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  1. #1

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    I dont know folks, I was in another forum and the guy was worried because his step tablet was not uniform from one step to the next. Of course he was doing the BTZS testing regime. Did anybody here ever used it? I read the book and thought, heck this guy has made such a simple concept a way too complicated method, just to arrive at the same place....

  2. #2

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    I suppose that some people are interested in pure zone system - that's why some still insist on testing and determining personal settings for film speed, etc. I (sort of) use the zone system but don't worry about testing etc. I for one let the guys and girls in the R&D labs do this and then "tweak" the film / developer to suit! It may not be "pure" but it gives me the results I'm after. BUT, for those who still work to the "original format" - keep at it!! Without you the "pure" form of the ZS will die out!!

  3. #3

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    While I do think some people get carried away with testing, I have nonetheless found Phil Davis' book to be very educational and I have great respect for his knowledge. His analysis of how light meters work and how they can be used accurately remains the best I have ever read.

    I haven't bought it yet, but I know a number of people who swear by his BTZS Plotter software.

  4. #4

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    Well, I guess I am going to have to eat crow here. Day before yesterday I was bored and with nothing to read so I picked up my copy of the BTZS. This time I read it more carefully and decided to give his method a try. I did not do all the film testing but I did try the incident metering in the field and I was surprised at how easy it was to arrive at an exposure. Much, much easier than the regular ZS. Since I am doing DBI I guessed at the EI when doing the metering. That is I did 1 stop more when doing N-2 or 1 stop less when doing N+2. Surprisingly the negatives came out great. Of course I took 2 shots each, one with the ZS and one with the BTZS method. Frankly I thought the BTZS methid was too cumbersome, but now I am rethinking and eating some crow.....

  5. #5

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    I seem to find for myself that testing makes it easy to just leave the camera on the shelf.

    I did it once when I was trying to teach myself the zone system. A whole bunch of pictures of the house nextdoor, with it's white textured wall and dark bush. Nowadays I just keep guessing and adjusting. I see that the negatives are a little thin in the shadows and I lower my ISO next time. I see that the highlights are a little too thick in the negatives, and develop a little less next time.

    Do you think it will take me significantly longer to find the right combo this way? I often wonder, but then the journey itself is now filled with some very good pictures that, chronologically, are kind of hard to print, not too hard to print, printable, easy to print, and practically print themselves. Instead of a dozen or more test pics that are of no use.

    I don't know.

    And I agree with Ed and Jorge...Phil's book is one of the most informative out there.


    dgh
    David G Hall

  6. #6

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    I hate testing also, so it is hard for me to say yeah you will be better off doing the whole enchilada. But judging from my recent experience it seems that greater control is obtained by following the method. Am I excited about doing all those step wedges? no, not one bit. But if I have to do it only once and it will make my life easier down the road, I just might have to.

    Once thing is for sure I think is better than the trial and error method you are using now, or at least less wasteful. If you stick to one film and one developer then in time I am sure you will become very experienced and you wont need to do the testing, but is sort of which road you want to take, the highway and get there faster, or the small roads, maybe you wont get there as fast but enjoy it more.

  7. #7

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    Jorge,

    I am shocked. What self respecting LF photographer opts for the big interestate? Isn't it always the little dirt road that really gets is where we're going?

    dgh
    David G Hall

  8. #8

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    David, I think that Jorge is traveling the interstate since he says that the "Cigarettes in the Parking Lot" photographic series will be more easily accomplished there. Something about a better and fresher source of material. I look forward to seeing it when he gets it finished. Probably next week, I imagine.
    Art is a step from what is obvious and well-known toward what is arcane and concealed.

    Visit my website at http://www.donaldmillerphotography.com

  9. #9

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    I guess I am thinking that we're all pretty advanced, it seems. We're all past the point of of pulling almost completely clear film out of the fix and then realizing that the winter tap water wasn't heated first.

    So I am assuming that all we're really talking about is fine tuning, which I see as a constant anyway. Why spend all the time shooting something you're not interested in to make sure you have your film/devel/paper/devel combo down, when in reality, if you're wrong you still have a printable negative, just a negative that's a little harder to print?

    Dirt roads. The finer strokes.

    dgh
    David G Hall

  10. #10
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    I actually took a class in college that dealt with BTZS. The testing was very tedious and time consuming. But I did end up with negs that were easy to print.

    I think now I would rather go by trial and error and have fun shooting at the same time. Besides, I don't have access to a densitometer anymore.

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