Truly interesting thread, may have to try Pyro more in the future. Not rushing to buy though, still enjoying DD-X.

Quote Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch View Post
I think most people have problems understanding the Zone System, I know I did. Many of the books on the Zone System are not very good teaching aids. I have read others describe the difficulty. Some state that they have suddenly attained an epiphany when everything finally made sense.
I actually "got" the zone system concepts real quick. What I was at odds with though for a long time was the application.

The bulk of the zone system examples and discussions and even most exposure discussions I've seen center on landscape and still-life's where shadow & highlight detail actually matter. That isn't always the case, the subject matters.

Applying the zone system in portraiture for example, where the placement of the face exposure trumps the rest of the frame, is possible but not near as straight forward as shooting to the shadows and measuring contrast range for landscape work.

Roll film complicates zone system application and understanding too. Practicalities with rolls pushes us away from changes in development.

Modern metering systems also throw kinks in the understanding, the zone system doesn't live in a vacuum.

When I came back to photography 6 or 8 years ago I got an L-358 incident meter right off. Since then I've tried every type of metering available and I am capable of applying them all, but when it comes to printing the negs, and once I got a handle on printing and VC paper, I found the ones where I used the incident meter's suggestions at box speed and my normal development regimes for a particular film, almost always print easiest and most pleasing and lack little if any needed detail.

In that context applying the whole zone system is confusing, there's always the nagging "why bother?" hanging in the air.

Reading Dunn & Wakefield's exposure manual was a zone system epiphany for me, it taught me where it was appropriate and where other methods could be applied for better result in my work.

Quote Originally Posted by michaelbsc View Post
And this is exactly the mechanism Bob used successfully. He's in good company. There is passage in one of the A.A. books about Weston where the supreme geek of photography comments that he was watching Weston work and wondering just what in heaven's name the guy was doing. The final comment was "but the results speak for themselves." Clearly an acceptance by Adams that Weston's methodology was legitimate, even if it wasn't scientifically rigorous.

IMO it is a mistake to think of this as a zero sum game. Neither approach is wrong.
My style in life is more like Weston's as described here.

When I was learning to fly small planes I used to drive my Dad who was already a pilot crazy because I flew more intuitively than procedurally. He expected certain things at certain times, but I'd apply different controls/strategies. The end results were very comparable, nice smooth landings. My Dad's approaches were linear, mine were more, well, artistic. (Just in case you are wondering, my instructor was quite happy with my "style". Always well within the capabilities of the plane and the safety of all concerned.)