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Sekonic Speedmaster L-858D-U Light Meter

BH #SEL858DU • MFR #401-858
Sekonic Speedmaster L-858D-U Light Meter
Key Features
  • Incident Metering for Ambient & Flash
  • 1° Spot Metering with Viewfinder
  • Measuring Range: -5 to 22.9 EV (ISO 100)
  • Illuminance Range: 0.1 to 2,000,000 lux
Aiming to provide for the needs of both photographers and filmmakers, the Speedmaster L-858D-U Light Meter from Sekonic comes packed with a variety of upgraded features and capabilities that make it an almost essential tool for a working professional. It is able to take incident and reflected light readings of both flash and ambient light with an expanded measuring range of -5 to 22.9 EV at ISO 100, or within an illuminance range of 0.1 to 2,000,000 lux. Users will also find it intuitive and easy-to-use thanks to the use of a 2.7" color touchscreen LCD and an all-weather design.
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Sekonic L-858D-U Overview

Aiming to provide for the needs of both photographers and filmmakers, the Speedmaster L-858D-U Light Meter from Sekonic comes packed with a variety of upgraded features and capabilities that make it an almost essential tool for a working professional. It is able to take incident and reflected light readings of both flash and ambient light with an expanded measuring range of -5 to 22.9 EV at ISO 100, or within an illuminance range of 0.1 to 2,000,000 lux. Users will also find it intuitive and easy-to-use thanks to the use of a 2.7" color touchscreen LCD and an all-weather design.

The meter can use either a 270° rotating and collapsible lumisphere or an integrated 1° spot viewfinder to account for varying needs of the user. Also, it offers an extensive range of cinema and video settings as well as the unique ability to measure flash duration and to take readings when using high-speed sync flash. The L-858D-U is equipped with a variety of other functions as well, including memory recall, a Flash Analyzing Function, and extended ranges on nearly every setting. Additionally, through the use of optional modules, users can add radio triggering support for PocketWizard and Elinchrom/Phottix systems.

Lumisphere receptor head rotates 90° right and 180° left and retracts for conversion to a flat diffuser.
Integrated 1° spot viewfinder with full information display provides a precise method of measuring specific parts of a scene.
Ability to measure flash duration within a range of 1/40 to 1/55,500 second using t0.1 to t0.9 settings.
Improved sensitivity of the L-858D-U allows it to record a reading at just 0.1 lux illuminance as well as use expanded range of -5 to 22.9 EV for incident readings and -1 to 22.4 EV for reflected light. Also, it features an extended ISO range of ISO 3 to ISO 13,107,200 with an option available for ISO 850.
Optional radio modules are available for PocketWizard and Elinchrom/Phottix systems for advanced wireless triggering and remote flash control.
High-Speed Sync support allows photographers to accurately take readings while using HSS with their flashes and cameras.
Flash Analyzing Function measure ambient and flash simultaneously to provide a percentage of flash in the final exposure. Users can then adjust the mix as the display shows camera settings and the relationship between the flash and ambient light in your exposure.
Users can determine the dynamic range of their camera using optional targets by taking bracketed shots with their measurement data and they using the Sekonic Data Transfer Software to graph and then save the information to the meter.
Expanded shutter speed ranges now allow for readings between 1/64,000 second to 30 minutes with ambient light and 1/16,000 second to 30 minutes for flash.
A comprehensive set of cinema modes allows for settings of 1-1000 fps as well as shutter angles of 1-358°. Twenty user determined settings are also available that provide more precise options of 0.001-360° shutter angles and 0.001-99,999.999 fps.
2.7" color touchscreen LCD provides a fast and intuitive method for viewing and changing settings.
Micro-USB port can be used for firmware updates, applying custom settings, and to use exposure profiling.
The L-858D-U features an all-weather construction that is dust and splash proof (JIS Class 4).

Sekonic L-858D-U Specs

Meter TypeAmbient
Spot Metering1° Spot
Flash MeteringCordless
Light Reading MethodIncident
Light ReadingsCandelas per Meter Squared (cd/m²)
Foot Lamberts (fl)
Measuring ModesAperture Priority
FPS Metering
Flash Duration Analysis
HSS Flash
Shutter Priority
Aperture RangeFlash, Incident: f/0.5 to 128.9 at ISO 100
Flash, Reflected: f/1 to 128.9 at ISO 100
f/0.5 to 161.2 (1, 1/2, 1/3-Step Increments) at ISO 100
EV RangeAmbient, Incident: -5 to 22.9 EV at ISO 100
Ambient, Reflected: -1 to 24.4 EV at ISO 100
ISO Range3 to 13,107,200 (1/3-Step Increments), Plus 850
Shutter Speed Range1/64,000 to 30 Minutes (1, 1/2, 1/3-Step Increments), Plus 1/400, 1/200
Max Flash Sync Speed1/16,000
Cine Speed / Shutter Angle0.001 to 1000 fps at 1 to 358°
Illuminance Range0.1 to 2,000,000 Lux / 0.01 to 180,000 fc
Luminance Range0.3 to 290,000 fL / 0.1 to 980,000 cd/m²
Exposure MemoryYes, 9 Readings
Receptor ElementSilicon Photodiode
DiffuserAdjustable Spherical to Flat
Display2.7" / 6.9 cm Color Touchscreen LCD
System ConnectionPC Sync Terminal
Micro-USB Port
Memory Card SlotsNone
Tripod Mounting Thread1/4"-20 Female
Operating Temperature14 to 122°F / -10 to 50°C
Operating Humidity0 to 85%
Storage Temperature-4 to 140°F / -20 to 60°C
Storage Humidity0 to 85%
Battery2 x AA (Alkaline, Manganese)
Wireless ConnectivityNone
Radio SystemNone
Dimensions3.7 x 6.9 x 1.9" / 94 x 176 x 49 mm
Weight8.5 oz / 240.0 g (without Batteries)
Packaging Info
Package Weight1.395 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH)10.3 x 6.55 x 3.8"

