Sekonic L-558 DualMaster Light Meters

L-558 DualMaster

The Sekonic L-558 DualMaster is the first multi-function light meter to offer a 1° spot meter that measures reflected flash output down to an amazing f/2.0 (ISO 100).

  • Incident, reflective, spot, and flash metering
  • Cordless Flash Mode
  • ISO 3 to ISO 8000
  • Rugged, compact, all-weather housing
  • Illuminated LCD panel
  • 1/2 or 1/3-stop increments
  • Optional Plug-in Radio Transmitter Module

  • User Reviews (5)

    Showing 1-5 of 5  
    sieracki001   Expert [Dec 06, 2004]
    Strength:

    Build quality is high. Very nice bright viewfinder with appropriate info. Brightness difference function is superb. Can be custom calibrated in 0.1 stops. Carry only one meter into the field or the studio.

    Weakness:

    Can't easlily determine correct exposure on the meter if I want to place in other than Zone V. On a Pentax meter, I can move the reading up and down a certain number of stops on the Zone calculator. With this I have to think. Meter goes up to only 1/8000 of a second on shutter speed. Takes only the expensive lithium 'photo' batteries, and they're not rechargeable. Hassle to carry spares into the field. Doesn't measure illumination in foot-Lamberts (have to buy the expensive one for that).

    This is an all purpose meter that contains both incident and spot metering capabilities. You should buy this meter if you are serious about correctly determining exposure for critical shots in difficult light, which in nature happens often. So for me, a handheld meter is important to own. I most often use the meter to determine the SBR (subject brightness ratio) of a scene I'm considering. What the meter does for me here is allows me to measure the relative brightnesses by calculating the difference in the EV value between the highlights and shadows. Basically, I measure the important highlight and then hit the brightness difference button. Then I measure the scene into the shadow areas, holding down the measure button. What the meter does is gives me the number of stops between my highlight and any other area. If the difference is -5.0 or greater, then this area will appear as black in the frame if I don't blow the highlights. I can also measure and memorize two or more readings and see their distribution on the zone scale on the LCD. I can count the number of stops between each measured value. The meter can also be manually calibrated by entering the calibration function. This way you can make sure that the meter is giving you a middle gray by calibrating to a gray card or test against sunny 16. You can also enter two ISO numbers into the meter to get readings for each one. Meter is very light and easy to handle. Can also be used as an incident meter. Need to rotate a knob to set this. You have to be careful not to rotate the wrong knob or you'll be sorry. It is also a flash meter and I'm not really using this function so I can't comment. This meter goes everywhere I go. I don't use it for every shot, but I know I can nail my exposure if it's very critical and it's a long SBR scene. Also has custom filter factor settings. This is a complex device. I recommend getting to know it well before you shoot with it. The meter seems to be well made and is durable. I recommend getting the small lens hood for the spot meter lens as it almost has no protection from flare and this can seriously affect your readings.

    Customer Service

    Haven't needed to try them.

    Similar Products Used: Pentax digital spot meter (Zone VI) Sekonic 778
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Rick   Intermediate [Feb 24, 2004]
    Strength:

    Does everything (ambient and flash, incident and spot reflective). Customization (e.g., can set readings at full f-stops, 1/2-stops, or 1/3-stops so they correspond to your camera). Optional Pocket Wizard radio module is incredically convenient in actual use. Just a terrific feature. Brightness difference function is very useful in measuring lighting ratios.

    Weakness:

    I would prefer the measurement button as an index finger trigger rather than a thumb button. But it is a minor matter. So many features that you really need to read the manual to understand everything.

    Shows all the good signs of a product line which has evolved over the years adding features and tuning the user interface based on practical field experience. Very well thought-out product. Whatever one wants to do, you can do easily. And the readings certainly seem to be "spot on" based on every picture I have taken.

