Hi MatthewDunn,

You can always stop by for a crash course... Or Lenny Eiger in Petaluma has an open invitation for calls from people with Zone System questions. He can explain it in 15 minutes.

Here's a thread where I describe a Zone Sticker for your meter...


This will help you imagine "Place and Fall" which are two important Zone System concepts that you really need a sticker to see...

Even though Zone System utilizes spotmeters. I would recommend occasionally switching to incident meter mode and take a reading, as a sanity check. If the readings by incident mode and the spotmeter readings lead to wildly different shutter speed and f/stop combinations, then you can suspect something is amiss. In spot mode, meter the palm of your hand and "place" it on Zone VI. This should agree with the incident mode reading in the same light.

A Stouffer step wedge is a cheap, but extremely useful addition to the darkroom. It can help you test film. You need a densitometer too, but you can build a densitometer with things you find at home (a scanner with the VueScan driver can provide density readings).