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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by marios_pittas
    I totally agree with singscott on this one. I have read the three books and have found them extremely useful. The contents is not constrained to the zone system but about photography equipment as a whole (where I include the zone system), Ansel's writting is a joy to read if you are ok with technical information.

    I believe the book is available from NLB's various branches for borrowing, even though I have my own set and enjoy to refer to it every once in a while. If you are planning to buy it you could also see whether you can find it used (e-bay, amazon, local forum dwellers etc) as there are so many who have the series (and no, I am not selling mine ). I am sure it is also available new in almost all(?) bookshops..

    -- Marios
    well...most of ansel's books in the library is in the reference section...cant borrow it liao... I read some of it in woodlands library, reference section, under photography...and frankly, i dont really understand much cos i dont and have not tried doing traditional darkroom processing. So i read his text so that i could simulate it in the digital darkroom.
    blog: inbloomphotos.wordpress.com

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by khairi
    well...most of ansel's books in the library is in the reference section...cant borrow it liao... I read some of it in woodlands library, reference section, under photography...and frankly, i dont really understand much cos i dont and have not tried doing traditional darkroom processing. So i read his text so that i could simulate it in the digital darkroom.
    The Camera:
    1. http://vistaweb.nlb.gov.sg/cgi-bin/c...02+9284147+1+1
    2. http://vistaweb.nlb.gov.sg/cgi-bin/c...02+7122456+4+1
    3. http://vistaweb.nlb.gov.sg/cgi-bin/c...02+1688726+5+1

    The Negative:
    1. http://vistaweb.nlb.gov.sg/cgi-bin/c...02+7263079+2+1
    2. http://vistaweb.nlb.gov.sg/cgi-bin/c...02+2214319+3+1

    I can't find "The Print" in quick search..

  3. #23
    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by singscott
    Oh Please If it SOOOO simple why ansel adam need to write three books on it. Please do some research if you wish to say something you don't have a idea. Matrix is no where close to the zone system, people who master the zone system have become master photographer in their own right. I have been pratising zone system for years and I have not master it. Buy the books get your fact right and become a better photographer with the knowledge Zone system is a total exposure discipline for photographer, starting from post metering adjustment, shooting the picture, delevoping the neg to printing the final print! Not something the maxtrix metering or personal taste can completely do.
    suit yourself, I just shoot, the zone system was developed more than a decade ago, I read up on ansel adams and the zone system when I was a student, I have to admit that it is very technical and difficult to master. Remember that it was developed for landscape photos, using b/w film and self processing and printing.

    How many of you do that? hmmmmm .....
    If I remember correctly, adams made hundreds of prints to get one perfect print. How many of you do that?

    So please, this is a newbies corner, don't try to complicate things and be too technical. In the words of Ansel Adams himself - read my signature.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by ortega
    suit yourself, I just shoot, the zone system was developed more than a decade ago, I read up on ansel adams and the zone system when I was a student, I have to admit that it is very technical and difficult to master. Remember that it was developed for landscape photos, using b/w film and self processing and printing.

    How many of you do that? hmmmmm .....
    If I remember correctly, adams made hundreds of prints to get one perfect print. How many of you do that?

    So please, this is a newbies corner, don't try to complicate things and be too technical. In the words of Ansel Adams himself - read my signature.
    Ansel Adams & Fred Picker may have "formulated" the Zone System more than a decade ago. But I am not aware that the principles of light has changed. Cameras' meters are still calibrated to 18% grey. How much has changed?

    Matrix metering is a wonderful tool, and I dare say that for most application, especially for people without the desire to understand light, it is pretty good. But matrix metering cannot even come close to the application of ZS for producing a negative of choice. At best, it is an extremely poor imitation of the zone system.

    Zone system was not specifically made for landscape photography, although it was used largely for landscape photography because Ansel Adams and Fred Picker were landscape photographers. If you have not seen Ansel Adams portriats, or still life, you will be amazed how the ZS was applied to these subjects. Personally I use the principles laid out in the ZS whether I use my 35 mm, or medium format, or large format. All my exposure decision for my photography, (portraits, still life, landscape) are based on the ZS.

