Sekonic L-358 Light Meter - Need Specific kind of strobes and transmitters?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by shanguli, Jan 12, 2015.

  1. shanguli

    shanguli Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 16, 2014
    Am using Sony A7 & Panasonic GH3, + Yongnuo 560IV flashes & YN 560TX flash controller.

    I am looking into getting a lightmeter, and the Sekonic L-358S Light Meter seems to be having great reviews as a lightmeter, but would I be able to get it work with my Yongnuo 560TX flash controller & YN 560IV flashes.

    I read that it only works with Pocket Wizard...!?!
    Any downsides to Sekonic L-358....?

    Would appreciate you sharing your experience/knowledge with L-358.
  2. I don't see why it would not work, assuming manual flash.

    L-358 might be a bit overkill though...

    You also don't need a flashmeter to get started.
  3. andix

    andix Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 16, 2012
    Here's the thing with the L-358.

    If you want to measure strobes in WIRELESS mode it does ONLY commandeer Pocket Wizard transmitters as you pointed out.

    If you want to trigger your strobes BY WIRE you can use the connector to trigger anything you want that has a wired connection.

    HOWEVER, there is one more hurdle you need to overcome. There are TWO types of L-358, one designed for North America (labeled "FCC") and one designed for Europe (labeled "CE"). You can find the specification on the sticker affixed to the back of the device. Back in the day, very few - if any - sellers would specify this online and now that it's discontinued, you will have to ask your seller what type you're buying.

    Then there are TWO types of add-on modules to trigger the Pocket Wizards, respectively one designed for North America (RT-32N) and one for Europe (RT-32CTL). They are NOT interchangeable and will NOT work with your L-358 if the light meter is not the right type (i.e. the RT-32CTL will NOT work with the North American model and the RT-32N won't work with the European model.)

    If you absolutely must / want to go the L-358 way, make sure you have the right light meter, the right wireless module AND the right Pocket Wizard type to fit the two above.

    Source: I have North American PWs and Sekonic radio module, but my light meter is an European model. They won't work together. :mad:
  4. AlanU

    AlanU Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2012
    The point of the trigger module in the l-358 is to help you in metering the light while your standing away from the strobes. This is kinda old school because now most strobe setup or people using flash triggers can remotely do this with another transceiver. A while back people using PW dummy triggers could use the light meter (l-358 and higher models) to trigger the strobe........"oooooh aaaahhhhh" many years ago.

    The PW module is easily replaceable so I'm assuming you can swap out the modules if you really want it to work. This sekonic "triggering system" was meant to work with PW only.

    You can see them from time to time cheap on b/s listings. They are very good meters. My meter was the higher model worth triple but bottom line it's a total waste of money. My model i have a scope that can spot meter light which has proven a waste of time and money. For the used market the L-358 is extremely affordable.

    To this day I use my meter for a basic ballpark but I'll usually tweak it on the fly remotely.
  5. andix

    andix Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 16, 2012
    It's not an "oooh aaaah" factor. The radio module is incredibly useful if you are working studio and you need to move around fast with different groups of people, different colors and intensities of clothing / skin and so on.

    NO, absolutely NOT.
    There are NO other modules for Sekonic other than the ones for Pocket Wizards. Please don't assume when answering a question. The guy is buying an expensive meter, not fair to him to buy it on assumptions. I did and burned myself.
  6. tosvus

    tosvus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 4, 2014
    Doesn't it also have a mode where you press a button to alert it a flash is coming, then using any transmitter to trigger your strobes, it will measure it?
  7. andix

    andix Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 16, 2012
    Yes it does. It also allows for cumulative measuring (i.e. multiple flashes for the same exposure, if one single flash discharge is not enough.) An awesome little device.

    I ended up TAPING a Pocket Wizard to my L-358 with gaffer tape, to make a portable trigger when I worked studio. Most of the portraits on my website are done using that technique. Kinda embarrassing to walk around in front of a customer with that monstrosity, but it was functional at least. :biggrin:
    • Like Like x 1
  8. AlanU

    AlanU Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2012
    I was assuming european or North american frequencies........never mentioned "non PW" trigger systems. I even specifically mentioned work with "PW only". I guess someone could potentially buy a European model and ship to US...long travel for an inexpensive "discontinued" light meter.

    There is less and less users to PW. I have the horrid unreliable PW flex units w/ AC3 controller for my Canon gear and it's the worst $1100 dollars I've ever spent on 4 tranceivers. PW dummy triggers work just as well as many other brands this day and age.

