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Sekonic's 70th anniversary special edition light meter revealed, in burgundy and gold

L-398A Studio Deluxe III 70th Anniversary Edition
(Image credit: Sekonic)

The L-398A Studio Deluxe III 70th Anniversary Edition is a tribute to the “Studio Deluxe” meter first launched in 1956. It might look like a vintage throwback, but the L-398A meter this is based on is still perfectly effective today, both for stills and cine-photography, and uses an environmentally friendly battery-free amorphous silicon photocell.

Like other handheld light meters, the Sekonic does something that in-camera light meters can’t – as well as measuring ‘reflected’ light in the normal way via its Lumigrid, it can also measure ‘incident’ light with its Lumidisc. Incident light is the amount of light falling on to your subject, and a more accurate measure of true light levels for many ‘difficult’ subjects. The metering cell is in a rotating head which can be turned in any direction.

With handheld light meters you need to transfer light readings to the camera manually, but used correctly they can provide much more meaningful light readings from different parts of the scene, and an indication of the brightness range you’re trying to capture. 

The L-398A Studio Deluxe III 70th Anniversary Edition has a burgundy and rose gold finish, with a special 70th Anniversary face. (Image credit: Sekonic)

The Sekonic L-398A Studio Deluxe III 70th Anniversary Edition is based on the regular Sekonic L-398A’s, a design which makes it a great accessory for retro fans and old film cameras, but it’s also a thoroughly practical modern light meter, and its vintage look makes it the perfect choice for this Sekonic 70th Anniversary Edition.

The burgundy and rose gold special edition will come with a Japanese Lacquer Box with Cushion for Storing, a Special Leather Case and Strap, 70th Anniversary Edition Plate and also includes a Lumisphere (normal black ring), Lumidisc, Lumigrid and High slide.

We don’t know the pricing yet (the regular Sekonic L-398A Studio Deluxe III is around $218, while the regular L-398A is a little cheaper) and you will need to sign up to the Sekonic mailing list for early access – only 700 Sekonic L-398A Studio Deluxe III 70th Anniversary Edition meters will be made, and it is due to arrive in October 2021.

In the meantime, why not find out more about how handheld meters work, and which are the best light meters today?

Read more:

Best hand held light meters
How to use a hand held meter
Best film cameras
Retro cameras
How to capture atmospheric portraits

Rod Lawton

Rod is the Group Reviews editor for Digital Camera World and across Future's entire photography portfolio, with decades of experience with cameras of all kinds. Previously he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more.