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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 13 Aug 2014 (Wednesday) 11:51
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Help with my next purchase, light meter or?

 
digitalduck
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Aug 13, 2014 11:51 |  #1

Hi guys..so long story short, I have about $300 to spend and still am just a portrait guy. Anything such as landscape is purely for my walls. I did my first senior photo session last night and it went fine using my 568exii and a 40x40 soft box. Sure there were times I had to try TTL (not good) and after just use M and adjust up and down to taste.
The thing is is that I still have always wanted to get a light meter since im still doing outdoor portrait and know it would help me. I also want eventually to purchase a cheap battery solution to allow me to use my strobe (Flashpoint 300w) outdoors with its own soft box… I don’t know of a cheap solution.
I feel that a meter such as the 358 or 478? Would be a good choice. I know that 478 allows fort software calibration with my 60D whereas the the 358 would not. Also, I know that both can use a separate spot meter but looks like those are expensive. Too bad, because I would love to use it for landscape work.
I guess that’s my question, is what would benefit me more. Getting a meter or something else like a battery pack so I could use my strobe on location. I still only have portrait work coming up, maternity, newborn, family etc.
I would love your thoughts on this…it looks like ebay would have the 358 for around $200 which leaves some extra ash and the the 478 is around $330. Or could I achieve the same results with the $100 small one I think tis the 308?

thank you!!
Y




  
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drvnbysound
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Aug 13, 2014 15:05 |  #2

I'd say pick up the 358. I think it will greatly help the portrait work and allow you to be much more consistent overall. Additionally, if after you use it for a week or a month and you decide that it's not for you, you can sell it for practically the same price - light meters don't really lose their value.


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draderusa
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Aug 13, 2014 15:44 |  #3

digitalduck wrote in post #17093589 (external link)
…it looks like ebay would have the 358 for around $200 which leaves some extra ash and the the 478 is around $330. Or could I achieve the same results with the $100 small one I think tis the 308?

thank you!!
Y

I just checked ebay and see most 358's going for closer to $300 used. As much of a workhorse as the 358 is, at that price I'd probably lean toward getting a new L478D for $339 new with full warranty. As you noted, the 478 can also be calibrated for your individual camera sensor to provide even more accuracy. The 308 lacks the ability to meter ambient light in aperture priority mode, has no provision for an optional spot metering attachment, and will not give you the percentage of ambient light to flash contribution that can be quite helpful in adjusting flash levels . In my opinion it sacrifices too much functionality to reach its lower price point.


Dave
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drvnbysound
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Aug 13, 2014 15:52 |  #4

I like hearing that my gear is appreciating in value :)

I got a L-358 in the classifieds section here on POTN a few years ago for around $200.


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D ­ Thompson
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Aug 13, 2014 17:50 |  #5

I'd say the 308 will do what you need. I've used one for a few years now and it works fine for me.


Dennis
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Wilt
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Aug 13, 2014 18:26 |  #6

You need a lot more powerful flash, for it to be truly useful for outdoor work -- even with a battery pack!

So unless you can afford to upgrade lighting, go for the flashmeter. Look also at Kenko (rebranded Minolta meters, after Minolta exited the meter business), or look at used Minolta Autmeter IVf or Vf. (Today's photographer is largely unaware of the fact that Minolta meters made Sekonic a poor #2 vendor of meters back in the 1990's, so there is less demand.)


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Help with my next purchase, light meter or?
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