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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> Zone 8.5 to 10 question
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10/18/2006 04:47:57 PM · #1
I received this excerpt in an email and was wondering if someone could explain why this is correct or incorrect.

"...Well, Kodachrome came out in 1936 and 70
years later NO reversal film can capture Zones 8 1/2 through 10.
Neither can digital chips. Color negative film and B&W negative
material can.

So, when you expose by piling the histogram to the right (as I do,
too) you are merely pushing the highlights into a narrower band UP to
Zone 8 1/2 but not beyond. When you post process, you are unsqueezing
that information to uncompress the highlights. That's an appropriate
technique but doesn't approach either the dynamic range or brilliant
highlights available to the film photographer..."

1)What is he referring to with zones and is what he says about it correct?
2)The second paragraph he is referring to post processing using PhotoShop and his claim is that you cannot get rid of blown out highlights in post processing with any technique.

Message edited by author 2006-10-18 16:50:34.
10/18/2006 04:59:09 PM · #2
The Zone system was developed by Ansel Adams and pertained mostly to B&W photography. Basically, all shades from pure white to pure black were broken down into 10 zones. Using a technique called "Previsualaztion" you would expose your film and develop the film to achieve a certian zone for a given area. I am summerizing here, I am sure you can find more details on the web

As it relates to Kodachrome, a color transparency film, I am not sure. Although, Kodachrome was really 3 layers of B&W film that had the color introduced during processing. (One of the many reasons you could not develop Kodachrome in your own darkroom)

When was the article written? I am sure the tonal range of digital sensors have gotten a lot better over the last couple of years.

I would say yes it is true that once an area is blown out in the highlights, you can not get it back. You can not retrieve data that does not exist. You can however, do a lot to make it look better or even recreate the data.

Hope this helps

Message edited by author 2006-10-18 17:09:08.
10/18/2006 05:07:41 PM · #3
Thanks for the info, now I know what to search for. It was not an article, it is an ongoing discussion via email. This was written this morning sometime as I received it just before lunch.

Message edited by author 2006-10-18 17:08:13.
10/18/2006 05:17:53 PM · #4
and just so you guys know, the alienskin photoshop plugin exposure can reacreate in version 5 diffferent types of kodachrome film (i think would need to check but its more than one). So tell your friend that it is deffinitely possible to obtain the kodachrom results digitally :)

-Dan
10/18/2006 07:14:43 PM · #5
Just for your info...

Zone 9:
White without texture approaching pure white. Slight tonality without texture. Snow in flat sunlight.

Zone 10:
Pure white of printing-paper base; specular glare or light sources in the picture area.

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