Originally Posted by Stephen Benskin
Just to set the record straight: I do use the Zone System, just do the calibration without a densitometer (á la Minor White, Zakia, et al.). I think that applying sensitometry in an uncomplicated way helps make the system what it is, but its greatest advantage for me is as a visualizations tool. Extending that tool to include print controls seems only logical to me. Michael says it very well below.
But, Micheal, I must differ with you that the Zone System is "an introduction." It is a simplification, intended to do away with much of the numerical data, Cartesian graphs, curve mapping and logarithms that are such a part of sensitometry. It works to help make adequate negatives, and that's all we need it for. One does need the ability to target areas of a scene for particular print values if one is serious about visualizing and making finely-crafted prints. The Zone System is complete and adequate to the task. If one wants to study sensitometry and tone reproduction on the other hand (worthy endeavors by all means), one doesn't need the Zone System.
Originally Posted by Michael R 1974