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05-17-2017, 07:44 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by dcshooter Quote
There were Zone VI Soligors, too. Here's a discussion:
has zone VI studios ever modified other lightmeters? | APUG.ORG
Thanks for the correction.


Steve

05-18-2017, 02:57 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by wombat2go Quote
https://app.box.com/s/yxzg6ak5axfbi4m0mfwtpll3ygviki3z

RB67 with C41, as I recall with the 90mm fairly wide open in the late afternoon, based on eyeball.
Under or over exposed ?
I tend to agree with Canada_Rockies
QuoteQuote:
Neither. It supports the lighting at the time, as far as I can see
But..

The question is not really answerable due to a number of reasons.

1. We are not seeing the negative in its original state including border edges
2. We are viewing your interpretation from your negative that has been sent through a digital system rather than a direct view of a print. During its journey we have no way of knowing what has been applied.
3. We do not know how this has been processed and if the intent was to go to photo print directly or via a scanning process - there are likely to be some differences to exposure and processing albeit slight (particularly the C41 process) to optimise for either

It seems that the shot was acquired at a time of day when pretty overcast even lighting about. So if the end result reflects your intent then all is well and you could say that the exposure is correct. But with an analogue system exposure is only one part of the equation as we also have development in play.

Therefore your image could conceivably be:
a. Correctly exposed and developed
b. Underexposed, underdeveloped = Density low, Contrast low, lack shadow detail, highlights weak.
c. Correctly exposed, underdeveloped = Density too low, Contrast low, Highlights weak, Shadow detail weak
d. Other?

Not really a fair question?
In the same vein what about the exposure here - SOOC, Under or Over ?

05-18-2017, 09:08 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Femto1969 Quote
... I plan on using the most basic methods for exposing with the zone system. Either expose for the mid tones or average the highlights and shadows.
A couple of thoughts. With negative film you don't need to be very precise. BW film and the new Portra color negative films have a wide exposure latitude.

And with the zone system of metering, you typically "place" your low values to determine the exposure. That is, you place your shadows 2 to 3 stops below the middle gray exposure and the highlights either fall where they may or your develop to compress or expand the highlights. For example, if you can capture say 14 or 15 stops of light, you really don't need to worry about metering the high values. Place your shadows and you will get the highlights with all but the very most demanding high contrast scenes.

And after you gain enough experience with this method of metering and finding out how many stops of light your development process can capture, you can walk up to a scene, pick only one tone out of it, place it and set your exposure really fast. And after you notice something about metering shadows looking into and away from the Sun you'll soon won't be needing a light meter at all for outdoor BW photography except if you want to do something special.
05-19-2017, 06:50 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
And with the zone system of metering, you typically "place" your low values to determine the exposure. That is, you place your shadows 2 to 3 stops below the middle gray exposure and the highlights either fall where they may or your develop to compress or expand the highlights. For example, if you can capture say 14 or 15 stops of light, you really don't need to worry about metering the high values. Place your shadows and you will get the highlights with all but the very most demanding high contrast scenes.
Tuco, this is invaluable information. I've been trying to teach myself a basic way of tackling the zone system through youtube videos and forum posts. I've been learning it alright, but I still don't have a clear grasp on the best way to start of in a simple way. This really makes sense to me. I will be trying this method.

Do you know of any comprehensive beginners guides to the zone system? I might just buy The Negative by Ansel Adams to see if I can learn it that way.

Update about the light meter:

It meters at 15.7 when I point it at the clear blue sky in midday. Closer to the sun it reads right around 16. I think its accurate after all!

05-19-2017, 07:54 AM   #20
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Perhaps the modified zone system I use in tricky situations may be helpful. Negative film has some wiggle room during the printing process. With digital I use RAW+ with RAW and JPG on separate cards. I the JPG is to my standards, I don't bother with the RAW, but if I need it, it is there. I used very similar exposure guidelines with film from 1958 to 2007, when I got my K10D digital body.

To retain detail in darks,
- meter the darkest area with spot metering in which you want to retain detail
- set the camera's exposure to overexpose 2 stops from that value.

