Help understanding my Sekonic L558

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by SMBooth, Mar 7, 2010.

  1. SMBooth

    SMBooth Member

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    I hope somebody could explain the display reading on my L558.
    The meter is set to Aperture Priority mode. The display as I read it is f5.6 and 1/3sec. Now my issue is what does the "4" next to the 5.6 mean, the manual say it 1/10th of sec, so 4/10 of what?
    Second query is how does the bar reading along the bottom relate, as to me it is say 1/4sec. I though it might mean 1/4sec + 4/10sec but that just doesn't make any sense at all.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    SWAG here!
    Aperture mode gives you 5.6@1/4 on the display. As I remember the bar is an analog reading of the shutter speed. It's a duplicate display.

    Does the digital display change when you change the metering mode to .5 stop?
     
  3. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Member

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    That's not right. It's f5.6 and 4/10. So basically halfway between f5.6 and f8.

    This meter reads in 1/10 stop increments. Since most cameras only offer full-stop shutter speeds, the aperture priority mode gives you the aperture you chose, the nearest shutter speed to give correct exposure, and a correction on the aperture to adjust for the face that at, for example f5.6, the shutter speed might have to be at a point between two shutter settings to give the right exposure. since that's not possible, you use the nearest shutter speed then f5.6 and 4/10.
     
  4. SMBooth

    SMBooth Member

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    SWAG ?
    Metering is set to 1/2 stops not 1/3 stop, but rolling the dial 1 click (1/2 stop) changes the 3 to 4, the bar goes 4 to halfway to 8 and the f stop to 4.8.
    thanks
     
  5. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    It is f/5.6, and then you need to figure out a way to cut "40% of a halving" of the amount of light you will get at f/5.6.

    Try figuring out exactly how to do that with your camera.

    Go ahead...I'll wait...but can you? Can your client?

    IMHO, one of the silliest meter readouts ever. Useless technical exactitude at the expense of being completely impractical. Isn't there a way you can just set it to match the precision of your aperture/shutter, like 1/2 stops or 1/3 stops?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 7, 2010
  6. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    It is quite some time since I’ve used 1/10 of a stop metering, but your meter is as far as I can remember and tell, giving you the readout in 1/10 of a stop increments.

    For all intents and purposes with your cameras (that I’ve seen) you would use 5.6 ½ at ¼ of a second exposure and be out by 1/10 of a stop.

    It does give you a reading that will allow you to guestimate which way to fudge your exposures, great idea.

    Many years ago doing product photography with lenses calibrated to 1/10 of a stop aperture readings, we shot and developed tranny film to an accuracy of 1/3 of a stop, with a highlight to shadow reading of 3 stops. This allowed the transparencies to be used for magazine reproduction straight from the camera to the colour separation stage without further fiddling.

    Not only was this quicker, cheaper and more satisfying, the clients liked the results, we picked up industry awards and felt good to boot.

    These quite accurate light meters were a revelation in the production of exact repeatable transparency film developing in a studio. They were also a revelation with the Sinar view camera with through the lens metering from the ground glass, allowing one to accurately allow for bellows extension and at the same time allow the photographer to decide whether to under expose another tenth or so of a stop, then get the film pushed a 1/3 of a stop or more in processing to bump the highlights so that when colour separation time came, you had a sparkle in the reproduction on the printed page.

    This was pretty much the driving factor as far as I can tell, as to why light meter manufacturers supplied meters with the ability to give readings down to 1/10 of a stop. If a light meter didn’t give us a 1/10 of a stop reading, it never made it past the studio door!

    Mick.
     
  7. rpsawin

    rpsawin Subscriber

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    I believe you can adjust that calibration in the set up.

    Best regards,

    Bob
     
  8. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    Don't own a 558 but just download the manual. When in the F mode (aperture priority) the 4/10 indicates 4/10 stop from the 1/4 sec (which is about 1/10 stop slower than 1/3 in the display).
     
  9. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    To the right of the main readout is the small figure you are referring to. This is a 1/10th of a stop e.g. 0.4sec f5.6 4.

    Most cameras can read in 0.3, 0.5 or 1 stop (ditto, that Sekonic model); the tenths figure is a little superfluous but can indicate 'weighting' away from "ideal" exposure (what constitutes "ideal" exposure is a personal preference!) e.g. 1sec f4 8 would be interpreted at f4.5 The "apostrophic" figure is only accorded a cursory glance on my Sekonic (L758D) — I am usually pre-occupied with completing several tasks before I am drenched!! Apparently the tenths of a stop has relevance in calibrating the meter during profiling of a digital camera, which is of absolutely no interest to me.

    ISO1 + ISO2 buttons (simultaneously) allow you to recalibrate the meter in +/– 1/10th stops.

    Your bar display is showing shutter speeds; this can be altered (custom function) to Ev which may provide a little more clarity relative to the figures displayed.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 7, 2010
  10. SMBooth

    SMBooth Member

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    OK Thanks all, just sound like theres to much information for everyday operation. I'll just stick to the main figures and run with that. Pity you cannot turn the 1/10 off, or display the shutter in whole number and nearest to standard shutter speeds along the bottom.
     
  11. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Those wretched decimals!
     
  12. SWphoto

    SWphoto Member

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    That's one of my biggest complaints about the 558- it is too complex unless used every day and every way. Am waiting for my Pentax Digital, which does one thing, the one I want. I guess it's not unlike the difference between the controls on a Leica and those on one of the newer super DSLRs. :smile:
     
  13. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    First there were SLRs.

    Then there were D-SLRs.

    Not there are "Super D-SLRs"!

    I am holding off until they are "Super-Dooper D-SLRs", personally!
     
  14. SWphoto

    SWphoto Member

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    And when THEIR useful life ends, they can be converted into Super-Dooper Pooper-Scoopers by removing the lens and sensor :smile:
     
  15. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    modern digital light meters are like this I have two of them a Sekonic and a Gossen, I'm seventy two years old and have no problem with them, and can't understand why much younger people than I think them "too complex", it ain't rocket science all do is get as near as you can to the reading so if in shutter priority mode the meter reads f8.4 or f8.6 if your lens has half stop click stops set it between f8 and f5.6 (f6.3) or if it reads f8.9 set the lens at f5.6, you can see on the analogue readout on the bottom of the display which is the closest full or half stop to the digital readout. I find these digital meters very accurate and much quicker and easier to use that the Weston Master or Gossen Lunapro S.B.C that I also have and have put in semi-retirement.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2010