    Customer Service

    Prompt response to an email question.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
      Intermediate [Dec 13, 2003]
    Strength:

    Solved the 608 problems : Brighter spot meter avoid the E.u. (exposure under) error. EV1 vs EV3. (Zoom is always darker than prime.) Water prove (I haven't tested)

    Weakness:

    Some people complain that Sekonic reflective meter is 2/3 step off. Well, we have to understand that there is no ISO standard for reflective meter. Most common assumption is 13% or 18% of reflective index from the subject. Today's rocket science matrix TTL meter inside the camera may even make new assumptions, which is made mainly for P+S color film users. Sekonic's standard was made around 50 years ago when the company was set up when there were no TTL reflective meter inside all camera and people were using bw film and zone system. Despite the fact that all camera now come with a TTL meter with new assumptions about reflective percentage, I don't think that a meter manufacturer should change their rule from time to time, provided that the rule is a subjective one. I just want every Sekonic meter to be consistent, even for 100 years. The MUST DO thing after buying a reflective meter is to calibrate with your own camera's reflective spot meter. I calibrated the 558 with Minolta Dynax 5's spot meter and made -70% adjustment. Keep in mind that different manufacturers base their assumption differently. As a result, no matter which camera you use, Canon, Nikon, Contax or Lecia, you must calibrate the meter with the camera. And then use YOUR slide film and YOUR lab and YOUR projector and your film scanner and YOUR digital printing lab to verify your spot meter (Both Sekonic and the one inside your camera) would produce a picture which you were trying to produced. If you don't have this patient, PLEASE dont' work as a photographer to ruin other people's important event like wedding or expensive advertisement project..... However, I am very disappointed that Sekonic didn't provide adequate information neither in web page or user manual to explain this. Also, light receptor can't move vertically, which is the only direction I want. So that the meter can be placed on a chair or table and take the measurement in front of it. L-718 is better in this. Other than this, there is no any bit of problem in the meter. I am very satisfied with this meter.

    Contain every features that I need to play with. Very convenient for complicated situations like multi-flash and zone system. Very convenient, very good. More cost effective than L-608.

    Customer Service

    Don't know about it in HK.

    Similar Products Used: None.
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Chris   Expert [Nov 24, 2003]
    Strength:

    great feature, spot + ambient. Effective backlighting of main display. Low-light flash metering, dual iso. Weather-proofing.

    Weakness:

    some of the settings are a bit of an ergonomic finger twister. Expensive, but better value than the 608 I believe (I think the only difference is the spot meter zooms in the 608)

    First new meter purchase in a very long time. Prior to this, non-flash ambient meters were fine for me, but I recently needed to add flash metering for studio work. The 558 has a lot of features, but is not so complicated that it gets in way of the basic measuring modes. Averages up to nine readings, which is great for the spot meter... I like the way it's main display shows all of the stored readings against the same aperture or shutter speed scale. Flash metering is flexible, I usually fire synced from the meter. W/o cord, it resets itself after each flash which is a nice feature too. spot meter viewfinder shows meter reading, something that I didn't see in some other products (and earlier sekonic meters) Allows two iso settings, plus I like the fact you can 'calibrate' the meter to adjust for a particular piece of equipment whose metering may be different. Storing a meter reading is a two step process... meter + store. It would have been nice to be able to do this wi

    Customer Service

    don't know

    Similar Products Used: gossen
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    4
    DouG   Professional [Oct 18, 2003]
    Strength:

    A perfect all in one light and spot meter. An extended 3 year warranty when extended warranty card is mailed.

    Weakness:

    none really, they thought this one through pretty good.

    This meter is suppose to replace the L-508 from what I have heard. This meter is not a zoom spot as it's sister is. It has a one degree spot at an impressive f2.8 I have found this to be a much simpler design and for me more useful. I haven't yet explored all of it's special fetures yet , but for know I don't need to many of them. It was designed very simple and if you do need them , they are there to use.

    Similar Products Used: Minolta
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Showing 1-5 of 5  

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