The Zone system

Discussion in 'UK All Regions' started by Peterpan, Jan 27, 2008.

  1. Peterpan

    Peterpan Member

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    Hi
    Does anyone know where i can get practical tuition on the Zone System.
    Peter
     
  2. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

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    Pick up one of Fred Picker's little books. This is an simple, straight forward book. It has been used in many college level classes as a textbook. You can get them on ebay for under $5.00 US not including shipping.

    The title is Zone VI workshop

    Mike
     
  3. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    It it's Zone System you want then go to the writings of Adams (The Negative to start).
     
  4. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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  5. timbo10ca

    timbo10ca Member

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    I found this site very helpful when first learning the Zone System:

    http://www.zonesystem.com/

    Start with the intro and go through to the end, reading everything, and you'll understand the basics. There's even an emulator to practice with.

    Tim
     
  6. Peterpan

    Peterpan Member

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    Thanks Guys i Have several books on the subject BUT i cant get my HEAD round it!
    I was hoping some one would know of a course i could attend.
    Peter
     
  7. david b

    david b Member

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    I wrote a little something about the Zone System here.
     
  8. Peterpan

    Peterpan Member

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    Looks good to me ,what camera exposure do you use when taking a reading from the shadow area and a reading from the highlight area?
     
  9. Peter De Smidt

    Peter De Smidt Member

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    You should definitely run some simple tests that'll give you film speed and development times for scenes of various subject brightness ranges. Fred Picker, Ansel Adams, Steve Simmons, Phil Davis, and a large number of people have outlined tests for this. In a nutshell, you give enough exposure such that you get the detail that you want in darker scene areas, and you develop such that the most important tones, usually mid to brighter tones, have the contrast that you'd like. You can make the system as simple or complex as you'd like. For example, I only use N, N-1.5 and N+1.5 development times, as I use variable contrast paper and dodging and burning to take care of fine-tuning. Others devise an exposure/develop system to a much higher precision.

    When taking a pictyure, you set your exposure based on your shadow reading, and you base your development on your desired contrast, which people often figure out from the meter reading of the lightest area of the scene with important detail. If you take a reflected reading, the reading indicated by your meter is for a middle gray, often called Zone V. If you're taking a picture with shadows, and your meter reading of them gives F16 at 1/30th, that would be for making them mid-grey, which they probably aren't. If you need detail in them, the recommendation usually is to place them on Zone III, but many advocate giving more exposure to place them on Zone IV. Given the reading above, placing the shadows on zone IV would require an exposure of 1/15th at F16, zone III would be 1/8th at F16.... (You could alternately change the f-stop)
     
  10. david b

    david b Member

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    Well, like I say in what I wrote, expose for the shadows and develop for the highlights.

    Look at what De Smidt said in the above post. It's very well explained.
     
  11. Peterpan

    Peterpan Member

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    Just looked at your website Im just blown away with your work FANTASTIC!!!!!!