I like my dark cloth that is one side black and the other side white. The white will reflect light under the hot sun to keep you cooler during those long focusing tasks. It can be reflector in a pinch.
Don't let her make it.
I have two dark cloths made by former spouses. I think it's possibly a curse on the marriage. Fortunately, my - right now, and final - spouse does not sew. Not because she can't, but she (wisely) won't. I have my own old tiny portable Singer from the 1930's, and I've made cool things, including a leather hat that makes me look just like Daffy Duck. I look like Daffy Duck anyway, but the hat fills the bill - or adds the bill, take it your way.
But I don't really need a dark cloth because when L.K. Andrews - the technical guy behind Minor White's original ZS manual - was taking care of his last business, he gave me his. It's black satin on one side (inside), white on the other. That part is right. Andy had his wife make it, and she was really good - not just on the sewing machine, either. She could make anything, and grow anything to make anything out of. Go Thelma! It's great having and using a dark cloth with some history.
But Andy had one thing really wrong, so don't do this. He had Thelma sew a loop on one end that is supposed to go around the photographer's neck and attach by Velcro. Geez! No Go! Bad idea! It may have been Andy's own idea, or was it Thelma's?
What did I miss by coming too late? His home built calibrated inverse-square beam densitometer (he said he "sent it to the junk man) and his SEI meter! Bummer! I do have a whole lot of Potassium Chrome Alum, though, and some very brown Edwal Gradol. Hmmm.
My 8x10 Kodak Master View (so called by some the "Metal Deardorff") has clips on the front standard. That's a great idea. So those of you who attach Velcro to the camera mated with the opposite kind of Velcro on the cloth - you have got it just right.
I have three dark cloths, but that one is for some reason is my favorite (maybe because I like deserts and it's got the white side). Sometimes, I forget it. Then I use a sweater, or a jacket, or a copy of the National Enquirer. Not easy, that. It hurts my eyes trying to read over my head in the dark.
Take a baseball hat (or a Daffy Duck hat) just in case you forget your dark cloth.
Last edited by bowzart; 01-09-2011 at 12:35 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: syntax and very stupid humor!
"Bowzart's" post is one of the funniest I've had the pleasure to read on this forum. Let's have more craziness (from time to time)
I like my Blackjacket dark cloth; it's light and made my particular home made and ridiculously heavy (well it was the seamstress across the road who made it, no wife to lose at the time) first attempt redundant.
Regards - Ross
IMO the best dark cloth is a lightweight jacket. You always know right where it is (on you), and that means one less thing to remember, store, locate, etc. The collar also catches on the camera better than most dark cloths, and the weight of the sleeves helps to keep it there.
Last edited by 2F/2F; 01-09-2011 at 02:44 AM. Click to view previous post history.
"Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."
- Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)
I have a three word suggestion - "triple pass fabric". It is completely and utterly lightproof. It is also white or off-white, so it will reflect the sun away from you to keep you cool. It also means you don't need to sew something white to something black. You can buy it from your local haberdasher.
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I made a large tube from aluminized nylon taffeta (silver outside & black inside) available from Outdoor Wilderness Fabrics. I seamed one edge to hold a drawstring that snugs up against the rear of the camera. It is very lightweight, waterproof, and I can squash the thing to fit into a coat pocket if I want. It's the best darkcloth I've ever used. I made it large enough that I am in it up to my waist when when inside looking at the ground glass. It doesn't slip or have gaps where the light can sneak in around the camera. Way better than smaller heavier cloth darkcloths IMO.
Here's a pic of it on my 11x14 Burke & James:
Looks like it is pulling both standards to the left...
i just use black felt from the fabric place
it was cheap as dirt, and it works fime.
ive been using it for 15-20 years
The trick is to have the velcro on two corners of the darkcloth, not on the camera itself. Then you can wrap it around the rear standard and fasten the cloth to itself.
Originally Posted by Kevin Kehler
Bowzart is right! Don't let your spouses make your dark cloths. My first wife made my first dark cloth and I lost everything shortly after that - my marriage, my belongings, my self-esteem, and my house. But there is the Law of Compensation at work here, because, ironically, Bowzart got my house in exchange for one of his losses. I advanced, also. I became happily married and sadly divorced twice later. Compensation has its ups and downs. When down, expect up. When up, expect down. When at the age of 63, figure it all evens out.