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Sekonic L-478D vs Sekonic L-308B

  
 
Luis Cunha
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Sekonic L-478D vs Sekonic L-308B


Hi, I'm thinking of buying a lightmeter to learn more about exposure and save some time on editing.

I use a Westcott FJ200 flash, for real estate and for studio work, including macro and fine arts reproductions. I also do landscape.

I have the possibility to buy a used Sekonic L-478D+Sekonic 5 Degree Spot Viewfinder or a simpler Sekonic L-308B. The price difference between them is around /$100.00. I think both models are a few years old. The most expensive keep the same designation. The cheapest is now called L-308"X" instead of "B".
I would like to have your opinion on which model to choose, for the use I describe.

Thanks so much for your help.



Apr 19, 2022 at 06:18 AM
CharleyL
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Sekonic L-478D vs Sekonic L-308B


I'm not familiar with the L-478D but the L-308B should do the job. An L-308x is only about $220 new, so don't over pay for this older model. Measuring ambient light levels and flash strength at your desired ISO and shutter speeds are about all you need it for. With those two settings dialed in, the meter will tell you the correct F-stop.

You can do it in TTL too, if your camera and flash are TTL compatible. Set both for TTL and take a test shot. Then decide if the shot needs to be a little lighter or darker and adjust that in the camera menu. Repeat the test shot to assure that you have it right. Now the camera settings are right for that one light.

Charley




Apr 19, 2022 at 10:08 AM
Luis Cunha
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Sekonic L-478D vs Sekonic L-308B


CharleyL wrote:
I'm not familiar with the L-478D but the L-308B should do the job. An L-308x is only about $220 new, so don't over pay for this older model. Measuring ambient light levels and flash strength at your desired ISO and shutter speeds are about all you need it for. With those two settings dialed in, the meter will tell you the correct F-stop.

You can do it in TTL too, if your camera and flash are TTL compatible. Set both for TTL and take a test shot. Then decide if the shot needs to be a little lighter or darker
...Show more

Hi Charley,

thank you for your message. I think you're absolutely right about the price of an old model versus a new one. After all, the "B" is from 1994 and the "X" is from 2018 and has more useful functions for photography:
http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Sekonic_L-308

At $145.00, the "B" seems really expensive.



Apr 19, 2022 at 10:48 AM
jeffbuzz
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Sekonic L-478D vs Sekonic L-308B


The 308 type meters are great for ambient and basic flash metering. They are very small and easy to carry. The only advantage to the 478 is having the spot metering. However, I would not find the 5 degree spot very useful. Especially for landscape work you may want a narrower 1 degree spot. That is only found on the higher end meters with built in spot metering like the 758 and 858. If the spot metering is really important to you I'd suggest trying to find a 1 degree meter. The L-608 is a discontinued model that had a 1-4 degree zooming spot function which was quite nice.


Apr 19, 2022 at 10:22 PM
Luis Cunha
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Sekonic L-478D vs Sekonic L-308B


jeffbuzz wrote:
The 308 type meters are great for ambient and basic flash metering. They are very small and easy to carry. The only advantage to the 478 is having the spot metering. However, I would not find the 5 degree spot very useful. Especially for landscape work you may want a narrower 1 degree spot. That is only found on the higher end meters with built in spot metering like the 758 and 858. If the spot metering is really important to you I'd suggest trying to find a 1 degree meter. The L-608 is a discontinued model that had a
...Show more

Thank you Jeff. Your comment is relevant. 1 degree of measurement is indeed more accurate especially in distant landscape. The problem is that these models are very expensive, but I will investigate the older one you indicate ,-)



Apr 20, 2022 at 05:20 AM
jeffbuzz
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Sekonic L-478D vs Sekonic L-308B


Another excellent 1 spot meter was the "Minolta Flash Meter VI". It is discontinued but they are available in the used market. I had one which I regret parting with. Kenko now produces essentially the same meter as the "KFM-2100" and a later version "KFM-2200".

The only thing lacking in those Minolta and Kenko meters is built-in radio triggering. Most of the Sekonic meters (other than the 308) have some compatibility with radio triggers. The older ones have Pocket Wizard transmitter modules that fit inside the meter. The newer ones also have radio modules for other brands like Elinchrom and Godox. If you have any interest in radio triggering strobes, the newest Sekonic meters are worth considering. Otherwise, you can use common sync cords or external Pocket Wizard transmitters with any of them as a trigger.



Apr 20, 2022 at 10:45 AM
Luis Cunha
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Sekonic L-478D vs Sekonic L-308B


jeffbuzz wrote:
Another excellent 1 spot meter was the "Minolta Flash Meter VI". It is discontinued but they are available in the used market. I had one which I regret parting with. Kenko now produces essentially the same meter as the "KFM-2100" and a later version "KFM-2200".

