Multifunction Light Measurement Control for Photographers and Filmmakers

Review by Michael Corsentino

Exciting news for light meter geeks everywhere: The Sekonic L-858D-U Speedmaster Light Meter is finally shipping, and it’s a game-changer!

The new Sekonic L-858D-U Speedmaster Light Meter sports the full digital feature set and touchscreen interface common to Sekonic’s recent mid-tier model makeovers. Its large 2.7″ color dot-matrix touchscreen makes adjusting settings quick and easy, but that’s where the similarities begin and end.

This light meter is not just a revamped digital version of Sekonic’s venerable Sekonic L-758 DR, but rather the first meter able to measure flash duration—a crucial metric when trying to accurately and predictably freeze motion—and the first that can measure strobes in High Sync and Hyper Sync modes. You can even program the number of pre flashes to exclude from the main exposure measurement. This is a major boon for mixed-light portrait photography and for those wishing to freeze action with shutter speed rather than flash duration—both huge advances in light-meter technology. The Sekonic L-858D-U races past  the 1/1,000 sec. shutter speed top end of most light meters, delivering a future-proof 1/16,000 sec. top shutter speed!

Photo by Brandon Rechten

The L-858D-U also has three stops of increased sensitivity for incident light and two stops for reflected light, allowing you to measure light down to 0.1 lux. Available ISO settings have been expanded to include the native ISOs of today’s most popular cameras. In addition to the tried-and-true Aperture and Shutter Priority modes, a new ISO Priority mode has been added.

Wireless triggering options abound with no less than three optional radio modules available: one for Pocket Wizard (U.S. and Canada); Pocket Wizard (International); and Elinchrom and Phottix (select countries) combined into one module—perfect for anyone with both Elinchrom and Phottix gear. The Pocket Wizard  modules allow users to trigger any Pocket Wizard wirelessly and control the power on any Control TL-compatible unit. The combined Elinchrom-Phottix module also offers full Skyport triggering, Skyport power control capabilities, and complete Phottix Strato capability. Also included with the Sekonic L-858D-U Speedmaster Light Meter are: a nylon padded pouch with belt loop, lanyard, AA batteries instead of CR123A, antiglare screen protector, weather-sealed ports, and a three-year warranty; however, there’s no included sync cable for camera calibration. ■