I designed my dark cloth out of black velveteen, and a white nylon outer lining to reflect sunlight. At one end it is folded over and sewn so you can thread a piece of cord or twine through it to secure it to the camera, or at least draw it together. The velveteen traps light very well, and it also adds some friction to the cloth so it won't slide off my camera if I don't want to tie the string. The nylon is a little bit shiney and keeps me cool under the cloth. An added bonus is that the shiney white nylon makes a great reflector in a pinch. Best of all, the materials were only about $20.
I'm still using a black T-shirt. Dark enough, and the neck fits nicely around a 4x5 camera back. Besides, the sleeves give easy access to the ground glass with a loupe.
Of course, we're not often plagued with excessive heat here in Norway, or I might consider a white outside...
Like I said earlier, I use the Walmart cloth for my 4x5. For the other cameras, I got a blackout cloth which is bigger. On all the cameras, I hold the cloth in place with "bulldog" paper clips which I "borrowed" from work. There are probably better ways, but this way is easy. I don't use any weights, I had been told they can be risky in a wind. I can live with the lumps, but not with a broken groundglass.
I am afraid that I still use a jersey like Ole as the elasticated neck fits well over the back. However I fully intend to make my own cloth for my 4X5 soon. Is there a specific pattern like the dressmakers use or or are they just square? and how big should a 4X5 cloth be??. Does the white layer make that much difference?
I would be interested to hear how many people add the elastic in for attachment to the camera.
I made one once that was tapered a tthe front: a little narrower at the end that fits around the back of the camera, and longer at the opposite corners. Like a dress. I don't know if it's ideal or not, but it allows me to move around more behind it, and I think it helps in wind. I did not use weights.
All the ones I have purchased were always rectangles. You could go the calumet site for dimensions.
Steve Simmon's book has sizes for different camera formats but I'd wager it's only a guideline. My feeling make it big you can always make it smaller. I think I tried almost every sweat shirt I own. Not one was really light tight. My camera has clips on it's sides. Nothing on the top. Of course on the top they'd really help but four clothes pegs do the trick. Light coming up the bottom is a bit of a pain and I keep thinking I should use more pegs around the bottom. It would sort of turn the cloth into a big tube.
I bought my fabric from Wal Mart as well. Mine is similar to David's in that the end that fits around the camera is tapered some. About 6 feet long. black layer on the inside and a tan layer outside. The tapered end is stitched together for about 18 inches to block light from coming in the bottom.
As for attaching it to the camera I stitched an elastic band in the camera end. It did not turn out as tight as I wanted it to, giving me encouragement to someday add a 5x7 as the dark cloth would fit. Total cost was under $10.
</span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Aggie @ Feb 19 2003, 06:20 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> well I guess having just tried a dark cloth for the first time, that females have an advantage. Bra straps sure come in handy for more than one thing. </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
Please clear the picture in my mind. How do you use the bra strap.
Hopefully it is to wrap around the camera back and pull the dark cloth tight
Also does this mean that I can go into a local store and ask for a 34D Dark Cloth?
</span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Aggie @ Feb 19 2003, 01:20 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> well I guess having just tried a dark cloth for the first time, that females have an advantage. Bra straps sure come in handy for more than one thing. </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
I'm buying a new set of spring clamps. Never have too many clamps-)))