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dazedgonebye
23-Dec-2008, 12:10
Holy heck those things are expensive!
Why $200+ for a bit of material and metal? I paid less than that for a tent big enough for 9 people to sleep in!

Photoflex makes a less expensive version. Any experience with it?

BTW, this is prompted by my struggles to load 4x5 film in to my jobo tank while in my changing bag. It's tight in there for all that stuff.

Fred L
23-Dec-2008, 12:20
I still have my Calumet Changing Room which I believe is the same as the Photoflex. It is handy in that it has lots of vertical room but it lacks floor space so loading lots of holders or anything larger than 8x10 was a right royal pia.

As well, because it uses sprung metal hoops, it's bulky whereas the Harrisons use poles which makes for a very compact load for travelling.

I now use the largest Harrison tent and like it much better with the only annoyance being the lack of interior height volume. The walls slope down pretty sharply but again, that's minor. Worth the major $$ imho.

Alan Davenport
23-Dec-2008, 12:43
I use a Calumet Changing Room. It's the cat's PJs for 4x5, good for 5x7, cramped but usable for 8x10. I don't know what they're charging for it these days, but I can't imagine $200. I paid something like $69 for mine 5 years ago.

dazedgonebye
23-Dec-2008, 12:46
It's the harrison tents that are over $200.

Joanna Carter
23-Dec-2008, 13:13
Calumet Changing Room http://www.calumetphoto.com/item/RM1000/ $66.99

Excellent product, highly recommended for 4x5 (at least by me) :cool:

lenser
23-Dec-2008, 14:08
I've used both with equal success, but for space and comfort, the Harrisons beat the Calumet or Photoflex models hands down..... for storage too.

As to cost on either type compared to a sleeping tent, people can tend to themselves and those tents don't need to be engineered to be light tight for years.

One foul up with a bad changing tent and the last three or four days worth of shooting on your multi thousand mile shooting trip (those are the exposures where you hiked five miles back into the wilderness on perfect sky days with the mule deer arriving at just the right moment to perfect your composition) are totally screwed with light leaks.

A couple of hundred bucks is nothing compared to that kind of surprise!!!!

Len Middleton
23-Dec-2008, 14:38
From a straight economics point of view (development / engineering costs, production set up / batch size, marketing costs, etc.) there is likely no comparison between the market size for camp tents and changing tents.

Even in this community, I would expect more camp tents than changing tents. I have three of the former and none of the later.

My $0.02 (CAD),

Len

jeroldharter
23-Dec-2008, 15:20
I have the Calumet changing tent and it works well but I also want to buy the Harrison 8x10 size for use with 4x5 film.

the Calumet is a much better deal, but the thing is huge even when folded up. It will not fit in a camera bag. I leave it in the storage sack and place it on top of my luggage in a large rolling duffel but it barely fits. Very easy to set up - it just pops open. The ergonomics of the arm holes could be better but it works. Amazing how much humidity results from the baseline perspiration from your arms though.

The Harrison is ridiculously expensive but I agree that it is worth it so I am planning to buy one. It folds up reasonably small, fits in a camera bag so it could be used in the field, and is reasonably light weight.

For home purposes I would save the money and get the Calumet though. It is tall and should be no problem loading the Jobo drums.

emh
23-Dec-2008, 15:43
If you're just going to use it to load Jobo tanks, at home, look into a Fuji Dark Box. Can usually be had for around $50, on the auction site.

Joe Smigiel
23-Dec-2008, 15:49
Check out eBay for a Fuji FDB-12 darkbox. They show up once in awhile and go for around $50. A bit bulky but it sets up (and down) in about 10 seconds and the metal frame supports the very large changing bag. Plenty of room for 8x10 (and I suspect 11x14 also).

Brandon Draper
23-Dec-2008, 16:19
I have the Photoflex one and one thing I do not like is that it doesn't lay flat when in use. Everything doesn't stay in the spot you put it in and I have used it for loading film holders and Jobo tanks. I sure miss my darkroom!

john collins
23-Dec-2008, 18:41
I use the Harrison tents. They are a bit more but worth the expense in the long run.

Frank Petronio
23-Dec-2008, 19:50
I'll sell you my current Photoflex one so that I can buy a Harrison again.

One skill to develop is to go without any tent -- learn how to make a bathroom lighttight -- towel under the door, black foamcore in the window, a little tape, maybe a blanket... the top of a toilet makes a nice clean surface to load film on -- sit on the toilet backwards.

If you are really cheap, get a large changing bag. The way to use it is awkward. Stand up, put your arms in, let the bag sit on the floor and pull the bag vertical -- presto, you have a half-ass Harrison tent. At least it will keep the cloth from touching your holders not nearly as much as you would if you used the changing bag on a table. Hard on the back though... but you could lie on your stomach on a bed and hang over the side....

Ansel Adams changed 8x10 holders in his sleeping bag. That's hardcore.

lenser
23-Dec-2008, 20:05
Frank,

If you really want to stay with the older bags, here's a hint that used to work well for me pre Calumet.

Get a set of the frames for hanging file folders and cut the long rods to an appropriate length for your bag. The whole assembly knocks down for easy storage and goes back together in seconds. Just put it inside the bag, zip it all up and you've now got an internal frame, fairly tall changing tent. Not as sweet as the Harrisons, but if you've already got the bag, this does work and it's damn cheap.

Tim

dazedgonebye
23-Dec-2008, 20:52
Frank,

If you really want to stay with the older bags, here's a hint that used to work well for me pre Calumet.

Get a set of the frames for hanging file folders and cut the long rods to an appropriate length for your bag. The whole assembly knocks down for easy storage and goes back together in seconds. Just put it inside the bag, zip it all up and you've now got an internal frame, fairly tall changing tent. Not as sweet as the Harrisons, but if you've already got the bag, this does work and it's damn cheap.

Tim

I was just looking around the house for something to use in this way. Anything to keep that bag open.

kmack
24-Dec-2008, 06:37
I get along quite well with a large changing bag and an old wire frame from a filing cabinet.

Paul Kierstead
24-Dec-2008, 07:38
I have a small Harrison tent. Quite small. Ultra portable. The "most" I have ever done in it is load 12 sheets of 4x5 onto 2 reels into a Jobo 2553 tank. So it can be done. This is very cramped deal requiring a silly amount of care; just managing to load both reels into the take is tricky. One trick here is to unload the holders into a box in one operation, and load the tank in a separate operation; saves a lot of space and in particular a lot of mess inside.

I will say I really need a bigger one for Home (the Harrison is awesome for travel) and was eyeballing that Calumet.