6 thoughts on “The Zone System In 10 Minutes Or Less

  1. Nicely done, Steve. Good to see someone updating the Picker/Adams Zone System for the 21st century hybrid workflow.

    Here’s a wrinkle: lets say you’re pushing your film 2 stops, ie exposing Fomapan 100 at EI 400. You’d meter an important highlight, and place it on Zone VII, ie overexposing it by 2 stops over the meter reading. In effect, haven’t you just “given back” the 2 stops you “gained” by pushing the film? you are now right at a Zone V “average” exposure at EI 100, aren’t you? As if you just incident metered the scene and called it “good”.

    OTOH, if you’d put an important shadow on Zone IV for exposing at box speed, you’d have underexposed that shadow area by 1 stop (in effect, pushing by a stop), so you’re really only a stop apart by these two methods. Now you’re at the equivalent of a Zone V “average” exposure at EI 200.

    Not sure exactly what I’m saying…it seems like a disconnect somehow.

    Does any of this apply well to conventional non-stand development? I do mine in a Jobo.

    Keep ‘em coming. Very informative and interesting.

    1. Yes— it actual numbers the over and under exposure required by the Zone System Place and Fall do change what the actual EI is, however for ease of use I am choosing to ignore that and just keep it simple. In practice you could just do an incident reading and ignore the place and fall and modify the development by time in the stand— say 30 min for box speed or less, 45 min for 1 stop push and 1 hour to 90 minutes for 2 or 3
      Stops— works just fine as well— both systems have their strengths and ease of use… I will do a post on this second option maybe today—

      All of this really only applies to the stand technique outlined here— just gives such a nice usable negative…

      1. However—- it is different as using an EI of 400 and placing zone 7 which you mentioned would be like shooting at box for a 100 speed film— but in the traditional zone system Shooting at box and placing zone 7 would be like 25 so the Stand does provide the extra speed and compensation – again just trying to keep the number simple—-

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