Handheld meters are pretty specialised tools. Most stills photographers find it quicker and easier to use their in-camera meters, and casual videographers too. But for those who need to take the time to create complex and subtle lighting effects, a handheld meter has big advantages. It’s even quite refreshing to use a handheld meter for regular ambient light exposures.
The L-308X aims to do it all. It’s small enough to put in your pocket and powered by a single AA battery, but it can be used for regular ambient light stills photography, flash photography and videography. Sekonic says it includes all the functions found in the L-308S and L-308DC.
- Three meters in one: Photo, HD Cine, Cine modes
- Photo Mode: (Ambient) T priority, F priority and EV modes
- (Flash) Cord and Cordless flash mode
- HD Cine Mode: (Ambient) T priority, Lux/Fc mode, frame rate setting
- CINE Mode: (Ambient) Frame rate priority, Lux/Fc mode, shutter angle setting
- Automatic LCD backlight – activates at light levels under EV5
- Switchable Incident/Reflected light measurement and removable lumidisc
- Calibration compensation from -1.0 to +1.0 in 0.1 step increments
Basic specs (measuring range at ISO 100)
- Ambient: EV0 to 19.9
- Flash: f/1.0 to f/90.9
- Lux: 2.5 to 190,000lx
- Foot-candle: 0.23 to 17,000fc
- Power source: 1x AA battery
The Sekonic L-308X is probably overkill for the average stills photographer, but there are cheaper alternatives. Perhaps the most interesting feature of handheld meters for those who’ve never tried them is the separation of incident and reflected light metering. Reflected light metering (as used by all cameras) can only measure the light reflected from your subject, whereas incident light metering measures the light actually falling on your subject and, measured correctly, it tells you things your camera meter can’t.
The Sekonic L-308X is available from early March at a price of £215/$219.