Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
I appreciate the clarification. Your challenge is valid, and makes a user of the Zone System like me, aware of the fact I need a good reason to continue using the system.

Just off the top of my head, I can say a valid continued use of Zone System in the field is to evaluate the scene to see what is likely to be printed effectively on the paper. And to decide what is and is not important to record/print. I also believe that it is a strong tool for planning abstract renderings.
I agree with you, Bill. Lately, I have started a more conscious consideration of dodging and burning, at the stage of negative exposure, and I try to optimise negative development to make its printing easier. What I mean by that is that I may indicate N+1 etc even if I have enough overall contrast (so otherwise N), but if I would like to add local contrast, which could be a bit harder to increase through local print manipulation. Having very recently discovered selective masking (for dodging and burning) and masked flashing, I am happier to be "accessing" parts of the straight-line of the curve which were previously too hard to burn or dodge, and therefore necessitated overall, global contrast adjustments. So, in some way, I would expect to need ZS less, but, on the other hand, it helps me decide what I want to labour on during printing.

Nonetheless, the understanding of ZS, BTZS, and a healthy dose of sensitometry learing spurned on by yourselves, here on APUG, will be with me for as long as I practice this form of photography, which to me, is priceless.