Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1996/10/12

[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]

Subject: Re: Zone System
From: "jose luis gonzalez" <>
Date: Sat, 12 Oct 1996 21:38:42 +0000
References: <>

Charles E. Love, Jr. wrote:
> The zone system concepts don't only apply to black and white, nor only to
> sheet film.  If you do color slides, thinking in a simplified zone system
> way can help achieve the proper exposure.  Slide film cannot stand to be
> overexposed, so meter the highlights, and then decide how dense you want the
> various items to be (compromise is often needed here), using the zone gray
> scale (a company called "Zone VI" used to sell one to mount on Pentax spot
> meters, but now they've been absorbed by Calumet--I am sure the scale is
> available in many other forms).  You may then wind up adding or subtracting
> stops from your meter reading (simple example: a sunset, where you meter
> various areas in the sky, decide what zone the crucial one is in, and then
> adjust the meter's recommended exposure to produce the desired effect).
> This idea also permits you to look at the consequences for other (not
> crucial) areas of the picture of various exposure choices.   I'll admit
> right away that I use this to give me the place or places  to start
> bracketing--film is cheap in comparison to camera equipment (especially our
> favorite) and travel, and small differences in exposure can matter a lot
> with transparency film.
> Charles E. Love, Jr.
> 517 Warren Place
> Ithaca, New York
> 14850
> 607-272-7338

Ive found that the typical scale of zones for b&w works well with color
negative, but for use with transparency film you have to estimate a
change of zone every two thirds of f stop. If you use the spotmetering
capabilty of your camera or have a separated spotmeter you shoul aim to
get  an indicated overexposure of 1- 1/2 stop ( two zones ) while
keeping the spot on a textured highligth (zone VII ). that guarantees a
correct exposure that needs less bracketing, It works pretty well.
Jose Luis Gonzalez

In reply to: Message from "Charles E. Love, Jr." <> (Zone System)