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skiers4life
31-May-2015, 09:42
So I haven't posted much in a while...my wife and I have twin boys on the way so my life has been a bit hectic lately! However, I recently found a break to go to the Smoky Mountains and grab a few shots. It's a location I have shot before so I didn't have to spend much time scouting out a composition. As I was waiting for the light to arrive, and since I had some free time, I decided to go over how I meter for the Zone System and various color films.

When I first got into large format, one thing that I found tricky was how to use my Sekonic light meter with the Zone System. Over time I came up with a technique that works really well for me. I posted both a written and video tutorial that can be found here: http://www.alanbrockimages.com/blog/2015/5/30/how-to-meter-using-the-zone-system

Thanks for watching and let me know if you have any questions/comments.

ic-racer
31-May-2015, 13:04
I have PLACED my highlights in Zone VIII, now I need to see where my shadows FALL.
Good "Zone Systems" are based on established sensitometric principles. When they stray from the established principles they fall apart.

skiers4life
31-May-2015, 19:56
Good "Zone Systems" are based on established sensitometric principles. When they stray from the established principles they fall apart.

I think we can agree that the goal of the Zone System is to achieve consistent, repeatable results. Another great thing about the Zone System is you can become as detailed as you want with film testing. If you want to measure each batch of film to determine its actual rating, you can. If you want to create exposure/density curves for every film stock you shoot, you can. Not having a densitometer or access to one, I have taken a different route. I used a flatbed scanner to determine my Normal and N+1 developing times. I have no idea what the exposure/density curve of my film looks like or where the shoulder is...and I really don't have a desire to. If measured with a densitometer, I'm sure the the density values of what I consider to be Zone VIII wouldn't actually be Zone VIII...but I'm willing to be that it will be REALLY close. That's another great thing about film...it's forgiving; it doesn't have to be exact. The system I use allows me to quickly take a meter reading and place the values where I want to. It's consistent, repeatable, and has always given me the results I anticipate. It may not be loaded down with specific density values, but to dismiss it as "falling apart" would be inaccurate.