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  1. #11
    StoneNYC's Avatar
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    hey how come no one is on him for not using "traditional methods" and sending him to DPUG? :/

  2. #12
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StoneNYC View Post
    hey how come no one is on him for not using "traditional methods" and sending him to DPUG? :/
    See post #2.

    And the use of Photoshop here isn't really a photographic one.

    It's similar to the thread on using LEDs to build an enlarger light source, or the thread on Iphone based meters.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by lhalcong View Post
    I guess what I was trying to do is jam up all the zones into one frame. My original idea has to do with trying to determine my n+1, n+2, n-1 etc times by jamming all the 11 zones into one frame and develop separetely (kind of more efficient).
    lhalcong you are working against two basic problems.

    One, is that it seems you are assuming "1 zone" is equal to 1 stop, that is not true. In classic zone system thought, zones are properly described by the characteristics that they will have in a print, like "shadow with detail", not a specific luminance measurement. Again in classic ZS thought a scene luminance/brightness range may be 7 stops or 14, either way there are always 11 zones.

    Two, you seem to be expecting the paper to have the ability to display an 11 stop range, it can't and PS can't fix that. About 7 stops real luminance is the absolute limit of what a high gloss paper with ultra dark blacks can show. Use matte paper, as you did and you may only get 6, maybe less.

    All 11 zones can fit on the paper but the paper displays them in roughly 1/2 stop steps. (This is an over simplification but think 6/11.)

    The other question that pops into my head is "how will you be printing?"

    I ask because plus and minus development are only significant/important when a specific paper grade is the target.

    If you are using VC paper or digital methods to print, plus and minus film development has a reduced value and can actually be a detriment. With your 35mm roll film, if you are like most of us, typically subject matter and lighting situations will be mixed on a given roll, when that's true adjusting development for one situation on the roll messes with all the others.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  4. #14
    Usagi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    lhalcong you are working against two basic problems.

    One, is that it seems you are assuming "1 zone" is equal to 1 stop, that is not true. In classic zone system thought, zones are properly described by the characteristics that they will have in a print, like "shadow with detail", not a specific luminance measurement. Again in classic ZS thought a scene luminance/brightness range may be 7 stops or 14, either way there are always 11 zones.

    Is there?
    If luminance is 9 stops and I use N+2 delopment, should the result be 7 zones?
    Or in case of N-2, 11 zones?

    My unferstanding is that ZS is only a simple tool that makes it easier to modify subject tones to closer the tones of final print. Not a tool for fitting whole subject luminance to printable density area.

  5. #15
    CPorter's Avatar
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    It simply relates subject luminance values to exposure zones and ultimately to print values; that is the essence of the ZS and is essential in visualization of the final print values. It should not be made any more complicated than that, but I'm not surprised that it most always is......just a general overall observation.

  6. #16
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usagi View Post
    Is there?
    If luminance is 9 stops and I use N+2 delopment, should the result be 7 zones?
    Or in case of N-2, 11 zones?

    My unferstanding is that ZS is only a simple tool that makes it easier to modify subject tones to closer the tones of final print. Not a tool for fitting whole subject luminance to printable density area.
    The number of classic zones does not change, each zone is descriptive of certain print characteristics.

    Zone Description
    0 Pure black
    I Near black, with slight tonality but no texture
    II Textured black; the darkest part of the image in which slight detail is recorded
    III Average dark materials and low values showing adequate texture
    IV Average dark foliage, dark stone, or landscape shadows
    V Middle gray: clear north sky; dark skin, average weathered wood
    VI Average Caucasian skin; light stone; shadows on snow in sunlit landscapes
    VII Very light skin; shadows in snow with acute side lighting
    VIII Lightest tone with texture: textured snow
    IX Slight tone without texture; glaring snow
    X Pure white: light sources and specular reflections

    The intent of using "zones" is to purposefully disconnect them from stops that's why they are denoted in Roman numerals, personally I think if Adams had used letters instead it would have been less confusing say:

    Zone Description
    A Pure black
    B Near black, with slight tonality but no texture
    C Textured black; the darkest part of the image in which slight detail is recorded
    D Average dark materials and low values showing adequate texture
    E Average dark foliage, dark stone, or landscape shadows
    F Middle gray: clear north sky; dark skin, average weathered wood
    G Average Caucasian skin; light stone; shadows on snow in sunlit landscapes
    H Very light skin; shadows in snow with acute side lighting
    I Lightest tone with texture: textured snow
    J Slight tone without texture; glaring snow
    K Pure white: light sources and specular reflections

    No matter how many stops are in the scene there are 11 zones.

