Sekonic L758D LCD displays scene contrast as well as Zone System tonal relationships
Time needed: 1 minute.
How to use your Sekonic L758D with the Zone System
- Turn the meter on
and set it to the reflected light mode for 1-degree spot metering
- Set Shutter Speed Priority
Note “plus” and “minus” display along the bottom of LCD display. The middle “0” reading represents Zone 5 or middle 18% grey. The numbered markings are plus and minus one stop deviations from middle grey. So Zone 4 = “-1”, Zone 3 = “-2”, Zone 6 = “+1” and Zone 7 = “+2”
- Clear any previous readings
using M.CLEAR button, press until only the middle LCD indicator is flashing at zero
- Take a low light reading
for Zone 3 (dark grey, just seeing texture) and store in MEMORY
- Take another two mid grey readings
of a general area of interest (middle values) and store in MEMORY
- Take a high light reading
for Zone 7 (luminous grey, with texture) and store in MEMORY
- There will now be 4 indicator bars
equal to the number of readings along the bottom display
- Turn the jog wheel to place low reading (Zone 3) on the -2
and note how the other indicators fall along the bottom of display, especially the highest value (furtherest to right)
- Keep hold of the MID.TONE
and read off the f stop and shutter speed, this is your exposure for your chosen placement.
- If your high value (far to right) exceeds +2 Zone 7
then consider reducing development accordingly (ie N-1, N-2) or change the composition
Analog versus digital displays
I have recently started using the Sekonic L758D with the Zone System. For over 30 years I have used a Pentax digital spot meter. In 2009 I had the entire circuitry replaced when the display suddenly stopped working. It is my understanding that Pentax no longer makes this meter.
I purchased the Sekonic L758D as a backup. It has multiple functions, including flash, but its menu and display are no match for Pentax’s simplicity of use. I currently use both meters.