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  1. #1
    lft
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    35mm zone system development

    So I have been putting my shadows and subjects into zones and have been wondering how would i develop a 36 exposure roll of film using the zone system? I am using HC 110 dilution b with hp5+.

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    You really can't. The best you can do is shoot for an average that will get you acceptable negatives. Zone system controls are based on individual exposure and development conditions. How are you gonna do that with a roll of 36 exposures, all given different exposures?
    Frank Schifano

  3. #3
    John Bragg's Avatar
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    The best you can hope for with 35mm is to do the speed testing for you and your equipment and film/developer of choice and to then settle for an average so that most of your negatives print with the minimum of fuss. N+ or N- development is only an option if you are exposing the whole roll under the same conditions. You can however use a more dilute form of HC-110 with reduced agitation to hold more highlight details and then use paper grades to finally control the end result. Dilution B (1:31), can be a little too "hot" for high contrast subjects but dilution H (1:63), with just enough agitation can make for more usable negatives per roll. It also has the added advantage of making your developer go twice as far.

    John.

  4. #4
    Adrian Twiss's Avatar
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    Another development method that may help would be to use a compensating developer like Prescysol or Pyrocat HD or one of its successors. All are available from Photographer's Formulary

  5. #5
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    You can shoot short rolls and/or multiple bodies, as long as you have tested to make sure the shutters are all in calibration with each other, or established a working EI using each body/lens.

    Barring that, you can just find your working EIs, normal development, and pluses and minuses, place your shadows, and take notes for what to do in development as if you had the luxury of being able to do it for each shot. Then, when you are looking over your notes for each shot on the roll, you can figure out what sort of development would be the best compromise for all the shots on the roll, or pick certain shots to favor when you go to develop.

    In the basic zone system manual, which is one short chapter of the Ansel Adams book "The Negative" plus some info in the appendix, I believe he wrote that he usually developed a roll of film shot in mixed contrast to N-1, as it usually provides workable negs even if the contraction was not needed on some shots. It is easier to deal with a neg that is well exposed, yet still a grade or two too flat than it is to deal with a neg that is a grade or two too contrasty. This also reduces the appearance of grain, which is more important in smaller formats. Some people using roll film prefer to selenium tone to get to their desired expansion, as it does not increase grain.

    Personally, with 35mm, when using a spot meter (not usually, but I do do it when I have the time), I use the best compromise for the whole roll. If there are going to be extremely different development instructions for the first vs. the last half of the roll, I will rewind one roll but leave the leader sticking out, mark how many shots have been exposed, and load a new roll. Then I can either just eat my losses and develop the partial roll, or reload it, stop all the way down, pick the top shutter speed, cover the lens, shoot through the number of already-exposed frames, insert a few frames afterward for safety, then finish the roll. Another option is to reload the film into the camera in the darkroom, shoot through the number of exposed frames, shoot a few safety frames, then open the camera (in complete darkness, of course), cut of the exposed film, and develop it. You are left with a partial roll that you can shoot later.
    Last edited by 2F/2F; 03-12-2009 at 04:52 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    2F/2F

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  6. #6
    naeroscatu's Avatar
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    Using ZS with 36 exposure rolls you are going to waste a lot and get frustrated. This topic was also discussed here: http://www.apug.org/forums/forum48/5...r-exposes.html.
    As 2F/2F said
    You can shoot short rolls and/or multiple bodies, as long as you have tested to make sure the shutters are all in calibration with each other, or established a working EI using each body/lens.
    .
    I think I'm better off loading my own cassettes from bulk rolls and use two bodies just in case I run into light changing situations where I need to shoot N and N-1.
    Mihai Costea

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  7. #7
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lft View Post
    So I have been putting my shadows and subjects into zones and have been wondering how would i develop a 36 exposure roll of film using the zone system? I am using HC 110 dilution b with hp5+.
    I think you will find that if you print with multigrade paper you will be able to find a single acceptable development time for most subjects.

    35mm cameras are cheap these days, so other alternatives would be 12 exposure rolls and multiple bodies. I have used the Rollei 3000 system with multiple backs since 1985 but find that a properly chosen single development time usually is fine.

  8. #8
    Monophoto's Avatar
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    You can do the testing to determine the optimum film speed and processing, and you can use Zone System principles to determine the exposure for each frame. That's all basically good self-discipline. The only thing you can't do is develop each frame individually.

    That's why they make variable contrast paper.
    Louie

  9. #9
    Christopher Walrath's Avatar
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    Yeah, Zone System is not possible with 35mm per individual frame. Only wholesale development for the whole roll. I make a lot of adjustments per frame trying to get it close on camera, process and then I will be printing per TZS to see what beauty I can coax from the negs.
    Thank you.
    CWalrath
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  10. #10

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    With tricky lighting you can bracket and use VC paper, as noted above I sometimes load cassetts with 9 to 12 frames. There are several books on the market for 35mm and the zone system.

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