ZoneSystem testing with RH ZoneMaster

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by nyx, Apr 14, 2006.

  1. nyx

    nyx Member

    Messages:
    54
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2005
    Location:
    Prague, Czec
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Hello,
    I want to use ZM in densitometer mode to refine my development times. I have just one question before I begin. When metering with ZM, I guess it doesn't make any difference if I'm using condenser or diffusion enlarger. So, what value should I want for zone 8? Logic tells me that it should be 1.2 to 1.25 (values for condenser enlargers), because additional contrast for diffusion light sources is needed to compensate for flare (and I'm metering after the flare did it's work). Am I right?

    And if anyone is using ZM this way, how does it work for you? Any problems I should know about? Any tips?
     
  2. jon furer

    jon furer Member

    Messages:
    17
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2005
    Location:
    NJ
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    It does make a difference btwn condenser or diffusion. With diffusion enlarger, one gets softer (less contrast). I use diffusion enlarger and my Zone 8 should be about 1.30
     
  3. lee

    lee Member

    Messages:
    2,913
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fort Worth T
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    one thing to remember zone VIII is a zone and not a rigid number.

    lee\c
     
  4. Allen Friday

    Allen Friday Member

    Messages:
    878
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    It sounds to me like you are going at the zone system backwards. You are starting with some "ideal" of what makes a good negative, but are ignoring the paper you will print on. It is impossible to tell you where your zone 8 should, or will, fall, because we may use a different paper, different enlargers, different brand of filters, different paper developer, etc. The point of the zone system is not to create some neutral negative. It is to produce one that prints well on your chosen paper, and papers with similar charateristics. The recommendations of others are helpful, but only guidelines to get you started.

    Start with your paper and do the max black test and determine your standard printing time. Then move on to exposure of the film. The densitometer will be helpful to find .1 over b+f, zone 1, but you still have to print it to see if .1 over b+f is correct for your paper. If you are using silver paper, it probably will be. Then move on and calculate your development times. You will use the densitometer to compare tones on the paper to known values, i.e. the zone V you print on your paper with a known zone V, like a grey card.

    When you have the negative that prints well on your paper, read it to find the densities of each zone. Then if you change film or developers, you can use that data on your next set of negatives.
     
  5. clogz

    clogz Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,842
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Location:
    Rotterdam, T
    Shooter:
    Multi Format