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  1. #11

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    Claire is saying the same thing that I said earlier.

    To answer your other question,

    In printing one does not print the 18% gray (zone V) density as the primary exposure and filtration parameter. Usually most printers will establish the highlight values as their base and then adjust contrast to establish the lower values.

    There are some print with a "maximum black" as their base and then adjust contrast to establish the highlight values. I personally do not favor this method.

    Once the base tonal value is established then the rest of the values will fall where their densities determine that they should fall consistant with the filtration chosen

  2. #12
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    I prefer graded paper, but when I use VC paper, I use the same procedure as Donald--expose for the highlight values and adjust contrast for the shadows.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  3. #13
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    Donald,
    I was unclear about my statement regarding the mid-tones. I didn't mean to imply that I was printing the 18% gray value in the manner that you indicated. I was referring to some reading that I have been doing (Anchell) and saw where he states that "papers are speed matched for similar reproduction of a chosen mid-tone print density, not for highlight density. He further indicated that "changing from a #2 to #3 will give the same mid-tones". So, I was unlcear on how to go about exposing/developing for a particular VC filter as indicated by Claire.

    I print for the desired highlight value first as one normally does. I was just wondering if the "place" and "fall" principle was actually supposed to work in reverse at the printing stage. Meaning, to time the exposure to place the desired highlight denisty on the print as visualized. Then, wondering if that exposure time will allow the density on the negative to print close to where it was visualized and placed during film exposure.

    Thanks for all the helpful comments. I feel that I've been rambling on the subject, probably making it more difficult than it is suppoed to be.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck1
    Donald,
    Then, wondering if that exposure time will allow the density on the negative to print close to where it was visualized and placed during film exposure.

    Let me clarify, that should read:

    Then wondering if that exoposure time will allow the zone 2 or 3 shadow density on the negative to print close to where it was visualized and placed during film exposure. And let's assume for now, that I am desiring a literal representation. Understading fully that departures from literal values is usually more expressive.

  5. #15

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    "printing, the maxim is we determine the best exposure time under the enlarger that yields the proper highlight density or tonality for the important highlight in the scene."

    Try printing for the dark values & see where the highlights land. Then you choose your paper grade so the high values are right. This works with both graded and variable contrast papers & helps you keep the good shadows and controls the highlights.

  6. #16

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    Let me clarify, that should read:

    Then wondering if that exoposure time will allow the zone 2 or 3 shadow density on the negative to print close to where it was visualized and placed during film exposure. And let's assume for now, that I am desiring a literal representation. Understading fully that departures from literal values is usually more expressive.


    Again I will reiterate...If you negative density range is corresponding to the exposure scale of the paper at the desired grade or filtration then the low values will fall where you placed them in the exposure.

  7. #17

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    [QUOTE=Chuck1]
    "...the old maxims for my train of thought here: with film, we
    expose for the shadows and develop for the highlights; with
    printing, ... we determine the best exposure time under the
    enlarger that yields the proper highlight density ... ."

    That maxim for printing I think is incomplete. For the negative both
    low and high density areas are provided for by the maxim " expose
    for the shadows, develop for the highlights.

    For the print the maxim is, "expose for the highlights". Period. What
    are we to do for the shadows? Are we supposed to "develop for the
    shadows"? How about "expose for the highlights using the correct
    paper grade develper combination for the shadows"?

    I understand that using the ZS and with ideal exposure and
    processing conditions A paper and A developer combination will
    give the expected results. Perhaps Grade 2 in Dektol was the
    target combination for ANY proper ZS negative. Some one
    other than I will know more of that. Dan

  8. #18

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    Quote: That maxim for printing I think is incomplete. For the negative both
    low and high density areas are provided for by the maxim " expose
    for the shadows, develop for the highlights.

    For the print the maxim is, "expose for the highlights". Period. What
    are we to do for the shadows? Are we supposed to "develop for the
    shadows"? How about "expose for the highlights using the correct
    paper grade develper combination for the shadows"?

    In the print we expose for the desired highlight tonal rendition and we choose the contrast grade to achieve the desired shadow tonal rendition. This would apply to variable contrast materials.

    In graded materials we would still choose the paper contrast grade and then depart from that with split developers, water bath developing, flashing, masking, burning, or dodging to achieve the desired tonal rendition.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Miller
    In the print we expose for the desired highlight tonal rendition and
    we choose the contrast grade to achieve the desired shadow tonal
    rendition. This would apply to variable contrast materials.

    In graded materials we would still choose the paper contrast
    grade and then depart from that with split developers, water
    bath developing, flashing, masking, burning, or dodging to
    achieve the desired tonal rendition.
    "we choose", "we would still choose". I don't agree. We've no
    choice. The subject and it's proper rendition DICTATE A proper
    contrast. We must only, through proper manipulation, choice of
    technique, materials, and chemistry, achieve that proper rendition.
    As I mentioned in my first post this thread the negative is
    supposed to fit on Grade 2 paper and be processed in
    Dektol. That is my understanding of the ZS. Adams
    himself though did nudge the contrast a bit.

    BTW, I don't consider masking, burning, or dodging legitimate
    print control methods, contrast control or otherwise. My list of
    approved whole print contrast control methods includes a few you
    did mention plus SLIMT, A. Adams' split Ansco 130, and Dr. Beer's
    VC print developer. The direct negative method is involved but
    does qualify. OH! I almost forgot LITH! Dan

  10. #20

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    "Moral: get good negatives, and then follow your heart. Better to be moving and exciting than technically correct. The Zone System is only a tool. A good one, but just a tool."

    Well said.

    I use the ZS (for about 15 yrs. now) and it's JUST A STARTING POINT to creating a beautiful print. Yes, getting the shadow densities correct when exposing the negative is very important, developing correctly to put the highs where you want is....somewhat important (can be adjusted when printing), but DO NOT let yourself get obsessed with charts, graphs, temps, etc! We are NOT scientists, but artists. I often print on Grade 3 beacuse, heck, I think it looks better for my images- gives them some "snap" I don't care what the densitometer thinks, it's the final print that matters. I often burn the crap out of a zone V area of my print, to make it zone 2 or 3. Sometimes I even dodge radically to get a zone 6 up to an 8!. Would Ansel approve? I don't care, it's what makes a good print in the end. A photographer once told me (when I was learning the ZS) "It's not a perfect science, but it's a good starting point to making a quality print". Radically interpreting a print in the darkroom is 90% of the fun!

    www.diehlphotography.com

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