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Thread: BTZS

  1. #1
    Aggie's Avatar
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    BTZS

    For all of those knowledgable photographers, I wish to be educated about this system. Only criteria is keep it simple since i have not purchased new hair dye to cover my shockingly light blonde roots. Are there books? Are their websites? ARe their workshops? Who has examples of how this works? Please I'm curious but not to patient (no laughing Jorge)
    Non Digital Diva

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    Sorry if I'm telling you something you already know, but 'BTZS' stands for 'Beyond the Zone System' which first came from a book by Phil Davis by that name. There was also a workbook that went along with it. I guess Davis then built that into a commercial enterprise which sold (sells?) products to go along with his teachings.
    I have not read the book myself so I cannot give you a review or critique.
    Nathan

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    noseoil's Avatar
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    Aggie, the best book on the subject is Beyond the Zone System by Dr. Phil Davis. It is a comprehensive guide to testing, procedures and evaluation of films and paper.

    His basic premise, as I understand it, is to start with the paper as a reference point, and then tailor negatives to match the scale with film exposure and development. This is the opposite to using the zone system. tim

  4. #4

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    As stated before, Phil's book is the best option for a DIY, the View Camera store has workshops on the system given by Fred. Unfortunatelly last year was the last time Phil conducted the workshop, he is getting up there in years and he has decided not to travel much anymore, but Fred Newman is very capable and very well versed in the system. I am sure his workshop would be worth while.

    The BTZS has a web site...

    http://www.btzs.org/

    You can visit and read some of the articles written by Phil. Presently there is a BTZS light, which mainly guides you through the testing and how to meter without as much in depth explanations as there are in the book. This was done by Phil at the urging of many of us who realize that it is an awesome system, but that many people are put off by all the dry technical explanations presented in the book. I gotta tell you, once you get the hang of it and realize how easy and powrful it is, you wont use anything else.

    Good luck and keep in mind that there are many of us here who will be glad to help you through it if you decide to take a stab at it on your own.

  5. #5
    smieglitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jorge
    ...I gotta tell you, once you get the hang of it and realize how easy and powrful it is, you wont use anything else...

    Jorge,

    I have the first edition of the BTZS book from long ago. I've read it several times and it always struck me that the sensitometry was a good aspect of it, but I was turned off by his "Incident System" so I never took it up in practice. Does the current incarnation of BTZS still advocate and rely upon an incident meter and do most practitioners actually use such an instrument or is a spot/reflected meter easily used with the BTZS?

    Thanks,

    Joe

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    Quote Originally Posted by smieglitz
    Jorge,

    I have the first edition of the BTZS book from long ago. I've read it several times and it always struck me that the sensitometry was a good aspect of it, but I was turned off by his "Incident System" so I never took it up in practice. Does the current incarnation of BTZS still advocate and rely upon an incident meter and do most practitioners actually use such an instrument or is a spot/reflected meter easily used with the BTZS?

    Thanks,

    Joe
    Yes, the incident meter is sitll part of the system. If you prefer to do spot metering and have the expodev palm program, you can use either incident or spot metering. I have found the incident metering far more reliable and accurate than spot metering, but to each it's own.
    As with everything the incident meter approach requires some getting used to and some practice to obtain the tones one wants in the negative and subsequently in the print but I have found my exposures have much better since I adopted the BTZS and incident metering. With pt/pd you have little chance to do any dodging or burning, having a negative that has the tones one visualized in the print is invaluable.

    BTW, I have the second edition with the work book, these books sat in my shelve for more than 10 years before I gave it a serious chance, that was a mistake!

  7. #7

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    I can mail you the video tape for viewing. It will help a lot. Piss poor production but makes more sense than the book. Then read the book and things will make a hell of a lot more sense. It has already been to Canada why not California.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  8. #8
    mikepry's Avatar
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    I switched over about 4 months ago and wish I did it along time ago. I have never had such consistently good negatives to work with. Jorge really helped me allot (he should win an award) and the whole incident thing is fabulous. I still don't know why the system gets such a bad rap though. I'm not lookin' back!

    PS Check your pm Aggie
    "EVERY film and paper is good .......... for something"
    Phil Davis

  9. #9

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    Fourth edition

    Aggie, If you want to pay the postage both ways I will send you my copy of the fourth edition. I would want it back within 60 days. Your local library may have a copy of an edition of it. It is available thru Amazon. Money well spent in my opinion. I also prefer the incident system to the use of a spot meter.

    Claire

  10. #10
    Dave Wooten's Avatar
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    one of our sponsors...the View Camera Store ... has the book and updates

    give them a call...they have always been most helpful to me

    Dave in Vegas

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