View Poll Results: What color options would you be interested in for the outer material

Voters
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  • White

    34 50.00%
  • Light grey

    18 26.47%
  • Medium grey

    11 16.18%
  • Safety Orange

    3 4.41%
  • Safety Yellow/Green

    1 1.47%
  • Royal Blue

    1 1.47%
  • Red

    7 10.29%
  • Other (please specify in a comment)

    3 4.41%
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Thread: Would you be interested in a full-size ultralight dark cloth (under 1lb)?

  1. #1
    Youngin Daniel Stone's Avatar
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    Would you be interested in a full-size ultralight dark cloth (under 1lb)?

    Hey all,

    I've been assessing various lightweight materials for a an addition to the Stone Photo Gear product lineup. That product is an ultra-light focusing cloth, available in different sizes, and the goal is for all STOCK sizes to weigh in under 1lb. The goal is to also have it fit into a stuff sack the size of a 14oz tin can(think a small can of chili).

    The material I feel would be best suited for this is not cheap, but it will allow me to create a unique product that packs up very small, very light, and doesn't skimp on size! It is completely opaque, and very thin, yet durable.

    I'm asking here because quite a few of you have given me the chance to create custom projects for you over the past few months. I want to continue that, but also start offering a few "click to ship" type items. So I'm here to ask about colors desired for the outer material, since some folks don't want a "horse blanket" black/white cloth, but something jazzy color-size . Also, sizing, everyone has a different opinion on what size cloth they like to use. Please let me know which format you use, and what size cloth would benefit you best for those particular format(s) you're shooting with.

    These will be made here in the USA, by me. This will become a core product in my lineup, and I want to offer something genuinely unique here from the start.

    thanks,
    Dan

  2. #2

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    Re: Would you be interested in a full-size ultralight dark cloth (under 1lb)?

    Hi Dan,

    I've made a few darkcloths over the years. Your idea sounds really intriguing. Here are my opinions and personal preferences.

    My latest darkcloth is white GoreTex on the outside, black on the inside, and has Velcro strips around all edges. It's a simple rectangle, but is able to be closed completely on the bottom and sides, so it blocks light from under the camera as well.

    I think it is imperative that the darkcloth be multi-purpose. With mine, the white allows it to be comfortable in hot weather under the sun as well as to be used as a fill-light reflector. By being waterproof, it can protect the camera in rainy weather or from sea spray, etc. I've used mine as a rain poncho on occasion, since the Velcro strips on the edges allows it to be fastened into a number of configurations. It is big enough it can be used as an emergency blanket as well. So, combination darkcloth, reflector, rain poncho, emergency blanket (and even water carrier in a pinch).

    You are planning a number of sizes, which I think is good. If you're trying to make it stuffable, maybe including a built-in (mesh?) stuff pocket would be a good idea.

    Weights in the corners, like many darkcloths have, are not only heavy, but dangerous in a wind. Leave them out of your design. Of course, it goes without saying that it should be pretty much lightproof, so opaque material is a must.


    So, to summarize, my suggestions:

    1. White outside, black inside
    2. Waterproof
    3. Velcro on the edges (loops on one side, hooks on the other)
    4. Stuff pocket included
    5. No weights in the corners (or elastic or whatever - keep it simple).
    6. As lightproof as possible

    Hope this helps and good luck with your project.

    Doremus

  3. #3
    Silver Fox
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    Re: Would you be interested in a full-size ultralight dark cloth (under 1lb)?

    +1 for Doremus' recommendation about leaving weights out....
    Peter Collins

    "Growing older is not for sissies." --anon.

  4. #4
    Silver Fox
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    Re: Would you be interested in a full-size ultralight dark cloth (under 1lb)?

    This is not Mayor Daley's Chicago ("Vote early; vote often.") Just once, okay??
    Peter Collins

    "Growing older is not for sissies." --anon.

