Pocket-Sized Light Meter for Ambient, Flash, and Cine Lighting

Review by Michael Corsentino

Finding a light meter that does it all but doesn’t cost a small fortune has been a tall order until now. Enter Sekonic’s new Flashmate L-308X-U! This highly versatile, yet affordable light meter has been designed from the ground up with photographers and cinematographers in mind. (In today’s marketplace photographers and cinematographers are often one and the same, a fact not lost on Sekonic.) Whether it’s ambient light or flash, or the various metering needs for cine applications, creative professionals need a light meter that can do it all.

With a compact and intuitive design, the Sekonic Flashmate L-308X-U combines the best features of its predecessors, the L-308S-U and L-308DC-U, while adding important new features such as a much-requested LCD backlight, Aperture (F) Priority Measurement (Photo Mode), and ISO 850 for cinematographers working with today’s professional cinema cameras.

The Sekonic Flashmate L-308X-U is highly accurate and consistent within 0.1 EV, and gives users a wide metering range to measure ambient light, flash, and illuminance. At ISO 100, the L-308X-U can measure ambient light from 0–19.9 EV, flash from f/1.0–f/90.9, and illuminance (with an optional accessory) from 2.50–190,000 lux, or 0.23–17,000 foot candles. Its built-in 40º lens, revealed by sliding the Lumisphere, switches readings from incident to reflected for ambient and flash.

As versatile as it is compact, the Sekonic Flashmate L-308X-U offers three ways to meter: Photo Mode for photographers in the studio or on location; HD Cine Mode for creatives working with HD SLRs and mirrorless cameras, where shutter speeds and frame rates need to be measured; and Cine Mode, which includes a full set of tools useful for cinematographers when location scouting, such as selection of frame rates, shutter angles, and 1/10-stop measurement accuracy. The inclusion of ISO 850 also allows measurements in the native ISOs of many of today’s professional cinema cameras. ■