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Thread: Paper Zones

  1. #21
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    Doremus,

    When I start to actually print a negative, I just print the negative using standard methods. But when I make a gray scale, the scale itself is centered around the exposure time that produces the Zone V negative to match the gray card. I'm only commenting on the production of a gray scale, not the printing of an actual negative. Like AA said, in printing, we're trying to breath life into the final image. So, when photographing, the use of the ZS allows me (us) to get the negative densities on the film base, predictably that is, to satisfy the visualization when printing. You made a reference earlier about the "power" of visualization---I believe that power is derived by a fundamental grasp of the production of an accurate gray scale using ZS principles.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Benskin View Post
    1 point maybe. It's easy to key off a tone in printing. For black and white negative film, it's a little harder. The only knowable point is the tested speed point and that is influenced by flare. The density at the metered exposure point depends on the shape of the film curve.
    It seems to me that if we use any given negative film, processed in a given and consistent developing regime; that a given amount of exposure, should get us a given film density at the same point on the curve every time.

    I see no reason or evidence in my own experience to suggest that I should expect inconsistent results, except for flare. So it seems to me that because of flare the actual/effective speed point for any given shot in the field would actually be the least knowable point on the curve.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    It seems to me that if we use any given negative film, processed in a given and consistent developing regime; that a given amount of exposure, should get us a given film density at the same point on the curve every time.

    I see no reason or evidence in my own experience to suggest that I should expect inconsistent results, except for flare. So it seems to me that because of flare the actual/effective speed point for any given shot in the field would actually be the least knowable point on the curve.
    Mark, I was speaking generally. It's a question of what is knowable. Zone System testing defines two points (both mistakenly). Even if they were accurately defined, there isn't any information with what goes on in between. Exposure isn't about that anyway. For black and white negative films, it's about placing the subject luminance range on a part of the film curve that will produce a quality print. There really isn't a correct exposure. That's why Zone System's EIs are usually half of the ISO and the old ASA speeds were half of the current and there's no problem in quality. The primary reasons to keep the exposure as short as possible is to keep printing times a short, limiting grain and light piping, and maximizing sharpness.

    Doremus, nicely said. I do have a conceptual problem with just black printing / proper proofs, but that's a topic for another thread. People mistakenly think I'm about extreme control. I'm not. I'm about correct understanding.

  4. #24
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    And it is the stuff in the middle that is, IMO, the most important.

    BTW Doremus's description/use of TXP's toe is very much akin to my thought for using the shoulder in the Print Range vs Negative thread.

    These concepts fit very well with your thought, that in general, there is no right exposure.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

  5. #25
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Benskin View Post
    The primary reasons to keep the exposure as short as possible is to keep printing times a short, limiting grain and light piping, and maximizing sharpness.
    You might add shortest possible exposure helps reduce subject motion blur and camera shake blur.

    And I don't need to pay much attention to those properties when using 4x5 on a tripod.

    So I'll continue to place my shadows higher, if all the tone-reproduction theory says... is that "people accept compressed shadows, but it's not necessarily better than having detail in shadows".

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
    "people accept compressed shadows, but it's not necessarily better than having detail in shadows".
    This is a good point in a general sense. Sharpness, grain, details in certain areas are simply characteristics. High sharpness and minimal grain isn't always better.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Benskin View Post
    Mark, I was speaking generally. It's a question of what is knowable. Zone System testing defines two points (both mistakenly). Even if they were accurately defined, there isn't any information with what goes on in between. Exposure isn't about that anyway. For black and white negative films, it's about placing the subject luminance range on a part of the film curve that will produce a quality print. There really isn't a correct exposure. That's why Zone System's EIs are usually half of the ISO and the old ASA speeds were half of the current and there's no problem in quality. The primary reasons to keep the exposure as short as possible is to keep printing times a short, limiting grain and light piping, and maximizing sharpness.
    The ZS "uses" two locations on the curve to establish the effective speed and to establish a "normal" development target density------in what way are those two points a mistake? Do you mean the value of those two points i.e., 0.1 and 1.3?

  8. #28
    Stephen Benskin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CPorter View Post
    The ZS "uses" two locations on the curve to establish the effective speed and to establish a "normal" development target density------in what way are those two points a mistake? Do you mean the value of those two points i.e., 0.1 and 1.3?
    I've discussed this thoroughly on multiple occasions, but yes, those are the two points.

  9. #29

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    I'm a little late to this discussion but I'm throwing my cents in anyway. For now I will limit my comments specifically to print zones.

    Here is why at this point in my photographic study/experience I don't care about print zones. I think they are too subjective, fluid, and subject to too many variables as the tone reproduction diagrams show. I think about film exposure and development in zones, but to me they represent nothing but relative levels of local contrast, not desired tones. If I place a shadow on "Zone III", it is because I want full local contrast, not a specific grey. Perhaps this is at least partly because I'm most often dealing with wider than normal subject luminance ranges. The negative, for me, is about recording the information needed to make the desired print. When I'm at the scene making the exposure, I need to think about print controls as part of the entire system (which everyone should be doing anyway).
    Last edited by Michael R 1974; 04-28-2013 at 04:24 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #30
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    Even if it is not precise, Zone System gives you a realistic expectation of how tones in a scene may translate to the print.

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