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Zone System with Digital cameras

 
 
Satish K
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Posts: n/a
 
      11-04-2003
Hi,

I am sort of newbie in photography. I recently took a basic photography
class. The teacher emphasized the importance of the "Zone System" proposed
by Ansel Adams. Does anyone in this group learned or makes use of it in
practice when taking pictures with digital camera? Just curious.

- Satish


 
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Ray Fischer
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      11-04-2003
Satish K <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>I am sort of newbie in photography. I recently took a basic photography
>class. The teacher emphasized the importance of the "Zone System" proposed
>by Ansel Adams. Does anyone in this group learned or makes use of it in
>practice when taking pictures with digital camera? Just curious.


Not only is it a good idea, it's alot easier with a good digital camera
because you can check the results so much faster.

And, as an aside, one of the best descriptions I've seen on the zone
system is here: http://www.photodo.com/nav/artindex.html

--
Ray Fischer
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed)

 
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Tony Spadaro
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      11-04-2003
The zone system is about exposing and processing film plus doiing the same
to prints -- quite frankly it has no relevence to digital shooting.
The zones however are another matter. It is well worth while to know how
to read the zones in order to come up with the best exposure for a given
purpose (if this sounds general - it is) So it is well worth learning the
zones and playing with them -- get a grey card and/or a zone step card to
use for practice -- but don't waste the next five years studying the
"system".

--
http://www.chapelhillnoir.com
home of The Camera-ist's Manifesto
The Improved Links Pages are at
http://www.chapelhillnoir.com/links/mlinks00.html
A sample chapter from my novel "Haight-Ashbury" is at
http://www.chapelhillnoir.com/writ/hait/hatitl.html
"Satish K" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Hi,
>
> I am sort of newbie in photography. I recently took a basic photography
> class. The teacher emphasized the importance of the "Zone System" proposed
> by Ansel Adams. Does anyone in this group learned or makes use of it in
> practice when taking pictures with digital camera? Just curious.
>
> - Satish
>
>



 
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Satish K
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-04-2003
Thanks Ray for the link. If you don't mind I would like to ask additional
question. As I understand that black and white film has 11 zones (0 through
X) zones, color film has eight (0 through vii) and digital (ccd) has only
six (0 through v)

To me that sounds like a pretty narrow range for digital camera to play with
when it comes to exposure? Is it correct to say that I could take photos at
many distinct range of exposures with b&w film camera than with a digital
camera? This sounds too restrictive to me. Is that why many people who
practice fine art photography prefer shooting with b&w film cameras?

Thanks,

- Satish


"Ray Fischer" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:bo7e8o$2an$(E-Mail Removed)...
> Satish K <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> >I am sort of newbie in photography. I recently took a basic photography
> >class. The teacher emphasized the importance of the "Zone System"

proposed
> >by Ansel Adams. Does anyone in this group learned or makes use of it in
> >practice when taking pictures with digital camera? Just curious.

>
> Not only is it a good idea, it's alot easier with a good digital camera
> because you can check the results so much faster.
>
> And, as an aside, one of the best descriptions I've seen on the zone
> system is here: http://www.photodo.com/nav/artindex.html
>
> --
> Ray Fischer
> (E-Mail Removed)
>



 
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Satish K
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-04-2003
Actually my teacher did skip the part that talks about applying it to the
prints. He mostly concentrated on the zones as it relates to exposure and
it's usage with different films (color, b&w, color transparency and ccd).
Also, I am sure I am not at the level of commitment to start applying it to
printing process.

- Satish

"Tony Spadaro" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:BhHpb.52648$(E-Mail Removed). com...
> The zone system is about exposing and processing film plus doiing the

same
> to prints -- quite frankly it has no relevence to digital shooting.
> The zones however are another matter. It is well worth while to know

how
> to read the zones in order to come up with the best exposure for a given
> purpose (if this sounds general - it is) So it is well worth learning the
> zones and playing with them -- get a grey card and/or a zone step card to
> use for practice -- but don't waste the next five years studying the
> "system".
>
> --
> http://www.chapelhillnoir.com
> home of The Camera-ist's Manifesto
> The Improved Links Pages are at
> http://www.chapelhillnoir.com/links/mlinks00.html
> A sample chapter from my novel "Haight-Ashbury" is at
> http://www.chapelhillnoir.com/writ/hait/hatitl.html
> "Satish K" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> > Hi,
> >
> > I am sort of newbie in photography. I recently took a basic photography
> > class. The teacher emphasized the importance of the "Zone System"

proposed
> > by Ansel Adams. Does anyone in this group learned or makes use of it in
> > practice when taking pictures with digital camera? Just curious.
> >
> > - Satish
> >
> >

>
>



 
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Dave Martindale
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-04-2003
"Satish K" <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
>Thanks Ray for the link. If you don't mind I would like to ask additional
>question. As I understand that black and white film has 11 zones (0 through
>X) zones, color film has eight (0 through vii) and digital (ccd) has only
>six (0 through v)


There are many digital cameras, and in general the ones with large
sensors (e.g. DSLRs) have a larger useful brightness range than the
point&shoot class cameras with small sensors.

The right way to answer the question is to pick a camera and calibrate
it yourself.

>To me that sounds like a pretty narrow range for digital camera to play with
>when it comes to exposure? Is it correct to say that I could take photos at
>many distinct range of exposures with b&w film camera than with a digital
>camera? This sounds too restrictive to me. Is that why many people who
>practice fine art photography prefer shooting with b&w film cameras?


