Any ideas for better dark cloth?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by AlanC, Aug 27, 2004.

  1. AlanC

    AlanC Member

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    I always have problems trying to use my standard dark cloth with my 5x4 when it is windy. I find that I need two hands just to control the cloth in these conditions. This leaves no hand left over to hold the loupe, alter the focus, etc.
    Does anyone have any cunning solutions to this problem?

    Alan Clark
     
  2. Francesco

    Francesco Member

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    Try the BlackJacket (google search it). Best purchase I have made this year. Great customer service too.
     
  3. jovo

    jovo Membership Council

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    A simple homemade solution is to purchase two extra large (or larger if you can find them) T-shirts, one white and one black, and put one inside the other. The doubled material isn't completely lighttight, but it's been sufficient for my purposes at least. The neck of the shirt fits nicely and tightly enough over the GG that it won't come off easily, and the armholes allow access to the GG with a loupe. The only drawback is that it can be a rather warm experience on a hot day in the sun even with the white shirt on the outside because there's not much ventilation possible. It's cheap enough to try at least, and if it doesn't work out you can just give them to an extra large friend.
     
  4. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    I routinely use 2 or 3 Bulldog clips to hold the cloth to the rear standard of my 5X7. With 4X5, I use a Toyo monocular viewer...
     
  5. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Member

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    I agree with Francesco. I bought one a couple of months ago and love it.

    http://www.quietworks.com/FRAMES_FILES/BJ_WELCOME.html

    Jim
     
  6. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    I agree with Francesco and Jim. The Blackjacket is fantastic! It is very light, does not slip, fall off or blow off the camera, and it provides a really dark environment for composing and focusing.

    PS, I have a Calumet Dark Cloth for sale - CHEAP! :rolleyes:
     
  7. bmac

    bmac Member

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    I've got the Zone VI from Calumet, it is way heavier than the others I've seen. I have the 8x10 model and it works great for that and 4x5.
     
  8. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Yep, that's the one I replaced with the Blackjacket.
     
  9. AlanC

    AlanC Member

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    Many thanks to you all for your suggestions. I think I'll try the teeshirt idea first, then maybe take a closer look at the blackjacket.

    Alan Clark
     
  10. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    Ive been using this self designed, home-made for years and it works great and cost practically nothing.

    It's made out of a light, slippery fabric that is easy to move around under. It very light tight, Black on one side Gray on the other. The elastic keeps the cloth securely on the camera and yet is easy to attach and remove.

    It is sewn closed for several inches back from the GG which keeps reflected light from hitting it from below while allowing you plenty of access to loupe the glass

    I haven't used in high winds but I think that a couple of small pony clips on the back corners would probably weight them sufficiently to keep it from flapping around.

    The drawing is not to scale but shows shape and detail.
     

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  11. Ted Harris

    Ted Harris Subscriber

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    Surprised no one else mentioned it. Try the BTZS cloth/hood from The View Camera store. Small and a dream to use. I've been using one for years. See their website.
     
  12. sergio caetano

    sergio caetano Member

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    Similar to Jovo's idea I used "three" XL "black" T shirts. It is light tight. I sewed some velcro in the waist line. In the field I permanently wear it protecting my head like a muslin.
     
  13. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    I agree with Ted, the BTZS cloth from the View Camera Store is compact and very efficient.
     
  14. Daniel Grenier

    Daniel Grenier Member

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    Personnaly, I use bed sheets for my 8x10!

    They're cut to 6x4 feet, one black, one white. Sewn together on three sides and turned inside out before sewing the last edge. To easily locate the middle, I have a 10in long red stripe along one edge which I place over the camera - easy to spot, easy to set up. I clamp the cloth on either side of the camera with large "paper clips" and I have two strips of velcrow sewn-in just under where the camera ends up being. I get under it and tie the two strips of velcrow and I'm in business.

    Use sheets that have a tight weave count and ones that feels good to the touch without being slippery (forget silk). And. of course, ones that you can not see light thru ;-).

    Easy, cheap, and works well. Heck, I can use when I need to take a nap even.
     
  15. mobtown_4x5

    mobtown_4x5 Member

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    I have been struggling with this also. I like to stay under the cloth for long periods, so I am looking for something that will really breathe. I did not care for the blackjacket at all.

    Still looking...
     
  16. AlanC

    AlanC Member

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    I would like to thank everyone for their comments.
    Since posting the question I have done some experiments and came up with a simple solution. I sewed a strip of velcro to the front edge of the cloth - in the middle, and stuck a corresponding piece of velcro to the top of the front standard of the camera. With the cloth in place I took its two front corners and pulled them down underneath the front of the camera, and fixed them together with two safety pins.This stops everything blowing about and keeps it dark under the cloth. The cloth is removeable and replaceable without removing the pins, but for convenience when ready to insert the darkslide I simply undo the velcro and pull the cloth off the top of the camera and let it rest on the top of the tripod; exactly like a woman removing a shawl from her head and resting it on her shoulders.
    Alan Clark
     
  17. DrPhil

    DrPhil Member

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    I too love my BTZS dark cloth from the view camera store