Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/07/31

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Subject: [Leica] Zone System, was: The quintessence of Leica photography?
Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2000 11:31:43 +0200
References: <>

your description of the Ilfochrome print and the prints of your daughter where
a delight to read. Together with other posts especially from you and Erwin
giving the scientific basis it shows that the ultimate quality can yet be
reached using silver based techniques.
I will go using digital the Nathan way: it is faster and I hope to have better
abilities in judging a proof digital than a proof print - it is my personal

But there was some other point in your post which interested me: 


> She first printed her favorite scene from the non zone roll. The print
> (11x14) looked good. A little dodging and burning here and there, but a
> reasonable print. THEN... she printed the same negative from the zone roll.
> She nearly fainted. She came out of the darkroom yelling "DAD... look at
> this!" A straight print that was so much better than the non zone print, it
> was stunning!!! The tones slid from bright sparklie white into a deep
> seductive black. The difference between the two prints was simply amazing.


I thought using the famous "Zone System in a Nutshell" was enough for me:
Arranging the zones via different paper grades seemed to be sufficient:
If a negative is longer exposed than it would using the zone system, its
contrast is too high, so I use paper of lower gradation - and vice versa.

Can you enlighten me, what more is in the Zone System outside the nutshell?


P.S. To learn a craft in Germany takes at least two , usually three years!

In reply to: Message from Jim Brick <> ([Leica] Re: The quintessence of Leica photography? - Long response -)