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Author Topic: Light Metering  (Read 8561 times)
mcanyes
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« Reply #80 on: February 04, 2005, 06:50:49 PM »
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I have a Sekonic L-358, and I only shoot digital. I find it very useful when working with flash. It is difficult to use a camera meter to check for even lighting across a group of 5-6 people, or to see if you have evenly lit a painting you are photographing.  Outside, I just let the matrix metering figure it out.

Michael
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Michael Canyes
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howard smith
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« Reply #81 on: February 15, 2005, 01:04:05 PM »
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Ray, the Zone System was developed for B&W film and prints.  B&W film has a dynamic range of 10 to 12 stops.  The problem the Zone System solves is how to cram that range onto paper that has a smaller dynamic range.

I clipped this from an article on LL:

"The real world has a much greater dynamic range than does a photographic print. By this I'm referring to the range of brightness encountered — from the brightest non-specular highlights in a scene to the deepest shadows. This can be as much as 8 stops, while a typical print on, say, matte paper may only be able to display a 5.5 stops range."

Seems that increasing the dynamic range of the camera would create a problem, likely solvable, onto paper.
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Ray
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« Reply #82 on: February 18, 2005, 11:20:39 AM »
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The Zone System's raison d'etre is not the inadeqaute dynamic range of b&w film, but that the film's dynamic range is much greater than the printing paper.

Are you sure about this? I'm not really qualified to comment because I've had very little experience in a chemical darkroom. My interest in photography did not take off until the digital darkroom became an affordable reality, but from what I understand there would be 3 major stages in the zone system; correct exposure; appropriate development of the film to increase or reduce contrast as desired, and choice of paper grade to match the contrast of the negative.

I would have thought the zone system creates choices which  help one make the best of the DR limitations of the film. Without that framework it would be more difficult to get the desired amount of detail in the significant parts of the image, would it not?

For example, if one wanted to get good detail in brightly lit snow one would probably have to place the snow in zone 7 or 8 and by doing so sacrifice shadow detail in zone 2 and 3 which (perhaps?) no amount of film development technique or choice of paper grade could bring out. One can't have both, but the zone system makes the choices clearer.

If the zone system really is all about compressing the wider DR of film to fit on the narrower DR of paper, then I can't see how it would be relevant at all in the digital world.

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Pure black and pure white provide useful information - there is nothing there needed to be seen, or the area is really dark or bright.  Pure black is not low quailty detail.

I've nothing against pure blacks and whites. They can be a useful dramatic effect and a great disguise for low quality detail. The eye usually sees the detail in the shadows, but often the camera's DR is inadequate, but never mind, make the shadows black  Cheesy .

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But with film at least, once the film is exposed, there is little if anything that can be done with the dark areas.  

My point exactly! If the film had a wider DR the detail would be there in the shadows, to be used or turned into a pure black shadow, or pure white in the case of highlight detail, by dodging and burning and choice of high contrast or low contrast papers and appropriate developers etc.
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Ray
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« Reply #83 on: February 21, 2005, 08:34:32 AM »
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If you don't get it right before pressing the shutter, there usually isn't a lot you can do later.  An overexposed image is hard to fix the highlights.  An underexposed image is hard to coax out shadows.  
I know! I know! I know!  Smiley . Maybe that's why I'm obsessed with the usefulness of a high DR camera. This would be a no-worries, correct-exposure-every-time camera. Suits my style.
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howard smith
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« Reply #84 on: February 25, 2005, 06:04:33 AM »
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"The mechanical aspects of handling the camera, getting the exposure to correspond with some sort of zone system, the struggle to overcome the limitations of the camera in respect of dynamic range, precise calculations of CoCs in the field for DoF purposes etc etc etc, can be distractions from the contemplation of artistic matters whilst in the field, gazing at the view."

My question to you Ray is, just what the heck is photography anyway?  One thing stands out to me.  You and I have very different ideas of photogrpahy.  To me, the "mechanical aspects of handling the camera" are a very integral, necessary and enjoyable part of photography.  I find making photographs satisfying, not distracting.  I frequently remove all of the "mechanical aspects of handling the camera" and just view and watch.  Using a camera isn't at all distracting from the art of photogrpahy.  No more than handling brushes and paint is a distraction for painters.  Is the mechanical aspects of playing a piano be a distraction for the pianist?  Or a pleasure?  Distractions are minimized by practice, making the mechanical aspects second nature, requiring little or no conscience attention.  Could I get a player piano, call myself a pianist, and eliminate the need to practice?

"I would like my camera to be able to accurately record the scene in front of me ... as much as possible because it increases my options."  If you put more emphasis on "as much as possible," you already have that camera.  Adams developed the Zone System to increased his options, not make photography more mechanical and distracting.
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