Zone system

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by modafoto, May 27, 2004.

  1. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    Hi

    I know almost nothing about the Zone System. I have read about Ansel and the system, but don't know how to use it. Therefore I have some questions.

    - Is the system fit for large format only (so you can match development for each neg indivudually)?
    - It is any good to use it with a 35 mm film shot on the same location in the same light and then match the development to that?
    - Is the Zone system usable with 35 mm at all?
    - Where can I read a good introduction to Zone System.

    Greetings Morten
     
  2. david b

    david b Member

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    Get a book called "the Practical Zone System" by Chris Johnson. Great book. Easy to understand. It will answer all of your questions.
     
  3. gma

    gma Member

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    The zone systems is not limited to a certain film size. Practically speaking it is feasible with sheet film or with removable film backs whereby you can have several rolls loaded. To use for 35mm or roll film you would have to have the same lighting conditions for every picture on the roll or else remove and reload another roll when conditions change.
     
  4. argentic

    argentic Member

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    You could muse shorter rolls of film. When you buy a roll of 30 meters, that should be fairly easy.

    Gilbert
     
  5. ElrodCod

    ElrodCod Member

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    A good beginer's Zone System book is the "Zone VI Workshop" by Fred Picker. It's easy to follow without getting bogged down in alot of technical stuff. It'll get you off to a good start. After that, I'd go right to Ansel's books.
     
  6. Jorge Oliveira

    Jorge Oliveira Member

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    First, in the Internet there's a good introduction to the ZS:

    http://www.onlinephotography.com/bw.html

    Not as complete as a book, but a very good jumpstart (and very cheap...).

    Second, as a 35mm shooter, I feel the ZS has to be understood, used as a tool but not in the details. Here's how I use it:

    - Do the Zone 1 tests as described in the doc above;
    - Adjust your development time/dillution so MOST of your photos print in grade 3 paper (for 35mm it seems to be prefered to grade 2).
    - Expansion and contractions (see the doc again) will be made by changing paper grades.

    Jorge O
     
  7. sergio caetano

    sergio caetano Member

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    Just another suggestion: The New Zone System Manual; by Minor White, Richard Zakia and Peter Lorenz
     
  8. hitcher

    hitcher Member

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    I agree the Fred Picker book is a definite must have for beginning to understand the Zone system. Ansel Adams Book is much more technical but he was the pioneer of the Zone system, it's all there in that book.
     
  9. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    The Zone System for 35mm Photographers by Carson Graves is a good entry point into the mysteries of exposure.