    The op uses Yongnuo flash controller so there's little chance they would use PW dummy triggers.

    I'll use my cybercommander to trigger the strobes individually for light metering. Something the L-358 cannot do. I've used Elinchrom and currently 4 Einstein's with cybercommander. Times have changed for the old tech PW light meters. The sekonic/triggering system was truly an eye opener long ago but the competition is destroying them now. However the sekonic lightmeters work great in the sense of what they are suppose to do ;)

    I know very fewer and fewer people loyal to PW now that there are much more products out this day and age.

    As far as "ooooh ahhhhh" most reputable strobe companies now have remote flash control so this is where getting a baseline reading is great with a meter (not using sekonic / pw trigger module) but fine tuning is remotely done with proprietary trigger system other than pw..
  9. inkista

    inkista Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 13, 2012
    San Diego, CA
    There is a way to get Sekonic meters to pop from Yongnuo triggers, but I only know of one person who's been capable of doing it. Which is, rolling your own PCB to connect the PCB from an RF-602TX to a Sekonic meter.

    Details here:

    Basically, the guy ripped the board out of an RF-602 transmitter, made his own PCB to do the module linkage to the Sekonic interface, soldered it all together and shoved it all inside his L-658DR.

    Proof of concept that it CAN be done. I've lobbied Yongnuo, but obviously, they haven't taken the bait, yet.

    It's incredibly annoying that a) Sekonic how integrates PW triggering inside its meters, so the module stuff isn't even a possibility with their new meters, and that b) they never opened up the triggering hardware interface for anyone other than PocketWizard to develop modules to.

    But the statement that there are no non-PocketWizard modules is completely false.

    You're totally in luck if you're a RadioPopper user:!sekonic-module/c77o
    • Like Like x 1
  10. woof

    woof Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 18, 2011
    The present.
    I have a L-308S Flashmate, and it has this mode. I believe it is called Auto Reset Cordless Flash mode. Once set, it flashes ready and will take a measurement based on the shutter speed input. For a period of 90 seconds it will take another measurement and another. At 90 seconds if you need to do it again, you can set it all over again. Rinse and repeat as required...

    I have never found any reason why this is not good enough, and I am not limited to the kind of trigger I can use. In fact I am a little lost as to why this would not be the mode everyone uses. Don't want to hijack, but would love to understand relative advantages here.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. AlanU

    AlanU Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2012

    To be honest your lighmeter is a fantastic tool for getting the job done. There is so many variables in photography but at least your lightmeter does it's job that is a "big" asset. Again if you get the baseline readings this is where you go from there. I wont deny I am not an expert in family studio photography. I do not have a makeup artist to make people into "models" nor the hair stylist keeping up with fly away hair.

    I do find that I know my camera's well and even with a light meter I do tend to fine tune on the fly.

    The PW trigger in the L-358 is a very nice feature. At the present so many companies have popped up with TTL support and also a tonne of cheap and extremely reliable dummy triggers.

    I've used the Paul C Buff cybersyncs when it virtually first came onto the market as a dummy trigger. To this day I do use them and they are absolutely rock solid. I'll power on each strobe and grab the tiny transmitter and fuse the flash meter to take a reading remotely. Now that PCB developed the cybercommander I can actually individualy meter each strobe with the commander. The commander even has a built in light meter. I'll admit I'll use my old sekonic L-758 to read the light.

    There are tonnes of people that would destroy my best work with even more basic gear. Light meter is a great tool but some photogs dont even bother with them and use their experience and go on the fly. I guess a Light meter's advantage is if "you" can take advantage of the features ;)
  12. andix

    andix Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 16, 2012
    I tried to avoid semantics when answering the OP question, yet I see semantics are liked around.
    Aside from the link you posted of a DIY, kindly please show me a readily available module.

    Thank you.
  13. DaveEP

    DaveEP Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 20, 2014
    You have two choices.... (I have an L-358)

    1) Use the L-358 in the mode where it waits patiently for a flash, you fire the flash using what ever method you want and it measures it

    2) Use the sync port output with a sync cable to the sync cable input on the Yongnuo speedlite

    It works either way.
  14. inkista

    inkista Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 13, 2012
    San Diego, CA
    I already did. :D

    But just to make it more obvious, and SHOWN, here. From the Radiopopper store site:

    • Like Like x 1
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