Sekonic L-308S-U Flashmate Lightmeter: How does this compare to others?

ShaunHillShaunHill Registered Users Posts: 3 Beginner grinner
Hello there,

I need a light meter for ambient light whilst out and about and flash when doing studio work. I know that Sekonic units are very well built and rated. I am struggling to understand the differences between then and deciding which one to go for. I like the slightly larger ones for the fact that you can twist the light sensor and move it in and out for different light readings.

However, I am still unsure of the main differences between models and which one to choose.

Could someone please tell me how does this compare to Sekonic flash master l-358 & Sekonic l-478d litemaster pro? What features are missing?

Also, in relation Sekonic L-478D-U Lightmeter, what makes it an upgrade over the original Sekonic l-478d litemaster pro light meter?


  • ShaunHillShaunHill Registered Users Posts: 3 Beginner grinner
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Super Moderators Posts: 23,788 moderator
    edited October 10, 2017

    Sorry, Shaun.

    I am pretty old school with an external meter and still use a Gossen Luna Pro "F", and it is capable of incident and reflected light metering in ambient or flash modes. One of very few "null" meters ever made, it is both accurate and fast. No longer made, they are becoming collectibles.

    Hopefully someone will join in the discussion with actual Sekonic experience. Barring that, the Sekonic L-358 Flash Master Light Meter is a classic and one that I considered personally. Pretty easy to find used L-358 meters and, if you need more, sell the L-358 for what you paid for it. Renting is also an option.

    Sekonic has a comparison chart here:

    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • ShaunHillShaunHill Registered Users Posts: 3 Beginner grinner
    Hello Ziggy, thank you for your reply. I have seen the comparison chart but sometimes it is easy to be blinded by science and what is really needed is hands-on experience. Does anyone else have any experience?
  • pathfinderpathfinder Super Moderators Posts: 14,696 moderator
    edited November 11, 2017

    I can't answer your questions about the differences with the various models of the Sekonic light meters, but the Sekonic website has lots of tables to do exactly that.

    I do own an older L358 with the radio trigger module and I really like being able to trigger my strobes in the studio with a button on the Sekonic Light meter and immediately get an incident reading all at the same time. A couple pops and the light in the studio is dialed in and ready to go. Very quick and easy to do.

    I rarely use my Sekonic meter out of doors these days, since digital cameras are so easy and forgiving to use re exposure.

    But there are certainly times when an incident meter is really an advantage.

    Pathfinder -

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • PindyPindy Registered Users Posts: 1,089 Major grins

    I would say this:

    • The 308 is the minimum feature set while still including flash readings.
    • If you need your meter to do aperture priority (meaning, you set your desired aperture and the meter tells you a shutter speed only), you're best going with the 4XX-series or above. The 308 only does shutter priority, and you can slide the exposure equivalents with the arrow buttons.
    • If you need a spot meter, go with one of the more expensive Sekonics, like the 878, or buy an older used one.
    • As was said previously, the 478 has three choices for wireless strobe triggering. The 308 has a PC cord jack, so you can still trigger old school.

    I would say if you don't need a spot meter, the 478 variants are the best "all-rounder" of the current lineup, and should give you flash percentages vs ambient light as well as colour readings. I went back to film for most of my photography and I have an L-308 as well as the analogue L-398. I don't often shoot with strobes, nor do I follow the zone system, so that meant for me that I didn't need more than what those two had to offer. I would consider a 478 down the line, as I tend to want an aperture priority reading, but I'm happy with the basic functions.

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