calibration drift in Sekonic L-608 light meter : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I currently use a Pentax digital spot meter and/or a Gossen Luna Pro to determine exposure when making LF landscape photographs. Meter choice (reflected v.s. incident light) depends on circumstances. I've carried both for several years, but now see the Sekonic L-608 as an alternative that leads to some simplification of my life.

Nearly all of the reviews of the L-608 have been positive. However, one reviewer, who specializes in portrait photography and is a frequent user of flash, expressed the opinion that the L-608 requires frequent recalibration. The reviewer did not say how frequently the meter had to be recalibrated, nor did he characterize the extent of drift (i.e., 0.1 EV or 1 EV or a little or a lot or ...). In the 12 years that I've had my Pentax meter, I've had it checked twice (once this year), and it's always been dead on.

I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has used the L-608. Have you found the calibration to be stable?


-- Bruce M. Herman (, December 14, 2001


I own the L-508 which is very similar to the 608 and in the several years I have owne this meter have not found any drift, only consistent underexposeure. Visit this link for my info on the 508. You might also post this note on the Sekonic siteas their employee moderator is good about answering your questions.

-- Richard Stum (, December 14, 2001.

Opps, wrong link in my previous post. I meant to post this link.

-- Richard Stum (, December 14, 2001.

I also have the L-508. When I got it I sent it back to the service, because the spot and incident readings were out of sinc. I then calibrated it and only had to make a 1/3 stop adjustment, as it read that much under, i.e. I had to set it to read at 40 ASA to give me the right settings at 50. This might be due to the fact that the Seconic, as I keep hearing, read 13% instead of the standard 18% reflectance. Since then everything is right on. My only complaint, that there is no readout in the viewfinder, but other then that I like it very much.

Good Luck, GS

-- Geoffrey Swenson (, December 14, 2001.

Here are some things to consider for all light meters. 1) They are all mechanical devices that will all require (periodic) calibration. 2) All vibrations such as when you are doing 50 down a dirt road in your truck and the ultrasonic vibrations that you cannot feel on airplanes will have an adverse impact on your meter proportional to the exposure to these vibrations. 3) Re-calibration should not be considered a negative for any meter because the electronics for the majority of modern meters are very similar. After all, what is $35 a year to insure your results?

I would suggest that you consider getting two of the identical meter and have used and feel comfortable with then get them both initially calibrated. Leave one at home and use it to check the other. When your "use it" meter drifts more than 1/3 stop away,send it off for calibration and use the backup. When it comes back, leave it at home for the reference point. That way, you will always be on the money. Spectra recommends that you send your meter in every year and it is probably the best incident meter available. In my opinion, learn to use one type. Spend your incremental dollars on the best quality lenses you can afford. Just something to think about.

-- Michael Kadillak (, December 14, 2001.

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