Sekonic L-858D-U Reviews

A great bit of kit

By Brett
Rated 4 out of 5
Date: 2023-03-23

A great light meter overall. I wish it had a few more buttons instead of being purely touch screen, but that is ok. The performance of the meter is excellent and you can forgive its lack of buttons. I had been looking for one for a long time but the global shortage made that hard. Luckily B&H got there hands on some and I managed to buy. Nobody here in Australia has any.


By Harold
Rated 4 out of 5
Date: 2023-02-22

The basics uses are easy to comprehend. If you care to practice you will find much more to help you with your metering.

Very disappointing

By Kevin
Rated 1 out of 5
Date: 2023-02-16

I really tried to find a way to keep this meter, but this product has the poorest user interface that I have ever encountered. Virtually all of the controls are touch driven. To increase the value of the exposure controls you need to touch an icon in exactly the right place. I have touched and adjusted my touch as many as a dozen times to change a value. To increase the value you have to obscure the value with your finger and then move your hand to read the value. Leave your finger on the icon a little too long and the values keep changing, and you can't see that happening. Making a menu selection can take multiple tries to make the selection you want to make. My fingers can cover multiple selections. The reading value and memory value switches are counter to one another, so trying to press one and not the other requires mental gymnastics. It's nearly impossible to see the spot meter circle in low light, so taking a reading on something you want to place in Zone III of the Zone System basically leaves you guessing for the location of the spot. The meter tries to be all things to all people which always ends up being a pain for everyone. There's more, but I will stop here and say that the aggravation of trying to use this meter far outweighs any benefit. By the time you make a value adjustment the shot you wanted or the light you needed can be long gone. It's going back.

Talented but annoyingly idiosyncratic assistant !

By Charles
Rated 4 out of 5
Date: 2023-02-02

Powerful capabilities but rapidly manipulating them is not straight-forward or fast. Sekonic hails it's as the perfect tool for all applications but it's use is not as straight-forward as they imply. I shoot on P1 XF using IQ3-100 back. I separately colour meter everything. Bought because it's the only meter that co-ordinates with my favourite lenses that open up to f1.2 or can flash synch at 1/1600th and I like working at these edges. Yet I have to toggle between F & T to get the proper readings as I'm not happy to run with the nearest equivalent: eg, using F it offers me f1, 1.1 and f1.3 - but not f1.2. I've been into still photography for 40 years and have never heard of a f1.1 or f1.3 lens but know of many f1.2, so why have they done this? Using flash synch it will let me read at 1/1600th (and up to 1/16000th!) AND by reverting to T I can get a reading for f1.2 ... Adjustments to values are done on the touch screen but as the value windows are very compact and I am right-handed the value being adjusted becomes invisible as my finger blocks out the window while setting it, my hand obscures the screen and I have to stop, refer, and re-adjust to get it right. I have Slavic hands so that's partly my problem, and a biro can be used as a stylus but that's a delay and complication. A left-handed 8 year old child might manage it easily. On screen it looks akin to a 1995 windows menu rather than polished to a finer 21st century aesthetic font. Worse, the settings menu looks like it was typed out on paper in 1980. But the settings menu is very feature rich and allows massive customisation, especially for cinematographers. Which I am not! I use Broncolor lights so it's sad that no Bron transmitter module exists alongside the Elinchrom or Phottix modules. But I suspect that is probably due to Bron's famous blind obstinacy. Conclusion: Doesn't matter that you've outlaid more for this than any other meter, provided you think of it as a talented but annoyingly idiosyncratic assistant, not a purchased slave, and you'll work well together.

waited 1 year

By Stephen
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2023-01-02

Just received Sekonic Light meter with Godox control. With it I can measure the light output of my various Godox lights. It works as it is supposed to. There are other valuable functions on this light meter including the ability to read cumulative light flashes, the ability to determine flash duration and the list goes on. You can choose different channels necessary if other photographers in the vicinity are firing Godox lights. The Sekonic L-858-U enables control of up to five different light groups allowing photographers to determine the amount of light for a given group. Once determined, the photographer can adjust the light output of each group according to his, or her needs. I find it to be highly accurate saving the additional time and energy over trial and error.