  5. #5

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    Re: Would you be interested in a full-size ultralight dark cloth (under 1lb)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Collins View Post
    This is not Mayor Daley's Chicago ("Vote early; vote often.") Just once, okay??
    Why? Some of us vote from Louisiana!

  6. #6

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    Re: Would you be interested in a full-size ultralight dark cloth (under 1lb)?

    If in Utah, one for each guy and one each for all 27 wives?
    I tend to procrastinate on stuff. One of these days I'll do something about it.

  7. #7

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    Re: Would you be interested in a full-size ultralight dark cloth (under 1lb)?

    What do you mean by "full size"?
    My favorite is 5x8 feet,and I wouldn't use one smaller than 4x7 feet.

  8. #8
    Jim Graves Jim Graves's Avatar
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    Re: Would you be interested in a full-size ultralight dark cloth (under 1lb)?

    Dan ... I'm one of the diehard "I'm not carrying a 3 lb dark cloth" guys.

    I've always used an article of clothing ... jacket, rain jacket, sweatshirt.

    But it would be great to have a full-size, light weight, multipurpose dark cloth ... you might just convert me.

    I agree with Doremus ... has to be water proof and useful for something other than blocking light.

  9. #9
    Youngin Daniel Stone's Avatar
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    Re: Would you be interested in a full-size ultralight dark cloth (under 1lb)?

    Doremus,

    Seems we are on the same page

    As of right now, the sizes would be as follows(dimensions in inches):

    36x48 - (mostly for digital guys who need a laptop/tablet shade)
    48x48
    57x57
    57x72 (this size and larger custom sizes would most likely be more that 1lb)

    *No weights in corners
    *Open to velcro on one side as an option, as to wrap/affix around the camera so no clips would be necessary(or to lose!)

    Inner material would be a opaque nylon material, almost like a taffeta. Outer material would be similar to gore tex, lightweight and water resistant(anything sewn is automatically discounted from being "waterproof", so to speak. Even with waxed/moisture barrier thread.

    Open to hearing other opinions if you have one

    thanks,
    Dan

  10. #10

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    Re: Would you be interested in a full-size ultralight dark cloth (under 1lb)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Stone View Post
    Doremus,

    Seems we are on the same page

    As of right now, the sizes would be as follows(dimensions in inches):

    36x48 - (mostly for digital guys who need a laptop/tablet shade)
    48x48
    57x57
    57x72 (this size and larger custom sizes would most likely be more that 1lb)

    *No weights in corners
    *Open to velcro on one side as an option, as to wrap/affix around the camera so no clips would be necessary(or to lose!)

    Inner material would be a opaque nylon material, almost like a taffeta. Outer material would be similar to gore tex, lightweight and water resistant(anything sewn is automatically discounted from being "waterproof", so to speak. Even with waxed/moisture barrier thread.

    Open to hearing other opinions if you have one

    thanks,
    Dan
    Hi Dan,

    Sounds great! But since you asked for opinions, here are a few:

    I might offer an intermediate rectangular size too, say 48x57.

    Sure, sewing a waterproof fabric will put holes in it where water can leak through, but with a darkcloth, that'll only be on the edges. My GoreTex fabric was really light. Breathable fabric would definitely be best, especially for hot, humid environments where the ground glass can steam up easily, not too mention for comfort.

    It is important that the material for the lining be not too slippery; it needs a bit of friction to stay on the camera well. If it is too smooth, the darkcloth will have a tendency to slide off, which is pretty irritating (don't ask me how I know...). I'd do some testing before choosing a material for production.

    Velcro strips along the sides and one end of the cloth might add a bit of weight, but really help to close the holes around the camera where light can leak in and disturb viewing. Being able to close the cloth on the bottom is really helpful in low-light situations, when there's wind, etc.

    And don't forget the stuff pocket!

    Lightweight is great, but an ounce or two more for really usable features (like the Velcro and the stuff pocket) is well-spent and won't make a significant difference in the overall weight of the kit.

    Keep us posted,

    Doremus

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