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

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

Originally Posted by Drew Wiley
Let's see if I can figure this out... count five fingers on one hand, that gets me to Zone five. Cut off two fingers, that leaves me at Zone III. Or with only three fingers left, count forward to Zone VIII. Yeah, the math is pretty complicated.
Well, I play with Calculus all day. I think I need to count on my fingers

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

Originally Posted by Mike in NY
At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what any one individual prefers, so long as it works for THEM and produces a good photograph with their intended tonal range. If zone symbols printed on an adhesive sticker stuck on a manually turned dial work for some photographers, GREAT! If others prefer to see the exact same symbols on an LED digital display, GREAT! If others prefer to do the math in their head, GREAT! Not a single one of those techniques nor the individuals who practice them are superior to any of the others, provided each can produce good images. I know what works for ME, and tip my hat to everyone else who has found what works for them, and appreciate them sharing it here so that others who are still experimenting or finding their way can learn from those who care enough to share their experience. And therein lies the truth of the matter: Nobody cares what someone else knows, unless they know they care. It's not about having the last word, or dominating everyone else, or repeating one's viewpoint multiple times in an effort to to prove its validity. The point is simply to show we care enough to hear one another, comment, share advice, give some encouragement, cut some jokes, criticize constructively, debate without devolving into argument, and have a good time while learning from each other.
Exactly!

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

Interesting, Steve. Are you a dental assistant? That's the only kind of calculus I can understand. My wife is a serious math whiz, and I once had an ex-CalTech roommate who could do seven digit logarithms in his head (but couldn't spell "was" or "that"). But counting fingers generally works better for me. At my ole workplace one of the outdoor laborers was an Arkie who lost several fingers from home-made table saws back in his youth cutting cordwood. He was a wonderful sport, so we made all kinds of practical jokes about it. For a retirement present, I painted a big color cartoon with him as the President in the oval office, all frustrated attempting to hit the red button with a cut off finger. His wife framed it for their kitchen. Sadly, that hard former life in the South prematurely aged him, and he passed away of apparent old age at just 52, which he considered to be a long life by his standards. But guess this constitutes another bad joke, so don't know how it will be taken. But that ole gentleman loved the jokes about his minor disability. It was kinda a badge of his pride in a rough and tumble background, trying to make a living. Maybe not the kind of thing the average city dweller would appreciate; but whenever we asked him to double check his math counting fingers, he put on a huge smile and burst out laughing.

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

Originally Posted by Drew Wiley
Interesting, Steve. Are you a dental assistant? That's the only kind of calculus I can understand. My wife is a serious math whiz, and I once had an ex-CalTech roommate who could do seven digit logarithms in his head (but couldn't spell "was" or "that"). But counting fingers generally works better for me. At my ole workplace one of the outdoor laborers was an Arkie who lost several fingers from home-made table saws back in his youth cutting cordwood. He was a wonderful sport, so we made all kinds of practical jokes about it. For a retirement present, I painted a big color cartoon with him as the President in the oval office, all frustrated attempting to hit the red button with a cut off finger. His wife framed it for their kitchen. Sadly, that hard former life in the South prematurely aged him, and he passed away of apparent old age at just 52, which he considered to be a long life by his standards. But guess this constitutes another bad joke, so don't know how it will be taken. But that ole gentleman loved the jokes about his minor disability. It was kinda a badge of his pride in a rough and tumble background, trying to make a living. Maybe not the kind of thing the average city dweller would appreciate; but whenever we asked him to double check his math counting fingers, he put on a huge smile and burst out laughing.
Well, I am an Aerospace Engineer with minors in math and physics. 52 is young. I am 54. Hope to be around ar 120 still shooting film. City dwellers don't even know where their burger meat comes from.

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

Originally Posted by Steven Ruttenberg
City dwellers don't even know where their burger meat comes from.
We most certainly do - it comes from the store, the same place our produce is made!

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

Originally Posted by mike in ny
we most certainly do - it comes from the store, the same place our produce is made!
lol

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

Originally Posted by Doremus Scudder
Steven,

I think you (and maybe Bill too) misunderstand how the Zone VI sticker/dial works.
First thing I did when I got my Zone VI Modified Pentax Digital Spot meter was to take off that dang sticker! The designers put that index mark there for me to use, not to cover up!

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

I recently handled a meter with the sticker, and after using my unmodded Pentax spotmeters for years, it was confusing. I am happy with the meter as-is but I have thought about taping a step wedge on the handle.

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

One of the other things that's interesting about the Gossen Spot-Master is that after metering the dynamic range between the highest and lowest zones, you can push a button to average your readings for a scene, and then move the average value to Zone V, and the LED will display a suggested N+/- development time if warranted. Of course, any actual adjustment depends on the film and developer used and the photographer's visualization of what he or she wants, so the meter manual just refers to this as a "hint". I typically use it as a reference point or starting place, but rely more on my own judgment.

One down side to the meter that I discovered after reading about MPD methods where you might want to meter for the highlights (Z VII) instead of the shadows (Z III) is that you can only move the initial Z V reading of the Spot-Master down the scale, not upward. I thought that was an unfortunate design flaw, but adjusting it upward probably wasn't anticipated by the designers since the original Zone technique advocated for dialing down to the shadows. MPD techniques sort of turned it on its head to meter for the highlights.

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

Burger meat comes from tofu. I'm not sure what breed of cattle that is. The office lady in charge of food at our big business BBQ's demanded that 40% of all the meat be tofu burgers. At the end of each such event, exactly 40% of the burgers were left over, uneaten.

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