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  1. #1
    romunas's Avatar
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    Sekonic L-508 problems with shadow mettering

    I've got an Sekonic L-508 lightmeter and was unpleasantly surprised that it has a big troubles with shadow metering in spot mode. It just shows low light signal on display while trying to meter some shadow area. I prefer to shoot landscapes on slide and b/w films and i need to have accurate data from my lightmeter. So i'm going to change my Sekonic to another model or even manufacturer. But i don't know which lightmeter is better for my purposes. I need a spotmeter and a lightmeter for incident light. Have you any advices? I will be very grateful for any solutions. Thanks

    By the way in incident mode L-508 works perfect. But in landscape photography very often you don't have a possibility to use a lightmeter in that mode.

    P.S. I'm not very experienced in English, especially in photographic terminology, so i could made some mistakes in description of my problem. Will be grateful for corrections.
    Last edited by romunas; 07-12-2011 at 06:08 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #2

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    Have you double checked to see it the dial on the eyepeice is turned to spot .

  3. #3
    romunas's Avatar
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    Yes of course

  4. #4
    CGW
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    Do you have the manual?

    http://www.sekonic.com/Support/Instr...eDownload.aspx

    The 508 has a variable spot coverage function from 1 degree to 4 degrees. Which are you using? Is your shutter speed/ISO set correctly?

  5. #5
    romunas's Avatar
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    All of them: 1 degree and 4 degree. Shutter speed and ISO was set correctly.
    But how a coverage function can affect a possibility to meter shadow area?
    I think the problem is in low sensitivity of metering sensor.

  6. #6
    CGW
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    How could that be if your incident readings are OK--or are they? Any dirt or crud on the spot meter lens surface?

  7. #7
    romunas's Avatar
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    Lightmeter is in good condition. Spotmeter works good scenes with a lot of light. But even at the middle of the day it can has a problems with shadow metering. And sometimes it is quite critical, especially shooting on slide film

  8. #8

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    Generally a smaller spot reduce the sensitivity of the meter thus it won't measure low light well. However, I read the manual for the L-508 and it said in spotmode it can measure down to EV3 which should be sufficient. There could be something wrong with the meter.

  9. #9
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    While you are checking things, does the battery measure in good shape? I have been very happy with this model meter for about four years.

    John Powers
    Last edited by jp80874; 07-12-2011 at 03:19 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #10
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    I use a Minolta Spotmeter F which only has the 1° spot mode, in ambient light with 100 ISO goes down to EV 1 according to the producer. If you are planning a new (second-hand) purchase, I find the Minolta very good stuff, but it's inconvenient to have two different lightmeters, one for spot measuring and one for incident metering.

    As Chan Tran says, your Sekonic goes down to EV 3 but that should be more than sufficient in normal situations. Maybe it's a stupid advice, but I would check battery contacts and clean them well.

    Certain lightmeters have two different cells for highlights and shadows (Pentax spot meter IIRC). Maybe your lightmeter has two different cells too, and one is out of calibration (or damaged somehow) while the other is not.
    Fabrizio Ruggeri fine art photography site: http://fabrizio-ruggeri.artistwebsites.com
    Stock images at Imagebroker: http://www.imagebroker.com/#/search/ib_fbr

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