Doremus,

When I start to actually print a negative, I just print the negative using standard methods. But when I make a gray scale, the scale itself is centered around the exposure time that produces the Zone V negative to match the gray card. I'm only commenting on the production of a gray scale, not the printing of an actual negative. Like AA said, in printing, we're trying to breath life into the final image. So, when photographing, the use of the ZS allows me (us) to get the negative densities on the film base, predictably that is, to satisfy the visualization when printing. You made a reference earlier about the "power" of visualization---I believe that power is derived by a fundamental grasp of the production of an accurate gray scale using ZS principles.