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Sekonic L-858 Light Meter Review

Unleash yourself

Today's cameras are amazing, some having over100 autofocus sensors, ISO sensitivity off the charts, and stunning frames per seconds and best thing is most of these simply work without much intervention on your part .   The one aspect we all face is situations of tricky lighting and trying to get the perfect exposure, especially in high contrast situations. This is where the Sekonic 858 comes into play but more so with first time measurement of "Flash Duration".. WOW!

Some of us make a half dozed shots, then look at each on the LCD and try to determine which is the best exposure - there is a better way! Get yourself a Sekonic Light Meter and learn how to use it. Armed with one such as the L-858 it will make your exposure determinations fast, highly accurate and dependable and ultimately reduce your post editing.

I use mine and carry it along anytime I am out doing landscapes and in addition to the L-858 light meter I carry a passport color checker. These two items together will cut your post editing by half.  I will add some links below on using these fine photographic tools.

What makes the L-858 so cool?  It is a workhorse! Studios, Outdoor, Cinematographers the L-858 has you covered.  The lightmeter has available transfer software that facilitates creating profiles for your cameras.  You can with the color passport take a series of bracket exposures and use the software to "adjust" the profile to match your cameras metering system and dynamic range.  This light meter allows up to 10 profiles which you can load and use at any time. Plus the L-858 supports firmware updates so you can keep your device up to date.

If you you are a studio shooter and use Elinchrom, Phottix, and PocketWizard products your in luck (separate module), the meter can remote fire and control the flash from the meter, and now has high/hyper speed sync to allow remarkable effects of  stop motion while maintaining precision flash exposure control. The meter now features flash duration.

  • You can now measure the output of your flash / strobes - NO MORE guesswork.
  • No more proprietary batteries -  standard AA Alkaline or rechargeables. 
  • Profiles (10)
  • Custom Menus, disable features you dont need/use.

Built in spot meter and swivel/retractable Lumidisc.  Has 9 memory slots to store your readings, with the ability to instantly perform average readings - Great for highlights and shadows to obtain the total dynamic range for the image and if you set up your camera profile, you will instantly know if you are outside of your cameras dynamic range.  Thus, no more guessing! take the readings, perform the comparisons and make the exposure settings then take the shot - no more gimping.

If you use filters such as NDs the light meter has the ability for you to add in the compensation and have that automatically applied to the exposure with a touch of the finger.

The L-858 is an excellent tool and much improved over the L-758 (I since sold my 758),  The L-858 with it's touch screen, intuitive GUI and costume menus, you have an awesome photographers tool, and all you need to do is get yourself one.

Photographer's Notes

Buy Your Sekonic 858 Light Meter

You may also consider a Color Checker

More links

Author: TrueToad
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I live at the edge of the forest in semi-moist locations, I enjoy larva, and other delights. Although I am toothless and mostly warty, I am a sight to see.

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