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Thread: ...another zone system question!

  1. #11

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    Re: ...another zone system question!

    I guess I've been using the zone system like a crutch. It's easy to apply when faced with all the tones under the sun like a mid morning landscape. But when a scene presents itself that falls outside a commonly lit situation, I forget how to walk. Makes me dream of having a TTL metering system again. DAMN you Ansel Adams!

  2. #12
    8x10, 4x5, ..., Tessina
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    Re: ...another zone system question!

    Yeah, it's easy to get into a rut.

    For the situation you described, I'd use an incident meter, shoot what it says, and use normal development.

    If the white background has any texture, I'd maybe spot it to make sure it doesn't blow out.
    But I shoot Acros. It's impossible to blow highlights with that film, even if you really really want to.

    - Leigh

  3. #13
    Salt Nerd
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    Re: ...another zone system question!

    Here's my rule of thumb:

    - if you have to wear sunglasses, N-2
    - if you have to squint, N-1
    - if you can see normally, N+1
    - if it's cloudy and you can see normally, N+2

    Ambient meter and off you go.
    Michael Slade

  4. #14

    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael slade View Post
    Here's my rule of thumb:

    - if you have to wear sunglasses, N-2
    - if you have to squint, N-1
    - if you can see normally, N+1
    - if it's cloudy and you can see normally, N+2

    Ambient meter and off you go.
    Haha

  5. #15

    Re: ...another zone system question!

    Jeff, Instead of thinking of the zone system as defining what you will do, think of it as an opportunity to consider the possibilities and then help you come up with a plan to implement the possibility you choose.

  6. #16
    Chuck P.'s Avatar
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    Re: ...another zone system question!

    Quote Originally Posted by photojeff3200 View Post
    I guess I've been using the zone system like a crutch. It's easy to apply when faced with all the tones under the sun like a mid morning landscape. But when a scene presents itself that falls outside a commonly lit situation, I forget how to walk. Makes me dream of having a TTL metering system again. DAMN you Ansel Adams!
    The ZS is just as simple as walking, the problem undoubtedly, is that a lot of folks just can't walk and apply the ZS at the same time.................it's really very simple, that's the beauty of it.

  7. #17

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    Re: ...another zone system question!

    Quote Originally Posted by photojeff3200 View Post
    sometimes I feel that the the Zone System is a cult
    it is. There are other ways , at least for portraits.

  8. #18
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: ...another zone system question!

    The Druids had it all figured out when they built Stonehenge. Now if we can just figure out
    Stonehenge ... Actually, the Zone System is just a kind of useful shorthand to pigeonhole
    your methods. I pity anyone who makes a religion out of it. Maybe Minor White examined
    the entrails of an owl every time he planned to enter the darkroom, but otherwise, it ain't
    all that complicated.

  9. #19

    Join Date
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    Petaluma, CA
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    Re: ...another zone system question!

    The zone system is not a cult, its just the way things work - in b&w.

    Best is to keep it simple. Point it at the zone 3.... Do that 100 times and you will figure out exactly what you can and can't get...

    Lenny
    EigerStudios
    Museum Quality Drum Scanning and Printing

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