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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrPhil
    Jorge,

    I can understand the rationale behind using the BTZS system for platinum. I agree that it gives you the control that you would want for alt. processes. Well, untill someone comes up wih VC platinum :-) Anyways, I think JDEF best stated what I was trying to say. I am quite happy with my method of working. Honestly, I was just trying to figure out everyone's excitement lately with BTZS. In my mind it is more than is needed with vc papers.

    Thanks for putting up with me!
    Actually Phil, I consider pt/pd the first VC process ever. You can vary the contrast, and now with with Sodium platinate even to a greater degree than before. IMO is best to shoot for a perfect negative and then use the alternatives to fine tune. The problem with the BTZS is that it is a very simple method that requires to read a book that can be boring to read and follow. In my case, since I have stated using the BTZS I have done far less testing than I did with the ZS. Also the testing is far easier than the one for the ZS.

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrPhil

    The zone system is so elegant and simple. Why would I want to complicate it by carrying a PDA with exposure software? With the zone system I can meter the shadows and the highlights, calculate the exposure and development, adjust for filters and/or bellows, and take the picture. I can do all this in my head, what could be simpler?
    There is absolutely nothing elegant and simple about the Zone system in my opinion. The trial-and-error testing procedures used to determine effective film speed and development time are extremely laborious, and they must be repeated for subject lighting conditions that require expansion and contraction development. And second, the results, which are evaluated by visual comparison, are somewhat arbitrary because all visual comparisons are inherently subjective in nature.

    BTZS testing, which relies on sensitometry, is capable of providing much more useful data about our films in far less time than the trial-and-error testing that has been traditionally used with the Zone System. A couple of hours testing film with the BTZS system can provide a photographer with virtually everything he or she needs to know about exposing and developing film for the specific requirements of a given process, regardless of the lighting conditions of the subject. Acquiring an equivalent amount of information by trial-and-error procedures as used for Zone System testing would by contrast would take many days.

    Another consideration is that the data you collect brom BTZS testing can be used for both the SBR Incident system of metering, or with a spot meter with the Zone system. Zone system data, ion the other hand, is useful only for reflective metering. This is important for me because I generally prefer incident metering there are times when Zone system metering will give better results.

    BTW, the fact that one uses BTZS does not mean that you always teake very extensive field notes about lighting conditions and expose and develop every sinlge negative according to a formula. To the contrary, once you have become familar with the system it is every bit as intuitive as the Zone system. The ExpoDev program, for example, while extremely accurate, is certainly not necessary for the majority of lighting conditions. I myself only use it for very complicated lighting situations that involve reciprocity and/or filter adjustments. In these cases I trust it much more than my own calcluations. For the majority of situations I simply calculate the SBR of the scene, meter in the shadows and make the negative. Takes less time than Zone metering and is much less subject to gross operator error.


    Sandy King

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrPhil
    Jorge,

    Honestly, I was just trying to figure out everyone's excitement lately with BTZS. In my mind it is more than is needed with vc papers.

    Thanks for putting up with me!
    The excitment is in the simplicity of BTZS testing and in its precision. Regardless of what process you are using it is always good practice to make the best possible negative. And once you get beyond the initial learning curve BTZS testing is both easier, takes less time, and provides far more useful data than Zone system testing. So why spend more time to get less precise results?

    Sandy Kiing

  4. #14

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    And one more thing. If you buy the WinPlotter program it comes on a disk with testing by Phil Davis of hundreds of film/developer combinations that you can apply immediately. You may have to calibrate the data to your working conditions but in most cases the results that you and I would get from testing a film and develper are very similar so if you develop your film for the condtions described your results should be very similar.

    Unfortunately the film testing data provided by Davis is primarily for regular silver gelatin printing and is of limited use for alternative printing. And very few if any of his tests were made with pyro staining developers. But for that there are quite a number of photograhers using pyro staining developers who can provide useful data.

    Sandy

  5. #15

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    Simplicity? How about never having to worry about where to place what in which Zone and then figuring out f stop and speed that averages those placements. Meter low EV, meter high EV (or look at the scene, and through experience say 8 or 7 or 9 SBRs). Set the aperture and speed accordingly, note the SBR for devt time later, then shoot. One shot! Allows much more time for composition, focusing, and seeing - for me anyway.
    Francesco

  6. #16
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    After you have used any system for some time, whatever its logic may be, you will be able to use it without any metering as long as you stay in your neighborhood. West Virginia is mine now. It was once upon a time the rehearsal stage of a symphony orchestra. If I moved west of the Mississippi, my instincts would no doubt have to be revised. I would probably resort to BTZS to accomplish the revision.

    As with some others, I don't see the point of arguing the supremacy of one system over the other. How was my grandfather, in his limited number of years which ended in 1905, able to get over 100 5X7 glass negatives that I can print now? I do see the need for presenting as many systems as are known so that one may make a choice. I gave private oboe lessons for a number of years, and found that different students responded better to one approach or another. The important thing about the oboe is what goes on inside the mouth, which I can't demonstrate very well while playing, so I must resort to different analogies for different students. Granted, some will still sound like a wounded duck, but that is because they don't have a tonal concept. Of course, we photographers each have a tonal concept, don't we?
    Gadget Gainer

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by gainer

    As with some others, I don't see the point of arguing the supremacy of one system over the other.
    I agree with you, if the issue is which system you use to meter in the field. However, if the issue is film testing there is no doubt but that BTZS is superior in that it can give you much more useful data in far less time than Zone system type testing. Now, if you never use but one film or one developer both systems should serve you equally well. But if you happen to be someone who likes to experiment with different film/ developer combinations, as I do and suspect that you do as well, there is absolutely no doubt but that BTZS testing is superior in that it gives you far more useful data with much less testing.

    Sandy King

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by gainer
    After you have used any system for some time, whatever its logic may be, you will be able to use it without any metering as long as you stay in your neighborhood. West Virginia is mine now. It was once upon a time the rehearsal stage of a symphony orchestra. If I moved west of the Mississippi, my instincts would no doubt have to be revised. I would probably resort to BTZS to accomplish the revision.
    Agreed Patrick, I have found that most of my exposure/development times fall within a certain narrow range that if done repeatedly one can learn to "see" the light and the resulting exposure/development combo. Nevertheless, I still require my security blanket...

  9. #19
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    Yes, I agree there. The Zone system leaves a certain leeway in visualization in that one man's Zone 2 mau be another man's Zone 3. A numerical scene brightness range visualized in terms of a numerical paper density range, and a contrast index obtained by a least-squares fit of a straight line to a definite portion of an H&D curve are not easily personalized. It is a little more difficult to impersonalize the nuances due to other than random deviations from the straight line, but we use terms like long toe, etc.

    It is certainly easier for me to convey the results of my tests to you and vice versa using BTZS numbers, especially if I can provide the H&D curves.
    Gadget Gainer

  10. #20
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    I forgot to add that from what I have read of Hurter and Driffield's work, the BZTS is more like their understanding of things. They dealt with numbers and equations relating speed, density and contrast to time, temperature and developing agent. Using their concepts, I can take the results of three different tests to determine contrast index, two at one temperature and the third at a different temperature, and derive an equation from which I can prepare a chart of CI vs time and temperature that is accurate enough for practical work. But I am by nature an engineer. If I were teaching the photographic process, I would feel obliged to adjust my teaching methods to feedback from my students.
    Gadget Gainer

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