The Zone system

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by alexanderhip, Dec 21, 2003.

  1. alexanderhip

    alexanderhip TPF Noob!

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    Hi, I ve been doing a lot fo reading based on Ansel Adams "Zone system", its the ultimate way for determining correct exposure levels. And several other fine details. I have been interested in purchasing Ansel Adams 'The Negative' which goes in to great detail about the zone. I have also looked on several websites based on that information. But what I am wondering is there a more simplified version of the 'Zone system' out there, either on the internet or in a book store? All that Ive read can be confusing at times, but I really want to understand as much as possible, in order to have total control of my final image.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. MrEd31

    MrEd31 TPF Noob!

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    I posted a similar question a while ago and here's my 2 cents...

    BAD NEWS:
    1) The zone system is complex, don't expect to understand it all in just a short while

    2) Don't read a book expecting "the secret" to leap off a page and make you a pro

    GOOD NEWS:

    1) If you visualize the final print, the zone system allows you to create it. You can expand contrast or contract contrast. (Most black and white film can be sensitive to 5 stops of light. Once you measure the lumanecance values of the scene, you can manipulate the relationship between them in order to get the desired result.

    2) There are lots of resources, the negative is a great book, although very complex, check out internet sources as well, good luck!
     
  3. TwistMyArm

    TwistMyArm TPF Noob!

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  4. alexanderhip

    alexanderhip TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for your responses, MrEd, and Twisted, there was a whole lot of information on that thread,and Ive made the decision to buy Ansel Adams'The Negative'.It can only improve my photography skills, and Ive read quite a few reviews on the book, and all were positive.
    Now Ive got to read it, and by the sounds of it, a few times. Lots to absorb, but in the end, and in time, well worth the read.
     
  5. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    You might find it in your best interest to read through the print as well. The Zone system deals with the negative and the print.
     
  6. Sterling_Sinner

    Sterling_Sinner TPF Noob!

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  7. seanarmenta

    seanarmenta TPF Noob!

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    yes,

    there is a way to "simplify" the zone system even if you don't do your own printing.

    if you are able to recognize the tones and assign them to their respective zones, then you will be able to properly deviate your exposure accordingly. basically, you are trying to accomplish as much as you can (or control as much as you can) at the time of exposure in order to oversimplify the printing stage.

    works with color photography as well.
     

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