Switch to English Language Passer en langue française Omschakelen naar Nederlandse Taal Wechseln Sie zu deutschen Sprache Passa alla lingua italiana
Members: 70,228   Posts: 1,532,728   Online: 834
      
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. #1
    metod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Montreal
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    102
    Images
    10

    Zone system question

    I’m quite new in using a view camera and was reading a lot about the zone system lately. I think I understand the main principle and advantages of the system (placing values in different shades of grey, compacting and expanding opacity range of the negative at will…..)
    There is the part about choosing an exposure when applying the zone system I thought of asking you. I think the best I would explain my question is by the example…..

    Let’s say I have a sun filled, contrasty scene in front of me. Ideally, I’d like to preserve both shadows and highlights. Pointing meter at both tells me that this is too much for the negative to record properly. I would know that I have to compact the zones, so I would chose to overexpose by 2 stops and give less development to the negative later, right?
    My question is, which exposure time to choose for a scene like this, would it be the shadows placed on zone II plus 2 stops, or an average between shadows and highlights metering, plus 2 stops?
    Knowing this would help me a lot as I’m heading out soon with my camera.

    Thanks.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Shooter
    Large Format
    Posts
    4,530
    You are correct in your assumptions with the exception you would place the shadows in Zone III plus 2 stops.

    If you want to do a more accurate methodology I suggest you give the BTZS (Beyond the zone system) a try, it is a far more powerful method for expusre/development.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Shooter
    Large Format
    Posts
    6,242
    Quote Originally Posted by metod
    I’m quite new in using a view camera and was reading a lot about the zone system lately. I think I understand the main principle and advantages of the system (placing values in different shades of grey, compacting and expanding opacity range of the negative at will…..)
    There is the part about choosing an exposure when applying the zone system I thought of asking you. I think the best I would explain my question is by the example…..

    Let’s say I have a sun filled, contrasty scene in front of me. Ideally, I’d like to preserve both shadows and highlights. Pointing meter at both tells me that this is too much for the negative to record properly. I would know that I have to compact the zones, so I would chose to overexpose by 2 stops and give less development to the negative later, right?
    My question is, which exposure time to choose for a scene like this, would it be the shadows placed on zone II plus 2 stops, or an average between shadows and highlights metering, plus 2 stops?
    Knowing this would help me a lot as I’m heading out soon with my camera.

    Thanks.
    In the situation that you described you would increase exposure but not by two stops. The increase would be related to the amount of reduction in development that you would need. For instance if you have one zone more then your materials can depict (N-1)you would increase exposure by 1/3 stop. For N-2 you would increase exposure by 2/3 stop.

    Placing the shadow values is the first determination that you need to make. Most would place their shadows on III or IV for greater luminance (depending on the film used). Zone II has no information other then tonal representation. Shadow values always are the determiner of exposure.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Shooter
    Sub 35mm
    Posts
    1,322
    Yes you want to move in full stops to compensate not 1/3 of a stop. You will however in conjunction in moving your speed or aperture in full stops move your film index 1/3 to 2/3 in either direction to compensate for the change for proper shadow detail when you developed your negs. Remember exposure controls shadows and development controls highlights.

    Also you are going to have to test your film and honestly N-2 is a waste of time, just dial your film in for N-1, N, N+1 and N+2. I am a long time zone system user but many do like BTZS for its simplicity and ease of use.

    If you are going to use the ZS you seriously need to dial in your film for N because if you done you have no idea what the actual true speed of the film is and your results and all your N+, N- will just be in vain.

    Good luck,


    Kev

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    415
    Quote Originally Posted by kjsphoto
    "... move in full stops to compensate not 1/3 of a stop..."
    Yup. That's how I always understood it.

    "... in conjunction in moving your speed or aperture in full stops move your film index 1/3 to 2/3 in either direction to compensate for the change for proper shadow detail when you developed your negs..."
    That's where you lost me, Kev. I thought you determine (beforehand) the film index so that a Zone V reading will give a Zone V area on the negative with normal development of that particular film. After that, it's "expose for the shadows and develop for the highlights" since the film index is set. No? Where am I going wrong?

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Shooter
    Sub 35mm
    Posts
    1,322
    No, you do get your film index first, sorry for the confusion. But you dont test for Zone 5 you test for zone 1 = index and zone 8 = density (highlight area).

    But when you do a N+1 for exampel you speed will also change 1/3 to 2/3 depending on the film so you have to test for that also. On a N+1 you would test for Z1 and Z7 and expand Z7 out to Z8.

    Lets say your normal is EI 200, Z1 = .11 and Z8 = 1.2 over base fog.

    So for N+1 you could have an EI of 250 or 320 Z1 = .11 and Z7 expanded out to Z8 would also read 1.2.

    N+2 could take you EI up to 400. For an N+2 test you expand z6 out to z8.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    415
    Quote Originally Posted by kjsphoto
    "... you dont test for Zone 5 you test for zone 1 = index and zone 8 = density (highlight area)..."
    Oops! Gotcha. Thanks.

    On a N+1 you would test for Z1 and Z7 and expand Z7 out to Z8.

    Lets say your normal is EI 200, Z1 = .11 and Z8 = 1.2 over base fog.

    So for N+1 you could have an EI of 250 or 320 Z1 = .11 and Z7 expanded out to Z8 would also read 1.2..."
    Ah! Now I understand. That's gotta be the most clear, easy-to-understand explanation I've ever heard. Why couldn't St. Ansel be as succinct! Thanks again, Kev!

  8. #8
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Montréal (QC)
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    4,351
    Images
    132
    That's an excellent thread and I'm glad I saw it. I was a bit at a loss recently when I was comparing film developped (using XTOL) for different durations. I did Les McLean's procedure to expose the same subject at various EIs and develop at different times. I couldn't understand why for the life of me my shadow details kept changing between dev times. NOW I understand, and I will make my tests more rigorous! Thanks Kevin!
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

    My APUG Portfolio

  9. #9
    df cardwell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Dearborn,Michigan & Cape Breton Island
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    3,342
    Images
    8
    There are many ways to use the Zone System. That is it's entire reason for existence.

    One convention is that described here: basing the exposure on Zone II or III, and the development upon VII or VIII.

    If one is concerned with Zone V, one exposes for V. The flexibility of the system is what determines it's value. The reason Adams was not more succinct was that he offered a method for accomplishing a more diverse vision than a rote execution of "expose for II, develop for VIII".

    Two things have yet to be mentioned. First, the Premise of the Zone System is to be a coherent and repeatable technique to fulfil the artist's vision, not the other way around.

    Secondly, there is no point in the logical sequence where the camera is disconnected from the film, the film disconnected from the paper, and the paper from the camera. It is not modular, it is a single system.

    Some prefer to develop an intuitive understanding of the way paper works, others are more capable with graphs. Either way, before one begins to judge a scene based upon what the lightmeter says, one needs to know what the paper will say, and what the scene says to you.

    Finally, to answer your specific question, one needs to know your film and developer combination. With some, one would correctly give additional exposure for the shadows and reduce the development for the highlight to fall where you wish them to be.

    For me, and many, the film and developer combination I use lets me expose for the shadows and will hold the highlights with no need for N- development.

    The specific answer depends completely on the materials in use.

    d
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

  10. #10
    metod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Montreal
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    102
    Images
    10
    I know this will be a long journey to fine tune the whole system, but I hope an exciting and rewarding one. Thanks all for the input.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast


 

APUG PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Contact Us  |  Support Us!  |  Advertise  |  Site Terms  |  Archive  —   Search  |  Mobile Device Access  |  RSS  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin