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03-10-2010, 10:48 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
Thanks. I have not seen that issue around here. Maybe my subscription expired and I didn't notice. Is THIS the article?

The Digital Zone System - Outdoor Photographer | OutdoorPhotographer.com

Will
That's the one.

03-10-2010, 11:04 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
That's the one.
Yes, it's a good article—certainly a lot less arcane than most of the other stuff I've read on the zone system.

I still wonder whether any of this is necessary, though. I think I basically do all of this, at least when I take the time to think through my exposure carefully, something I do more on vacation when I'm taking landscape photos for fun than when I'm taking photos at a wedding reception. As I said, I think I do most of this, but I don't need to refer to the zone chart or get my pocket calculator out. (I was about to say "slide rule," but I realized I'd really be showing my age.)

For me the questions are fairly simple:
  1. Is the dynamic range of the scene greater than 5 stops (the reach of my camera in a single capture), or equal to/less than?
  2. If DR > 5 stops, what's gotta give and how much?
  3. If DR <= 5 stops, how much do I bias my settings to satisfy the "expose to the right" guideline?

Perhaps the zone calculations allow you to achieve a good exposure with real confidence. But I am pretty confident of my exposures, especially when I have time to think just a little. I think Adams had a whole slew of problems to deal with that we don't have to deal with in digital raw capture.

Anyway, thanks for the reference. I did enjoy the article, and I passed the link on to my Canon-shooting brother-in-law, who is an avid and gifted landscape photographer (but who to my knowledge doesn't use the zone system or anything like it).

Will
03-11-2010, 12:56 AM   #33
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Interesting article, and... hey, did someone say HDR? Uh oh, the purists will descend upon us in full fury now! Cause that's the basic point: meter for highlights, then blend images for a dynamic range beyond 5EV. And that requires a tripod, so you can't use this system for, like, just SHOOTING. And oops, I left the tripod home today, or I forgot to carry it with me when I walked up Brewery Gulch to go to the Mariposa Market and a break in the clouds lit this one scene JUST right and I pulled the K20D out of my slingbag, etc...
03-11-2010, 06:23 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
Will, grab a copy of the Outdoor Photographer March 2010 issue, and read it - it's short enough to read at the magazine rack if you don't have the money for it. They took the concept developed by Ansel and the f/64 group, and applied it to a 5 stop dynamic range as provided by our sensors, then simplified it so that a dummy like me could actually use it!
What cameras only give a 5 stop DR? One of the guys on the PDML whom I trust to have solid information puts the DR closer to 10 stops for Pentax DSLRs.

03-11-2010, 10:05 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
What cameras only give a 5 stop DR? One of the guys on the PDML whom I trust to have solid information puts the DR closer to 10 stops for Pentax DSLRs.
That's what the article said, 5 stops. I think my K10 is closer to 7, but that's just me, coming from shooting slides for a gazillion years - well, 45 anyway.

BTW, and completely off topic - I keep missing the signatures that get recalled by the fun police. I feel a real lack of knowledge here. I am under informed. Sneak a PM with them in my direction. Maybe I'll challenge the fun police too.
03-11-2010, 10:58 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
I don't disagree with the details here, exactly. It's more that I disagree with the whole idea of changing the meter constantly. The key to success isn't using the specific metering mode that best suits your scene. The key to success is knowing how to use whatever mode you're using.
This is what drove me to setting center-weighted all the time. I use a lot of lenses that don't allow matrix metering, and switching lenses sometimes meant the camera was switching metering methods.

If I had all-new lenses, I might have taken the time to learn multi-segment. I don't use spot because it is sometimes fooled by my split-prism screen with some lenses, and agan I would have to think about the exact lens before trusting the meter.
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