To retain detail in lights,
- meter the brightest area with spot metering in which you want to retain detail
- set the camera's exposure to underexpose 2 stops from that value.

I did not invent this, but I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the one who did. He/she deserves kudos.
05-19-2017, 08:53 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Femto1969 Quote
Hi, Team,

I visited my local camera store yesterday and inquired about any used spot meters they had for sale. The clerk showed me a Zone IV modified spot meter that appears to have originally been a Soligor. The price was great - he knocked $40 bucks off for a final price of $80. I asked the clerk if it was tested, and he said he used it around the store and it seemed accurate. This gent is a straight shooter, so I trusted him. Knowing what they go for on Ebay I snatched it up.

I took it for a spin last night with my K1000. But it seems to be reading quite brightly. Either that or my new-to-me k1000 is reading very dimly. That being said, the K1000 light meter seems to read accurately based on my exposure intuition. I need to test them both against my Canon 70D to figure out what is going on.

I have two questions:

1) What is the best way to test the accuracy or a spot meter?
2) If it is badly inaccurate, do I take it back, try to get it repaired, or just compensate in my head for its inaccuracy (if it is systematically inaccurate)?

I need a spot meter for my trip to Seattle next month. I'll be using my Pentax 67 for landscapes and such. So I need to figure out a solution within the next month, even if its getting a loaner.

Thanks for your input!

1) Zone VI never modified Soligor meters. They used Pentax spotmeters exclusively. Someone may have put Zone VI stickers on it, but it isn't a ZOne VI modified meter.

---------- Post added 05-19-17 at 09:59 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
Perhaps the modified zone system I use in tricky situations may be helpful. Negative film has some wiggle room during the printing process. With digital I use RAW+ with RAW and JPG on separate cards. I the JPG is to my standards, I don't bother with the RAW, but if I need it, it is there. I used very similar exposure guidelines with film from 1958 to 2007, when I got my K10D digital body.

To retain detail in darks,
- meter the darkest area with spot metering in which you want to retain detail
- set the camera's exposure to overexpose 2 stops from that value.

To retain detail in lights,
- meter the brightest area with spot metering in which you want to retain detail
- set the camera's exposure to underexpose 2 stops from that value.

I did not invent this, but I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the one who did. He/she deserves kudos.
Here's the Fred Picker method in a nutshell. I switched to it from the Zone System and everything got easier.
I posted this in another thread, this is cut and pasted from that post.

I think a lot of people inadvertently get it
backwards, and try to match paper to negatives.
I think it best to match negatives to paper.
Film is much more responsive to control than
paper.
Figuring out how to expose a film starts in the
darkroom.
Take an unexposed piece of the film you want to
use. Process it as per the manufacturers
instructions.
Set your enlarger head to a height that will
give a nice magnification for the print size you
want to make, most of the time.
Default to 8x10 if you can't decide.
Focus the lens and set stop it down 3 stops or so to its best aperture if you know it.
Do not change these settings for the duration of
the procedure
Put the processed film into the neg carrier and
make a series of exposures to find the time it
takes to make D-max.
You now have your stock exposure time for that paper, aperture and print size.

Now it's time to figure out your ISO.
You can set up a test target. or just go out and make pictures. What you are doing is finding out how your film speed/ developer combination handles bright areas. I like sunlit clouds for this, as it's about as bright a white you will get in nature.
Shoot a negative or series of negative and process the film however is normal for you, and expose it to your chosen paper using the settings you calculated for the D-Max paper test.
If your clouds are blown out, you need to shorten your development time, and may also need to lower your ISO. After a couple of exposure tests, you will probably know where you have to go, and how far until you get a suitable ISO/developer time to retain detail in the highlights. If you find your shadows are getting murky, you might find you need to lower your ISO, and/ or adjust your base exposure to the paper, especially if you have had to shorten your film development time a lot. You might have dropped the base density + fog.

