A friend read this and asked the reasonable question, "What's different about a midtone based system from a Zone I based system ?"

I replied in a knee-jerk way, "Well, you can go straight to the shooting and not worry about fine tuning the exposure."

And then I realised that wasn't the BIG THING for me. The BIG THING is that meant I seldom need to burn and dodge a print. The scale of the scene fits the scale of the paper.

But the BIGGEST THING is that the midtone contrast, the LOCAL contrast, would be correct without mucking about. And then I remembered something David Kachel wrote (more years ago then I care to remember) about LOCAL CONTRAST. PLease take a look, David has left this online for you:


And here is an example of an incident reading of an extremely long scale image, rendered in 12 tones, that prints on a normal paper with no gymnastics. The compensation takes place at the extremes of the scale, while the midtones are a straight line. THAT is the difference between this method, and conventional control systems. You can go straight to the shooting with a simple incident reading, and not need to burn and dodge to fit the scale on contrasty paper to hold local contrast.