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Thread: Favourite/ Most Successful Metering Techniques - to Zone or not to Zone?

  1. #21

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    Re: Favourite/ Most Successful Metering Techniques - to Zone or not to Zone?

    Pentax digital batteries are easy to come by. Radio Shack carries them, They also fit the Canon New F1.

    Remember, also, that blue sky is Zone V, so if all else fails on a sunny day, meter the sky, do what it indicates, and it will most probably be fine.

    I like the idea of knowing exposure without a meter. We try to teach than in our workshops. It's easy to learn, and will improve your seeing immensely.
    Bruce Barlow
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  2. #22
    the Docter is in Arne Croell's Avatar
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    Re: Favourite/ Most Successful Metering Techniques - to Zone or not to Zone?

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesw View Post
    I think learning zone metering with a Pentax spot will be a nice learning curve for me. Can anyone with a Pentax digital spot tell me what kind of battery it takes? I've heard some older spot meters take older type batteries which can be hard to get or have even become obsolete...
    PX28=4SR44=GP476. Quite common, easily available at Home Depot and other places.

  3. #23

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    Re: Favourite/ Most Successful Metering Techniques - to Zone or not to Zone?

    i use a digital pentax spot meter only cause i got it REAL cheap. the analogue one will work just as well.

    after using it for so many years i have decided i like it better than an incident.

    this is what i do. i meter the various shadow, highlight and mid values. then i check neutral gray i use green trees or grass for this) then i look to see how many stops i have and decide which is the part of my scene i want to be gray. i then consider what the other values will do. i try and keep what i think the most important parts of the scene with in my latitude taken into account. then if i need to change my development i do.

    for E6 film i do basically the same thing. but i know that it is more important to get the highlight values correct so i lean that way. if there is too many stops i may not shoot the scene. this is why i began shooting C41...for the extra latitude. i was in the grand canyon one year and my slide film just could not handle the range.....i sure love looking at 8x10 transparencies!

    eddie
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  4. #24

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    Re: Favourite/ Most Successful Metering Techniques - to Zone or not to Zone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sawyer View Post
    A few thoughts...#3 The zone system is just a system for getting a pretty good negative in fairly high or low contrast situations. In most situations, you'll get just as good a negative with normal exposure and development.
    Sorry to be blunt but I can't think of a tactful way to say that this statement reflects a complete misunderstanding of the zone system. The zone system is a system developed to give you a reasonable degree of creative control over the negative and ultimately the print. In fact I'd say that's it's principal purpose. If all you ever want is a "good negative with normal exposure and development" just use the Sunny 16 rule, it will do that most of the time.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  5. #25

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    Re: Favourite/ Most Successful Metering Techniques - to Zone or not to Zone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ellis View Post
    Sorry to be blunt but I can't think of a tactful way to say that this statement reflects a complete misunderstanding of the zone system. The zone system is a system developed to give you a reasonable degree of creative control over the negative and ultimately the print. In fact I'd say that's it's principal purpose. If all you ever want is a "good negative with normal exposure and development" just use the Sunny 16 rule, it will do that most of the time.
    Maybe we'll just have to agree to disagree on this one, Brian. The Zone System is simply a way of expanding and contracting the grey scale of the negative to get all the values of the original scene into a nicely printable negative. Just variations on exposure and development.

    The creativity comes in what you do with the freedom to photograph well under difficult light conditions and the control over the negative it gives you.

    The best example I can think of is AA's Moonrise negative. We have his own account of how he used the zone system to make it. But the creativity was in his recognition looking out the window of his car, and then again years later when he finally realized he needed to darken the sky dramatrically to give it the feel he wanted. His reliance on the zone system was just as instinctive and mechanical as setting up the camera, and while it was a tool he used to be creative, I'd say the creativity was somewhere else...

    But "creativity" like "art, is a loaded term, and it comes in different forms for different people...
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  6. #26

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    Re: Favourite/ Most Successful Metering Techniques - to Zone or not to Zone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sawyer View Post
    Maybe we'll just have to agree to disagree on this one, Brian. The Zone System is simply a way of expanding and contracting the grey scale of the negative to get all the values of the original scene into a nicely printable negative. Just variations on exposure and development.

    The creativity comes in what you do with the freedom to photograph well under difficult light conditions and the control over the negative it gives you.

