Hi. I'm Chris and I'm a 35mm Zoner.

Hi. I'm Chris and I'm a 35mm Zoner.

  1. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Christopher Walrath submitted a new resource:

    Hi. I'm Chris and I'm a 35mm Zoner. - Hi. I'm Chris and I'm a 35mm Zoner.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 6, 2016
  2. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Any and ALL questions are welcome.
     
  3. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    " ... it makes it much easier to get the print from the enlarger when you have less to correct for because you got it right on-camera."

    Amen to that! Well written article, Chris.

    From my own experience, using a known camera where the shutter speeds are on the money, a meter you understand (in my case the 60/40 of my Nikon F2), one developer (Xtol 1+1), one film (Ilford HP5 +), using N development gets you in the ball park very fast. Doing the proof sheets always at the same grade (2.5 in my case) at a standard time, enlarger height, and f/stop also helps a lot in seeing and understanding when something goes awry. And when this works, it almost prints by itself! :smile:
     
  4. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Righto. And this is not to say that one should not experiment with different combinations to see how things work. But knowing what you know can make all of the difference in the world.
     
  5. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I use one camera and use a spot meter to read the darkest, brightest and what I want to be 18% gray. Those readings plus the matrix metering tell me what to do when the SBR is great. [Have two Nikons, one for color and one for black & white. Multiple film backs for MF, two speeds of color and two speeds of black & white.]

    When I was young and much wiser, I passed up an invitation from my coworkers who were spending a week with Ansel Adams in Yosemite. That was because I knew that the zone system would not work for roll film and I never thought about renting a camera for the week. Besides, I had just spent my money on a bunch of prime lenses. What could that old coot teach me that I did not know already! :wink:

    Steve
     
  6. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Right! That's what I probably would have said as well. Right. Hope that makes you feel better. ;p
     
  7. David Brown

    David Brown Member

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    ..
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 7, 2009
  8. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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  9. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Oh, and I stand corrected myself after the ability to edit the article. Zone II-VIII is the textural range of exposure zones. I incorrectly referred to this range as the dynamic range, which is actually Zones I-IX.
     
  10. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    Adams passed up a life as a concert pianist to lug around a huge view camera. The 10 Zones are equivalent to the 10 half-tones in a musical octave, at least in Western music. Both Zones and Tones are logarithmic functions. When Adams got too old to carry the view camera, he used a roll film camera. The Zone system was still valuable for visualizing the scene brightness range and planning what to do in printing a scene. I think you would find that the Zone System was not as automatically straightforward for him as one might think. There are cases, such as a view through a window, where the eye sees both inside and outside due to its great and nearly instantaneous brightness adaptation, that cannot be effectively printed as a single scene. Even so, the concepts of the Zone System are a big help in planning how to handle the situation.

    I usually set my meter at 4 times box speed and expose for Zone 2 0r 3, letting the high values fall where they may with normal development. This will most often put the print within VC paper range.

    I ramble.
     
  11. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Wirelessly posted (BBBold: BlackBerry9000/4.6.0.297 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102 UP.Link/6.3.0.0.0)

    Ramble on, gainer. How did you arrive at your metering method for RFZS? It is most curious and I would be interested to here of yet another personal method for exposure.
     
  12. clay

    clay Subscriber

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    I'll throw my two cents in here in regard to 35mm film and the zone system. I think that the easiest thing to do is to not worry too much about varying development time and to simply use a forgiving film-developer combination that has an in inherent gradual highlight compression. Then use the a VC paper to make your prints. Couldn't be simpler. I created a pdf file explaining this approach a few years ago that I hand out when I teach workshops. Here is a link to it, if you want to peruse it and see if this approach might work for you. It is simple, but does allow you to concentrate on making pictures instead of measurements.
     
  13. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Great write up, Clay. Kind of follows my technique to a point. But it does seem to emphasize developing a system of exposing properly so that a general developer can cover the negative density. Please, everyone, Clay's .pdf is a great read. I suggest, at least, downloading the file and reading it later.
     
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  15. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    You didn't include the one that is probably the most popular: Multigrade Printing.
     
  16. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I can't imagine going to all that trouble with 35mm. For me, 35mm is for snapshots and machine gunning action photography. Going to all this trouble to make a "perfect" 24x36 neg seems a bit inefficient to me.
     
  17. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Were you a digi-snapper in a past life? :tongue::tongue::tongue:

    Steve
     
  18. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Hey, I'm a little guy. Well, in photographic terms. I make up for it in girth.

    But I make the most of every frame I expose. I have the makings of 5x4. Just lack the camera, or a functional one anywho. And I may never get into the larger format. I have an RB67 but no way to print the negs thus far so I don't use it much.

    I'm a Minolta guy. And that means 35mm. I love it. I have played around with everything to the point of going months without having an MD Minolta. But I am back and back to stay.

    So, yeah, it's worth the trouble to me. I may not be able to emmulate a LF photographer's gear and style. But the work ethic is where I roll.
     
  19. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    If you work that way with 35mm, then by all means. One can get very good quality from 35mm, the lenses can be very good, the format is very fast, and the versatility cannot be beaten. Not to mention the film is $.10 per frame instead of $.50. I took some 35mm TMX on vacation with me and I was shocked at how good the enlargements were. And this, at the same effective camera speed as probably 400-speed film in medium format. So I'm not putting down the format, but I personally don't use it that deliberately.

    What I do with roll film is expose very flat scenes at my EI -1 stop (which is usually box speed), normal scenes at my normal EI, and contrasty scenes at my EI +1. Then I develop everything conservatively in D23. I can usually print everything with a grade 2 filter and that's good enough for me.
     
  20. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    No, that's a great addition to the thread. Anything to contribute another idea or practice into the mix.
     
  21. Anton Lukoszevieze

    Anton Lukoszevieze Subscriber

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    Gainer The 10 Zones are equivalent to the 10 half-tones in a musical octave, at least in Western music.
    This is wrong, there are 12 semitones in an octave.
     
  22. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Wirelessly posted (BBBold: BlackBerry9000/4.6.0.297 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102 UP.Link/6.3.0.0.0)

    I saw that but no one's perfect. Seven ivories and five ebonies. But it so much more than that. Like Ansel said, if the negative is the musical score then the final print must surely be the performance. As one writes a score in various keys and tempos with varying degrees of attack and release, one evokes all sorts of tonal relationships and density ranges from a subject on the negative. It is control over the final performance/print that gives life and emotion and personality and verve to the work.
     
  23. Galah

    Galah Member

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    A great thread!

    Playing around with a spot meter and the Zone System's concepts relevant to exposure has sure improved the reliability of my exposure technique. I would say, if you aren't familiar with the concepts behind the zone system, you're like the motorist who can drive a car only if it is equipped with an automatic transmission. :smile:
     
  24. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Interesting analogy. It's definitely all about control. I'm glad you guys have liked the article. Thanks all for reading it.
     
  25. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    exactly!
    bracket when you expose,
    develop as normal,
    and bracket/vc when you print ...

    i don't 35zs ... i 35bednvcp
     
  26. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Hey, John. Sorry I overlooked that. Only omitted because it is the one I am not at all familiar with.