Discussion in 'Black and White' started by brizzybunny, Oct 8, 2020.

  1. What? No insulting response to all the other supporters of using digital as a learning tool q.g?

    Let's not make this personal, eh!?
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  2. Right. Well, these are different systems, don't know if perfectly comparable... Personally I like to think on the "base image" (that is, the developed negative or the in-camera digital file), and then darkroom or edition (that is wet printing or digital edition, where you get the "real" image either on paper -you cannot get it other way-, or in the computer`s screen, respectively).
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2020
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  3. I use a Vogtlander VC II exposure meter. voitlander  VC exposure meter II.JPG
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  4. I have two Vogtlander exposure meters, on silver one black
  5. "The negative is the score; the print is the performance." - Ansel Adams.
    Who, incidentally, trained as a concert pianist. Possibly linked to his obsession with pegging visual tones onto a 'scale'.

    While the above quote was penned while there was nothing else available than film, it might equally apply to RAW digital capture. The cross-platform DNG format isn't called a digital negative for no reason. In fact it's possible to pull a much wider range of tones out of a moderate ISO RAW file than from almost any film negative.
    OK. So you've spent about 400 quid more than necessary on a couple of very basic light meters. Is that something to boast about?
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2020
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  6. I wonder why he has 11 zones in his system. He didn't pick 7 or 12 like music scales.
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  7. How many supporters, do you assume, can be found for your opinion that people shouldn't waste their time learning skills needed to create something other people may look at, because those other people will not see those skills looking at that something?
    That is so wrong it is beyond comedy.

    And it is in no perceivable way about a digital v. film thing.
    Just nonsense.

    Is it personal to point out that what one person says is nonsense?
  8. You're saying that digital can capture detail in a much wider dynamic range.
    Why refer to Adams for that?

    Why is that something to get personal about? If someone's happy to have those and are equally happy to tell us?
  9. Because he wasn't doing music?
  10. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator

    "I wonder why he has 11 zones in his system. He didn't pick 7 or 12 like music scales."

    Because each zone is a film stop. Start with an exposure of a gray card zone 5. Open up one stop and it is zone 6. Open up another stop and it is zone 7. When you get to zone 10 it is pure white and opening up any more will not make whiter than white. Close down one stop and it is zone 4. Close down 4 stops and it is zone 1, pure black. Closing down more will still be pure black. So, you can only go from zone 1 (pure black) to zone 10 (pure white) with most films.
  11. Except it isn't.
    Adams insisted that Zone V was 18 % reflectance - he states this several times in his trilogy of books. And yet describes ZoneVIII as 'white with some detail'.

    Simple sensitometry and maths show that 3 stops (8x) more than 18% reflectance brings us to an impossible 144% reflectance; that's into the realm of detail-less specular reflections.

    So going by Adams written descriptions of the Zones, there's only 2.5 stops between Zone V and Zone VIII. And this falls in line with every meter calibrated to 18% reflectance - quickly verifiable by using a digital camera. An exposure of an evenly lit surface given 3 stops more exposure than the meter recommendation will induce overexposure 'blinkies'. Whereas 2.5 stops more than the meter reading won't.
    Where, in this thread did I say that?

    Stop simply making stuff up that I never said, or misrepresenting what I wrote in a distorted fashion.
    Because hardly anything that you attribute to me was ever written here.

    It's you that's making a clown of yourself through these personal outbursts.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2020
  12. "In fact it's [etc]."

    Again, why is it personal to say something about what a person says?
    You do not. You comment on the people who share things (such as having meters).
    Tiresome, both the nonsense you post and your behavior.
  13. My mistake in early post. Adams doesn't have Zone 0 so he had only 10 Zones and Zone V isn't the middle of the scale.
  14. What... ?!?!
    You were right, Adams Zone System is based in 11 zones. Zone 0 is pure black, against Zone X which is pure white. Zone V is in the middle...
  15. So long since I read his books. Well now that re-reading the books I notice that he used Roman numerals for the Zones but I don't think the Roman numerals has the 0.
  16. Good point, romans used an additive system. So there is no number 0.
    Never thought about it...
  17. Just a quick illustration of the power to 'develop' a RAW image to convey a personal vision.
    A straight OOC Jpeg:
    And the manipulated RAW version:
    The second version is much more how the scene appeared to my eye, standing in front of it.

