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View Poll Results: Which (jeans) pocketable incident light meter?
Gossen Sixtomat F2 8 17.02%
Sekonic L-308s 24 51.06%
Other 15 31.91%
Voters: 47. You may not vote on this poll

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Pocketable incident light meter
Old 06-26-2017   #1
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Pocketable incident light meter

I'm in the hunt for a new light meter. I currently have a Sekonic L-398 which is good except for two things, low light and (jeans) pockets. Basically when I put it in my pocket, the dome always snags and falls off, and I wouldnt mind something to keep going in the dark a bit more.
At the moment, after reading this thread, I'm on the fence between the Gossen Sixtomat F2 and the Sekonic L-308s. Does anyone have experience pocketing these light meters, or care to recommend a different light meter entirely?
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Old 06-26-2017   #2
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For jeans pockets the Gossen Digisix would be the thing. For a jacket or coat pocket I like the Gossen Digipro F. The latter is flat, a little bigger than the Sixtomat and the dome swivels so it can face you as you hold it up looking at the subject and the readout. It takes a standard AA battery. Being not too small it is easy to get out of the pocket.
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Old 06-26-2017   #3
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L-308 here, very jeans pocketable, but I tend to wear around the neck on a cord and tuck into a shirt pocket (no shirt pocket then it dangles)...
Normal AA battery, easy for one hand (L or R) operation and changing settings
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Old 06-26-2017   #4
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i usually carry the L-208 with me.

i also own the sixtomat digital - it's a kind of predecessor of the sixtomat F2 (same shape, without flash metering). it's rather flat, so it suits jeans pockets quite well. i used to carry it in the front pocket of my jeans jacket.
however, i found its durability to be a bit lacking. after about ten years (!) of regular use, the contacts of the rubber buttons were no longer working correctly. cleaning them was easy, but getting to them not so. as a result, the case now no longer closes properly, and the dome slips too easily from the central position. so: as long as you don't damage the snappers, it's a decent meter.
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Old 06-26-2017   #5
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Digisix for me
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Old 06-26-2017   #6
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You might want to take a look at the Sekonic L-358D if you can find one (discontinued)... the replacement L-478 has that touch screen interface... If possible try to get a hands on before you purchase.

I have the Sekonic L-758D which is a monster, but I like the features...
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Old 06-26-2017   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shimokita View Post
You might want to take a look at the Sekonic L-358D if you can find one (discontinued)... the replacement L-478 has that touch screen interface... If possible try to get a hands on before you purchase.

I have the Sekonic L-758D which is a monster, but I like the features...

I like the Sekonic L-758 too, and don't mind the huge size. It fits in a pocket of my photo vest!

Of the two meters the OP is asking about, I'd get the Gossen, it has a lot better low-light capability than the Sekonic 308.
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Old 06-26-2017   #8
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My Light Meter smartphone app. Accurate, quick, versatile, highly programmable and as pocketable as your smartphone, assuming of course you have one.
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Old 06-26-2017   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcuza View Post
My Light Meter smartphone app. Accurate, quick, versatile, highly programmable and as pocketable as your smartphone, assuming of course you have one.
May I ask which one you're using? I'm trying those out just now. TIA

Boy, I sure miss the little Calcu-lite-X...
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Old 06-26-2017   #10
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L308s... I've just acquired a second one to replace an aging one that I've used for over 5 years.

I actually prefer the Gossen Sixtomat F2, as I like its aperture priority feature (L308S is shutter priority only). I couldn't find one locally and a used but mint L308s was on sale.
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Old 06-26-2017   #11
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Minolta flash meter v1 which I've owned forever. Fits in a belt mounted pouch. Of the choices given I also use the Sekonic L308 S. Phone app I favour Lux Pro.
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Old 06-26-2017   #12
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L-208 does it for me. Including low light. Mine is at the same battery after four years of hikes and travel with me.
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Old 06-26-2017   #13
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How about this pupper right here?

http://www.sekonic.com/australia/pro.../overview.aspx
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Old 06-26-2017   #14
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Quote:
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L-208 does it for me.
Like minds!
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Old 06-26-2017   #15
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Thanks for all the replies so far, some new models I'll have to take a look at too.