    Zone system is a way of seeing light, and translating that to the film and developing the film in such a way to get the negative one wants. The application of ZS does not automatically results in a masterpiece. There is no way that any camera can "capture" what the human eye sees. The human pupil constricts and expands when one look at the sky and then at the ground. The camera lens cannot do that. Hence for most images, additional work have to be done to bring the image closer to what was visualised.

    This is a newbie section, and we would do well to avoid confusing the newbie with information that arises from ignorance.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ortega

    So please, this is a newbies corner, don't try to complicate things and be too technical. In the words of Ansel Adams himself - read my signature.

    Wow you are good man you can even twist the words of a Master Photographer like Ansel Adam. Zone system is not about complicating thing but it is a discipline. Zone system is no doubt hard, want to be good it is HARD. That why those who want to be good buy books, learn from them then try and try and try and try somemore. Why Ansel Adam is a master photographer and not ortega or me in a matter of fact. Because he has talent, he try harder then anyone and because he created the zone system. I have only voice out because of the misinformation about matrix and zone system been the same. "THEY ARE NOT THE SAME"

  6. #26

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    Learning the ZS is not at all confusing and complicated. To avoid understanding the ZS at the beginner would be a real sin. Its as good as saying that a person wants to walk but dun want to learn how to stand. To effectively learn monochrome photography, the ZS is essential as it is the most accurate way to arrive at a decent b/w print. Its not all that complicated. You just need to understand what the heck its talking about and apply it. I admit it is hard for roll film but it still can be done. I basically make sure the lighting is moderately the same for each frame and my zone placement (say zone 3) is roughly identical from frame to frame. So when developing, the zones are roughly the same too. The rest in magic in the darkroom.

  7. #27
    Senior Member poohbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ortega
    suit yourself, I just shoot, the zone system was developed more than a decade ago, I read up on ansel adams and the zone system when I was a student, I have to admit that it is very technical and difficult to master. Remember that it was developed for landscape photos, using b/w film and self processing and printing.

    How many of you do that? hmmmmm .....
    If I remember correctly, adams made hundreds of prints to get one perfect print. How many of you do that?

    So please, this is a newbies corner, don't try to complicate things and be too technical. In the words of Ansel Adams himself - read my signature.

    hmmm ... sometimes i find that most of the people around are too into all the technicalities , that they sometimes forgot the pleasure of taking a nice and simple picture . Ling nightsky took all her pics in the gallary with a P&S and her pics are .

    Ling's Pics

    How i wish i can take pics like her the way she sees it ....

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by poohbear
    hmmm ... sometimes i find that most of the people around are too into all the technicalities , that they sometimes forgot the pleasure of taking a nice and simple picture . Ling nightsky took all her pics in the gallary with a P&S and her pics are .

    Ling's Pics

    How i wish i can take pics like her the way she sees it ....
    ha ha...thks for the reminder...but what was discussed here is about b/w prints using the zone system, so the technical aspect needs to be discussed...

    it's not abt taking photos
    blog: inbloomphotos.wordpress.com

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by khairi
    ha ha...thks for the reminder...but what was discussed here is about b/w prints using the zone system, so the technical aspect needs to be discussed...

    it's not abt taking photos

    haha sorry about the OT

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by student
    I wouldn't put it this way. There is no necessity to feel "superior" or "eat humble pie". It is not a question of who knows more to act "superior" or "inferior". It is a matter to learn from anyone who has something meaningful to share.
    Agree. But too many people feel that way, and it is not healthy.

    For me, I think the best way a didatic guy wants to prove his knowledge is meaningful to share is to show that he has done something useful with that piece of knowledge.

    Anyway, this is typical when discussing about the Zone System. People like me tend to get very passionate about it on one side or the other. The Zones help me understand how the exposure meter of my camera works, but that's all I care to know for now.

  11. #31
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    ZS can be quite complicated at times if you do not follow the steps carefully. I have my own ZS which I created myself. My mentor from RMIT gave me some basic instructions on how to go about it.

    It's not simple nor it's too hard. If you follow the steps and instructions, you will be able to get your own timing for developing your films and prints. It's all about your true dedications. I have tried and used various films and developers (both film and prints). I have my own timing based on exposures on films and prints.

