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Thread: Just acquired a Pentax Spot meter with Zone V Conversion

  1. #1
    Steven Ruttenberg's Avatar
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    Just acquired a Pentax Spot meter with possible Zone VI Conversion

    Almost mint condition. Very nice. Now to use it. Cannot wait. Still need to learn the zone system completely. How to expose and develop for the exposure.
    Last edited by Steven Ruttenberg; 22-Mar-2019 at 10:53. Reason: Corrected title

  2. #2

    Re: Just acquired a Pentax Spot meter with Zone V Conversion

    Steven I do the opposite of everyone else. set your speed on the meter. place the highest value on zone VII and 1/2 and you're all set to go
    you have the advantage of living in a place where there is lots of sun so don't worry about the shadows they will all fall in place...one reading...set it and forget it!

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    Serious Amateur Photographer pepeguitarra's Avatar
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    Re: Just acquired a Pentax Spot meter with Zone V Conversion

    Or as Peter said: Many others would worry more about the shadows and place the darkest value you want to have detail shown in Zone III. Some take the meter reading at the highest value and the meter reading at the lowest value and average them.
    "I have never in my life made music for money or fame. God walks out of the room when you are thinking about money." -- Quincy Jones

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    Steven Ruttenberg's Avatar
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    Re: Just acquired a Pentax Spot meter with Zone V Conversion

    Interesting. I have been either choosing the darkest shadow I want in zone V and letting all else fall into place or choosing the darkest spot I want detail in and going to zone iii. I like the highlight version too and is what I do with digital

    By placing it in zone VI or VII. By doing one of the stated methods, how does that affect the development time? Especially if doing minimal agitation over say an hour?

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    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Just acquired a Pentax Spot meter with Zone V Conversion

    Expose for the shadows, develop for the highlights.
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    Re: Just acquired a Pentax Spot meter with Zone V Conversion

    no matter what technique you chose, what it boils down to, is how well the negative prints. you have to taylor your exposues to accomodate a full range of tones with as little correction when making the print. if you expose for a zone v it should print as such.

    ive been exposing for the shadow n developing for the highlights as typical for the zone sytem... but ive adjusted my iso to render what i need to control just how far my tonal range will go so i can control under develping to keep the highs in check but keeping shadows.

    in other words... everything you do has to be adjusted from exposure to dev negs to final printing. they all have to work together. its a fine ballance that takes alot of experimenting to make it work in unison.

    i suggest you get a good book on zone system and preform all the testing untill you get it right where you want it. it cost me 50 sheets of film when i switched to a different brand n speed film in a different developer. now its a matter of small compensations at exposure n a tweak in developer to get almost perfect negs to render prints i feel are exactly what i invisioned when taking the shot.

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    Steven Ruttenberg's Avatar
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    Re: Just acquired a Pentax Spot meter with Zone V Conversion

    So, if say I put the shadows I want in zone III for example when they measured in zone V, then I should develop at N+1 or maybe 2 so my highlights are where I would want them if I had measured them? Seems correct, otherwise they would come out dark. Or, I could just develop normally if that is what I prefer?

    Gonna get a book to read on this. This is a new thing for me for black and white. Typically with any film, I just exposed for the shadows and then used grad nd for sky if needed and developed normally. So, this is a new thought process for me.

  8. #8
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Just acquired a Pentax Spot meter with Zone V Conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Ruttenberg View Post
    So, if say I put the shadows I want in zone III for example when they measured in zone V, then I should develop at N+1 or maybe 2 so my highlights are where I would want them if I had measured them? Seems correct, otherwise they would come out dark. Or, I could just develop normally if that is what I prefer?
    Forgive me, but from your previous posts I thought you were already well versed in the Zone System? If not, buy Ansel's "The Negative" and read it. Twice, if necessary. Others have their preferred Zone System book but that's my opinion.
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    Re: Just acquired a Pentax Spot meter with Zone V Conversion

    Steven,
    My "half-assed" approach to the Zone System (so named because I don't have the brain power or patience for a lot of testing) calls for reading the shadows where I want detail and then developing the film so that the high values on the negs aren't bullet proof. Ansel would avert his eyes at my pathetic working methods. Enjoy your spot meter. I've still got my old Pentax V analog meter that I bought new in 1984.

  10. #10

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    Re: Just acquired a Pentax Spot meter with Zone V Conversion

    Fred used a two step process. 1. Meter the palm of your hand and place the value on Zone VI. 2. Take the picture. The KISS method.

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