The only thing lacking in those Minolta and Kenko meters is built-in radio triggering. Most of the Sekonic meters (other than the 308) have some compatibility with radio triggers. The older ones have Pocket Wizard transmitter modules that fit inside the meter. The newer ones also have radio modules for other brands like Elinchrom and Godox.
...Show more

Hi Jeff, what can you say about a used Sekonic L-758D? It has a built-in 1 degree spot meter and has a perhaps useful function, for indoor photography with ambient light and flash, which gives the percentage between ambient light and flash (I don't know if any of the newer lower range ones do this). And of course it already included T and F priority and EV metering. It was a high-end device when it was released (I can't know when), but it will be over a decade old and has been discontinued for a few years now, but Sekonic continues to provide technical support.



Apr 28, 2022 at 06:47 AM
 


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jeffbuzz
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Sekonic L-478D vs Sekonic L-308B


Luis Cunha wrote:
Hi Jeff, what can you say about a used Sekonic L-758D? It has a built-in 1 degree spot meter and has a perhaps useful function, for indoor photography with ambient light and flash, which gives the percentage between ambient light and flash (I don't know if any of the newer lower range ones do this). And of course it already included T and F priority and EV metering. It was a high-end device when it was released (I can't know when), but it will be over a decade old and has been discontinued for a few years now, but
...Show more

The L-758D is excellent. I had one for many years. If you can find a nice one I would recommend it. Be sure to check and update the firmware if you get one. Some useful fixes were released over the years. You can update the firmware yourself.

As you note, it has nearly every function you might need. Most of the older and newer meters measure flash:ambient ratios. I think the 308 is the only one that does not have that feature. But definitely verify that if it is important to you before picking one. It is definitely useful if you like to fill flash into natural lighting. The Minolta and Kenko meters also have similar functions.

The biggest changes from the 758 to the 858 are that the newer 858 uses simple AA batteries rather than CR123, supports HSS and has more radio sync module choices beyond Pocketwizard.

One thing I only realized recently is that the 858 supports higher ISO values up to some ridiculous value like 13 million. The older 758 "only" went up to ISO 8000. I suppose this makes sense as more recent digital cameras have ISO sensitivities like 100,000+. I can't say that I've ever used flash above ISO 8000 so that was never a limiting factor to me.



Apr 28, 2022 at 09:58 AM
Luis Cunha
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Sekonic L-478D vs Sekonic L-308B


jeffbuzz wrote:
The L-758D is excellent. I had one for many years. If you can find a nice one I would recommend it. Be sure to check and update the firmware if you get one. Some useful fixes were released over the years. You can update the firmware yourself.

As you note, it has nearly every function you might need. Most of the older and newer meters measure flash:ambient ratios. I think the 308 is the only one that does not have that feature. But definitely verify that if it is important to you before picking one. It is definitely useful if you
...Show more

Thank you Jeff.
I just learned that the unit I had in mind has been stolen. It's bad luck! I will keep looking.
The other models with the same functions are: Minolta Flash Meter VI, Kenko KFM-2100 or the latest Kenko KFM-2200; right? Thanks



Apr 28, 2022 at 10:09 AM
jeffbuzz
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Sekonic L-478D vs Sekonic L-308B


Luis Cunha wrote:
Thank you Jeff.
I just learned that the unit I had in mind has been stolen. It's bad luck! I will keep looking.
The other models with the same functions are: Minolta Flash Meter VI, Kenko KFM-2100 or the latest Kenko KFM-2200; right? Thanks


Correct, all three of those have flash:ambient ratio functions. I have used the original Minolta and latest Kenko KFM-2200. The Kenko 2100 was a clone of the original Minolta. After Minolta exited the photo business back in ~2006 Kenko took over their product line. None of them have internal radio triggering.



Apr 28, 2022 at 10:58 AM
Luis Cunha
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Sekonic L-478D vs Sekonic L-308B


jeffbuzz wrote:
Correct, all three of those have flash:ambient ratio functions. I have used the original Minolta and latest Kenko KFM-2200. The Kenko 2100 was a clone of the original Minolta. After Minolta exited the photo business back in ~2006 Kenko took over their product line. None of them have internal radio triggering.


Thanks a lot Jeff ,-)



Apr 28, 2022 at 11:04 AM
Luis Cunha
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Sekonic L-478D vs Sekonic L-308B


jeffbuzz wrote:
Correct, all three of those have flash:ambient ratio functions. I have used the original Minolta and latest Kenko KFM-2200. The Kenko 2100 was a clone of the original Minolta. After Minolta exited the photo business back in ~2006 Kenko took over their product line. None of them have internal radio triggering.


I found a Minolta IV F near me. It's not the VI so it seems expensive for $200.00. It won't do more than a brand new Sekonic L-308X that costs the same.



May 05, 2022 at 05:25 AM
jeffbuzz
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Sekonic L-478D vs Sekonic L-308B


Luis Cunha wrote:
I found a Minolta IV F near me. It's not the VI so it seems expensive for $200.00. It won't do more than a brand new Sekonic L-308X that costs the same.


Yes, a new Sekonic L-308X would seem like a better investment at that price. I'm not aware of any special features that those old Minolta IV meters had which would make them especially desirable. Those date from the 80's or 90's.



May 05, 2022 at 11:59 AM
Luis Cunha
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Sekonic L-478D vs Sekonic L-308B


Right ,-)


May 05, 2022 at 12:09 PM







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