This technique is far better with sheet film, but will help quite a dit with roll film as well.
Now when you go shooting, you are metering the highlights rather than the shadows, as St. Ansel recommended.
05-19-2017, 09:22 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Femto1969 Quote
...
Do you know of any comprehensive beginners guides to the zone system? I might just buy The Negative by Ansel Adams to see if I can learn it that way.
Don't worry about 1/3-stop accuracy too much. Your 6x7 has full-stop shutter speed selection and your lenses have 1/2-stop aperture choices when metering with an external meter.

I don't know of a good book or source for learning it. I learned from reading Ansel's book The Negative and others books like Beyond The Zone System. I don't remember when it "clicked" for me. But a one-degree spot meters like the Pentax Spotmeter V and their "digital" one-degree spot meter have an analog EV and exposure scale that make placing your tonal values easy compared to others with LCD screen readouts, IMHO. And I never do average metering with a one-degree ( ie meter highest/lowest value and pick something in the middle). My reasoning is that if you are only capturing 10 or so stops of light and there are 15 stops in the scene you will be losing detail both in the high and low values. If you expose for the shadows or highlights you only lose detail on one end instead of both. But that's my style.

But just remember that when you point your one-degree at a tone in your scene, it is giving you the middle gray EV exposure value of that tone ( Zone V). And to place it up or down in tonal value you increase or decrease your exposure relative to that reading which equates to just rotating the EV scale on the spot meter to a higher or lower the number and find your equivalent exposure. For our purposes you can equate 1 EV = 1 stop of light.

The Zone System basically assumes 10 stops of light that you'll capture where Zone II is where you begin to see detail in dark areas and Zone VIII where highlights begin to lose their detail. But of course if you are developing to compress the highlights you can get highlight detail well beyond Zone VIII. And some film/developer combos yield either better lower tonal values or higher tonal values in these transition zones too.

You can also place your high values instead of low values as well. For example, in foggy conditions I'll meter and place the fog 2 stops above the middle gray (Zone VII) to set my exposure and that seems to capture fog well for me and I usually get good low value detail.


Last edited by tuco; 05-19-2017 at 10:35 AM.
05-19-2017, 09:40 AM - 1 Like   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Femto1969 Quote
...
Update about the light meter:

It meters at 15.7 when I point it at the clear blue sky in midday. Closer to the sun it reads right around 16. I think its accurate after all!
It sounds like you may be using the meter incorrectly or misunderstanding the method of working with this meter. The reason I say this is that I think you are taking the number you see from the viewfinder as being the f/stop indicator when in fact it is just the EV reading which needs to be interpreted to Shutter Speed and Aperture at your given ISO.

In the case of you seeing 16 in the viewfinder and assuming you have set your required ISO to 100 then that would equate to an actual exposure of 1/250 sec @ f/16. If the reading happened to be 15 for an aperture of f/16 with 100 ISO film you would use a shutter speed of 1/125 sec. - close to the theoretical Sunny 16 rule which would state a shutter speed equal to ISO in this case being 1/100 sec. Note the Sunny 16 rule does not necessarily follow in all parts of the world as you may find that you need to apply the Sunny 11 or the Sunny 22 rule

Attached is an image of mine (with my mod sticker!). Follow sequence for set up and basic use


I am sure Canada_Rockies meant to suggest:

To retain detail in darks
When you read with the spot you will need to set the camera exposure to - 2 stops (stop down, otherwise you will be overexposing and putting highlights at risk). So if the indicated exposure 1/125 at f/11 you could set it to be 1/500 at f/11 or 1/125 at f/8

To retain detail in lights
Meter the brightest area then set the meter to +2 stops (open up, otherwise you will be overexposing and putting shadows at risk). So in this case if the exposure indicated 1/250 @ f/11 you could use 1/250 @ f/5.6 or 1/60 @ f/11

The Ansel Adams series is very good particularly for someone wanting to produce fine prints using conventional darkroom techniques. The Zone system principles are pretty much as relevant today for digital as they were for analogue films - with some caveats of course.

If you can get a copy the Fred Picker Zone VI Workshop book although pretty basic covers most of what you would want to know.

