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Sekonic L-398A Studio Deluxe III Meter

B&H # SEL398A Mfr # 401-399
In Stock
Free Expedited Shipping
You Pay: $218.00
Product Highlights
  • An Industry Classic Meter
  • Analog Metering
  • Easy to Use
  • No Battery Required

Sekonic L-398A Studio Deluxe III Meter - The Sekonic L-398M "was" the classic analog incident ambient light meter.

Sekonic has redesigned the popular Studio Deluxe II L-398M analog light meter to more current industry standards. The Studio Deluxe III L-398A retains all of the legendary features and benefits of its predecessor, the L-398M. Using an environmentally-friendly sensor made from selenium, Sekonic can continue to offer the popular L-398 battery-free.

The L-398A offers both "Still" and "Cine" shooters the familiar features and repeatable accuracy expected from Sekonic. Educators and students won't be left without their favorite meter this year.

Selenium light sensor (meets today's industry standards)
Needle lock for quick and easy measurement readings
Memory pointer for quick and easy reference to your last measured value
Swivel head and needle lock facilitate easy and accurate readings
Selenium photocell eliminates need for batteries Lumidisc for adjusting illumination contrast and measuring illumination intensity
Lumigrid for measuring reflected light
Measuring System Incident light type, reflected light measurement is also possible
Measuring Modes Ambient incident and reflected
Receptor Head Rotating, interchangeable receptor.
Aperture/Shutter Priority No
Display Readout Indicator needle
ISO Range 6 To 12,000; Measuring Range: EV4 ~ EV17 (for incident light) EV9 ~ EV17 (for reflected light)
f/Stop Display Range f0.7 - 128
Shutter Speed - Ambient 1/8000 to 60 sec.
Shutter Speed - Flash None
EV Range (ISO-100) EV 4 to 17
Cine Speeds 8 to 128fps
Exposure Memory No
Shadow/Highlight Calculation No
Brightness Difference No
Flash to Ambient Ratio No
Multiple Flash No
Exposure Calibration No
Power Source Selenium photocell (no battery needed)
Dimensions 4.4 x 2.3 x 1.3" (112 x 58 x 34 mm) WDH
Weight 6.7 oz (190 g)
Specialties Set of eleven direct reading slides sold separately (#401805)
Sekonic L-398A Studio Deluxe III Meter
  • Lumisphere
  • Lumidisc
  • Lumigrid
  • High-Slide
  • Case
  • Neck Cord
  • 3-Year Warranty
  • REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
    SekonicL-398A Studio Deluxe III Meter
     
    4.6

    (based on 38 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (25)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (11)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (1)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (1)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (0)

    97%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Accurate (27)
    • Compact (24)
    • Strong construction (23)
    • Consistent (22)
    • Lightweight (22)

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Film (22)
      • Photography (21)
      • Portraits (14)
      • Artwork (6)
      • Photojournalism (6)
        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Semi-pro photographer (11), Photo enthusiast (7), Pro photographer (5)
        • Was this a gift?:
        • No (19)

      Most Liked Positive Review

       

      Old School Capable

      This is a very good meter, well made and reliable. It is accurate and best of all, does not need batteries. If you like manual cameras, you'll love this meter. Once you...Read complete review

      This is a very good meter, well made and reliable. It is accurate and best of all, does not need batteries. If you like manual cameras, you'll love this meter. Once you have set the dial to match the light reading, Exposure Value (EV) is given and a range of shutter and aperture settings are shown.

      However, it is not as convenient as modern digital meters. There are two attachments for incident readings and one for reflective. There is also a high slide for brighter conditions such as outdoors. The readout is not digital, so there is a little wiggle-room.

      Bottom line is it is a very good meter other than the need for changing attachments or slides. It is reasonably priced and makes a good back-up as well as a primary meter. Don't be afraid to use it while learning photography either.

      VS

      Most Liked Negative Review

       

      Definitely not for beginners

      The unit looks and feels classic. However, one would need to calibrate the meter in order for it to work properly, definitely not for beginners. After trying out mine for a few days...Read complete review

      The unit looks and feels classic. However, one would need to calibrate the meter in order for it to work properly, definitely not for beginners. After trying out mine for a few days along with a digital camera, I finally figured the meter was always - 2/3 stop underexposure in most lighting situations, so I had to calibrate it to +2/3 overexposure to compensate the difference. This also made my needle to jump pass the zero marking when I cover the luminsphere with my hand. Also, you might need to take several readings or compare notes with a 15% gray card just to be sure if you are shooting film. Personally, I think the 15% gray card is more reliable and it doesn't cost as much.

