Anyone Here Seriously Use the Zone System?

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by danac, Dec 31, 2020.

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  1. I know how the incident meter works and I know the Zone system just don't how you use the Zone system with an incident light meter. The link tell me the incident light meter is not good for Zone system. You said there is method to use the incident meter with the Zone system but didn't say how. .
  2. Vincent Peri

    Vincent Peri Metairie, LA

    I didn't say there is a method to using an incident light meter with the Zone System. The article said that (which I quoted).
  3. That's why I said Tom contradicted himself. On the on had he said the Zone system is useful and yet he mostly use the incident light meter because he only needs one reading.
  4. The only reading is the correct one. I was trained on 16mm motion picture cameras. We were issued a Weston meter, and told to use the incident method almost exclusively.
    The point here is : you don't get to bracket exposures. Find a Weston meter instruction book, from, say, series 5 on, online, and absorb it.
  5. But, avoid most Weston meters,they are old and tired. The principle remains sound.
  6. Not strictly true of digital shooting.
    By shooting RAW, and carefully controlling the exposure, you have a huge amount of control over how the image is processed.
    Want a roll-off in the highlights? No problem. Or a lift of the shadows? Easily done.

    In short, almost anything that N+/- development can do, can be achieved on a shot-by-shot basis with any decent digital camera.

    A rollfilm camera with interchangeable backs also allows magazines earmarked for N+ or N- development to be swapped from shot to shot.

    35mm film and shooting only digital JPEGs - not so much.
    There was a change in the selenium cell with the introduction of the Weston IV. Prior to that, the cell seems to have been better sealed. I have older Weston II and III meters that still work perfectly, while you'll be hard-pressed to find a fully functioning and accurate model IV, V or Euro-Master.

    BTW. The model III was the first to be calibrated for ASA/ISO.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2021
    peter_fowler likes this.
  7. In my personal experience with both hand-held meters and in-camera meters, those that were pretty solidly encased seem to still work, while those naked to the environment are usually 'shot'
    Old Light Meters - an accumulation
    peter_fowler likes this.
  8. I do not use all the steps in the Zone System but I apply the concept to almost all my work. I have been to a workshop where we used a densitometer to calibrate film speed and development time, so I understand how it works. Light meters are designed to place the metered area in zone V or middle gray. When I took pictures at my granddaughter's ballet recital I used the internal spot meter to pick the area I wanted middle gray and got good pictures. Use an averaging meter built in or hand held and the black background will be middle gray and your subject will be washed out. So understanding the zone system is very useful.
    robert_bowring and Henricvs like this.
  9. Use it, like it and made this to assist my brain.

    James Bryant likes this.
  10. A ten stop range in print, and with standard development?

    A good trick if you can pull it off!
  11. Just a graphic, doesn’t mean you should do it.
  12. I've added EV before and after zone selection. The zone system is just a tool, like a reflector, you use it to help and not to solve all exposure desires.
    q.g._de_bakker likes this.
  13. I never get 10 stops range in darkroom prints. Zone 0 is maximum black (d-max), Zone I is very dark gray. Zone VIII is near white, Zone IX is paper white (d-min).
  14. From 0 upto and including IX? That's 10 zones.
  15. You obviously missed the maths lesson on calculating range.
    It's maximum number minus minimum number, and 9 minus 0 = 9.
  16. Sure, Cowboy...
    Maybe you should read instead.

    And use your fingers instead of getting lost in theories that do not apply. The content of your thoughts and the real world are not necesarily the same. Though you will certainly find it very difficult, do trust other people to have a better grip of things than you, at least some of the time.

    So read: Zero is maximum black, Zone i is very dark gray, [...] Zone IX is paper [maximum] white.
    I'll count the zones for you:
    0 is the first, number 1
    I is the second, number 2
    II is the third, number 3
    III is the fourth, number 4
    IV is the fifth, number 5
    V is the sixth, number 6
    VI is the seventh, number 7
    VII is the eight, number 8
    VIII is the ninth, number 9
    IX is the tenth, number 10 in total.

    Do you really have to have it spelled out like this? Or are you just trolling along, as always?
  17. Just use your ten fingers and thumbs q.g - assuming you have only ten and they're not webbed - and count the spaces in between.

    I think you'll find there are only nine spaces.
    That's what's called range.
    I'll spell it out: R A N G E.
    Look it up.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 13, 2021
  18. Still, the range encompasses 10 distinct zones. Not 9. The magnitude of the range is 10, not 9. A picket fence consisting of 10 picket poles represents a range of 10 poles, not 9 spaces. Just like i have 10 fingers, not 9. Etc. That's real life against your theories. Only you would think you only have 9 fingers because there are only 9 spaces between the first and the last. What complete silliness to even argue this way, Rodeo Clown.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 13, 2021
  19. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator

    And on that happy note we can end this foolish back and forth.
    denny_rane and samstevens like this.
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