Re: Smartphone App; I have one, but it's not an incident meter without a bulky attachment.

Re: TwinMate and the like; I like their form factor, but find the dials move in and out of my pocket, so I constantly have to check the ISO is set correctly. It happens more often than I'd like on my 398.
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Old 06-26-2017   #16
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Expo disk if you have a camera with meter.
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Old 06-26-2017   #17
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[quote=michaelwj;2735244]Thanks for all the replies so far, some new models I'll have to take a look at too.

Re: Smartphone App; I have one, but it's not an incident meter without a bulky attachment.

My Light Meter can be set for either reflected or incident measuring. The incident setting places a virtual diffusion dome over the front-facing camera lens. No attachment required. The app has replaced both my Sekonic L-608 and my Gossen Luna Star, which I loved!!

It is available for iphone, but I don't know about Android
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Old 06-26-2017   #18
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Looking at the Gossen Sixtomat F2, I favour the location of the Sekonic dome and buttons
The Sekonic seems to be more natural to hold and adjust at the preferred incident metering angle/direction (typically from behind or side) while still monitoring the reading realtime ....just my 2p
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Old 06-26-2017   #19
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I have several small meters, mostly Sekonics. The L208 is tiny but its incident dome is very small. My ancient L328 is wonderful but the dome and sensor housing is falling apart after being heavily used for more than 20 years. The L398 is great, battery less, but lacks sensitivity. I tried the L308 for a bit but something about it didn't appeal to me, probably the small dome again. The L478D is probably closest match to your needs in a new meter: the form factor fits in my trousers pocket easily, the dome is large and retracts so it's unlikely to be knocked off, the head swivels. But...

What I use most is the L358 that I bought recently. It's a little larger than the L478D and fits my hand well. I can fit it into trousers with larger pockets, or a looser fit. The display and operation are more to my liking than the L478D touch screen interface, and it has fewer features to distract me.

I'll probably buy another one, I like it so much.

G

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelwj View Post
I'm in the hunt for a new light meter. I currently have a Sekonic L-398 which is good except for two things, low light and (jeans) pockets. Basically when I put it in my pocket, the dome always snags and falls off, and I wouldnt mind something to keep going in the dark a bit more.
At the moment, after reading this thread, I'm on the fence between the Gossen Sixtomat F2 and the Sekonic L-308s. Does anyone have experience pocketing these light meters, or care to recommend a different light meter entirely?
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Old 06-26-2017   #20
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The way I have measured light with a meter, maybe it's wrong but it works for me, I use reflected light. If I want incident light I would walk up to the subject point the meter at light source, usually pointed toward the camera, as it is hitting on the subject. I find using the histogram works well.

But I make digital photos using RAW capture so I do have some latitude. One of my pet peeves is to see a photograph where the foreground is properly exposed but the background is blown out. Or the reverse. Dark faces with a nice looking background! That's a no-no for me. I have an easy solution that works.

I have an old Sekonic L-158 that still works for my needs when I need an external meter.

Info I find helpful:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/find/Pr...ghtmeters1.jsp
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Old 06-26-2017   #21
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This has thrown a bit of a curveball. I was leaning towards the Gossen as it is slimmer (the dome is on the front), reads lower, and has a narrower reflected angle (25 vs 40 degrees). But it hasn't got a single vote...

I do like the look of the 358 and the 478, but I feel they're a bit big and complicated for me.
FWIW I shoot negative film, and generally take an incident reading of the light and go from there. I don't meter every shot, and only when I don't trust my instincts - such as inside somewhere unfamiliar.
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Old 06-26-2017   #22
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A couple of months ago there was a thread comparing the Digisix and the 308. Might be worth your time to look into it. I have a 308s but would like to try the Gossen. We're all waiting for the big which M reveal, too.
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Old 06-26-2017   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madNbad View Post
A couple of months ago there was a thread comparing the Digisix and the 308. Might be worth your time to look into it. I have a 308s but would like to try the Gossen. We're all waiting for the big which M reveal, too.
Thanks, I read that thread, and was part of the inspiration for this one - with the added jeans pocket constraint.

