Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Benskin View Post
Has the simplification involved in such methods as the Zone System unintentionally overemphasized the importance of speed and a speed point and under emphasized of the importance of contrast determination? There seem to be far more discussions on speed and how to test for it then there are about contrast.
Well, the first thing I'd recommend to anybody using any kind of Zone System testing methodology is to produce a full curve, not just target a Zone I and Zone VIII density. To me, everything is about contrast - ie the shape of the entire curve since I am ultimately concerned with printing.

As I've said, the speed point is a means to an end. I'm concerned with local contrast.

But even when contrast is considered in Zone System testing, there should be a lot more discussion about local contrast (ie not just CI or Gamma) and the paper curve. After all, how many people come away from Zone System contraction methods (including extreme contractions) thinking N-4 necessarily means Zone XII will print with good detail because it has a Zone VIII density in the negative?

But I'm getting ahead of the discussion there. We've sort of disagreed regarding the practical use of measures like CI in the past - mostly because I am typically dealing with significantly wider subject brightness ranges than average.