      Reviewed by 38 customers

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      Displaying reviews 1-20

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      (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      A little wonky and hard to learn

      By The Dank King

      from Denver, CO

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

        Cons

        • Inconsistent

        Best Uses

        • Film

        Comments about Sekonic L-398A Studio Deluxe III Meter:

        I don't know if i haven't calibrated it correctly or what, but shows to a few stops different than what my 5DmkIII shows me.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

         
        5.0

        Neat Manual Lightmeter

        By Nick Hayes

        from Naperville, IL

        Verified Buyer

        Comments about Sekonic L-398A Studio Deluxe III Meter:

        Does what it should, well built and easy to use. The pouch is quality as well. Great Product!

        Share this review

         
        4.0

        Classic design, and fun to use

        By Miguel

        from Philadelphia, PA

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Film
            • Photography

            Comments about Sekonic L-398A Studio Deluxe III Meter:

            I purchased this to use with an old Hasselblad that did not have a built-in meter. It's my first handheld meter, and found it fairly easy to use after watching a few "how-to" videos on the web. I still find myself checking against my cameras with built-in meters when I'm not sure. I find that it can be a little tricky to use when the lighting is at the cusp of being too bright without the slide...I am never quite sure whether or not to use the slide or not in these situations, and even up reverting to other means of measuring light. I'm sure I'll get used to "seeing" the exposure as I re-acquaint myself with film.Overall, I'd recommend the product if you're not looking for a simple/classic handheld meter (and don't need a wireless trigger, or flash meter).

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this review

             
            5.0

            Best Back-Up Ever

            By Dan Johnson

            from Boston, MA

            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Accurate
            • Compact
            • Consistent
            • Lightweight
            • Strong Construction

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Architectural Photography
              • Artwork
              • Photography
              • Portraits

              Comments about Sekonic L-398A Studio Deluxe III Meter:

              For Tilt/Shift lenses you need a spare light meter, I find my self useing this more than the battery powered light meter I pair it with on site, it might have something to do with me sending an assistant to get readings with the proper slide installed but I don't want to kill the batteries on my 478 ( and I have bad legs ) but it's easy to use as is.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

               
              4.0

              Solid

              By chris taylor

              from Lubbock, TX

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Accurate
              • Compact
              • Consistent
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Artwork
                • Film
                • Photography

                Comments about Sekonic L-398A Studio Deluxe III Meter:

                Compact, direct, solid build. Impressed with stability and easy use. Feels like it has stood the test of time and will continue to do so for a long time to come.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Tried & True Light Meter Does The Job!

                By BK the Production Manager

                from Chicago, IL

                About Me Pro Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Accurate
                • Compact
                • Consistent
                • Lightweight
                • Strong Construction

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Film
                  • Photography
                  • Photojournalism

                  Comments about Sekonic L-398A Studio Deluxe III Meter:

                  Our lighting directors generally don't use light meters, as our pace of production and turnaround are just too fast. So when I showed up on the set of a new show with the L398 light meter, my LD's were skeptical. But once I showed them how simple it is to use, how useful it can be to measure both incident and reflected levels, with an easy-to-read analog display, they changed their minds! Now, it is an indispensable tool to have around, and they use it all the time. Of course, nothing beats the "what you see is what you get" approach, checking lighting through the cameras on a proper HD monitor. But for making sure that the set has an even wash of light, knowing how many footcandles are present from one area of the set to another, the Sekonic L-398A is the right tool for the job. No battery required, no steep learning curve, small enough to carry in a shirt pocket; this is the same meter I used when I was back in Film/Broadcasting school, and the one I always saw my mentors using when they took on lighting assignments. For such a basic tool, this is good as it gets!

