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  1. #11
    clay's Avatar
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    The new BTZS program for the palm pilot already has a lot of developer/film tests loaded in, ready to go. I know Phil encourages you to test under your own conditions, but I have found through a two month long experiment that the data included with the programs is really very good. I decided to bite the bullet and try the incident metering system and the recommendations from the palm pilot for a while. So far, every exposure has been close to perfect. As long as you use some of the more common film and developers, it will work fine.

    As far as it being tedious - well, that is relative. What I find more tedious is fighting a difficult negative when printing. That said, if I am out with a small camera, I just generally make seat-of-the-pants adjustments in the field and rely on the magic of VC papers to pull my bacon out of the fire. When I'm doing big negs for platinum that cost $8 every time I push the shutter release, I am a little more careful about exposure, and I think the program will quickly pay for itself. If you read the book carefully, you quickly discover that Phil's big contribution has been to rid the Zone system of a lot of impenetrable jargon that was intended to make sensitometry accessible, but may have actually added an additional layer of confusion to the whole business. It reminds me of how truly hard it is to teach physics without calculus. If you know a little calculus, you don't have to remember nearly as much. Anybody else have a daughter taking high school physics?
    I just want to feel nostalgic like I used to.


    http://www.clayharmon.net - turnip extraordinaire

  2. #12
    Eric Rose's Avatar
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    I guess we should call him Dr. Phil
    www.ericrose.com
    yourbaddog.com

    "civility is not a sign of weakness" JFK

    "The Dude abides" - the Dude

  3. #13
    brYan's Avatar
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    Maybe Dr. Phil's new book will be "Zone System Matters".

  4. #14
    Johnny V's Avatar
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    I use the "traditional" Zone System. Was taught by Howard Bond out of Ann Arbor, MI. He's buddies with Phil and mentioned he and Phil did a test shoot together - Howard's traditional way and Phil's way. They both wound up with the same exposure and development times. Didn't really understand Phil's way - some shooters love it!

  5. #15
    Flotsam's Avatar
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    I'm not familiar with the BTZS but I've done a lot of awful, boring testing over the years and I honestly think that the pay off in my pictorial prints is visible and well worth the effort. It's not fun but there are so many things that affect the contrast and density of the negative and finally the print. Camera, Lenses, shutters, meter, enlarger, metering technique, processing techniques, film, developer, paper choice even your local water, to mention just a few.

    The only way to take into account all of the dozens of variables in the unique, personal choices of equipment, materials and techniques that are made between first evaluating the scene to be photographed and the final dry print is through tests that account for all of these variables.

    As far as the ZS is concerned. I don't shoot much sheet film but having a solid normal process to start from, I can make expansions and contractions based on general lighting conditions, for instance if I pop a couple rolls on a flat, cloudy day I can bump the contrast.

    -Neal
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

  6. #16

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    Does anyone have knowledge of the variations in the editions of BTZS? I think it is up to the 4th edition now (I probably have the 1st--must check when I get home). I just wonder if I need to buy the latest and get caught up, or if the updates are simply software.

  7. #17

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    Ed I have the second edition and Phil sent me the third edition in spanish for a friend. There is a fourth edition which apparently has a better apendix section for things like the N to SBR range convertion, etc. What phil told me is that the formulas are better explained and written in the last edition. The book seems to be the same otherwise.

  8. #18

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    The BTZS book filled in a lot of gap between the Ansel Adams 3 books and beyond mono. Still waiting for the delivery of 2nd ed. of beyond mono but there is no handheld assisted tool. Unfortunately still one of the best for understanding and as tool.

  9. #19

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    I learned to use BTZS in school too, and it made really good negatives and taught me a lot about the B&W photographic process.
    I used it a few years later to dial in my negatives. Then I stopped shooting for a while, and by time I got back into serious shooting, all my favorite films had either been discontinued or reformulated or otherwise changed. The papers I used for testing were extinct. If I do use it again, I'm faced with a lot of testing. I'm not looking forward to it. In the meantime, I'm using a lot of Pyrocat-HD in divided development and getting good negatives without a lot of fuss. Close enough for now.

    Peter Gomena

  10. #20
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    The irony of reopening such an old thread is the OP - Jorge Gasteazoro - went on to use BTZS extensively. "I felt like such a fool for not giving the BTZS a fair chance."

    There was an excellent article in Magnachrome magazine by Jorge with a free downloadable BTZS Excel set of worksheets, there wasan upgrade as well.

    Ian

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