Exposing for the shadows, in B&W negative photography, makes the thinest printable negative (least possible exposure), which is usually a good thing. Since you are not using the paper as an intermediate, the latitude is zero. Therefore it does not matter if you make the least possible exposure (exposing for the highlights) or greatest possible exposure (exposing for the shadows) ; the exposure would be the same.
Personally I'd expose for the highlights because determining the first light gray band when calibrating your system is easier for me than determining the first dark gray band in the black area. You will probably not be able to make the assumption that the first gray band (usable zone) on either side of middle is 4 stops away from your meters factory calibration (like one does in negative B&W film calibration). Maybe it is more like 3 stops with the Ilford paper.
Maybe even easier is to forgo the spot meter and use an average meter. Adjust it to give the best possible image of your usual subject matter and lighting conditions.
Last edited by ic-racer; 05-01-2012 at 03:29 PM. Click to view previous post history.