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Exceptional Analog Meter

                  By Stajdanley

                  from Durham, NC

                  About Me Photo Enthusiast

                  Pros

                  • Accurate
                  • Compact
                  • Consistent
                  • Does Not Require Battery
                  • Lightweight
                  • Strong Construction

                  Cons

                  • Needs Better Case

                  Best Uses

                  • Photography
                  • Portraits

                  Comments about Sekonic L-398A Studio Deluxe III Meter:

                  I shoot with a lot of older cameras that either have no built in exposure meter, or require batteries that are no longer available. I selected this light meter based on numerous reviews of its superb quality over decades of use, and after getting the hang of it, I imagine this unit will last me a lifetime. It is very well built, solid, and has a nice weight to it (i.e.. it does not feel cheap).

                  Both Incident and Reflected light measurements have been spot on every time when I compare them across several other sources (digital camera, SLR camera exposure meter, iPhone app). Some have stated this is a difficult meter to use, but it is really quite simple. I would consider myself an amateur/advanced hobbyist, and I got the hang of it in just a few minutes. Granted I read the ten page or so manual from cover to cover before use.

                  The only thing I consider a con has nothing to do with the meter itself. It would be nice if it came with a case that properly secured and protected all of the attachments that come with the meter. The included case is just a flimsy leather thing that does not hold any additional attachments.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                   
                  4.0

                  Satisfied... and learning

                  By Joe Student

                  from Baltimore, MD

                  About Me Photography Student

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Accurate
                  • Compact
                  • Consistent
                  • Lightweight

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Film
                    • Photography
                    • Photojournalism

                    Comments about Sekonic L-398A Studio Deluxe III Meter:

                    First time using anything like this. It was required for a class I am taking in filmography, the idea is to teach us more about considering lighting than we're used to with digital cameras.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

                    Share this review

                    (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    4.0

                    Great Value

                    By CC

                    from San Francisco

                    About Me Photography Student

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Accurate
                    • Compact
                    • Strong Construction

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Film

                      Comments about Sekonic L-398A Studio Deluxe III Meter:

                      For the price, this is a great quality and Value from a well known brand. Don't think you can go wrong with this one.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

                      Share this review

                       
                      5.0

                      Works great

                      By Eric23

                      from Calgary, Canada

                      About Me Casual Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Lightweight
                      • Strong Construction

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Film

                        Comments about Sekonic L-398A Studio Deluxe III Meter:

                        Great classic light meter, I use it with my Leica M4, works great and no batteries are required.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Share this review

                        (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Great Meter

                        By Joey Anchors

                        from Philadelphia, PA

                        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Accurate
                        • Compact
                        • Consistent
                        • Strong Construction

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Artwork
                          • Film
                          • Photography
                          • Portraits

                          Comments about Sekonic L-398A Studio Deluxe III Meter:

                          this is a great meter

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

                          Share this review

                          (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          4.0

                          still a classic

                          By schlemowitz

                          from Brooklyn, NY

                          Verified Buyer

                          Comments about Sekonic L-398A Studio Deluxe III Meter:

                          A no-nonsense meter, dependable.

                          Share this review

                          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          Classic, Valuable Tool

                          By Isaac Images

                          from NY/NJ

                          About Me Pro Photographer

                          Pros

                          • Accurate
                          • Lightweight
                          • Strong Construction

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Artwork
                            • Film
                            • Photography
                            • Portraits

                            Comments about Sekonic L-398A Studio Deluxe III Meter:

                            Mine still works, after 35 years. Learn to use it with all kinds of light (except flash, of course) -- high scale, low scale, slice in, slide out, reflective, incident. Remember to "Zero Out" the meter every few months. Use it on different areas of your set. One upon a time, meters could fail inside cameras. I'm sure they still do.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

                            Share this review

                            (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            Better than the Classic

                            By El Tiger

                            from S.F. Bay Area, CA

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Compact
                            • Lightweight

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Film

                              Comments about Sekonic L-398A Studio Deluxe III Meter:

                              I use it to shoot 16mm Film on a Bolex rex5

                              I like it because it's simple

                              I think that overall it's really nice

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • Yes

                              Share this review

                              (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              Dead on accurate

                              By Don

                              from OKC, OK

                              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Accurate
                              • Consistent
                              • Lightweight
                              • Strong Construction

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • Film
                                • Photography
                                • Photojournalism
                                • Portraits

                                Comments about Sekonic L-398A Studio Deluxe III Meter:

                                Any photographer worth their salt knows that an in-camera reflected meter can be fooled. For that one reason alone, a good handheld incident meter can be invaluable. This is the meter that sets the standard. I purchased this meter to replace a very old L-28C2 that was recently stolen. I couldn't be happier. This latest version is so dead on accurate it's not funny, and absolutely consistent. It is, of course, not battery dependent, which in my book in just one more plus to be added to a long list of other pluses. I love it. Back in my LD days, I used the old meter to set light levels for professional video productions. It's good to know such great tool is still available.

