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  1. #21
    DrPhil's Avatar
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    Barnbaum has a new version out. Has anyone seen it? Is there enough new stuff to justify purchasing a newer edition?
    Facts are facts; however, perception is reality.

  2. #22
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    DRPhil,

    I don't think this is true. The whole idea of the zone system is to calibrate it to correctly give an absolute value at grade 2 in reverse. If you get a .12 for Zone I and have confirmed it with the type of paper you are using, then every negative that is interpreted to Zone I will get a .12 and will print as zone I. Just like if you were to print off the film base, you're gonna get pure black, every time!!! The variables don't change. That's the whole idea of the zone system, not simply to make something acceptable, but to make it absolute.

    If your negatives don't land on grade 2 (or normal grade for your enlarger), by printing it through a higher grade to make up for the underdevelopment of the negative, it will present deficencies in value preservation (grain increase, tonal separation).



    Quote Originally Posted by DrPhil
    Using the zone system is only a tool to get the details onto the negative. It doesn't guarantee that the negative will print perfectly. The trick is to simply know how to expose the film to record everything. In the darkroom you can burn, dodge, mask, bleach, and adjust to show the scene as you visualized it.

  3. #23
    Aggie's Avatar
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    Like many have said before, the two books that are a must have are; Les Mcleans book, and Bruce Barnbaums. Throw in a cook book or two and you will be set. Now just stock the freezer with film and beer.
    Non Digital Diva

  4. #24

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    In short, this might even have happened if you used the zone system. The system's goal is to get all the light values from the scene into a printable negative without losing information you want.

    Ansel dodged & burned heavily. Though I personally prefer his earlier printings, which often showed softer contrast versions of images he later printed for more drama.

    To simplify the zone system, try Fred Picker's "Zone VI Workshop". It's a slim volume, and explains it in easy to understand terms.

    Charlie

  5. #25
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    I teach the Zone System to 20 somethings for a living. Maybe I should do some workshops because I have a way to teach it that anyone can understand in a weekend or two.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by djklmnop
    DRPhil,

    I don't think this is true. The whole idea of the zone system is to calibrate it to correctly give an absolute value at grade 2 in reverse. If you get a .12 for Zone I and have confirmed it with the type of paper you are using, then every negative that is interpreted to Zone I will get a .12 and will print as zone I. Just like if you were to print off the film base, you're gonna get pure black, every time!!! The variables don't change. That's the whole idea of the zone system, not simply to make something acceptable, but to make it absolute.


    If your negatives don't land on grade 2 (or normal grade for your enlarger), by printing it through a higher grade to make up for the underdevelopment of the negative, it will present deficencies in value preservation (grain increase, tonal separation)
    .
    I think that it may be advisable to review the basis of your post. I have not ever encountered .12 as the basis for a Zone I evaluation. Adams suggested .10 above film base plus fog. Film base plus fog will typically be above .02.

    Additionally every printer of note that I have ever encountered, and there have been a number of them, will print to highlight placement first and use the paper grade or filtration (in the case of VC materials) as the determiner of the print low values. A .12 negative will not necessarily give "pure" black when a print is done in that manner.

    On the subject of development to a targeted paper grade or filtration:

    There is no established verifiable basis for the representation presented in the quote above based in sensitometry. In fact the reverse is true. Developing so that a negative prints on grade three will be with less apparent grain then when developed to a grade two placement.

