I'm a little late to this discussion but I'm throwing my cents in anyway. For now I will limit my comments specifically to print zones.
Here is why at this point in my photographic study/experience I don't care about print zones. I think they are too subjective, fluid, and subject to too many variables as the tone reproduction diagrams show. I think about film exposure and development in zones, but to me they represent nothing but relative levels of local contrast, not desired tones. If I place a shadow on "Zone III", it is because I want full local contrast, not a specific grey. Perhaps this is at least partly because I'm most often dealing with wider than normal subject luminance ranges. The negative, for me, is about recording the information needed to make the desired print. When I'm at the scene making the exposure, I need to think about print controls as part of the entire system (which everyone should be doing anyway).
Last edited by Michael R 1974; 04-28-2013 at 04:24 PM. Click to view previous post history.