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Thread: question re metering for zone III and overexposing HP5+ a little

  1. #11

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    May 2020
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    Re: question re metering for zone III and overexposing HP5+ a little

    Bruce Barnbaun advocated placing shadows in zone IV, to get the contrast benefit of the straight line section. Maybe that's what motivated you to use the EI of 200. https://youtu.be/rlnt5yFArWo

    Sent from my Pixel 6 using Tapatalk

  2. #12

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    Re: question re metering for zone III and overexposing HP5+ a little

    That works well and allows you to print down the negative BUT you have to make sure that the development time is correct. For a normal (N) subject, that may be close when using a published stock development time on a film like HP5 but I'd be concerned about that when using either low concentration developers (HC110B, etc) where exhaustion would be likely for scenes requiring much longer development times (N+2, etc). I've always followed the Beyond the Zone system testing methods where you get all the data you need about the film and developer in a very simple test. The View Camera store even offers pre-exposed film for testing.

  3. #13
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: question re metering for zone III and overexposing HP5+ a little

    I never could figure out Barnbaum's stubbornness in that respect. Terrible advice. He could do good work, but sure did it the hard way sometimes. No wonder he was addicted to Farmer's Reducer, attempting to salvage the gradation in upper values. Or maybe he just thought the film he preferred was the only "official" one worthy of teaching. Maybe he was imprinted early on with Tri-X and a primitive meter. Why not just select a film with a longer straight line, and less toe, to begin with? In fact, the ONLY film where I'd place the shadow value on Z3 is with Pan F, which has an exaggerated S curve; I can't figure out why anyone would need to use Z4 for any kind of film. Even color chrome film isn't that restricted!

  4. #14

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    Re: question re metering for zone III and overexposing HP5+ a little

    Metering "Dark shadows" sounds close to what my SEI photometer was calibrated for. Modern meters are all calibrated for a Zone 5 exposure. by using a lower speed and a shorter development time you're just compensating for metering Zone 2 (texture, IIRC)

    Sounds like a complicated way to go about something that isn't so complicated.

  5. #15

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    Re: question re metering for zone III and overexposing HP5+ a little

    When I was teaching LF photography, 80%+ of the exposure errors came from not understanding what was a deep shadow versus a textured area on the exposure (zone) scale. It was very common to find 1 stop exposure errors on either end of the scale (+/-). We used to have everyone bring their meters to workshops or class and we'd have a studio set up ready to meter. Students were asked to write down their Zone II, III, VII and VIII values by name and then provide metering values and the areas they selected on a supplied print. The variation due to meter directions (using incident metering) or spot metering errors was pretty amazing. It was a great way to bring everyone to a teachable moment.

  6. #16

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    Re: question re metering for zone III and overexposing HP5+ a little

    The whole subject of shadow placement really depends on what one calls a shadow and what tonality in the print is desired. I place shadows anywhere from Zone II to Zone V depending on the situation.

    Then there's the issue of meter flare. Spot-meter optical systems have flare just like any other. Metering a very small, dark shadow surrounded by very bright things is going to give a different reading than if you walk up to the shadowed area and fill the entire field of view with it. Learning to compensate for this has kept me from underexposing a whole lot.

    The important part of shadow placement is visualization; knowing how you want that shadow to look in the final print. If you want Zone IV, then place it in Zone IV. Working out the kinks of personal E.I. and meter flare helps all that to be more accurate and useful in practice.

    Best,

    Doremus

  7. #17
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: question re metering for zone III and overexposing HP5+ a little

    Not all spot meters are created equal. In terms of flare, it helps to have a multicoated lens on your meter as well as a lens hood. And just like when shooting itself, beware of not only intense sunlight in the lens angle of view from above (which is considerably larger than the spot metering area), but also coming from below, like bright snow. With some practice and experience this is pretty easy to work out. I've standardized on Pentax digital spotmeters. I did once have a Minolta Spotmeter F too. All of these have read identically. But learning how to handle rapidly shifting light, intricate specular highlights, and what kind of shadow repro you want can potentially be a lifetime long game. I love the challenge of tricky lighting.

    But I am actually at this point pretty much instantly and subconsciously visualizing where I'm placing a given value on a the film curve itself, according to the specific film involved and its manner of development. I haven't cogitated, ciphered, or deciphered in Zone System mentality in a long long time. It's great for getting you onto first base, but can become a hindrance if you get permanently married to it - a procedural ball and chain. Besides, every alleged Zone guru out there seems to have his own take on it.

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