                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • No

                                Share this review

                                (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                5.0

                                It just works

                                By Mak on the Attak

                                from NEW YORK, NY

                                About Me Pro Photographer

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

                                • Accurate
                                • Compact
                                • Consistent
                                • Lightweight
                                • Strong Construction

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                  • Film
                                  • Photography
                                  • Photojournalism

                                  Comments about Sekonic L-398A Studio Deluxe III Meter:

                                  Look, forget those fancy digital meters. Why waste money when you can get one that just works?

                                  • Was this a gift?:
                                  • No

                                  Share this review

                                  (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                                   
                                  5.0

                                  After 39 years of use ...

                                  By Monk

                                  from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

                                  About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                                  Verified Reviewer

                                  Pros

                                  • Accurate
                                  • Compact
                                  • Consistent
                                  • Lightweight

                                  Cons

                                    Best Uses

                                    • Photography
                                    • Portraits

                                    Comments about Sekonic L-398A Studio Deluxe III Meter:

                                    This meter has performed perfectly. There are no issues using this meter outside ... just remember to look at the instructions ... there are PROPER was to use this in bright sun. Over the years I have used it in all situations. Meters in cameras are amazing now but they still are not perfect. Between this and my 1937 Weston, and my 30 yr old 18% grey card I have all the bases covered.

                                    • Was this a gift?:
                                    • No

                                    Share this review

                                    (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                                     
                                    5.0

                                    Great Light Meter

                                    By fammoroot

                                    from Spencer, IA

                                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                                    Verified Buyer

                                    Pros

                                    • Accurate
                                    • Compact
                                    • Consistent
                                    • Lightweight
                                    • Strong Construction

                                    Cons

                                      Best Uses

                                      • Film
                                      • Photography

                                      Comments about Sekonic L-398A Studio Deluxe III Meter:

                                      Meter works great. Accurate and no need to charge or use batteries.

                                      • Was this a gift?:
                                      • No

                                      Share this review

                                      (0 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

                                       
                                      3.0

                                      Definitely not for beginners

                                      By PhotoNuts

                                      from San Jose, CA

                                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                                      Verified Buyer

                                      Pros

                                      • Consistent
                                      • Lightweight
                                      • Strong Construction

                                      Cons

                                        Best Uses

                                        • Portraits

                                        Comments about Sekonic L-398A Studio Deluxe III Meter:

                                        The unit looks and feels classic. However, one would need to calibrate the meter in order for it to work properly, definitely not for beginners. After trying out mine for a few days along with a digital camera, I finally figured the meter was always - 2/3 stop underexposure in most lighting situations, so I had to calibrate it to +2/3 overexposure to compensate the difference. This also made my needle to jump pass the zero marking when I cover the luminsphere with my hand. Also, you might need to take several readings or compare notes with a 15% gray card just to be sure if you are shooting film. Personally, I think the 15% gray card is more reliable and it doesn't cost as much.

                                        • Was this a gift?:
                                        • No

                                        Share this review

                                        (0 of 31 customers found this review helpful)

                                         
                                        2.0

                                        Why bother with yesteryear's technology?

                                        By SJphoto

                                        from San Jose, CA

                                        About Me Photo Enthusiast

                                        Verified Reviewer

                                        Pros

                                        • Compact
                                        • Strong Construction

                                        Cons

                                        • Inaccurate
                                        • Inconsistent

                                        Best Uses

                                          Comments about Sekonic L-398A Studio Deluxe III Meter:

                                          I'm new to using a light meter, but am somewhat disappointed with it performance. I do not know why so many people rated this product with such high remarks. You can get better results with a 15% gray card and save yourself [$]. It works fine often in shaded areas (usually off by -2/3 to 1 stop). Never use it in direct sunlight or indoor at night, can be off by - 2 full stops.

                                          • Was this a gift?:
                                          • No

                                          Share this review

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