Question about Sekonic L-358 Flash Master Light Meter

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Meter is consistently a half to a full stop off

My Sekonic flash master L-358 consistently reads a half to a full stop off. What can I do to adjust it?

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I've known this problem to occur if the wrong kind of CR123/CR123A lithium battery is used. They come as rechargeable and dry cell (i.e. non-rechargeable) versions. For sensitive devices like yours the difference is important as the internal resistance of the rechargeables is lower which affects the voltage characteristics.This meter is designed only for the dry cell version: see page 34 of the user manual, although the instructions don't make this fact clear enough IMHO. The reason for using the dry cell version is that the output voltage remains constant until the battery is nearly exhausted, but the rechargeable version starts at a slightly higher than nominally rated voltage and drifts down as the battery discharges. This means that you only get a truly accurate reading with a dry cell battery. There is no user adjustment to recalibrate the meter but you can use a different ISO rating to compensate or use the exposure compensation settings.

Posted on Jul 04, 2009

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The fault is either with your camera/lens or with the meter itself. Try the meter with another camera, if the exposure error is still present then check that the custom compensation feature on your meter has not been set by mistake (page 26 of the user manual). If this doesn't cure the fault then try fitting a new CR123A battery. If the fault still remains then you can either compensate for the error by always using a longer shutter speed/wider aperture than recommended or you will need to send the meter for servicing.

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This may sound dumb but is the flash going off? The second thought is how far are your subjects from the on camera flash. As you're probably aware, the flash is challenged as the distance doubles; half the light at twice the distance from any point. An equivalent example; f/4.0 @ 1/125th of a second worth of light at ten feet but you'd have only half the light available at twenty feet. So you'd have to change either your f/stop or shutter speed by one stop to either f/2.8 or 1/60th of a second. This is why the distance is so important. I don't see a hot spot on your subject matter so I'm guessing the flash isn't going off. Could be wrong as you're there so you'd know.

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