Home-made Polarfleece Lens Socks

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Tom Hoskinson, Jul 11, 2004.

  1. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

    Messages:
    3,879
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2004
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I made some Polarfleece lens socks for 4 of my barrel mount LF lenses. I used thick black Polarfleece and found that I needed to use a double layer of Polarfleece to block the light so that I could also use the sock as as a shutter.

    I also made a few lens pouches - BTW, Polarfleece is very stretchy stuff to sew.

    I posted a couple of pictures in the Standard Gallery.
     
  2. Francesco

    Francesco Member

    Messages:
    1,020
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2003
    Location:
    Düsseldorf,
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Hi Tom, fantastic idea. Is it tight to the barrel (i.e. the opening holds firm so as not to slip off) by some elastic or drawstring or is it held fast by simply being on the lens?
     
  3. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

    Messages:
    3,879
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2004
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hi Francesco, the Polarfleece is stretchy enough that the socks stay in place without elastic - so far. I can remove and replace them from the lens without causing camera movement. However, I put in a hem for an elastic band - just in case!
     
  4. gma

    gma Member

    Messages:
    793
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Texas
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ingenious. I have been trying to think of some way to make a light tight cap for my old Zeiss folder (with a dead shutter) to use for time exposures.
     
  5. eclarke

    eclarke Member

    Messages:
    1,972
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2004
    Location:
    New Berlin,
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Hi,
    The polar fleece is wonderful stuff. I made dark cloths out of it. They are soft and light and work well..Evan
     
  6. scootermm

    scootermm Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,865
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2004
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Tom
    those are ingenius. anyway you could share the "design" details etc? or you want to make more and sell them for a nominal fee? hehe.

    would be nice to have a good "shutter" with minimal camera shake.
     
  7. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

    Messages:
    3,879
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2004
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    They are simple to make if you are handy with a sewing machine. I've been sewing my own backpacking and canoeing equipment for years. I find sewing to be a very theraputic hobby. In keeping with my general philosophy of: "He who dies with the most toys wins." I have three sewing machines (all analog, of course) Two are Swiss Berninas (a 530 and a 730) and the third is an ancient commercial grade Singer on a power table. I sewed my socks with the Singer (less excavation required to get at the machine - no other reason).

    I just measure the diameter and length of the lens and make a double layer cylinder of heavy black polarfleece to fit it. I sew an inset circular endpiece in (also double layer). I'll post some photos of the process, if you like.

    By the way, I developed 2 sheets (semi-stand Pyrocat-HD) of 8x10 Efke 100 today shot with my barrel mount 305mm Process Apo Nikkor using the sock as a shutter. Biting Sharp!
     
  8. Francesco

    Francesco Member

    Messages:
    1,020
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2003
    Location:
    Düsseldorf,
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Hi Tom, is Polarfleece a brand name or is that the generic term? I am going to look for some here in Stockholm but obviously I would have to get the proper Swedish translation of the material. Regards,
     
  9. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

    Messages:
    3,879
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2004
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Francesco,
    Polarfleece® is the registered trademark of Malden Mills (USA) for their double sided, high quality, outdoor use, polyester fleece material. There are similar polyester fleece fabrics that are produced by other mills.

    A Google search on "polarfleece" will give you a lot of hits, including Malden Mills (who have an online store) and Amazon.com with Polarfleece sewing books.
     
  10. Francesco

    Francesco Member

    Messages:
    1,020
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2003
    Location:
    Düsseldorf,
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Many thanks Tom. I am on the case! My wife will be shocked to see me using her Bernina.
     
  11. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

    Messages:
    3,879
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2004
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Be careful! Bernina use can become addictive!

    Hopefully your nude Apo Nikkors will soon be tastefully clothed in Polarfleece.
     
  12. Francesco

    Francesco Member

    Messages:
    1,020
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2003
    Location:
    Düsseldorf,
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Many thanks Tom. I hope to have my 455 Nikkor appropriately attired. As far as the operation of using the pouch is concerned, is it simply yank (carefully of course) it out after the darkslide is removed, count the seconds, replace back on lens and return darkslide? You have no problem with some residue from the fleece being left on the lens?
     
  13. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

    Messages:
    3,879
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2004
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I don't like to use the term "yank," Francesco. A gentle, continuous, smooth pulling movement is best. The sock material is "stretchy" enough that it stays on the lens until you pull it, then it slides easily and smoothly off the lens body with very little force required. When the exposure is completed, I reverse the procedure and "cap" the lens with the sock. Then I return the darkslide. My negatives made by this method are biting sharp! A little "dry run" practice is required to learn the moves.

    The polar fleece is chemically inert and does not outgas under normal usage conditions. Since polar fleece does not absorb water, and there are two layers of the material, it will provide a fairly effective moisture barrier - but it is not waterproof. The sock normally does not contact the lens glass. Even if it does, it should not cause a problem unless the polar fleece becomes contaminated.

    Polar fleece is a dielectric material and taking it on and off the lens body will charge it with static electricity - especially under dry conditions. This has not caused a problem for me, because the static charge attracts and holds dust particles to the cloth - not the lens.

    When the sock gets too dirty/dusty, you can wash it in cold water containing a few drops of mild detergent and rinse thoroughly. That will get rid of the dust, dirt and any residual static charge.
     
  14. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

    Messages:
    3,879
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2004
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have posted some pictures in my APUG Personal Gallery that show measurements and some construction details/procedures for my 455mm Apo Nikkor lens sock.

    My Polarfleece was manufactured by Malden Mills and I bought it from:

    Ilah Hardesty
    www.fleece4sale.com
    Fleece4sale@aol.com

    Ilah specializes in selling small quantities of fabric. I found that she was a good seller, fast and efficient. She also sells on eBay.
     
  15. bmac

    bmac Member

    Messages:
    2,156
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Location:
    San Jose, CA