Adams Zone System 35mm

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by Justin F. Knotzke, Jan 4, 2004.

  1. There was some discussion previously concerning Adams, the Zone System and
    35mm. As a Christmas gift my sister purchased for me, The Negative by Adams.
    Adams writes:

    " Futhermore, the knowledge of exposure and development controls available
    through the Zone System can be usefully applied by all photographers, even
    those using automated 35mm cameras, in black and white and color
    photography" [1]

    So from that, I'd say it's quite clear that Adams thought the Zone System
    applied to 35mm.

    J

    [1] Adams, Ansel. The Negative. (Boston, New York, London: Little, Brown and
    Company) 2002 (Tenth printing) 36.
     
    Justin F. Knotzke, Jan 4, 2004
    #1
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  2. Hoo boy. Bet you didn't know that can you just opened says "WORMS" on the
    label, did you?
     
    David Nebenzahl, Jan 4, 2004
    #2
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  3. One of Edsel Murphy's laws goes:

    If you open a can of worms, to recan them takes a larger size can.
     
    Jean-David Beyer, Jan 4, 2004
    #3
  4. Justin F. Knotzke

    dddd Guest

    Justin,

    I know of no one other than Mr. Scarpitti who has claimed the Zone System
    can not be applied to 35mm. IMO, that is just as silly as those who
    unabashedly state that good negatives can only be produced using VFD.

    Now what I *have* said, is that Ansel Adams and other ZS authors have said
    VFD is more valuable in larger formats and in sheet film where grain
    considerations are much less a concern and in sheet film in particular where
    there is the ability to develop negatives individually.

    If you read "The Negative" more closely, particularly page 93 of the 1981
    edition, you will see Mr. Adams makes this clear in straight , unambiguous
    English. Does he say VFD is a *required* component of the Zone System? No.
    In fact he says in 35mm it may prove more practical to control contrast
    though paper selection.

    There only seem to be a few people who have had difficulty with this fact.
    And they insist that anyone who eschews VFD (specifically in 35mm) can NOT
    be using the Zone System. They must not realize their arrogance in setting
    themselves up as more authoritative than Mr. Adams.

    If you read Mr. Adams for anything but technical details, you realize that
    one of his life goals is to help to free photographers themselves from
    dogmatic thinking. In every forward he makes it clear that he *knows* his
    approach is not the only approach to producing good pictures on a consistent
    basis.

    I am heartened that my posts in which I patiently took others at face value
    until it became clear some had no interest in discussion (and participated
    only to "bait" and antagonize; certainly not answer questions honestly
    asked) was not wasted. I am glad to see you are verifying the
    interpretations of the primary sources offered in this newsgroup against
    your own reading of those sources.

    I would highly recommend that you obtain "The Camera" and read it for
    understanding as well. This will help you appreciate the styles of
    photography that are more readily accessible with a 35mm and what the
    technical constraints of a 35mm in comparison to the cameras Mr. Adams used
    to produce what most consider his most profound work.

    BTW, don't disregard the photos and captions in his books. They are full of
    information that helps you interpret the text.

    --
    Regards,
    Dewey Clark http://www.historictimekeepers.com
    Ebay Sales:
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    dddd, Jan 4, 2004
    #4
  5. Justin F. Knotzke

    dddd Guest

    Justin,

    Here is an example of the level of intellect of some who have participated
    in this conversation:

    "Harvest ==

    There ya go, Dewey. Let the spam begin."

    This was done by "JJS" who posts from

    Not only is he intellectually bereft; but he is a moral coward who must
    resort to attempts at cyber terrorism. I have reported him to my ISP so
    that they can track him down by piercing his address at the maildrop server
    of stafford.net.

    Who would like to defend this childish act?

