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  1. #91
    garryl's Avatar
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    May I point out people that the original topic was "worst piece of equipment". It was a subjective question, with expected subjective answers. Phfiz gave his subjective answer. It has turn into "how much I hate Phfitz and how can I bait him into a fight". Let's move on and get back to the original topic- Pretty Please with sugar on it?
    "Just because nobody complains doesn't mean all parachutes are perfect."

  2. #92
    Ole
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    Quote Originally Posted by phfitz
    The problem with the Zone System is that it is incomplete and incorrect.
    So it is. And so is Newron's physics, but that has never stopped it being far more useful in most real-life cases than relativity and quantum physics.

    Quote Originally Posted by phfitz
    It has never tested for developer depletion or the over-exposure point for film. By changing dev. times then moving the charts to the left to align you are losing track of the actual exposure intensity of the highlights.
    AFAIK developer depletion is not a constant. It will depend on the actual silver developed, not the area of film per unit volume of developer. So incorporating corrections for developer depletion would complicate things to the point of uselessness.

    I believe the zone system was formulated a while after AA shot "Black Sun", which is a good example of solarisation. He was well aware of the possibility of overexposure. With more modern films this is less relevant, which I believe you are well aware of.

    Quote Originally Posted by phfitz
    The actual speed point for the film should be set between .1 over base fog and the actual over-exposure point which is a hard point of the film.
    That would be - anywhere? Overexpose a lot, and there's sure to be something on the film?

    Quote Originally Posted by phfitz
    It is easier and safer to use the factory speed rating and use a larger volume of developer. There is less likelyhood of dropping the shadows and you cannot blowout the highlights. You will have denser negs and slightly longer print times but printing will be easier.
    In many cases the factory speed rating (as printed on the film pack) is overoptimistic. Most factories also give different speed ratings for different developers. Part of the zone system is finding YOUR speed rating for a given film/developer combination. Things do vary quite a lot.

    There are cases where the zone system breaks down, as I'm well aware of. But a good understanding of it is still a valuable help in knowing when to ignore it!

    A case in point is my photo of a solar eclipse. On the negative there are details in both the foreground and the sun; shaded trees and sunspots are both discernible. Compressing this range into something printable is clearly not interesting. So knowing the ZS I exposed for the shadows, and developed in an extremely compensating developer I had never used before. It worked as I expected...
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  3. #93
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    Worst piece of equipment?
    A EastGerman light meter I got once (also for cheap) It was highly inconsistent, heavy and awkward to use..... made an excellent paper weight though

    In the darkroom... so far I've been lucky to enjoy most of the stuff I have ever had...
    Mama took my APX away.....

  4. #94

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    Quote Originally Posted by David H. Bebbington
    Thanks for the info, Brian, I can certainly understand now why you are irate! I could imagine the root cause of this problem is that Horseman does not make these cameras in-house but sub-contracts them. Most of the problems you describe (apart from the centimeter scale) are due to poor materials which are not apparent to the naked eye but only as the result of torture testing(!). Price also seems not to correlate to quality - among my cameras is a 4x5" Iston, a name which evidently means "made by any one of several companies in China". It was not expensive and required a fiber washer to be placed under every knob before it locked up right, but it is now a nice camera. Others who own cameras bearing this name are apparently not so happy.
    Back on the theme of this thread, the worst LF camera I used (at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London) but fortunately did not own was an 8x10" Burke & James, gray painted with red bellows, with a back standard that shook like a jelly on a plate.


    Regards,

    David
    One thing you have to keep in mind with old cameras is that wood and age don't go together kindly, especially with the use some of these cameras have seen over 30,40, 50+ years. I have talked to retired professionals who used these cameras new out of the box (Follmers, Koronas, B&J, Deardorf etc) and they say they were as solid and reliable as cameras of today.

    When they are refurbished and refinished they make excellent cameras. But people need to keep that in mind when looking at buying older wooden cameras.
    "Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
    Robert Adams

  5. #95

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    piece of junk cable release bought in a pinch--- *i thought* i forgot my good one at home.
    the throw / plunger didn't last a 8 hours and i found the other release in my jacket pocket ( where i was putting the piece of junk "for safe keeping")

  6. #96
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Chinn
    One thing you have to keep in mind with old cameras is that wood and age don't go together kindly, especially with the use some of these cameras have seen over 30,40, 50+ years. I have talked to retired professionals who used these cameras new out of the box (Follmers, Koronas, B&J, Deardorf etc) and they say they were as solid and reliable as cameras of today.

    When they are refurbished and refinished they make excellent cameras. But people need to keep that in mind when looking at buying older wooden cameras.
    This is true, but in the same studio there was a Gandolfi Universal 8x10" (square bellows) with a tilt-front attachment which must have been 20 years older than the B&J and it was rock solid. The 14" Zeiss Protar from around 1900 was pretty good, too!

    Regards,

    David

  7. #97

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    Worst piece of equipment? My brain. That darn thing can become quite the obstacle at times. How much better could I shoot if I could just silence my brain and shoot on auto-pilot.

  8. #98
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    It was the best of gear, it's now the worst of gear.

    I swtiched to variable contrast a while ago and got a Zone VI VC head. My Zone VI Compensating Metronome was an amazingly important piece of gear when I printed on graded paper, as it automatically shortened the time between beeps as the light warmed up, ensuring *identical* print exposures.

    I was scratching my head for quite a while as to why my prints with the VC head using the Compensating Metronome were drifting all over the map, both in contrast and max-black times. As I worked on a print, if I changed either the Soft or Hard light and gave the previous exposure, the quality of my dark tones would shift...I then would have to do test strips again to set the dark tones, which of course had an effect on the high tones, which meant a change in contrast, which meant changing exposure again...AAAARRRRGGGGHHHHH!

    Then it dawned on me that the Compensating Metronome is blind to the colour of the light; it just reads the amount, or volume of light. If I went from Soft light setting e / Hard light setting e, to Soft f / Hard e, my darks went flacid. It read this as an increase in light volume, shortened the time between beeps, and short changed me on the Hard light. (As a percentage of the whole exposure, the Hard light was reduced).

    I spent a day in the darkroom with a small electronic "actual" metronome and did max-black times for a bunch of contrast settings. Exposures now range from Se / Ha @ 35 sec, to Sa / Hh @ 20 sec. AAAAAHHHHH! Now I can move through the contrast changes fluently. This has DRASTICALLY reduced the time it takes to arrive at a good work print.

    Murray

  9. #99
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    I have read the posts on the zone system with interest but have found that my knowledge of sensinometry is not quite good enough to fully follow the various arguments put forward. However, this I do know. As a keen camera club member I have on many occasions submitted work for critique in competitions. Not once has a judge said "ah, obviously a zone system man". I agree 100% that correct exposure and developement are fundamental to the success of any photograph. However I feel that if your particular methods give you that success then it a a waste of time and of a perfectly good brain to indulge in endless debate about other methods that may well work for other photographers.

  10. #100
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    A monopod!
    Unfortunately,when I bought it,it didn't occur to me that there is an intrinsic flaw in the design:you have to hold the stupid thing upright,so it still sways!!

    Mind you,I suppose it makes a good walking stick!!
    A common mistake people made when designing something completely foolproof was to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

    Computers are incredibly stupid,but they are capable of being incredibly stupid many millions of times a second.

    Both said by Doug Adams

    Only put off until tomorrow that which you are prepared to die having not done-Pablo Picasso

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