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I wanted to know if I should invest in a lighter meter with a 1 degree spot meter or will a 5 degree spot meter do just fine? I'm planning to purchase the Sekonic L-478DR or the L-758cine depending on what feed back I get through this community. I'm new to this field of work and currently a student so I want something for long term and I don't want to be in a situation where I need to purchase a 1% spot meter. Thanks.

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For me there was no question, 1 deg.


At approx 20, a 1 deg. spot will measure a 4 inch disk, roughly the area of an adult human. At 5 deg. same distance, the disk will be about 20 inchs, and so would include hair, which if contrasting the face complexion, would yield potentially a wrong reading. At at distance where a 5 deg. coves the face... it would be just as easy to walk up to the subject with either a wider (and cheaper) reflectance meter, or even an incident meter.


Of course there will be some distance where a 1 deg. yields wrong results.. but it's further out... and even in 'nature/scenics' one can get reasonably good readings with the 1 deg. for 'large' objects...

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  • Sustaining Member

I own several light - meters that I have gotten through the years.


One of the old Sekonic ones (5º), the Minolta Spotmeter F (1º), the Minolta Autometer IV and the Spectra IV - A.

I only use the Spotmeter F and the Spectra IV - A.


My opinion is that between the two lightmeters that you are considering on buying, I would choose the L758 as you have all the lightmeters in one and it will be cheaper than buying the L478 and then the spot meter attachment or a different spot meter.


You will have everything in one device and you will have to take care of one piece of equipment as opposed as two so less hassle and less chances of leaving it on location.

The L758 has a 1º spot meter rather than the old 5º one which is very convenient.


The reason I got both light meters separately is because I have a very bad memory and when using the Sekonic, 99% of the times I forget to turn the "ball" to the right position if I change from incident to spot so the readings don't make any sense, however, it is in my bag all the times just in case something happens to my two normal light meters (I also don't like all the options that the Sekonic has, I just want to press the button and get a reading :D)


In Ireland, the L758 DR is €649.99 and the L478DR is €479.99 so go for the 758 if you can afford it, you will be happier.


The difference between the 1º and the 5º measurement will come handy when planning on measuring something very small on the background or a very narrow shaft of light / rim light / patch / etc. It is also very useful when you want to take very accurate measurements of things that are very close (macro or food photography come to my mind).


Hopefully you will get more opinions so you can make up your mind! :)



Have a good day!

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  • Sustaining Member

If you can have only one, then I would go for the 1 degree spot. But it's nice to have the option for the wider angle. You could look for a used Sekonic L-508 or 608 on eBay and have it calibrated, since those have a 4-1 degree zoom spot. The subsequent L-558 is when Sekonic switched to a fixed 1 degree spot. My old 508 still works great.

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