But this brings up another question; do you carry 14-zones through to the paper?
I ask because theoretically I understand the zone carry through from the scene as described by Adams et al, but I also realize that there is info on the negative outside the straight print range. Vaughn joked about this earlier in the thread about a zone with a minus number.
If you do carry through, are your zones above X simply meant to fall outside the straight print range and brought back through burning?[QUOTE=markbarendt;1279601]
Yes by using a variety of methods - primarily careful burning (often with different filters), and other supplemental methods like subtle flashing and even masking, you can definitely bring those high densities down into the print. And the results will usually be superior to if you had compressed them too far down, trying to print them straight as zone VIII. I'm not saying develop all negatives to N. Some degree of contraction is definitely helpful, but you want to make sure you don't lose the separations (local contrast) in those highlights. You also don't want to lose too much contrast in the low values either.
The ballgame has changed quite a bit now that high-quality VC papers are routinely available, which
wasn't the case when Adams wrote those books. You still need to get the desired subject range on
the part of the film curve which works best. And not only do films differ from one another in this
respect, so do papers. What is an acceptable model for one combination might not be for another.
And it all depends on the look you want. Folks tend to make all this unnecessarily complicated.
Reminds me of the hiker who was stumbling over rocks every other step because he was so busy
staring at the coordinates on his stupid GPS.
I quite understand that it will appear to be sacrilegious to some and too lacking in technical refinement to others, but it seems quite practical to me.
At least I can understand it, which is probably a good starting point!
That's good reminder.
I use densitometer, but when it comes to find out proper speed point and VIII - IX value, I do it by printing. Then after I have good ZS I and VIII or IX from judging print tones visually, I know what densities to look for.
That is helpful especially with staining developers.
However within years, I have to slowly made move towards less precise control, as there's really no point of fine tune everything exactly. Or even within marginal of 1/3 or 2/3 stop.
It could be easy just adopt some kind of N-2, N and N+2 variant of ZS - even one with only N-2 and N,doing rest with paper contrast.
The biggest barrier for me is mental. I have zones too deep in my backbone, so I always have kind of a vision of final print that I am aiming and I measure zones without need of any extra concentration.
To me, there's no 'put shadows to Zone III or IV' rules. I just put them where I wan't. If shadowed area is very dark to my eye, then it will be exposed so.
This does not leave much room for errors. If I find another interpretation of image during printing phase, there is not much to do if shadows are initially exposed to be very dark. Thus when I have any doubts and overall subject brightness range permits, I will shift all tones towards highlights by giving over exposure and then printing it down to my original vision. A bit like those d*gital photographers do with 'expose to the right'.
I think ZS more and more only concept of transfer subject to the print as I saw it at first place. It's 'calibrated' enough if I can print my original vision without too much darkroom acrobatics just by looking my notes of the subject and places of important zones and then adjusting paper contrast so that everything falls in proper places.
[QUOTE=CPorter;1273521]Yes------underrating a film without taking provisions for controlling the highlight density on the negative with development can definitely lead to blocked highlights. The fact remains, regardless of a pronounced shoulder or not, you still have to develop the density range of the negative to fit within the the exposure scale of the paper.
thisIS SOMETHINGfredpicker should have realizedbeforehestarted the cold-light craze!