EDIT: A couple from Amazon. The first a lot of detail that may help or confuse - the second just pick up a copy and add to your library
https://www.amazon.com/Confused-Photographers-Photographic-Exposure-Simplified/dp/0966081714
https://www.amazon.com/Zone-VI-Workshop-Fred-Picker/dp/0817405747/ref=pd_sim...F5CQQANX2WWN7F

This is not a bad example of basic with digital
Zone System for Landscape Photography - Outdoor Photographer

---------- Post added 05-19-17 at 09:50 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
1) Zone VI never modified Soligor meters. They used Pentax spotmeters exclusively. Someone may have put Zone VI stickers on it, but it isn't a ZOne VI modified meter..
Sorry but this information does not sound correct i.e. if you are suggesting that Zone V1 did not sell and promote anything other than Pentax spot meters.

They started with Sekonic Zoom and Luna Pro (which was claimed to be the most dependable meter made), next came the Soligor and after I believe the Pentax. So Soligor Spot were used and the Zone VI label applied - they may have made adjustment to the potentiometers or filters

What is not clear is what was done with the actual modifications i.e. filters, sensor etc. to each meter they promoted but the man that will is the one in my link above as he worked on these for Zone VI

I believe that Calumet finally took over the business and that they may have had supplies of the zone system lens barrel attachment but I do not believe they were able to supply Zone VI stickers to replace the Soligor as these are supposed to indicate a modification

Last edited by TonyW; 05-19-2017 at 10:00 AM.
05-19-2017, 11:17 AM   #24
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TonyW - yep - I wrote it backwards. Thanks for the correction.
05-19-2017, 11:36 AM   #25
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No problem, and as someone who suffers the occasional literary brain fart I guessed that was the issue and pleased to see not just limited to me
05-19-2017, 12:53 PM   #26
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Thank you all so much for this very detailed and useful information. Tony, I think I was using the spot meter correctly after all, but it never hurts to have a refresher.

I like the idea of metering for the shadows or highlights. The fog example really helped me understand how to strategically expose to gather detail in parts of the image I need.

There is so much to consider. Now I have to learn what filters do, and if I need them! I guess I'm in luck since the Zone 6 light meter may expose for filtered images well, based on the modifications the Pentax models got.

Part of the fun (and extreme frustration) of shooting film is that it now seems like an arcane process for a few reasons. One, so few people shoot film these days. Two, it requires rather detailed understanding of physics, optics, and chemistry, as well as good old fashioned composition. And extreme patience as well as the legitimate prospect you may be throwing your money and time away if you goof something up!

I also need to figure out how to scan these negatives for very large prints. I just opened a new thread the the appropriate forum for that as well.

Sigh.
05-19-2017, 05:41 PM   #27
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Don't despair. We take a long time to learn complex things, and film photography is one of the more complex there is.
05-19-2017, 09:49 PM   #28
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Nice discussion. After reading through this I pulled out my Zone VI Pentax Spotmeter V from my sock drawer. Haven't used it in decades but still seems to work with the old battery.
Any Zone VI modified meter should have a sticker on it that says "Modified by Zone VI studios inc." The Zone VI zone scale sticker could be added to non modified meter.
I remember when I got the meter back it came with some parts they replaced for the modification.
Second the suggestion to get the Fred Picker Zone system book. I still have mine and it can be described as the Zone System for Idiots (like me) . Really really helpful.
05-20-2017, 08:33 AM   #29
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I would never buy a used Meter, been there done that and it was nothing but trouble...
05-20-2017, 02:18 PM   #30
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Just went through some of my old Zone VI. Newsletters. Number 37 from November 1983 describes what they (Fred Picker and Paul Horowitz) did and how they did it. They fixed the IR, Uv, two color compensation filters matched to the cells intrinsic reponse. The films they used were Tri x and Poloroid 52. Also used Kodak film response curves and from the meter's manufacturer. They originally modified the Soligar II meter and the Pentax V and Pentax digital. They collaborated with Richard Ritter.
Check it out if you can find the newsletter. Very detailed.
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