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  1. #21
    Bruce Osgood's Avatar
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    I suggest getting a copy of Adams' The Negative. It's all right their.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by pierods View Post
    But then I go back to my original question - faces in my photos look already in zone 6/7 (and shadows are fully developed).

    Are my dev times too long then?
    The zone on a negative corresponds with density on the negative. You can always print to a higher or lower tone, but you may end up compressing eiter shadow or highlight detail in the print.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by pierods View Post
    Somebody can explain? I am very well confused...
    Have you considered reading a book on the zone system?
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  4. #24
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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    Your spot metering should take in the full spectrum of luminance in the subject, not just one (e.g. from cheeks).
    High areas, low areas and then mid-tone areas must be measured, then averaged (spectrals are never spot metered). Incident reading is only useful for directional light.
    From the HI/LO/AVG measurement, add or subtract for additional exposure based on testing, not blind conversation. You can make it easier by placing a grey card in the frame and spot meter from that (baseline spot) if you have any doubts, then adjust +/– the exposure through active experimentation. It is entirely possible to create a beautiful portrait without resorting to the depth and breadth of the Zone System.
    .::Gary Rowan Higgins

    A comfort zone is a wonderful place. But nothing ever grows there.
    —Anon.






  5. #25
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch View Post
    Have you considered reading a book on the zone system?
    My first time through "The Negative" was both confusing and illuminating. I agree ZS books are helpful and should be read, but they don't necessarily make sense the first time or two through.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    My first time through "The Negative" was both confusing and illuminating. I agree ZS books are helpful and should be read, but they don't necessarily make sense the first time or two through.
    There are good and bad books on the zone system. The Adam's books are better than some which read more like Zen than photography. But what you need to know is there. Don't try to digest a book as a whole, only when you felly understand a section should you go on to the next.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  7. #27
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Yes, it is something that needs to be chewed on.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  8. #28
    wiltw's Avatar
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  9. #29

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    My understand to the zone system is that it actually divide the entire range of brightness film can capture into different zones. So we spot meter a caucasian's cheek with a spot meter, under that lighting condition, that is reading you should put in zone VI. Because caucasian's face a light. Whereas if I have an asian in the frame, that cheek reading should be in zone IV. If it's an African, it should be in Zone III.

    That is just a basic guideline when you do exposure check. Like others point out, it really depends on the film characteristics and the feel you want to get. Nothing better to try shoot and log down the settings for review. I usually don't ask questions before I tried the experiment because I won't retain the information in my mind without trying it myself.

  10. #30
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelvinleung View Post
    My understand to the zone system is that it actually divide the entire range of brightness film can capture into different zones.
    Not quite.

    The zone system was designed to help translate the Scene Brightness Range (SBR) you want to print from the real world to what will print easily or "straight" onto say grade 2 paper.

    Adams would have used the word visualize where I used translate. When looking at the scene Adams would visualize (decide) what he wanted pure black-zone 0, shadow with detail-zone III, white with detail-zone 8, and what he wanted pure white, zone X.

    The black point Adams would choose in the scene (zone-0) translates to black on paper (zone-0), each zone from the scene translates in turn directly to the corresponding zone on paper. That is the essence of the zone system.

    With regard to negatives, they almost always have more "range" or latitude or usable details (whatever you want to call it) out side the printable "zones" or straight print range. To say this in mathematic terms, the printable range (all the zones) are a subset of the film's range. It is very possible for a film to have twice the range than it needs to cover the zones.

    Two side notes:

    We can get at the extra info/extra film range by using burn or dodge techniques.

    And the classic placement of a Caucasian face tone in Zone VI isn't a given. For a dark scene you may want to print darker, for a bright scene, brighter.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

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