  7. #27
    djklmnop's Avatar
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    Sorry Im not being thorough. A straight print for DMAX off film base normally will give you a direct positive of the entire image's interpreted values at a given grade. If highlights are required to be modified during enlargement, then that tells us that development time needs to be adjusted. If enlarging exposure is shorter than the determined DMAX time at FB+F then that tells us that the negative is overdeveoped at it's given EI. Vice versa. Yes, .12 is not an absolute value but merely an example. But film base will always give you Zone 0. The whole idea is, once you have everything calibrated, by printing for DMax at film base, everything else should fall into place: Film Base = Zone 0, then Zone I should show up as Zone I; Zone II as II, etc. That's the whole idea.. I guess I should say as close as possible to the interpreted value. Absolute is too strict I suppose

    I guess I'm objecting to the concept of "just retain all the values and worry about the rest in the darkroom". As a true practitioner, the photographer should be able to creatively interpret all values as intended from exposure to negative to print. Rather than just believing the zone system is merely a method of retaining the range of light onto the negative without regard to creative value placement.
    Last edited by djklmnop; 09-03-2004 at 08:53 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by djklmnop
    Sorry Im not being thorough. A straight print at DMAX off film base normally will give you a direct positive of the interpreted values at a given grade. If highlights are required to be modified, then that tells us that development time needs to be adjusted. If exposure is shorter than DMAX at FB+F then that tells us that the negative is overdeveoped at it's given EI. Vice versa. Yes, .12 is not an absolute value but merely an example, just as printing film base will always give you Zone 0.
    There are several problems with this scenario. First, minimum time for maximum black only works for a negative that is developed always at the same temperature and time. If you need to change development for contraction or expasion then your min time/max black test does not work any more, as the b+f changes.

    I will quote Dr. Henry:

    "It seems that, if one chooses to use the approach to printing of determination of a standard printing time, a procedure which I neither use nor recommend, it makes more sense and it would be more correct to define the standard printing time as the exposure in any given set up as that producing Zone V on paper from a Zone V D. "

    Why does it make sense and would be more correct? For one, errors of change in b+f density can cause great errors in exposure. For example a change of .02 in b+f density would mean that an exposure based on a b+f value of lets say 0.04 and now is 0.06 would mean you are making an error in exposure of 50%. If the exposure time is based on a zone V, then 0.02 change in density is negligible.
    Second, paper contrast is of outmost importance when using the vaunted min time/max black test. If you change papers, you then have to do it all over again. In contrast, within any given family of paper grade, even from different manufacturers, if they have similar speeds a Zone V time will always fall within an acceptable margin of error. IOW, it will be easier to correct the exposure difference between papers. In addition, if one knows the paper speed, one can make acceptable guesstimates as to the correction in exposure from a Zone V time, not so from a min time/max black test. You can change paper grades and make educated guesses that will be more likely closer to the correct exposure time than those obtained from the previously mentioned test.
    Third, if you do expansion and or contraction, you have to make a min time/max black test for each exposure. You cannot just base your time on the time obtained from "normal" development.

    Fred Picker had a clever idea, it was just not completely thought through.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by djklmnop
    I guess I'm objecting to the concept of "just retain all the values and worry about the rest in the darkroom". As a true practitioner, the photographer should be able to creatively interpret all values as intended from exposure to negative to print. Rather than just believing the zone system is merely a method of retaining the range of light onto the negative without regard to creative value placement.
    First, what you say will work for sheet film; however, TPPhotog is using a roll film camera. It is difficult to adjust development to place the visualized zones exactly where visualized. Thus, with roll film the only choice is to get all the information on the film and work with it in the darkroom.

    Second, sometimes you get a scene that has difficult illumination. TPPhotog's situation was an example of that. His scence had a hedge in deep shadow and a distant sky that was much brighter. Even with sheet film it is unlikely that one would have been able to produce a straight print.

    I don't know anyone who produces straight prints. Some form of manipulation is almost always required. Regardless of whether you are using sheet or roll film.
    Facts are facts; however, perception is reality.

  10. #30

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    Tony,

    These days I use a hybrid of the zone system when I'm shooting B&W - use the exposure principles from AA and develop by inspection later. I also use the exposure methods for my trannies.

    Here's a resource I found 5 years ago that might help you: http://www.cicada.com/pub/photo/zs/

    It's an online tutorial to help understand placement and fall of zones.

    Cheers,
    Graeme Hird
    www.scenebyhird.com

    Failure is NOT an option! It comes bundled with your software ....

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