Using the Zone System in Silver Effects

Two questions about using the zone system points in Silver Effects 2. What is the checkbox do next to the zone system tabs? When you want to lock a zone so it stays on without hovering over the number I think you are suppose to click on the number, should it show red to indicate that that zone is locked on until unlocked? Thanks

Hi Gary,
I’m not sure but I think it was explained in one youtube video by Dan Hughes maybe this one

If not please goggle for “silver efex zone system”

Hope it helps
best regards

I’m not sure if this adds something. Normally I set the min and max values in the tone curve and watch the clipping area’s.


Hello @gshaver53 ,
under page 4, point 10 it is explained…
The checkbox is for hiding the alarms

Nice weekend to all

An excellent suggestion! i set the min and max values in the tone curve and watch the clipping area’s.

Thanks everyone for your help, I really appreciate it

Hi Guy’s, hi @gshaver53

looking some YouTube trainings I’ve found this one by Anthony Morganti. Zone Sytem starts at 08:40 A lot ofother useful stuff you will find with

Enjoy and learn :man_student:


Yes, an excellent explanation in Anthony Morganti’s video – also to mention the difference between
pics on screen and paper.

When printing with pigment inks on glossy paper, there is a good chance for gloss differential. To avoid, A.M. proposed to bring zone 10 (pure white = no ink) down to zone 9, and used Control Points not to loose dynamic range. – While matte papers don’t have this ‘problem’, they cannot reproduce deep blacks.

To achieve a good tone separation, I set the checkmark to the zone(s) I want to change and ‘play’ with
global or local sliders, while watching the marked up area – makes it easy.

have fun, Wolfgang

It has been a good habitat when printing to set the range in Tone Curve to 3 to 252. Or even less if you want. No fancy zones used.


Hi @george,
thank you for your feedback. You already mentioned the tone curve’s importance.

I also use the tone curve to control clipping, but didn’t elaborate further, that I don’t really care about gloss differential, not to limit dynamic range starting with the paper’s white.
– Printing from PS, with softproof on I check the paper’s max density and adjust the deep shadows with a special ton curve instead of (general) blackpoint.

When in SilverEfex, I go through the ‘recipies’ to get an idea, to find something pleasing, modify the settings or combine different black & white presentations as PS layers.
– The zone system is more an ‘addon’. Hovering over zones with still unsatisfying tone separation, setting the checkmark and playing with the sliders, helps me to localize the right tool to adjust this part.

have fun, Wolfgang