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Reflective metering from Sekonic L-398A


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#1 Derek Diggler

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 11:39 PM

I have this Sekonic L-398A ("Studio Deluxe III") analog light meter. While it's build like an incident meter, it claims to be incident AND reflective.

Incident metering is fine and great, but I'm having real trouble getting any sort of accurate reflective metering. It always gives me a readout that results in the image being underexposed by at least one stop.

Is there any trick to this that I am unaware of?

(Just to walk through this: I'm using the reflective "lumigrid," pointing it at the set from camera position. After taking the reading, I match it on the dial using the highslide arrow.)

In the past, I have been using my digital SLR's built-in meter to take reflective measurements for motion film. I had been hoping to get rid of that rather silly solution.
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 11:42 PM

you're pointing it at the set? Or are you taking a reading off of a grey card on the set? The reflective reading assumes it's looking at 18% grey, and if it isn't, and you're not working the zones right, you can grossly over or under expose. I'm curious why not just use it in indecent mode. It's a fine meter for that, but for reflective you'd be much better off working with a spot meter so as to limit exactly what you're metering.
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#3 Derek Diggler

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 11:58 PM

you're pointing it at the set? Or are you taking a reading off of a grey card on the set?


Either way
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 12:08 AM

the Studio deluxe not being a spot meter is probably looking at more of the scene than you're intending it to, hence the change of exposure. It has a wider area of acceptance for incoming light.
It's a reference only.

This comes from the manual I found online (dunno where my manual is at the moment)
(film.bard.edu/resources/resources.php?action=getfile&id=786430)

from page 13:
Press stopper button
read meter scale footcandle
and
indication
footcandles are units of incident light
only, this value becomes simply a
reference.
f. Transfer indicated value to dial
. However, since
scale
and set
g. At this time, shutter speed
Rotate the dial ring
mark
scale and aperture
combination
Note: Do not employ slides for reflected
light measurement.
* More accurate results can be obtained for
reflected light measurement by using a
standard reflectance slide (optional
accessory).
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