Neat tool if you can afford it.

I’m in San Diego for a family vacation (by the time you read this I will be back) and my 30 day trial on this Sekonic L308DC meter is just about out, so I am reviewing it now. Sorry for the bad audio I don’t have my mic with me.

Mark Wallace did a great review of this light meter awhile back and that is where I learned about this meter designed for dslr video

Mark said this meter was dead on in all tests he did, so I am not going to test for that since Mark has way more experience than I do. I
thought I would add to his review by showing you some examples I have tried.

I recommend you watch Mark’s video. One of the things Mark didn’t discuss in his video, Canon cameras in video mode on uses center weighted average compared to the stills mode which had 4 modes.

With just center weighted average mode it is impossible to get the right exposed for this flower if you didn’t spot metering. If you had
a gray card or a digital target it might work but with a light meter where you tell it the ISO and exposure the meter will solve for the
aperture correctly.

Getting the correct exposure is critical as I am learning from doing more color correction.

So will I buy one of these or recommend it? I think for green screen work this could very useful but I have magic latern that gives me
tools like zebras so may not.

I do a lot of run and gun shooting so this doesn’t quite fit for me but if you do a lot of studio work and need to nail the expose and
light ratios this might be a awesome tool to own. It is not cheap as it is light I believe it is close $279.


  • If you just want to worry about ratios, you can get a cheapo china lux meter. Cost you less than 20$.
    And if your brain can only work in Foot Candles, just remember to divide by 10….. (10.764 if you want to be spot on mathematically)

  • Enjoyed the post. Thanks Doug. I agree with your assessment of the price – there’s gotta be a company that can produce a fully functioning meter for a lot less.

    (P.S. the US put up a great fight against Italy in the Rugby World Cup today – nice one)

  • Thanks for that. I agree that it is a little too expensive for what I would use it for. Here’s to hoping the price goes down!!

    Great review though.

  • Just finished a filmed interview project and regret NOT having an external incident light meter, both for consistency between shots and also to check lighting ratios. Spent a LOT more time that I would have having to roto the talent so I could simulate the exact same exposure.
    Guess it’s relative but IMHO $279 is a very small price to pay compared to the amount of time spent correcting for consistency between shots in post.

  • I just started Film School, so I had to buy one. No regrets so far! Love this thing. You can find it for around $220 on eBay, by the way.

  • Cool Tool Dave,

    If I buy something from B&H, how do I let them know to give you a cut of the price?
    (please redirect me if I missed it somewhere)


  • @John-Mark thanks for thinking of me, just click on any of the B&h links on this site and then buy something here within a day or so, that is all there is to it.

  • @Calvin Skinner – lol fully agree – some of these little tools are so over-priced!! I guess the producers of these products don’t really care so such about the little people who don’t have big budgets, because they know that hollywood will pay the price. But thanks Dave for the good review and all the hard work you’ve put into helping people like me. 5D coming your way once I get that big budget. Your the best!!

  • I have this Sekonic and I will say it’s not always accurate, I don’t think any light meter is. A good example is your tester Sekonic meter wanted an f4, when in fact, you were set correctly at f5.6. I use my meter to zone light my set, for that it works perfectly. I find the built in meter on my 5DM2 pretty darn accurate, but the end all for me is what It looks like on the built in LCD, which is set to a manual 5. I’ve found this to be the most accurate setting and I go by what looks right to my eye regardless of what any meter reads. So far, so good!

  • This seems cool, but really? 280 bucks? I would definitely buy it if it was 80 bucks.
    It seems like a really nice tool though. I don’t understand what magic lantern does with this kind of stuff. Could you post a video, or explain it in words of what it does? Or maybe is there somebody else that you know of that knows it well?

    Anyways, thanks for the video! Really healped as most of yours do.

    PS the audio sounds like crap, but I’m not sure if I want to spend 150 bucks of the rode mic. Is it worth it? At this point I’m just filming skiing and some interview – ish things.

    And what recorder should I get if i get the rode?

  • Hi Dave, your review got me thinking and researching, and I’ve come up short. Please explain if you know a way of keeping the lighting ratio constant using magic lantern because I believe that is one of the most important functions of a light meter, and of course I’d like to save the money by not buying one if ML can do the trick : )

  • By the way, the F stands for “focal” as in focal ratio which is what the f stop actually is, no?

  • If anyone is looking for a good deal, try to find an Minolta Auto Meter IIIF on ebay. They are selling for $80-150 USD at the date of this posting. Great tool 🙂

    Works for Flash / Ambient / Film (allows shutter setting @ 50)

    I’ve owned mine for over 20 yrs – never missed a beat 😉