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03-22-2016, 01:51 PM   #1
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Gossen vs Sekonic light meters- which one should I get ?

I'm looking at getting a new light meter. I have two, both Sekonic. One I bought in '68 for my non metered Pentax S1a, the other a Sekonic L-248 which I bought about 30 years ago to use with my non metered Mamiya 220 Pro F, Leica 11f and various other non metered cameras.

Currently I'm considering the Gossen Sixtomat F2, the Sekonic L 308S-U or the older traditional Sekonic L 398, which is selenium I believe and has the advantage of no battery.

I'm an amateur, who has used light meters, grey cards for almost 50 years. I would use the meter for portraits, still life, indoor and outdoors.

Any thoughts ?


Last edited by lesmore49; 03-22-2016 at 10:36 PM.
03-22-2016, 02:47 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
I'm looking at getting a new light meter. I have two, both Sekonic. One I bought in '68 for my non metered Pentax S1a, the other a Sekonic L-248 which I bought about 30 years ago to use with my non metered Mamiya 220 Pro F, Leica 11f and various other non metered cameras.

Currently I'm considering the Goosen Sixtomat F2, the Sekonic L 308S-U or the older traditional Sekonic L 398, which is selenium I believe and has the advantage of no battery.

I'm an amateur, who has used light meters, grey cards for almost 50 years. I would use the meter for portraits, still life, indoor and outdoors.

Any thoughts ?
This is a great meter if you are shooting film:

Gossen Luna-Pro sbc reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database

Phil.
03-22-2016, 02:57 PM   #3
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I've owned a number of different Sekonic digital light meters. They were all very reliable.

I always carry extra batteries with my digital light meters.

But for even further redundancy, there is certainly nothing wrong with also carrying an analog (no battery needed) light meter with you. They are light weight and very cheap these days.
03-22-2016, 05:37 PM   #4
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Both brands have offered many excellent models.
Compared to Sekonic the Gossen meters I have owned were relatively large and heavy.

Beware, some older models use batteries no longer manufactured.
Sensitivity/output of photocells often diminishes with age so check accuracy before buying.

Chris

03-22-2016, 08:22 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
Both brands have offered many excellent models.
Compared to Sekonic the Gossen meters I have owned were relatively large and heavy.

Beware, some older models use batteries no longer manufactured.
Sensitivity/output of photocells often diminishes with age so check accuracy before buying.

Chris
I'm planning to buy new, rather than used so hopefully the new meter will last as long as me, an old geezer.

Quite right about batteries that are no longer made. I think one of my older meters used mercury batteries, which are of course, no longer available.
03-22-2016, 08:25 PM   #6
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Yes, go the Gossen, I have the Sixtomat Digital, great meter, and not large and heavy at all, mine came with a belt pouch, which I use, easy to grab the meter from. In fact if mine ever stops working I'd get another, might even have a custom belt pouch made for it.
03-22-2016, 08:34 PM   #7
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I have used a gossen meter (lesser version to the one you are considering) and sekonic L398 (and essentially same one L27C or something like that), and of course it depends.

-- If mostly incident and not very low light--the sekonic is much more convenient.

-- But for reflected readings (which your dslr can do/is a usable meter), or very low light, the gossen can do what the sekonic is poor at, or cannot do.

-- I had the sekonics (second one after my kit was stolen) since mid 1960's, and the cell never changed/was 100% reliable.

One nice thing about the sekonic is you can paste your own modifictions on it--I added direct high (w/ slide) and low (w/o slide) reading f-stop at about 1/iso sec--see attached. You can also get pack of "high" slides to direct read shutter speed at particular f stop/iso combination as I recall (actually I think maybe they are to directly read f-stop but maybe not for 1/iso--I don't recall precisely).
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PENTAX Q  Photo 

Last edited by dms; 03-22-2016 at 08:48 PM.
03-22-2016, 09:21 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by dms Quote
I have used a gossen meter (lesser version to the one you are considering) and sekonic L398 (and essentially same one L27C or something like that), and of course it depends.

-- If mostly incident and not very low light--the sekonic is much more convenient.

-- But for reflected readings (which your dslr can do/is a usable meter), or very low light, the gossen can do what the sekonic is poor at, or cannot do.

-- I had the sekonics (second one after my kit was stolen) since mid 1960's, and the cell never changed/was 100% reliable.

One nice thing about the sekonic is you can paste your own modifictions on it--I added direct high (w/ slide) and low (w/o slide) reading f-stop at about 1/iso sec--see attached. You can also get pack of "high" slides to direct read shutter speed at particular f stop/iso combination as I recall (actually I think maybe they are to directly read f-stop but maybe not for 1/iso--I don't recall precisely).
That is one impressive Sekonic meter. Reminds me of some of those old Leica Rangefinders which have literally been through a war and continue to keep on ticking. Quite a testament to the ruggedness of Sekonic meters. Sekonic should use it for advertising.

I have to say, before your post I was wondering how durable the L-398 meter would be. After your post I have complete confidence it the ruggedness of this meter.

03-22-2016, 09:38 PM   #9
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Thanks, and yes it is rugged. I wouldn't think twice about a used one for something like $30.
03-28-2016, 09:15 PM   #10
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Got the Sekonic L-398A, Studio Deluxe lll.
03-31-2016, 05:36 PM   #11
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I had a 398, bought new, and the incident dome would fall off if you so much as breathed on it. So, no, not a rugged meter by any means. If all you wanted it for was incident, you could glue the dome on, in which case the rest of the meter seemed pretty rugged.
04-19-2016, 09:21 AM   #12
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Sekonic L358 seems to be a very popular model and you can likely gets it at a decent price as it has been around a long time

Randy
04-19-2016, 09:49 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
Got the Sekonic L-398A, Studio Deluxe lll.
Great meter. Hope you got the slides too.
04-19-2016, 12:03 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Great meter. Hope you got the slides too.
I'm really enjoying it.

I just got the one outside slide that comes with it. Thinking though, of getting the optional slides.
04-19-2016, 12:14 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
I'm really enjoying it.

I just got the one outside slide that comes with it. Thinking though, of getting the optional slides.
Ebay . . .
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