    --
    Regards,
    Dewey Clark http://www.historictimekeepers.com
    Ebay Sales:
    http://cgi6.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewListedItems&userid=dsc
    Restorations, Parts for Hamilton M21s, Products for Craftsmen
    Makers of Historic Timekeepers Ultrasonic Clock Cleaning Solution
     
    dddd, Jan 4, 2004
    #5
  6. Justin F. Knotzke

    jjs Guest

    "Pierce" my address, indeed. If you had half a brain you would see my
    address in there as clear as day. Instead, you choose to be stupid.
     
    jjs, Jan 4, 2004
    #6
  7. Justin F. Knotzke

    Frank Pittel Guest

    The fact that the zone system is usable is made clear by Adams in his book the
    negative and also if you read his autobiography you'll see that he had very strong
    feelings about the usability of the zone system with 35mm.


    : There was some discussion previously concerning Adams, the Zone System and
    : 35mm. As a Christmas gift my sister purchased for me, The Negative by Adams.
    : Adams writes:

    : " Futhermore, the knowledge of exposure and development controls available
    : through the Zone System can be usefully applied by all photographers, even
    : those using automated 35mm cameras, in black and white and color
    : photography" [1]

    : So from that, I'd say it's quite clear that Adams thought the Zone System
    : applied to 35mm.

    : J

    : [1] Adams, Ansel. The Negative. (Boston, New York, London: Little, Brown and
    : Company) 2002 (Tenth printing) 36.


    : --
    : Justin F. Knotzke
    :
    : http://www.shampoo.ca PGP: http://www.shampoo.ca/pubkey.txt
    : Gigantic, a big big love - Kim Deal

    --




    Keep working millions on welfare depend on you
     
    Frank Pittel, Jan 4, 2004
    #7
  8. Justin F. Knotzke

    jjs Guest

    Y'all should lighten up a little and consider this in a historical
    context. When Adams researched the matter of methodical exposure and
    development, there had been no popular (repeat "popular" as in widespread
    media) distribution of such a system. He brought the discipline to the
    forefront and made certain statements so that it was clear that the ZS
    _could_ be applied to, for example, even 35mm. He as _not_ saying that it
    _should_ be applied. Adams was _not_ trying to regiment photographers'
    methods into an esthetic ideal.
     
    jjs, Jan 4, 2004
    #8
  9. Justin F. Knotzke

    dddd Guest

    dddd, Jan 4, 2004
    #9
  10. Justin F. Knotzke

    Les Meehan Guest

    It's so nice to see someone talking about the ZS in the way AA
    originally expressed it. I have lost track of the number of times I
    have had to take people to task for being dogmatic and ignorant about
    the ZS.

    Keep up the good work.

    Cheers

    Les Meehan

     
    Les Meehan, Jan 4, 2004
    #10
  11. The prime tool of ZS is Variable Film Development. Adams explicitly
    says that 35mm film should not be subjected to variable film
    development, especially expansions.
     
    Michael Scarpitti, Jan 4, 2004
    #11
  12. There was some discussion previously concerning Adams, the Zone System and
    And he explicitly says that ZS can be used with 35mm - can't you read?
    The man who invented ZS says it can be used with 35mm and still you deny
    that fact - funny. And had you read the latest edition of "The
    Negative", you'd understand that ZS is something totally different than
    variable film develpoment. You are simply amazing MS. And please don't
    respond by quoting mr. White again... Actually, please don't respond at all.

    Severi S.
     
    Severi Salminen, Jan 4, 2004
    #12
  13. Justin F. Knotzke

    dddd Guest

    Michael,

    Truth be told, I think the prime tool of the system is to have an idea for
    placing a key tone of your vision on a specific level of gray in the final
    print. Whether it is your intent to communicate a literal vision, or a
    non-literal vision.

    Can you please provide a citation where he explicitly states that VFD cannot
    be applied to 35mm? In my 1981 edition, he states only that *VFD* may not
    be practical in 35MM. And by saying this, he is making it clear that VFD is
    not a required element of VFD.

    --
    Regards,
    Dewey Clark http://www.historictimekeepers.com
    Ebay Sales:
    http://cgi6.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewListedItems&userid=dsc
    Restorations, Parts for Hamilton M21s, Products for Craftsmen
    Makers of Historic Timekeepers Ultrasonic Clock Cleaning Solution
     
    dddd, Jan 4, 2004
    #13
  14. Should probably be "And by saying this, he is making it clear that VFD
    is not a required element of ZS.".
     
