Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/03/24

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Subject: Re: [Leica] answers??Darkroom secrets, LONG
From: Eric Welch <>
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 1999 07:49:44 -0600

At 11:15 PM 3/23/99 -0500, you wrote:
>I assume that the Zone System was Minor Whites name for controlled
>development of film so that it could be printed on the papers of limited
>contrast range available in the days of yore.

Incorrect in both points. It was Ansel Adams and another person who taught 
at a photo school (they taught together, actually) in San Francisco who 
developed the Zone System. Minor White adapted it to his own use.

And it's an urban legend that Ansel tried to print only on grade 2 paper. 
He used many different grades and even VC paper. Early on, they believed 
that grade 2 paper had the ideal curve for the best highlights and shadows 
(and that's still at least partially true), but as Ansel matured, his 
printing techniques became more sophisticated, and he used various contrasts.

And to think that one developing method (time) is going to give you a 
perfect negative that will get you in the ball park to make great prints is 
true for average situations, but in extremes of contrast (flat or hot) 
you're going to find that changing development can make a big difference in 
quality. Even John Sexton couldn't have done his new book on Images of 
Power (I think that's the name) if he didn't have his 1:14 dilution of TMax 
Developer RS for compensated development.

Eric Welch
St. Joseph, MO

Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.