Totally Worth the Wait for the Release of this Light Meter!

By Sandy
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2023-01-02

Been waiting for like 18 months for this light meter to be available and equipped with the GODOX transmitter module. Extremely accurate in metering light in all settings. And love the spot meter for doing landscapes and using my negative film cameras again.

Find a Better Meter

By Chris
Rated 2 out of 5
Date: 2023-02-24

I wanted to perform a quick and dirty sunny 16 calibration test on this meter. I was able to set the ISO to 100 as called for in the test, but a shutter speed of 1/100 second is beyond the capability of this $600 light meter. You have either 1/60 or 1/125 second and that's it. Having a light meter professionally calibrated in a lab costs $200 - $300, so a sunny 16 test is the poor man's alternative. In addition, the touch-screen menu is frustratingly complicated and fiddly.

Lacks a MAJOR feature

By Minh
Rated 3 out of 5
Date: 2023-02-23

I bought this thinking it could be a replacement for holding my L-358 in one hand and my second Godox XPro-C in the other, and be an all-in-one-solution. Well, very disappointed that the L-858D-U with the Godox RT-GX does not allow control of selecting which flashes to fire and which not to--for instance, firing only A+C+D. Looks like I'll be returning this and will just wait for Sekonic/Godox to add this basic feature in the next model release.

See any errors on this page? Let us know


Does the screen light up for night use ?? If so, ...

Does the screen light up for night use ?? If so, for how long ?? Jim
Asked by: James W
Yes and can be set for 20-60 seconds.
Answered by: Rob
Date published: 2021-02-10

Is there a PC socket?

Is there a PC socket?
Asked by: Mark
Yes under the blue flap in the lower right corner of the meter
Answered by: Nicholas
Date published: 2020-03-13

The spot meter measures in foot lamberts rather ...

The spot meter measures in foot lamberts rather than foot candles. I have never used foot lamberts before and I am finding conflicting answers to how many foot lamberts 250 foot candles is. I got the meter because I want to work with the zone system following Ansel Adams books. He talks about spot metering in foot candles and knowing that the moon, in Hernandes NM was 250 fc. Can someone point me to an easy conversion tool such as an ios app?
Asked by: Timothy
The Sekonic Speedmaster L-858D-U Light Meter can also be set to foot candles. This is mentioned on pages 44 and 69 in the user manual. Please take a look at the following link:
Answered by: Dan
Date published: 2021-09-27

Does this have a t-stop mode? When working with ...

Does this have a t-stop mode? When working with cinema lenses that use t stops instead of f stops, how can I use this light meter?
Asked by: James
F/stops are arithmetically calculated based on the lenses physical size. The amount of light coming through the lens is therefore theoretical. This means two different lenses at f/5.6 could be passing different amounts of light. In the days of movie making film, this caused a great deal of problems for movie printmaking where the density of the image would vary greatly between shots. This would take extra time, effort and money to get a consistent print. To eliminate this problem, the 20th Century Fox camera department in the 1930's developed the T or Transmission stop. What they did is measure the amount of light coming through the lens and then set that as the T/stop. Since glass absorbs light, there is a light loss compared to f/stops. All this to say, there are no T/stop meters; they are all f/stop. Just read the meter, set that number on the T/stop ring and enjoy a consistent, lens to lens, exposure.
Answered by: Dennis A
Date published: 2021-01-15

This meter works with profoto b10 plus lights...? ...

This meter works with profoto b10 plus lights...? Thanks
Asked by: Rafael E.
You can use it with a B10, but it will not have direct control of the light.
Answered by: Reuben
Date published: 2021-03-18

Hi The version L-850D - U, (U for USA) can also ...

Hi The version L-850D - U, (U for USA) can also work in PAL system 25 fps and 1/50 T, or is it only done by the L-850D? BR. Renzo
Asked by: Renzo
I think he ment sekonic L-858D vs L-858D-U, I'm also very curious about the differences. Couldn't find any answers anywhere.
Answered by: Alberto
Date published: 2021-03-04

Does this work with profoto lights?

Does this work with profoto lights?
Asked by: CHINA
Yes it does, but not the A1, A1X or A10 speedlights by profoto. You will have to buy the module for the meter and a pocket wiizard transmitter/receiver. You place the pocket wizard transmitter in the meter and the pocket wizard transmitter/receiver attaches to the profoto strobe via a cord.
Answered by: Ricco
Date published: 2022-06-26

Luddite question: can the touchscreen actually be ...

Luddite question: can the touchscreen actually be operated with (winter) gloves?
Asked by: Peter
If the gloves work on a smart phone they will work on the meter. I have big fingers a would still need to take the glove off to get the setting I wanted.
Answered by: Dennis
Date published: 2021-09-27
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