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Thread: Felt

  1. #1
    Curt's Avatar
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    Felt

    I was looking at one of my field cameras and noticed that it has felt in the back to prevent light leaks, none of my other cameras have felt, they are metal. What determines whether a manufacturer puts a dado in the back and adds felt in the channel? The Shen Hao has felt but the Calumet, Toyo cameras don't for example.
    Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it. - Paul Strand - Aperture monograph on Strand

  2. #2
    eli griggs's Avatar
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    I can't give an informed answer but off-hand I might view felt as a sign that machining tolerances are not what they should be. I don't recall any view camera I've ever used as having felt light-proofing and other than correcting for potential light leaks, I don't understand why a view camera would have them.

    Having said that, my view-camera experience is rather limited. Sinar F, Toyo studio types, Kodak and Speed Graphic and I'd really like to know the reasoning for felt on your Shen Hao and other view-cameras.

    Eli

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    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    You don't see it on metal view cameras because metal doesn't warp or otherwise change dimensionally over time and with exposure to temperature and humidity, anyways not to the same extent wood does. Metal can expand or contract in heat and cold, but it always returns to the same shape and size when the temperature stabilizes. If you get metal wet, it won't warp. That's why they use felt.

  4. #4
    Ole
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    The Linhof Color is metal, and has a strip of felt around the back.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  5. #5

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    I don't think I'd want felt on my camera because it is a great trap for dust and debris! Have you ever checked out those light traps on a film holder where the dark slide goes in?

    The light traps on my wood field cameras have close tolerances and work fine without felt.


    Felt is one more thing to have to worry about IMHO.

  6. #6
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Most light traps in film holders actually DO have felt or synthetic velvet of some kind as an additional buffer, if for no other reason than to prevent long-term wear from creating bright spots that cause reflections.

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    Cameras that are over 50 years old sometimes had red felt and newer ones had black felt. Most times the felt is added by the owner.

  8. #8
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    All three of mine have felt: elderly (60's) monorail Arca swiss, Gandolfi variant (uses a metal Cambo back) and my Shen Hao.

    Bob.

  9. #9
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    I was so tempted to just say, "Because they felt like it".

  10. #10
    Struan Gray's Avatar
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    Velvet, not felt. If I couldn't use my old plate cameras as an excuse to lurk in the ribbon and lace section of my local haberdashery, something else would have to be found.... :-)
    Last edited by Struan Gray; 10-16-2007 at 02:42 PM. Click to view previous post history.

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