I recently read Fred Picker's book, 'The Zone VI Workshop,' and am attempting to take a series of photographs from zones I through VIII to test development time for my film. I'm shooting Legacy Pro 100 (rebranded Fuji Acros?) in a Canon AE-1 with a Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens. So, according to the test, a piece of cardboard (I used a greycard) is set up in daylight, metered for Zone V, and a series of shots exposed from zones I - VIII. What I did was adjust the shutter speed so that Zone V would fall on f/5.6, then closed down the lens to f/22 (Zone VIII) and exposed, next frame opened up to f/16 and exposed, etcetera. After these 8 exposures, I take about 10 photos of whatever is laying around, and leave about 10 or so frames unexposed. So far, so good.
My problem comes in after the film is developed. Development is normal with HC-110, stop, fixer, wash, and Photo-Flo. When the negative is inspected, the photos of normal things appear fine, but the 8 exposures of the greycard that are supposed to represent zones I - VIII all turn out the same—grey (remember, this is the negative). What I would expect to see for those 8 frames, is a series of photos starting out light and getting incrementally darker. What am I doing wrong? I assume this is something to do with my camera equipment. No, the lens is not set to auto-set the aperture, and the AE-1 has no automatic shutter speed settings. What really gets me is that the other photos turn out fine. What's the deal? Is the lens going crazy and somehow setting its own aperture to match the 18% light reading of the meter? Please help.