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Thread: The Zone system

  1. #1

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    The Zone system

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

  2. #2

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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. #3
    Bruce Osgood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterpan View Post
    Hi
    Does anyone know where i can get practical tuition on the Zone System.
    Peter
    It it's Zone System you want then go to the writings of Adams (The Negative to start).

  4. #4
    Dave Miller's Avatar
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    Les has always been an advocate of the zone system.

    http://www.zone2tone.co.uk/index.htm
    Regards Dave.

    An English Eye


  5. #5
    timbo10ca's Avatar
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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
    If only we could pull out our brains and use only our eyes. P. Picasso

    http://www.timbowlesphotography.com

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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

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    david b's Avatar
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    I wrote a little something about the Zone System here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by david b View Post
    I wrote a little something about the Zone System here.
    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?

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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. #10
    david b's Avatar
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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.

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