    The best example I can think of is AA's Moonrise negative. We have his own account of how he used the zone system to make it. But the creativity was in his recognition looking out the window of his car, and then again years later when he finally realized he needed to darken the sky dramatrically to give it the feel he wanted. His reliance on the zone system was just as instinctive and mechanical as setting up the camera, and while it was a tool he used to be creative, I'd say the creativity was somewhere else...

    But "creativity" like "art, is a loaded term, and it comes in different forms for different people...
    Mark - This is an example of what I meant by using the zone system for creative purposes. Assume a more or less "normal" landscape scene, one that could easily be photographed to produce a "normal" print by placing the darkest area in which I want texture on Zone III. My meter tells me that an expsoure that places that area on Zone III will result in the brightest areas being on Zone VII and that's what I want so I develop normally. I've used the zone system to make a nicely printable negative. But as I look at the scene I decide that it really lends itself to a high key print, one in which the darkest important areas aren't black but rather are medium gray. So I make an exposure that will place the darkest areas on Zone V instead of Zone III. With that exposure the brightest areas will now be on Zone IX but I want them on Zone VIII so I develop at N -1.

    I've now done something different than making a "nicely printable negative." I've used the zone system to produce a negative that will allow me to make the kind of print I want to make based on my interpretation of the scene. That's what I meant by using the zone system for creative purposes.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  7. #27
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Favourite/ Most Successful Metering Techniques - to Zone or not to Zone?

    I like the Zone System as a simplified learning technique, and as an approximate way of
    segregating negatives for various development times. Otherwise, once you learn the
    basics of metering and the way a certain film handles, it's time to move on to real sensitometry. You can start by looking at the published H&D film curves on the mfg tech sheets. It's very important to understand where the toe and shoulder of the film are going to be. Some films like Pan-F have an extremely short straight-line section.
    The wonderful thing about large format is that you don't have to worry so much about
    things like grain size and can concentrate on the tonality of the film. You have a lot more wiggle room up and down the film curve. But the point is not to waste this on
    approximations of exposure, but to place your highlights and shadows right where you
    want them on the curve, relative to both the brightness range and how you want to
    interpret the outcome. For many photographers what I have just said is utterly superfluous; they do just fine using the concept of "latitude" or midtone metering. But
    if you really want to expand the ability of your film to handle difficult scenes, you need
    to understand the placement of the values relative to the curve. This becomes easier
    to visualize once you've had printing experience with your favorite film and paper. But
    once you learn sensitometry per se, you can more readily shift to new products without a difficulty. Sometimes a good book on sensitometry helps.

  8. #28
    Chuck P.'s Avatar
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    Re: Favourite/ Most Successful Metering Techniques - to Zone or not to Zone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Otherwise, once you learn the basics of metering and the way a certain film handles, it's time to move on to real sensitometry.

    We can't change the science of sensitometry---i.e., the change in negative density with exposure in photography and how the curve forms with varying chemistry and a given emulsion.

    The sensitometry of the ZS is the same as that seen on the curves of the manufacturer's tech sheets. In the ZS the curve is graphed based off the logarithm of exposure (i.e., the horizontal axis) and the resultant negative density (i.e., the vertical axis), which is a logarithmic unit already. The analysis of the curves is the same.

  9. #29
    Drub
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    Re: Favourite/ Most Successful Metering Techniques - to Zone or not to Zone?

    I recently bought the BTZS Expodev software and a palm pilot. Ran the first tests using HP5+ and some really challenging exposure situations and all I can say is that it's so good its scary.

    I've yet to try FP4+ or Shanghai but if I get the same sort of results as I did with HP5+ D-76 and incident reading then I'm sticking with Expodev.

    Chris.

  10. #30

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    Re: Favourite/ Most Successful Metering Techniques - to Zone or not to Zone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Dunham View Post
    I recently bought the BTZS Expodev software and a palm pilot. Ran the first tests using HP5+ and some really challenging exposure situations and all I can say is that it's so good its scary.

    I've yet to try FP4+ or Shanghai but if I get the same sort of results as I did with HP5+ D-76 and incident reading then I'm sticking with Expodev.

    Chris.
    Congratulations Chris. BTZS is certainly the best system I have ever used. I have tested Shanghai in PMK using the WinPlotter software so when you are ready let me know and I will do the Shanghai for you in D76. I was very pleased with the Shanghai in PMK so it should be excellent in D76.

    As you said the results with the ExpoDev and incident metering methods are scary, they are just so good -- everytime.

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