room for human error. Still, the Studio Deluxe is a very capable tool that has been used by some of the greatest photographers/cinematographers ever so I find it hard to fault this classic instrument.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2-5 years

Similar Products Used:   Flashmate II

Type of photography:   Outdoor



Reviews 1 - 5 (9 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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