    This was a single exposure. No ND grad, no bracketed combo. Just a straight single shot, plus some use of curves and layers in PhotoShop. And it's not simply like an exposure adjustment, which would have desaturated the sky and setting sun.

    The camera exposure was deliberately chosen in order to keep all of the detail in the sky, because I knew that a RAW file would allow me to lift the shadow detail in post.

    I might have been able to get a similar result on colour negative film - with much dodging and burning in the darkroom. But I doubt the transition between sunset-sky and foreground could have been made to look quite so seamless.
    I really saw no benefit to the OP, or relevance to the thread, in someone simply flaunting the fact that they owned two expensive light meters.

    How does that benefit a beginner, who is then left with the impression that hundreds of pounds/dollars need to be spent on a simple reflective meter that doesn't even allow incident readings to be taken?
    True. Of all Roman inventions, the important mathematical concept of zero wasn't one of them.

    However, does it matter?
    In 'The Negative', page 60 in my copy, Adams describes Zone 0 as "Total black in print. No useful density in the negative other than filmbase-plus-fog."
    "Zone V - Middle gray (18% reflectance)....."
    "Zone VIII - Whites with texture and delicate values; textured snow; highlights on Caucasian skin."

    Plus two more Zones before reaching pure white at Zone X!

    That's another 3.5 stops of exposure over objects that must have a reflectance of 100% if each Zone is equal to one stop.

    And it was going so well until about Zone VI and a half! :eek:
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  18. FWIW, the Romans didn't use numerals for arithmetic functions because it was so difficult to do - they used an abacus with columns labeled I, X, C etc to convert their additive numbering system to a positional one for math beyond simple addition. The Roman numbering system has no inherent positional value. An X is always ten, no matter where it appears in the numeric string and there is no decimal demarcation despite their use of a 10 base system. Putting a lesser value letter ahead of a greater one came to serve as subtraction And the word nulla was used for the concept of zero (i.e. null, nothing), which they distinguished from zeros in descriptive numbers (10, 2028, etc).
  19. Well Joe you confused me now! So Adams had 10 or 11 zones? I think he should have gone with 7 as in a music scale and not equally spaced as in music scale. Also not using the Roman numerals but rather Cardinal numbers as in music scale.
  20. I'm not a Zone guy, by the time I finally got around to learning exactly how it worked (as opposed to some approximation) I had been heavily involved with sensitometry and tone reproduction principles. So I see it as a simplification of sensitometry made to be understandable by "photographers."

    One of the things I found most bothersome was the vagueness of the print values, which have lost a "hard connection" to the original scene. By "original scene" I mean specifically the luminance values of the scene. These give a fairly solid meaning to "zones" and the resulting exposure on film, if camera and lens flare are ignored. But, such exposures can give different "print results" depending on the film, its development, and characteristics of the enlarger and paper it is printed on.

    So the way Adams seems to have dealt with this is to use Zones specifically with respect to the scene and its exposure onto the FILM. When you get to the PRINT he switches the terminology to VALUES. So when you (Rodeo_joe) say, "And yet [Adams] describes ZoneVIII as 'white with some detail'," then Adams is clearly talking about a print, not the negative (film negatives don't appear white, only varying degrees of transparency). So I think it is improper to act as though Adams is in error about the meaning of film Zones based on an apparent translation to paper Values (not Zones).

    Let me restate this to hopefully be more clear. If Adams describes Zone VIII as "white with some detail," he is presumably saying this: if one makes a Zone VIII exposure onto film (three f-stops more exposure than an 18% gray card), and if one prints such that the Zone V (gray card) exposure visually matches the actual gray card, then a Zone VIII exposure on the film ought to, as a general guideline, print as "white with some detail."

    Now, I didn't study the Zone System much beyond that, but I THINK (not sure) that he may have assigned print VALUES (not Zones) based on paper white as Value X, an 18% gray card as Value V, and paper black as Value 0. Meaning that the set of print VALUES may be limited to 11 (0 through X), but not the Zones.

    Adams, in "The Negative," made this comment, "Similarly, the densities relating to exposures above Zone IX can be recorded, and in fact, considerable separation may exist on the negative for Zones X, XI, XII, and even higher. So it appears that he does not recognize a hard limited of "Zones" to 10 or 11.

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