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Thread: Sekonic L398A

  1. #1

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    Sekonic L398A

    Is this a good cheap meter for manual cameras?

  2. #2
    Rick A's Avatar
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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.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum
    BTW: the big kid in my avatar is my hero, my son, who proudly serves us in the Navy. "SALUTE"

  3. #3

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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. #4
    M.A.Longmore's Avatar
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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 .

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    Kevin Kehler's Avatar
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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.
    Once a photographer is convinced that the camera can lie and that, strictly speaking, the vast majority of photographs are "camera lies," inasmuch as they tell only part of a story or tell it in a distorted form, half the battle is won. Once he has conceded that photography is not a "naturalistic" medium of rendition and that striving for "naturalism" in a photograph is futile, he can turn his attention to using a camera to make more effective pictures.

    Andreas Feininger

  6. #6

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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.
    Frank Schifano

  7. #7

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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

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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.
    "Far more critical than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know." - Eric Hoffer

  9. #9

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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
    "A certain amount of contempt for the material employed to express an idea is indispensable to the purest realization of this idea." Man Ray

  10. #10

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    I'm using the 308S and liking it. Simple and accurate.

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