The range you speak of is mainly useful for capturing real scenes that
have a large brightness range. For this, a dSLR *or* shooting and then
scanning film should give better results than an inexpensive digicam.

There are various reasons people shoot B&W film. They may like the
fact that B&W is more abstract than colour. They may like the ability
to "push" or "pull" process the negative to change its contrast, or the
fact that printing paper is available in different contrast grades or
multigrade. They may just like the really deep dark blacks that good
B&W paper gives.

Dave
 
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Joseph Meehan
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-04-2003
The answer to your question is an unqualified Yes and No.

The general theory and some of the practice of the zone system certainly
applies to digital. However you are working with a new tool and exactly how
the theory applies is not the same

However the knowledge contained in the zone system can be applied to
several places in the digital world.

So far I have not seen a work with a complete serious look at the
possibilities, but I am sure we will in time.

--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math


"Satish K" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Hi,
>
> I am sort of newbie in photography. I recently took a basic photography
> class. The teacher emphasized the importance of the "Zone System" proposed
> by Ansel Adams. Does anyone in this group learned or makes use of it in
> practice when taking pictures with digital camera? Just curious.
>
> - Satish
>
>



 
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Gary Eickmeier
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-04-2003


Satish K wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I am sort of newbie in photography. I recently took a basic photography
> class. The teacher emphasized the importance of the "Zone System" proposed
> by Ansel Adams. Does anyone in this group learned or makes use of it in
> practice when taking pictures with digital camera? Just curious.


Just bracket. Good digital cameras have an auto function that enables
you to automatically and quickly bracket your exposure. You can also
take practically unlimited exposures, study the results and/or the
histograms, and delete the bad ones.

What the hell.

Gary Eickmeier

 
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Charlie Ih
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-04-2003
To reproduce a "faithful" scene (or image), the overall "gamma" of
the system should be 1. In the traditional film photography (particularly,
B/W), the gamma of the negative is purposely made very low (e.g. 0.5
or so). This way you can catch a great dynamic range with less precise
exposures (in zones, I am not sure). When you make the
final prints, you can choose a high gamma paper (e.g. 2), so the
final prints look "real".

In digital photography, you can use bracketing and PhotoShop to
basically achieve the same purpose.


In article <pTOpb.157834$(E-Mail Removed)> ,
Gary Eickmeier <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>
>Satish K wrote:
>> Hi,
>>
>> I am sort of newbie in photography. I recently took a basic photography
>> class. The teacher emphasized the importance of the "Zone System" proposed
>> by Ansel Adams. Does anyone in this group learned or makes use of it in
>> practice when taking pictures with digital camera? Just curious.

>
>Just bracket. Good digital cameras have an auto function that enables
>you to automatically and quickly bracket your exposure. You can also
>take practically unlimited exposures, study the results and/or the
>histograms, and delete the bad ones.
>
>What the hell.
>
>Gary Eickmeier
>



--
Charles S. Ih
302-831-8173, FAX 302-831-4316
 
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Tony Spadaro
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-04-2003
Not just the prints. THere is no point to a "system" that involves
processing at all. The zone system is about invididually exposing and
processing sheet film - it doesn't even relate all that well to roll film.
IT is a waste of time and effort for digital. The printing process with
digital is either a matter of lab prints -- believe me there is no lab in
the world that uses the zone system to print from digital -- or a matter of
printing your own. Since it is easy to manipulate the original file in many
ways, there is no need for the complications of the zone system there
either.

--
http://www.chapelhillnoir.com
home of The Camera-ist's Manifesto
The Improved Links Pages are at
http://www.chapelhillnoir.com/links/mlinks00.html
A sample chapter from my novel "Haight-Ashbury" is at
http://www.chapelhillnoir.com/writ/hait/hatitl.html
"Satish K" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Actually my teacher did skip the part that talks about applying it to the
> prints. He mostly concentrated on the zones as it relates to exposure and
> it's usage with different films (color, b&w, color transparency and ccd).
> Also, I am sure I am not at the level of commitment to start applying it

to
> printing process.
>
> - Satish
>
> "Tony Spadaro" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:BhHpb.52648$(E-Mail Removed). com...
> > The zone system is about exposing and processing film plus doiing the

> same
> > to prints -- quite frankly it has no relevence to digital shooting.
> > The zones however are another matter. It is well worth while to know

> how
> > to read the zones in order to come up with the best exposure for a given
> > purpose (if this sounds general - it is) So it is well worth learning

the
> > zones and playing with them -- get a grey card and/or a zone step card

to
> > use for practice -- but don't waste the next five years studying the
> > "system".
> >
> > --
> > http://www.chapelhillnoir.com
> > home of The Camera-ist's Manifesto
> > The Improved Links Pages are at
> > http://www.chapelhillnoir.com/links/mlinks00.html
> > A sample chapter from my novel "Haight-Ashbury" is at
> > http://www.chapelhillnoir.com/writ/hait/hatitl.html
> > "Satish K" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> > news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> > > Hi,
> > >
> > > I am sort of newbie in photography. I recently took a basic

photography
> > > class. The teacher emphasized the importance of the "Zone System"

> proposed
> > > by Ansel Adams. Does anyone in this group learned or makes use of it

in
> > > practice when taking pictures with digital camera? Just curious.
> > >
> > > - Satish
> > >
> > >

> >
> >

>
>



 
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