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Thread: Just to confirm?

  1. #1

    Join Date
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    Just to confirm?

    Hi guys,

    I just wanted to confirm something,

    If I am shooting with HP5 for example, I can only capture 5 zones of information. So I meter my scene and it has six zones. So I shoot for zone two. this way I get the lower 5 zones and I can push my development to stretch for that 6th zone.

    Is this true? (shoot for the shadows develop for the highlights?)

  2. #2

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    Re: Just to confirm?

    You should shoot for Zone 3. the darkest shadows that you want full detail. You have full detail in Zones 3 - 7. If your darkest shadow only needs some texture and no detail it can be placed on Zone 2 then your highlight would fall on Zone 7, normal development.

    If you want to full detail on the darkest region, place it on Zone 3 and your highlight falls on Zone 8. If you need full detail there, do a n - 1 development.

  3. #3
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: Just to confirm?

    If you are developing the film so zone 5 is greater than 1.8 log d (ie only 'capturing 5 zones' on medium grade paper ) thats way out of hand, you are developing for too much time.

  4. #4

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    Re: Just to confirm?

    With HP5 you can easily capture a 10 stop subject brightness range on the neg and up to 18 if you really work at it:

    http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/PC-HD/pc-hd.html

  5. #5
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Just to confirm?

    All depends on the exact film and your development method. I'd agree that with HP5
    if you meter below Zone III you will be on the toe of the film and might not get good
    shadow separation. But with true straight line films I routinely meter Zone II and even Zone I. For awhile, it's best to stick with one film until you know how it performs and how your meter works with it too.

  6. #6

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    Re: Just to confirm?

    Regardless, place the Zone you insist on.

    -30-

  7. #7

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    Re: Just to confirm?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike V View Post
    I can only capture 5 zones of information.
    Zones do not equal F-Stops.

    Zones are simply a way to translate the scene brightness to the range of the paper.

    Paper, IIRC, is about 6 F-Stops, but the zone system applies 11 zones (0-10).

    HP5 can be used to capture from 4 or 5 Stops on up to somewhere close to 18 Stops in pyro.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike V View Post
    So I meter my scene and it has six zones. So I shoot for zone two. this way I get the lower 5 zones
    With HP5 I spot meter the shadows where I want detail and then close up the camera 2-Stops, i.e. shadow meter reading 250 @ F11, image shot at 500 @ F16, this places the shadow detail into zone three.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike V View Post
    I can push my development to stretch for that 6th zone.
    Pushing increases contrast by reducing the number of stops with detail. Pushing from 5 would get you down to 4 or 3 not up to 6.

    Pulling reduces contrast and increases the number of stops with detail.

    The number of zones does not change.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike V View Post
    Is this true? (shoot for the shadows develop for the highlights?)
    Yes. In general:

    If you aren't getting enough detail in your shadow areas, you are underexposing; too much detail in the shadows means you overexposed.

    If the shadow areas on your negatives are close to right but the highlights don't have enough detail then you have probably over-developed (pushed) the film for that particular amount of exposure.

    Get a copy of "The Negative" by Adams. He's the source of the zone-system. He also explains how to test your film and development process.

  8. #8

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    Re: Just to confirm?

    That's fine if you want whatever is in Zone II to be basically black, perhaps with just a hint of texture or detail. But if that isn't the case, and you want better texture and detail in that dark area, the way to do it is to place whatever you're metering as Zone II on Zone III or IV and reduce development to bring down the highlights.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  9. #9

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    Re: Just to confirm?

    I don't want to go off into a discussion about the Zone System, it's glitches and warts. The only true way to match film exposure and development to print values is to determine the exposure scale of the materials that you are using. That means starting with the paper and not the film.

    The process is to expose a step tablet by contact printing on paper and determine how much density range a given paper at a given grade will hold. From there the next step is to expose and develop your film so that it contains an equivalent density range.

  10. #10

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    Re: Just to confirm?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike V View Post
    If I am shooting with HP5 for example, I can only capture 5 zones of information. So I meter my scene and it has six zones. So I shoot for zone two. this way I get the lower 5 zones and I can push my development to stretch for that 6th zone.

    Is this true? (shoot for the shadows develop for the highlights?)
    The zone system works. That's unquestionably true, as I am sure everyone would agree. The problem is that there are many visualization systems, some with 9 zones across the scale and others with 13, everything else in between. Trading numbers between folks using different number sets (9 vs 12, e.g.) gets one into trouble.

    Your example is upside down. The basic way to do things is to meter for zone 3 and shoot for zone three. (Since zone 3 is two stops down from zone 5 (the meter's standard), this means that you close down 2 stops from whatever your zone 3 reading was for your exposure.)

    If your paper can handle 5 stops and your scene has 6 stops, then you must compress one stop - to match your paper. You do this by under-developing vs over-developing. The underdevelopment in traditional film was about 17% with most compensating developers. It can be quite a bit different with developers like Xtol, at specific dilutions.

    This is what the term shoot for the shadows and develop for the highlights means, vs your example.

    Have fun!

    Lenny
    EigerStudios
    Museum Quality Drum Scanning and Printing

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