Sekonic L398A

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by pollux, May 18, 2010.

  1. pollux

    pollux Member

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    Is this a good cheap meter for manual cameras?
     
  2. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Its a very good meter for any camera at any price(new they arent cheap). I've had mine for years and wont get rid of it for anything. I prefer incident metering, this is one of the best. It is capable of reflected metering as well, and averaging for studio set-ups.
     
  3. Shawn Rahman

    Shawn Rahman Subscriber

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    Agreed - this is a terrific analog meter and should last a couple of decades. If you can find version 2 or 3 at a decent price, get it. Not too sensitive at low light, but as far as analog, battery-less meters go, I think the 398 is the best there is.
     
  4. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Member

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    It is the most incredible device ever invented !
    I bought mine brand spanking new in 1981, for $55.00 !
    It is indestructible ! And still very accurate !
    I wish I had a second unit, for backup just in case .
     
  5. Kevin Kehler

    Kevin Kehler Member

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    I bought one off the classified section about 2 months ago and it is wonderful. I use a spot meter when I have time to "zone" it but for carrying around and general usage, it is very accurate and reliable.
     
  6. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    I bought a used one about 10 years ago for about $70. Best money I ever spent on a light meter. Not great in low light, but perfectly serviceable. I have the reflected light attachment for it, but hardly ever use it.
     
  7. Ulrich Drolshagen

    Ulrich Drolshagen Subscriber

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    I've bought mine new after I got three defective ones from the used market. To my experience it's not the cell which is defective but the meter, There is a counterweight opposite of the needle which is glued on. This glue seems to degrade with time. I do not know wheather the Seconic has improved it in this respect with the newer ones though. The new one (with amorphous silicon cell) is a terriffic istrument which goes very well with my 3.5F

    Ulrich
     
  8. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    There is also an earlier version (L28C I believe) that is essentially the same. Also, the Norwood Director, is older and also very similar.
     
  9. Changeling1

    Changeling1 Member

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    I have one of the gold "One Million 18k Commemorative Edition" of the L-398 to commemorate the sales of one million L-398s. Being new in the box it's not being used but I do use a Sekonic 428L occasionally as well as the numerous Norwood Directors I've collected back when I was collecting meters. The 428L was purchased as "old new-stock" from Tucker's Camera Shop outside of Atlanta. It's a bit bigger and heavier than the L398 but still retains the jewel-like quality of the Norwood line of meters. Here's a great link for everything you wanted to know about these Norwood Director meters. http://www.johndesq.com/pinhole/mannorwood.htm
     
  10. preston2

    preston2 Member

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    I'm using the 308S and liking it. Simple and accurate.
     
  11. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    IMHO, it is perhaps the best ambient light meter ever made. Mine from the '50s still works perfectly (though back then it was called the Brockway Norwood Director made in Japan by Sekonic). They are a steal at under $200 brand new, and their prices on the used market are ridiculously low as well. It should be on the required list for any beginning photographer, IMHO, right alongside a fully manual camera and a normal lens. This meter will improve results immeasurably for anyone used to making their exposures using a directly-read in-camera reflected light meter. They are well built and slip right into your pocket as well. The most important and useful accessory IMO is a set of high slides, especially the direct reading slide. If only they made the exact same thing as a flash meter as well!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2010
  12. eddym

    eddym Member

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    Love mine. I've had it for 25+ years and recently had it CLA'd just for grins. It is small, easy to use and accurate. What more could you want? It's an excellent meter for use with my Rollei TLR's.