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Thread: Zone System/Darkroom Book Recommendations

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 1999

    Zone System/Darkroom Book Recommendations

    I have restricted most of my LF phtots so far to color because of the mediocore or expensive results I've had from commercial B+W processing/printing. I'd like to while away a few cold evenings reading more about the zone system and process ing/developing. There are certainly some basics on the web but I'm looking for a little more. Any recommendations. Considering - The Negative, Beyond the Zon e System, The Practical Zone System. Can't afford them all. Recommendations ap preciated.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 1998

    Zone System/Darkroom Book Recommendations

    I don't know 'The Practical Zone System'. Of the first two, if you can only afford one, it's a tough choice. Have you a library near you, where you can read both?

    Overall, I think I prefer The Negative, although my own use of the ZS more closely follows BTZS. BTZS has better science, The Negative has better, well, everything else.

  3. #3

    Zone System/Darkroom Book Recommendations

    Roger: Adam's "The Negative" rates high on my list as one of the best photography books written. There is a world of information there that doesn't get hung up on unnecesary jargon and formulas. It is also a good guide to shooting in black and white and the use of filters, etc. to make the negative look right. Recommend it highly, even though its overpriced like many photography books. Doug

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 1999

    Zone System/Darkroom Book Recommendations

    Roger, I also strongly recommend The Negative, it covers the topic beautifully and is very easy to read. If you are considering purchasing another book I would also recommend that you purchase Adams' other book, The Print. It will show you different printing techniques to bring out what you have in your negatives. They are offered in soft cover now and they go for about $20 each. Good Luck.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jun 1999

    Zone System/Darkroom Book Recommendations

    Thanks for the thoughts all of you. Looks like its The Nnegative. I was able to locate a used hardback copy (on the web) for $15. Look forward to pondering a few evening away. Roger

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Feb 1999
    Victoria, BC, Canada

    Zone System/Darkroom Book Recommendations

    Another good one (if it's not too late) is The New Zone System Manual, an update on the original Zone System Manual by Minor White. The New manual is by White, Zakia and Lorenz and my paperback copy was written in 1976. I'm not sure if it's still in print. I like it because it has some very simple and practical testing procedures and vizualization exercises in it. Also has instructions on how to make a Zone "ruler" to take with you into the field to help you see how a given value will translate in the final print. Worth picking up if you're into Zone stuff and can find it.

  7. #7

    Zone System/Darkroom Book Recommendations

    I have all three, and I'll put in a vote for "The Practical Zone System" (there's a new edition out recently). Although the other two are excellent, I think TPZS is the best for someone just setting out to learn about the subject. I understood The Negative a lot better after I'd read TPZS.

  8. #8

    Zone System/Darkroom Book Recommendations

    Fred Picker's Zone VI Workshop is a very good book for understanding the Zone system, and his other book, The Fine Print is excellent for understanding printing. Pat

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