    To me Ansel Adams's "The Print", "Negatives" and "The Camera" really help those who are newbies and beginners. Try Page One (At Kinokuniya, Ngee Ann City). I think they still have some there. If not you can order from them. I am not sure about other books but his books are easy to understand.

    It took me about 2 months to complete my ZS.

  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pro Image
    ZS can be quite complicated at times if you do not follow the steps carefully. I have my own ZS which I created myself. My mentor from RMIT gave me some basic instructions on how to go about it.

    It's not simple nor it's too hard. If you follow the steps and instructions, you will be able to get your own timing for developing your films and prints. It's all about your true dedications. I have tried and used various films and developers (both film and prints). I have my own timing based on exposures on films and prints.

    To me Ansel Adams's "The Print", "Negatives" and "The Camera" really help those who are newbies and beginners. Try Page One (At Kinokuniya, Ngee Ann City). I think they still have some there. If not you can order from them. I am not sure about other books but his books are easy to understand.

    It took me about 2 months to complete my ZS.
    Understanding the zone system is really simple! I dare say anyone with a high education can easily understand the Zs and apply it to his photography. It is reading the books on zone system that is difficult.

    In my opinion,testing films and developers are strictly not part of the zone system - it is more a calibration of the film, developer and equipment you use.

    One of the most well regarded teacher of black & white photography in US, a chap named Bruce Barnbaum do not even bother with calibration. But he uses the concepts in the ZS to great effect. His prints are spectacular! If one is serious about black & white photography, I would strongly advise Bruce's book titled "ART OF PHOTOGRAPHY" where the practical application of the zone system is explained elegantly. On the other hand, I am aware of John Sexton, who once was part of Bruce's co-teachers. John is stickler for technicalities, (such as testing) and his prints are good! All these go to show that there are different ways to good prints. They all use the zone system. But there the difference between Bruce and John begins to diverge.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pro Image
    To me Ansel Adams's "The Print", "Negatives" and "The Camera" really help those who are newbies and beginners. Try Page One (At Kinokuniya, Ngee Ann City). I think they still have some there. If not you can order from them. I am not sure about other books but his books are easy to understand.
    Was there this afternoon, didn't see "Negatives" on the shelves, but saw the other 2 though.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by foxtwo
    Was there this afternoon, didn't see "Negatives" on the shelves, but saw the other 2 though.
    Well I guess you need to order thru Page One which should not be a problem. It will take 4-6 weeks usually. Anyway, you can start by reading "The Camera" is the first book you can start first as that's where you start to expose your negatives.

  15. #35
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    Try borders they seem to have all three books in stock, even they dun have it in stock they can indent order for you . How about Rice Ball photography book shop in The Adelphi Shopping Center?

  16. #36

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    Hey No problemz dudes!

    To the Cheat Student and whoever else ...

    Do WHATEVER you can to understand your craft better, in whatever language or tone and manner that suits you. I remember a classmate who was a diligent student. Totally hopeless in English, but absolutely brilliant in maths, and other science subjects. Till today, some of us still wonder how in the world did he ever understand the basics since all tutorials and reference materials were conducted in English! Unless he took the initiative to look up Maths and Science books written in Chinese! If that were the case, Kudos for his initiative and drive!

    Just remember that what's most important is learning what you need to ...

    Cameras have changed, systems have changed and so have films and chemicals ... (to some extent) ...

    If I'm faced with a difficult scene of great contrast, I still go back to metering with a spot meter (highly convenient now that most modern SLRs have in-built spot-meter modes). In the past, I used to carry two hand-held metres, one for flash and avarage readings, and one solely dedicated to spot. Blardy pain in the a*se if you ask me!

    BUT NO MATTER WHAT THE DIFFERENCE IN THINKING ... CAMERAS ... SYSTEMS ... ETC ... THE BASICS ARE STILL THE SAME.

    BTW, there is no such thing as perfection, which is why I put the word "perfect" in inverted commas ... in case some were nit-pickin.

    With no offense to anyone, just remember that there is something called 'the joy of photography'.

    It's just that when you want to go ahead and do more, you might be held back by a lack of solid foundation in the basics. Frustrating man!

