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  1. #1
    Mustafa Umut Sarac's Avatar
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    About Beyond the Zone System

    I am judging every photograph with my visual memory and AA and EW photographs always impressed me. I dont know whether Edward Weston used zone system or I dont have knowledge how he managed the process. And I found BTZS system years ago and I did not see a good picture done with it , all were average. I found them like pencil drawings or gun engravings where the artists escapes from the black and everything is highly neutral.
    Am I missing a point ?

    Umut

  2. #2
    polyglot's Avatar
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    Yes. You are missing a lot of points and/or not really looking. Try googling John Sexton for a start.

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    BTZS is rather a clever system though it fills the blanks with lot of assumptions.
    OM-1n: Do I need to own a Leica?
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    Holga 120GFN: Amazingly simple yet it produces outstanding negatives to print.

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    Weston did not use the zone system, or even a light meter. He estimated exposure times, and developed film by inspection.

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    Mustafa, Adams's/Archer's Zone System, Phil Davis's BTZS, and the many other variations on the Zone System since Adams, are all essentially intended to make exposure/development decisions more methodical based on the print you visualize in your mind. But even without a "system", with experience you end up doing this anyway "expose for shadows, develop for highlights, etc.". EW, Adams and others were doing this before there was any codified system. They did it with experience, but it is all the same thing in the end. Also remember photographers like Weston were working with earlier materials. There was less standardization, light meters were non-existent or primitive, etc.

    Perhaps most importantly, the quality of the final print has MUCH more to do with printing skill than which exposure/development system you use, if any.

    So to answer your question, yes I think you're missing the point. I don't think you can correlate print quality with specific methods of exposing and developing film. It is entirely dependent on the photographer and how he/she uses whatever system. You can get great results or crap results from ANY system.

    Incidentally, I would say the same thing about the relationships I often see you trying to make between prints and optics. It just doesn't work that way. For example a print which is contrasty with no shadow detail is related to negative exposure/development and printing (either intentionally or unintentionally). It has virtually nothing to do with whether the lens is Japanese or German.

  6. #6
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesMorris View Post
    Weston did not use the zone system, or even a light meter. He estimated exposure times, and developed film by inspection.
    Weston was an experienced photographer before photoelectric light meters were marketed, but later photographs often show him carrying a light meter. He was much less technically inclined than many of his friends such as Adams.

  7. #7
    Mustafa Umut Sarac's Avatar
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    Only BTZS prints I have ever see an photo magazine article , first result when you searched and everything was awful , other source was their forum where there were awful pictures. John Sexton prints are amazing , I havent an idea he used the system , IMHO japanese optics are the enemy of good photography , if you want a good print , you must be 4 times luckier than german optics user. They always trace a wrong doing in the photograph , I want to talk about optics , if you change the distances between elements , you can get over corrected , high contrast images , this is for nikon and mamiya users , they dont design perfect lenses , they manufacture over corrected lenses and everything gets blown , colors goes ugly , high light details lost , ugly noise apeears and whats not.

    At classifieds a nikon em goes for 10 dollars and lens goes for 10 dollars. Real photographers only pay that price to them. I always discusted from nikon since I was 14. There were hundreds of chromatic not corrected pictures at photo technique and amateur photographer.

    I did not hear that Ansel and Edward Weston ever used japanese optics , in 1924 there were 3000 optics manufacturer at Germany and since that time they published highly technical 3500 books.

    If I was young and still working , own a Leica and money for film and travel , I would show you how German optics work. There are few pictures from that time at gallery and they speak for themselves.

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    I became interested in photography after accidentally happening on to an exhibition of 100 vintage Edward Weston prints at the then Friends of Photography in Carmel, Ca about 1970. I had no idea of who EW was nor had I ever heard of him. My only knowledge of photography at the time was a match-needle built-in light meter in a 35mm Voightlander Bessamatic camera purchased in a pawn shop ... take a roll of film and have it processed and printed at a local camera shop. While viewing the exhibition I remarked to my wife "look how good his pictures are compared to what we get back, I bet he has his own darkroom." Little did I know.

    I have since seen many prints done by the old masters as well as the more recent icons and feel they all had/ have common traits. They have a deep feeling for their craft, pre-visualize their subject as a print, are familiar with the properties of their materials and equipment, take the time necessary to strive for perfection and possess talent.

    Imagine, you can now have a phone that has a 41 megapixel camera that will do everything except hold itself in position for the perfect shot.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/

  9. #9
    ROL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mustafa Umut Sarac View Post
    Am I missing a point ?
    Right back at ya'.

    I am trying to follow this thread without comment, but your OP seems to be about BTZS, and your last about Japanese vs. German optics. Is it your contention that ZS's (any, I guess) and national optics are related, or are you making a sharp left turn (without signaling)?

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mustafa Umut Sarac View Post
    John Sexton prints are amazing , I havent an idea he used the system , IMHO japanese optics are the enemy of good photography , if you want a good print , you must be 4 times luckier than german optics user.
    Mustafa, John Sexton is not a BTZS user. He uses a straight Zone System approach.

    As for his fantastic prints, I'm glad you like them - because he uses Nikon lenses for virtually all his large format work. He's an excellent artist and printer. That's all that matters.

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