    Severi Salminen, Jan 4, 2004
    #14
  15. Justin F. Knotzke

    dddd Guest

    Michael,

    The last line in my previous post (And by saying this, he is making it clear
    that VFD is
    not a required element of VFD)

    Should read:

    And by saying this, he is making it clear that VFD is not a required
    element of (the Zone System).

    --
    Regards,
    Dewey Clark http://www.historictimekeepers.com
    Ebay Sales:
    http://cgi6.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewListedItems&userid=dsc
    Restorations, Parts for Hamilton M21s, Products for Craftsmen
    Makers of Historic Timekeepers Ultrasonic Clock Cleaning Solution

    "
     
    dddd, Jan 4, 2004
    #15
  16. Justin F. Knotzke

    dddd Guest

    dddd, Jan 4, 2004
    #16
  17. 3 minutes ahead!!!! Man, I'm fast!!

    ;)

    Severi S.
     
    Severi Salminen, Jan 4, 2004
    #17
  18. Now you've gone and done it. Mr. Scarpitti is going to be *very* unhappy with
    you. He thought you were his one true friend here who would defend his zealous
    attacks on the "zoan sistum", and now you turn out to be just another philistine.
     
    David Nebenzahl, Jan 5, 2004
    #18
  19. Justin F. Knotzke

    dddd Guest

    David,

    I think Mr. Scarpitti knows he and I agree on one point; that published
    writers who describe the Zone System (including Mr. Adams) caution that VFD
    may not prove as useful in 35mm as it is in the larger formats. I doubt he
    feels he "knows" much more than that about me (other than my email address).

    As for Mr. Scarpitti and I being friends; I would expect every adult to know
    you cannot call someone "friend" as a result of interactions on the
    Internet. There was a New Yorker cartoon in 1994; two dogs sitting in front
    of a computer screen; obviously participating in some online discussion
    (mail list in those days probably). One sez to the other, "On the Internet,
    no one knows you are really just a dog".

    I don't know what transpired between Mr. Scarpitti and members of this
    group. I am not interested enough to look in the archive either. But if what
    has transpired over the last couple days is any indication; then I think he
    did a better job of holding up his end of the discussion (apparently for
    weeks) than most people could ever hope to accomplish. And I respect him as
    a result.

    I think his premise that VFD is a required element of the ZS is flawed.
    But, in his view, since VFD is not as useful for use in 35mm as in other
    formats; he concludes that the ZS is not valid for 35mm. His logic is
    unassailable;bit, like I said, I happen to disagree with him over his
    initial premise.

    But from what I read, his main message has been that VFD in 35MM is over
    rated. So, even though I disagree with his conclusions on the Zone System,
    he and I do agree on his main message.

    I am hoping he will verify the citations that support his interpretation
    that the ZS requires VFD. It could be he is working from an old edition; or
    it could even be he got boxed into a position he did not believe; but felt
    compelled to defend. Who knows? We are all human.

    I wonder how many of us got thrown off track by some who join groups for the
    simple pleasure of manipulating discussions simply for the pleasure of
    watching people squirm?
    --
    Regards,
    Dewey Clark http://www.historictimekeepers.com
    Ebay Sales:
    http://cgi6.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewListedItems&userid=dsc
    Restorations, Parts for Hamilton M21s, Products for Craftsmen
    Makers of Historic Timekeepers Ultrasonic Clock Cleaning Solution
     
    dddd, Jan 5, 2004
    #19
  20. Justin F. Knotzke

    Frank Pittel Guest

    : Frank,

    : While you have your copy of "The Negative" out (which is admittedly a more
    : recent edition than mine), does he say VFD is a required element of ZS? Did
    : he remove his caveats regarding VFD and 35mm?

    I don't understand your obsession with the zone system and the use of film
    development time to control negative contrast.
    --




    Keep working millions on welfare depend on you
     
    Frank Pittel, Jan 5, 2004
    #20
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