Excellent points Mark.
Together with a good friend of mine Ben who is a skilled photographer and retired Chemist, an attempt to better define the "proper way" to meter the highlights has been the subject of some recent contemplation and discussions. I refer now to BTZS methods. Ben has wondered if metering by averaging the readings taken by pointing the dome at the light source AND at the camera along the lens axis would be a "reasonable" way of determining the highlight values. If one points the dome at the light source the mid tones are rendered well in the print. However, there can be-and we have easily demonstrated such by a few prints on Azo paper using Amidol-a decrease in print contrast ( higher SBR, shorter development, highlights held, mid tones separated well ). For emphasis, the separation of the mid tones is wonderful on Azo papers. On the other hand, pointing the meter at the camera which lowers the SBR, drives development and increases contrast, the midtones are somewhat compressed ( again on Azo/Lodima paper using Amidol ) and the highlights can be at zone 8 and sometimes detail is lost on the high end. So, Ben suggests averaging the two highlight values so as to, and I am mixing metaphors a bit, having one's cake and eating it-separation of the mid tones, AND slightly increased contrast.
I am seeking to replicate the more "measured" contrast in my prints rather than the "West Coast approach" which is (seen for example in the wonderful work of Ansel Adams ) certainly more dramatic. Although once again I don't want to stray too far from the subject of incident metering it is worth repeating that we are attempting to take advantage of the properties of silver chloride papers developed in Amidol ( increased mid range tones and a very long tonal scale ). Those using VC papers might approach their metering paradigm differently as might those who use, for example, Gallerie graded enlarging papers. Also those who contact print might find that metering in a certain way yields negatives that print better vs. those who prefer to projection print. Of course, we haven't even touched on the efforts of those who are making negatives for alternate methods such as Platinum printing!
And, that is exactly the point that we both are emphasizing: Incident metering is a tool that can be learned and applied when one understands one's materials and attempts to use such metering to render the scene as one envisions. The latter point should be understood and used as a reference to whatever metering method is chosen, i.e., the characteristics of one's materials, one's intent, and one's vision guides the exposure of the negatives.
Last edited by Mahler_one; 03-01-2013 at 10:42 AM. Click to view previous post history.