    Using your numbers, plus development is used to stretch 9 stops from the scene across the 11 printable zones. Minus development squashes say thirteen stops from the scene into the 11 printable zones.
    Last edited by markbarendt; 02-17-2013 at 09:31 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  7. #17
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    The reason why zones are denoted in Roman Numerals was so that the zone could not be confused with the numerical values of the meter scale----to say Zone 5, for example, could too easily be confused with a luminance reading of 5 on the meter scale, this is specifically stated in The Negative in the piece before the start of the chapters. Of course, the luminance reading of 5 on a particular subject luminance, can certainly be used to determine the camera exposure----- to place that luminance on Zone V. A luminance reading of 3 in a darker area of that same scene, automatically means that area must fall on Zone III with the "3" and the "III", in this example being coincidental, but can never be confused in practice. So a luminance reading of 3 is simply two stops or two zones lower on the gray scale. Once the "placement" is made, all other luminances are read relative to it to visualize where they fall on the gray scale, hince facilitating the final print tones in your mind. It's so easy in application, but often can be convoluted in a written description.

  8. #18
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Step wedges are not usually labeled with "zones" they are more frequently labeled with reflection density. You made a good step wedge. Now measure the reflection densities of each patch and record that. Proceed with your tests. You will go crazy trying to make a perfect wedge of 0.3 log d per step with the equipment you have.

  9. #19
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Heck, he could have labeled them like they do Stars... O, B, A, F, G, K, M... and we'd have to make it work... Even the old Weston Master meters are labeled with incomprehensible sequence U, A, (arrow) C, O.

    Mark Barendt,

    I know you are trying to clarify but I think the main point that needs to be clarified here is the two places where Zone is considered:

    ...What you see and meter at the Original Scene

    0 Pure black, open doorways
    I Near black, dark objects in deep shadows
    II Darkest part of the image in which slight detail is recorded
    III Average dark materials and low values
    IV Average dark foliage, dark stone, or landscape shadows
    V clear north sky; dark skin, average weathered wood
    VI Average Caucasian skin; light stone; shadows on snow in sunlit landscapes
    VII Very light skin; shadows in snow with acute side lighting
    VIII textured snow
    IX glaring snow
    X light sources and specular reflections

    ...Where you place them or they fall on the Finished Print

    0 Pure black
    I Near black, with slight tonality but no texture
    II Textured black
    ...
    V Middle gray
    ...
    VIII Lightest tone with texture
    IX Slight tone without texture
    X Pure white

    ---

    The same Roman Numeral series is used in these two different contexts. Usually the context is clear.

    ---

    But when you look at a grayscale printout, it is very easy to get the contexts mixed up.

    It kind of short-circuits your brain if you aren't careful to keep the scene and print contexts separate.

    Here is kind of what happens when you take a print and use it as a subject:

    The print, in even lighting, only reflects about seven zones (I just metered my grayscale chips from the "Grayscale and Cat" and they barely covered seven Zones on the meter)

    Meter reading Zone I = Zone 0 chip
    Meter reading Zone II = Zone I chip
    ...
    Meter reading Zone V = Middle gray chip
    ...
    Meter reading Zone VIII = Zone IX chip
    Meter reading Zone IX = Zone X chip

  10. #20
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Bill,

    I believe you already know this but I'm going to take a stab at a different explanation.

    I think what you are measuring in the print is a 7 stop change in refletivity from black to white. That's not 7 zones.

    Zones do not equal stops in a print.

    The print always has all 11 zones regardless of the luminance difference between black and white.

    In the print you measured; "7 stops = 11 zones". That means that each "print zone" is only 7/11ths of a stop wide on that print.

    In the field we may have a scene that from black to white is actually 13 stops wide, 2 stops wider than the normal 11. In that case each zone in the scene is 13/11ths of a stop wide. We could also have a scene that is 9 stops from back to white, the scene zones would be 9/11ths of a stop wide in that case.

    The magic of the zone system is that if you have 11 subjects in the scene that you want and they are evenly spaced running from white to black, and our development and printing are done properly those same subjects will print perfectly from black to white on paper. 11 zones in the scene = 11 zones in the print regardless of how many stops are measured in the scene or across the print.

    Side Note, which will not add any clarity, the math here isn't perfect, though I believe thinking about it this way is reasonable and it is how the zones are illustrated normally, all 11 zones being equal in width. The real width of 11 zones; could actually be 9 plus pure black and white. Zones zero and ten may not have any "width" in the real world, they may simply be points at which the the tone starts.
    Last edited by markbarendt; 02-18-2013 at 07:23 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

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