The M is on the way - I'm checking the tracking status every few minutes!
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Old 06-26-2017   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelwj View Post
This has thrown a bit of a curveball. I was leaning towards the Gossen as it is slimmer (the dome is on the front), reads lower, and has a narrower reflected angle (25 vs 40 degrees). But it hasn't got a single vote...

I do like the look of the 358 and the 478, but I feel they're a bit big and complicated for me.
FWIW I shoot negative film, and generally take an incident reading of the light and go from there. I don't meter every shot, and only when I don't trust my instincts - such as inside somewhere unfamiliar.
I tried a Digisix at the store but wasn't particularly impressed with it. Just didn't appeal to me much.

The L358 has just the right mix of stuff that works for me, and not too much extra. I only had to read the manual once and it's made complete sense ever since without ever referring back to it. I mostly have it in ambient light, aperture priority mode, incident reading. When I feel a reflective reading is more apropos, I switch to the reflective light receptor. It looks bigger than it is (although the L478D is smaller), but ergonomically the L358 is near perfect.

(I do much the same as you do when it comes to shooting and metering. I do like to have at least a baseline from which to guess a little more or less exposure. )

G
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Old 06-27-2017   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodt16s View Post
Looking at the Gossen Sixtomat F2, I favour the location of the Sekonic dome and buttons
The Sekonic seems to be more natural to hold and adjust at the preferred incident metering angle/direction (typically from behind or side) while still monitoring the reading realtime ....just my 2p
I keep coming back to this. I think the 308 just looks easier to use compared to the Sixtomat.
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Old 06-27-2017   #26
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The 308 is a good meter, but it causes batteries to corrode in it oftener than seems right, I eventually got rid of it I got so tired of not having a battery in it.
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Old 06-27-2017   #27
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You can't go wrong with the 308. I bought mine 15-20 years ago and would buy another were I to lose it. It's one of those uncomplicated things that just works. Some people moan that it doesn't have an aperture-priority mode (it was designed as a flash meter) but you don't have to be Stephen Hawking to be able to handle the maths involved in transferring the meter reading to the camera.
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Old 06-27-2017   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcuza View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelwj View Post
Thanks for all the replies so far, some new models I'll have to take a look at too.

Re: Smartphone App; I have one, but it's not an incident meter without a bulky attachment.
My Light Meter can be set for either reflected or incident measuring. The incident setting places a virtual diffusion dome over the front-facing camera lens. No attachment required. The app has replaced both my Sekonic L-608 and my Gossen Luna Star, which I loved!!

It is available for iphone, but I don't know about Android
Look here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/inci...563821446?mt=8.
In the EU it's EUR 4,99 to purchase. It meters very close to my Gossen Lunasix 3, which is almost as big as my small Leica II. When I take the Leica, I leave the Lunasix 3 at home these days.
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Old 06-27-2017   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelwj View Post
I keep coming back to this. I think the 308 just looks easier to use compared to the Sixtomat.
I did bust out the translucent cover of my L-308 flash attachment to give the option of a narrower angle for the reflected reading.

I do have an L608 too but it never see's the light of day as a walkaround
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Old 06-27-2017   #30
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I've used a 308 for years now. The only thing I've had to do is put a piece of tape along the top edge of the incident to keep it from sliding away from covering the meter cell. One handed operation. I've never carried it in the pocket of jeans, but I don't carry a phone in jeans pockets either. I have carried the 308 in looser pants pockets. If you think of the 308 as a slightly thicker smart phone that should tell you if its shape will work for you.
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Old 06-27-2017   #31
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Exclamation

The MyLightMeter app does NOT "place a virtual dome" for incident light readings. The screen image *shows* a dome to suggest you should use one!! You need a Luxi or similar dome to get a correctly diffused reading. (No, its not clearly stated. Yes, I asked the developer about this.) Granted, if you point the cam straight up to a blue sky, you'll get a pretty even reading, but there's no way for the camera to diffuse the light coming into it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcuza View Post
My Light Meter can be set for either reflected or incident measuring. The incident setting places a virtual diffusion dome over the front-facing camera lens. No attachment required. The app has replaced both my Sekonic L-608 and my Gossen Luna Star, which I loved!!
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Oops!
Old 06-27-2017   #32
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Oops!

