window covering for darkrooms: opaque or not?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by David Lyga, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    I inquired at an art supply store about finding flexible, rolled material that was opaque. I was told that 'opaque' is not really absolute here and that under strong sunlight it would slightly 'glow' if used on my window to block out sunlight.

    Seems it is difficult to find a TRULY opaque material unless one buys dedicated 'darkroom cloth'. Are there suggestions to counter this dilemma? I have one: heavy duty aluminum foil as a cost effective solution. Are there others? Please understand that standard poster board will ALSO glow on the inner side if direct sunlight hits it. - David Lyga
     
  2. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Aluminium foil would be good.

    Darkroom cloth (if it exists as such) should be doubled up so if there is a tiny pinhole in the first piece it will be covered by the second.


    Steve.
     
  3. Paul Glover

    Paul Glover Member

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    The stuff I found is "Roc-Lon Budget Blackout". When I bought mine it was about $3.50/yard on half price special at Jo-Ann Fabric. I think a few other places carry it too. It's designed for use as a blackout liner for drapes, and from what I've seen so far it's 100% opaque. The way my office window faces (due east) does mean that direct sunlight isn't usually a major issue, so it's always possible it'll pass a very small amount of light.
     
  4. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Passing a very small amount of light is probably not a problem. I have never had a 100% lightproof darkroom.

    I only use mine for prints though. For negatives it would need to be very lightproof.


    Steve.
     
  5. frotog

    frotog Member

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    Home Depot sells butyl rubber tarps in the painting section. They are 4' x 15' and sell for about $15 per tarp. I use them in my studio to black out the windows when shooting tabletop stuff. They are light proof and leak resistant. A brass grommet placed along the edge every two feet makes putting them up and taking them down a cinch.
     
  6. ParkerSmithPhoto

    ParkerSmithPhoto Member

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    Go to Home Depot and get the thick black vinyl sold as painter's tarp or vapor barrier for crawl spaces. Two layers of that will work perfectly. This is what I used for the three rather large windows in my basement. Never had a problem.
     
  7. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    in the film industry we use blackout paper in rolls with looks like heavy construction paper. I use duvetyne aka commando cloth but you'll still likely need two layers. Black ripstop is available at most fabric stores but you'll need multiple layers as well. Aluminum foil will make everyone think you're a "tweaker".
     
  8. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Commando cloth is what I use. Unless you're covering a massive window it's not incredibly expensive or anything. Freestyle sells it last I checked.
     
  9. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    As an aside, over here when roadworks require roadsigns to be covered up (e.g. no right turn, or no entry signs) the roadworkers use black plastic bin bags to cover them up.

    They finish work for the day then it gets dark and the illuminated signs light up and show up through the black bags as if they weren't there!

    Often things which you think are opaque are anything but.


    Steve.
     
  10. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    I don't know what the brand is, but I also use blackout liner to cover the door & window in my darkroom. It is secured to the frame using self adhesive velcro (stitching the stuff puts a neat row of holes in that let light through).
     
  11. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    If you are looking for something to put up and take down frequently, then you already have received some good advice. For something more "semi-permanent", here is my variation on aluminum foil:

    http://newdr.blogspot.com/2010/05/window-pain.html

    PS: It leaks no light!
     
  12. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    Thank you all: this topic comes up periodically and there are always new ways at looking at this problem. - David Lyga
     
  13. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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