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  1. #1
    hadeer's Avatar
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    SeKonic L-758D and the Zone System - how?

    Does anybody have experience using the Seconic L-758D in connection with the Zone System? I am somewhat confused about the best way to use this meter for that purpose. Generally I feel that the meter gives more consistent results than the average metering mode of my camera (Bronica ETRSi) but still I would like to be more precise than just using a middle value.
    Thanks, Hans.
    Have you seen the light..?

  2. #2
    Greg Davis's Avatar
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    Use the spot meter. Since the spot meter assumes it is reading middle gray, or Zone V, adjust your shutter/aperture to place the reading on the Zone you want in your print.
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  3. #3
    hadeer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Davis View Post
    Use the spot meter. Since the spot meter assumes it is reading middle gray, or Zone V, adjust your shutter/aperture to place the reading on the Zone you want in your print.
    That is what I do, I measure a middle grey. But is is also possible with this meter to determine the contrast range of the subject and superpose that on the dynamic range of the film by taking more than one measurement. Doing this I should be able to place the low values and/or the high values on a favourable point in the range (that is, in relation to my subject). It should be predictable that way whether I use the whole ten zones, or just part of it. There the confusion comes in, because, how do I do that?
    Have you seen the light..?

  4. #4
    Greg Davis's Avatar
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    Try this and see if it is what you want:

    -Set the meter to ambient light with the shutter speed highlighted and use the spot meter
    -Meter the low area of your scene
    -Hold the MID.TONE button and scroll the wheel while watching the smaller aperture numbers and the mark. You should see the small arrows shift as you scroll.
    -Continue scrolling until the mark is on the Zone you want.
    -Press the memory button.
    -Meter the high area of you scene. You should now see a mark under the low aperture and the high aperture, giving you the dynamic range of the scene.
    www.gregorytdavis.com

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  5. #5
    hadeer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Davis View Post
    Try this and see if it is what you want:

    -Set the meter to ambient light with the shutter speed highlighted and use the spot meter
    -Meter the low area of your scene
    -Hold the MID.TONE button and scroll the wheel while watching the smaller aperture numbers and the mark. You should see the small arrows shift as you scroll.
    -Continue scrolling until the mark is on the Zone you want.
    -Press the memory button.
    -Meter the high area of you scene. You should now see a mark under the low aperture and the high aperture, giving you the dynamic range of the scene.
    Greg, Thanks. Works well for me. Hans
    Have you seen the light..?

  6. #6
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    "Doing this I should be able to place the low values and/or the high values on a favourable point in the range (that is, in relation to my subject). It should be predictable that way whether I use the whole ten zones, or just part of it. "

    The Zone System, when used to its true purpose and benefit, works so that you can do what you want to do with the luminances you are photographing, on a shot-by-shot basis. It was designed with an aesthetic end, not a technical one. The technique of it is simply a means to this aesthetic end. Please do not get stuck in the rut of thinking that every print must "use the whole ten zones," that certain parts of the composition must be placed "favourabl[y]" by anyone's definition of the word but your own, or that what is favorable for one shot is universally favorable for all shots. The perfect negative is simply the one that allows you to make the print closest to the print that you want, not the negative that satisfies some universal and absolute definition of what a negative and a print ought to look like. The Zone System is a tool (and just one of many tools) to let you make your print look like you want it to look, not a guide or a set of rules that tells you what to make your prints look like. It is a misused technical exercise without the human heart and brain behind it to employ it in order to obtain ones specific aesthetic goals – to make an aesthetic decision about ones work, and use the tools at ones disposal to follow this decision through to a successful end. Once you start using the Zone System simply to achieve the technical end of making every negative match a predetermined standard for negatives, you have entirely lost sight of its purpose, and it is no different in results than using an incident meter combined with an eye for luminance range, and blanket over-or-under-exposing and over-or-under-developing.

    To use your meter for the Zone System is simple, as it should be. IMHO, once the Zone System becomes complicated (which all those digital features and buttons can help it to do), it has lost its usefulness and strayed far from its original intent. With some experience, you'd do better off using incident meters and educated guesses than you would be fiddling with a bunch of gizmos that remember this and that and tell you how to do this and that. With the Zone System, K.I.S.S. is key. What you do is meter anything. The meter tells you how to expose if you want that thing to be middle grey. If you don't want it to be middle grey, you use a different exposure to make it either darker or lighter. Once you have "placed" that tone, you measure others to see where they "fall." If they do not fall where you want them to fall, you alter development (and sometimes alter exposure again) so that they do.
    Last edited by 2F/2F; 11-13-2010 at 04:22 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    2F/2F

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  7. #7
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    The Gossen competitor to the Sekonic L-758 D the Gossen Starlite is a better bet it has a purpose built Zone facility built in and has a direct readout Zone scale, it's much more suitable for film photography than the Sekonic which is primarily intended for digital imaging http://www.calumetphoto.com/eng/prod...t_meter/gs4029
    Ben

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    You would need to learn the Zone system. The Zone system calls for the use of a spotmeter but just about any accurate spotmeter will do. Your meter has a number of calculation functions which may or may not applicable to the Zone system. You need to learn and understand the Zone system first and then study the meter manual to find out what kind of calculations it can do and see if you can make use some of them. A spotmeter that simply make and exposure reading is sufficient for practicing Zone system.

  9. #9
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chan Tran View Post
    You would need to learn the Zone system. The Zone system calls for the use of a spotmeter but just about any accurate spotmeter will do. Your meter has a number of calculation functions which may or may not applicable to the Zone system. You need to learn and understand the Zone system first and then study the meter manual to find out what kind of calculations it can do and see if you can make use some of them. A spot meter that simply make and exposure reading is sufficient for practisingthe Zone system.
    I agree with Chan a sound understanding of the principals of exposure are needed before using a light meter at all to get good results and the Zone System in particular, and many spot meters can be used its just that some spot meters like the Gossen Spot Master 2 and the Starlite make it easier to place the selected metered area in the right Zone without having to do a lot of mental arithmetic to arrive at the right answer, which is what I think the O.P. is asking.
    Last edited by benjiboy; 12-04-2010 at 05:09 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Ben

  10. #10

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    I agree with benjiboy, I understand that the OP is asking for the specific usage of the 758 for the Zone system. But like I have said, if you understand the Zone system well, a reading of the manual for the meter will tell you how you want to use it. Once you have good understanding of the Zone system and how each function of the meter works, you can then devise for yourself a procedure to use it. Each person would work differenrently.

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