Quote:
Originally Posted by davhill View Post
The MyLightMeter app does NOT "place a virtual dome" for incident light readings. The screen image *shows* a dome to suggest you should use one!! You need a Luxi or similar dome to get a correctly diffused reading. (No, its not clearly stated. Yes, I asked the developer about this.) Granted, if you point the cam straight up to a blue sky, you'll get a pretty even reading, but there's no way for the camera to diffuse the light coming into it.
You are correct: a diffusion cup is mandatory for placing over the front facing camera for incident readings. My apologies for posting inaccurate information and any misconceptions it may have generated.
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Old 06-28-2017   #33
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Thanks all,
I ended up picking up a 308B, it's on the way...
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Old 06-28-2017   #34
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Quote:
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Thanks all,
I ended up picking up a 308B, it's on the way...
thanks for telling.
once you used it, will you report to us whether you're happy?

;-)
cheers,
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Old 06-28-2017   #35
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Ah the 308B is nearly identical to the 308s (outwardly they are).

I never knew about the battery corrosion tendency in these meters, but just looking at mine...corrosion again! Twice I've had it in about a year?

My Super Pilot SBC still has the same 2 mercury batteries (PX625) in it after 25 years! Still works the same. Battery check indicates all is well. No corrosion. I wouldn't put it in a jeans pocket. The dial is just too fragile.
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Old 06-28-2017   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sebastel View Post
thanks for telling.
once you used it, will you report to us whether you're happy?

;-)
cheers,
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Of course!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rfaspen View Post
Ah the 308B is nearly identical to the 308s (outwardly they are).

I never knew about the battery corrosion tendency in these meters, but just looking at mine...corrosion again! Twice I've had it in about a year?

My Super Pilot SBC still has the same 2 mercury batteries (PX625) in it after 25 years! Still works the same. Battery check indicates all is well. No corrosion. I wouldn't put it in a jeans pocket. The dial is just too fragile.
I think there are a few small differences compared to the -s, no 1/2 stop shutter speeds (I only own a film M so no worries), and it doesn't include the lumidisc (never used it on my 398). Both go to 0 EV I believe. 1/2 the cost makes it okay!
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Old 07-03-2017   #37
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I went with the Gossen Sixtomat, it is easy to use, but for old cameras I have to round everything up or down.
The shutter speeds are pre-programmed for a modern speed set, so it is missing 20, 30, 40, 1/100 & 1/200.
Also the ASA values are preset, you cant select asa 125 or any other nonstandard speed.
I can't find anything in the manual that allows putting in custom values.
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Old 07-03-2017   #38
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The 308S has a different display than the 308B. It shows ISO setting at all times; on the B ISO is displayed only when you press the ISO button. The S has a battery display at all times; the B has it on startup for a couple of seconds. The S gives aperture in numbers plus decimal- 8/.6, 4/.3, 5.6/.9. The B shows an aperture plus a semi-circular dial showing the progress to the next aperture.

For most of us these differences will mean nothing after you get used to it.
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Old 07-03-2017   #39
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Quote:
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The 308S has a different display than the 308B. It shows ISO setting at all times; on the B ISO is displayed only when you press the ISO button. The S has a battery display at all times; the B has it on startup for a couple of seconds. The S gives aperture in numbers plus decimal- 8/.6, 4/.3, 5.6/.9. The B shows an aperture plus a semi-circular dial showing the progress to the next aperture.

For most of us these differences will mean nothing after you get used to it.
Thanks for the extra info, there are quite a few differences! I think most of them won't matter much when I'm taking an occasional incident reading as I see the light change.

I have no idea what the decimal for the aperture is, is it fraction of a stop on top of the aperture reading in 1/3 of a stop increments?
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Old 07-03-2017   #40
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I have no idea what the decimal for the aperture is, is it fraction of a stop on top of the aperture reading in 1/3 of a stop increments?
The 308s to change from full, half or third stops, hold down the mode button on start up to make changes.
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