    I have had a re-look at my post, and I do not see anything theoritically or technically wrong with it. The greatest FAILURE on my part, was that my post failed to communicate effectively. For that, my sincerest apoligies.

    I would still urge all of you to find a source of reference, teacher or whatever you can find that can teach you what you need to know in a simple and easy to understand manner.

    All the best my friends!

    CHEERS!

  17. #37
    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    here here

    I choose to capture the moment, leaving the technical bits to technology.
    But of course the fundamentals must be there, in the first place.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feinwerkbau
    Hey No problemz dudes!

    To the Cheat Student and whoever else ...

    Do WHATEVER you can to understand your craft better, in whatever language or tone and manner that suits you. I remember a classmate who was a diligent student. Totally hopeless in English, but absolutely brilliant in maths, and other science subjects. Till today, some of us still wonder how in the world did he ever understand the basics since all tutorials and reference materials were conducted in English! Unless he took the initiative to look up Maths and Science books written in Chinese! If that were the case, Kudos for his initiative and drive!

    Just remember that what's most important is learning what you need to ...

    Cameras have changed, systems have changed and so have films and chemicals ... (to some extent) ...

    If I'm faced with a difficult scene of great contrast, I still go back to metering with a spot meter (highly convenient now that most modern SLRs have in-built spot-meter modes). In the past, I used to carry two hand-held metres, one for flash and avarage readings, and one solely dedicated to spot. Blardy pain in the a*se if you ask me!

    BUT NO MATTER WHAT THE DIFFERENCE IN THINKING ... CAMERAS ... SYSTEMS ... ETC ... THE BASICS ARE STILL THE SAME.

    BTW, there is no such thing as perfection, which is why I put the word "perfect" in inverted commas ... in case some were nit-pickin.

    With no offense to anyone, just remember that there is something called 'the joy of photography'.

    It's just that when you want to go ahead and do more, you might be held back by a lack of solid foundation in the basics. Frustrating man!

    I have had a re-look at my post, and I do not see anything theoritically or technically wrong with it. The greatest FAILURE on my part, was that my post failed to communicate effectively. For that, my sincerest apoligies.

    I would still urge all of you to find a source of reference, teacher or whatever you can find that can teach you what you need to know in a simple and easy to understand manner.

    All the best my friends!

    CHEERS!
    Yep what you say is quite true. I have 30 friends who tested their ZS. Well it's because of different usage of films, chmicals, papers and enlargers that made our ZS timing all very different.

    I am using T-Max 400 (Rate at Iso 200) and use Agfa Rodinol with a dilution of 1:120 at 20 C with a timing of 14 minutes. Another friend of mine used T-Max 400 (Rated at 200) but uses T-Max Film Developer with a dilution of 1:4 at 20 C and his timing is around 9 minutes. So as you can see this is one of an example why everyone has their own ZS.

    There is no right or wrong but there is certain steps you need to follow. There is a little calculation and chemistry you need to follow but you can modify. It's never ending with ZS as there are so many chemicals, films, papers, enlargers and so on.

    You actually need a little guidance on ZS from someone who has done thier ZS. That's how I learn my ZS with my own timing and exposures.

    And yes it's true....there is no such thing as a perfect ZS.

  19. #39

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    Wah, from this thread I can tell who are the well-read experts already

    I think I should get the mentioned books cos I feel my photography learning curve and very slow.

    I don't mind learning slowly but am very afraid that the things I've learnt on my own are wrong.

    If the learning about the Zone System would help me improve my digital photography, i'd definitely wanna read more about it.

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by benedium
    Wah, from this thread I can tell who are the well-read experts already

    I think I should get the mentioned books cos I feel my photography learning curve and very slow.

    I don't mind learning slowly but am very afraid that the things I've learnt on my own are wrong.

    If the learning about the Zone System would help me improve my digital photography, i'd definitely wanna read more about it.
    Eh...I think you should not just read and understand ZS to improve your digital photography. Pls go the the 3 books which Ansel Adams offer before you purchase as it is quite complicated in some areas if you do not understand the basics of photography.

    It may help you or it may confuse you more. Hey if you are free maybe you can come down to my studio and we can have a cup of KOPI. PM me if you are interested. We an talk a little about whether the ZS will improve your digital photography.

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