Self-made dark cloth and Copal #0 lens board for Shen-Hao

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Alexz, Oct 31, 2005.

  1. Alexz

    Alexz Member

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    I consider making myself dark cloth and lens board when it will be necessary (so far have one lens with the board, the second one is on its way to me but without the necessary Copal #0 board).
    My mother-in-law is qualified seamstress and father-in-law is high-grade gauger/tool maker. I thought why not utilize their skills to make my own 4x5 photo tools ? :smile:
    Well, I have never seen a real dark cloth so far. What it should look like besides of large piece of heavy black fabric ? Should there be some kind of elastic band to cath up on the back standard (to fix the cloth to the camera while shooting to avoid it blowing away by the wind) ? What shall be its overall size ? Any hinst are appreciated, pictures in particular.

    Regarding lens boards - where can I find the specifications of standard lens boards to suit Shen-Hao 4x5 for Copal #0 and #1 shutters ? I need its dimensions, hole sizes, thickness, etc...
    Also, the standard #0 board I recieved with the new camera has hole off-centered (shifted to the bottom). Would it be better to keep this hole location or centered one is still preferred ?

    Thanks in advance, Alex
     
  2. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    The darkcloth- that's anything you want it to be. feel free to innovate.

    The lensboard- the Shen Hao board takes a standard Linhof/Wista lensboard. You can get them pre-drilled either new or used, in just about any size you need, starting around $20 - $60. I would go for a centered mount hole, personally. These boards are so common, and so cheap, I would not waste your time on trying to make your own to fit.
     
  3. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    I used a towel for a dark cloth for a while and have just bought some blackout fabric for curtains, which is white, to make a new cloth out of. I like the idea that it is much darker inside than the towel and that it is white. Did I mention that I am in florida? Black is out. Seriously.

    As for lens boards. I have made a few for my Korona 4x5 with a table saw and some wood clamps. It takes about 15 - 20 minutes to make the cuts and clamp up the wood. I drilled the holes before cutting using a simple paddle bit and a small drill.

    Your hole may be off center due to camera movements on the front standard or because someone found the placement beneficial to their typical subject. I suspect that it could be mounted 'high' or 'low' depending on the need at the time, giving you a bit more movement range. Copal hole sizes should be available online or someone may chime in here with them. As for my lenses, I measured the retaining ring outer diameter and drilled for about that size. The paddle bit left just enough room for me to insert the ring without having to force it into the hole.

    - Randy
     
  4. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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  5. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Alexz
    Considering the heat where you are, you may want to put a second, light color fabric on one side to reflect heat away from the cloth. It will get warm beneath a "dark" cloth.
    Drilling lensboards is easy with either a hole saw or fly cutter on a drill press.
     
  6. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    This is one (darkcloth) that I made many years ago. The elastic keeps it in place and from sliding off the camera, the sewn section keeps light from hitting the glass from below. It is made from some lightweight , slippery fabric that is grey on one side and black on the other. It works great indoors and out

    http://www.apug.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=275
     
  7. Alexz

    Alexz Member

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    Thank you guys, points taken.
    Your ideas Neal sounds neat indeed. I liked the idea of sewn bottom part to cut off the reflections from under the camera - I noticed already how disturbing it can be in bright ambient light when shooting on highly refelctive surface (beach or desert sand, for instance). Will probably consider making this part to be stiched/opened by some kind of adhesive tape.
     
  8. Changeling1

    Changeling1 Member

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    Alexz- It will drive women (mostly) wild with animal desire if you use the shirt you are wearing as a dark cloth. Just pull that shirt up over your head and cover the ground glass with it! On cold days, using your (preferably) leather jacket will have a similar effect. Tip: For photography in the presence of your mother-in-law, use a standard darkcoth. :- )
     
  9. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

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    As for the lens board, your camera should have a scale on the front for rise and fall. It has a zero point on it that corresponds to your current board. If you were to center the lens on a board, you would lose some front fall and gain rise relative to a neutral position. I wouldn't recommend it. I also agree that you should just get a pre made board considering how small and common Linhof/Wista type boards are.
     
  10. Alexz

    Alexz Member

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    Changelling1, I like you turn of mind...:smile:

    Paul, I didn't get your point. Do you claim that some added fall ability relatively to sero postion is preferrable over added rise ability ? Centering the lens will produce even rise/fall ranges, shifting the lens up/down will deduct from one and add to the other.
    What do I miss in my understanding ?
     
  11. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

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    Centering the lens won't produce even rise and fall, it was designed for an off center board. That's what I should have explained better. (Sorry, it is still early morning for me!) Take a look at the camer with the board as it is now, move the front standard until you are at the zero point on the scale. You will see that the lens is now in a neutral position and you have an even amount of rise and fall available to you.
     
  12. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    A regular dark cloth will flap in the wind and drive you crazy. Get a black t shirt for the inside and a white one for the outside to keep you cool. You'll need both since one isn't completely light proof. Sew them inside each other at the sleeves and a couple stitches at the neck. Stretch the neck over camera, compose, focus and wear it when you get cold.
     
  13. Alexz

    Alexz Member

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    Thanks, will bear it in my mind.
    Paul, I just checked once again what you said - you're correct, the rise/fall scale indeed calibrated for off-center board. So I guess I'll be better keeping this as it is.
     
  14. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Depending on which lens you have, you may still want to center it to make sure the lens will fit through the front standard. If the lens has a large diameter rear element, it will be tricky to mount/dismount the lens without taking off the bellows and then removing the rear element of the lens (this probably only happens with 2 or three modern wide-angles, and a couple of long lenses in Copal 3 shutters, but still...).
     
  15. photobackpacker

    photobackpacker Advertiser Advertiser

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    Took a seminar from Sexton a few years ago and he showed us his dark cloth constructed of black untrasuede cloth on one side and a white material on the other. This arrangement is absolutely light-blocking - no matter how blazing the sun. With the cost of Ultrasuede, don't look for this to be available any time soon but it is an outstanding do it yourself item.

    By the way, ebay is a good source for black ultrasuede at a bargain price.