Originally Posted by photomc
I agree with what you have said about development being the control through which we alter the density range (contrast) of the negative. There are other means that one can employ that afford this at the exposure stage but that is another topic for another time.
On the subject of seeing zones or their tonal representations on a print, one of the things that has proven helpful to me is to make projections of the actual "zone" densities on enlarging paper. This is most accurately done with the Stouffer calibrated step wedge. From that one can "see" what the actual negative densities convert to in tonal representations on the print. The step wedge will allow that in 1/2 stop increments.