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Thread: How to attach a dark cloth?

  1. #11
    Louie Powell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Saratoga Springs, NY

    Re: How to attach a dark cloth?

    I generally don't attach my darkcloth to my camera. It just gets in the way, and it becomes a sail that can lead to camera shake.

    However, if I am out in the bright sun, I do worry about light sneaking under the back of the camera or through the darkslide slot. In those cases, I wrap the darkcloth around the camera and clip the ends together under the base using a plastic A-clamp.

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    St. Louis, Missouri

    Re: How to attach a dark cloth?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon - HP Marketing View Post
    Wista makes a darkcloth with Velcro and elastic. No need to add Velcro to your camera.
    Iíve never seen the Wista dark cloth, but about 20 years ago I sewed elastic into a hem on one side of my dark cloth and attached Velcro about 4Ē long at the proper place to form a lightly stretched loop over the camera back. After 20+ years, the edge is a little frayed and I need to do some repair work but I wouldnít do it any different if I were making a new one.

    Iíve never worried about the wind. Itís easy to put on and take off so I donít leave it on when Iím not making camera adjustments. My camera is heavy (5x7 Technika) but if you use common sense when itís windy it shouldnít be a problem, even with a lighter camera.

    So, I guess my advice is to add elastic and Velcro to the one you have before spending money on something else.

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Dec 1997
    Baraboo, Wisconsin

    Re: How to attach a dark cloth?

    It took me about ten years to realize that I didn't need to be under the dark cloth to focus, that I could do that using a loupe without a dark cloth because the loupe with an opaque base blocked the light in the area on which I was focusing.. And then I got a Maxwell viewing screen and realized I didn't need to be under the dark cloth to make a rough composition except in dim light. I own the BTZS hood and still use it but almost never to focus and usually only for a few seconds to double-check and make minor adjustments to the rough composition. I'd guess that on average I'm under it for only about 15% of the time I used to be.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Seattle, WA

    Re: How to attach a dark cloth?

    I use Ebony's all-weather darkcloth. It has three metal places on one end, hinged so that they can flex, which you can attach a clamp to. Ebony also has a lens shade clip that has a clamp on one end, which I attach the darkcloth to. Their darkcloth is so light that you have to do SOMETHING to hold it down, or else even a slight breeze will carry it off.

  5. #15
    Eric Woodbury
    Join Date
    Dec 2003

    Re: How to attach a dark cloth?

    I'm the odd one out here. I have attached a darkcloth to my 57 Deardorff. It has been on there 15 years and I wish my other view cameras had the same thing. On the Deardorff back, around the GG, I put self stick velcro. Then I made a darkcloth that attaches --- it is a tube with a velcroed flap to reach my hand it. I can remove the cloth easily by virtue of the velcro, but don't very often. The darkcloth is not nearly as large as a conventional darkcloth, so the wind doesn't catch it. It doesn't need to be large because it doesn't have to stretch over the camera or my shoulders and no overlapping. The great thing is that it is really dark in there and it makes focusing with wide angles quite easy. It protects the ground glass, too.

    I have a Black Jacket for the 45 and it is well made, but I don't like having to have my hands inside or under the darkcloth. It also allows more light to come in under the camera (between the bed and the rear standard).

    I will say that the velcro glue is hard to remove. I had velcro on my Canham aluminum camera and it was a real bugger to get that stuff off. I tried everything -- alcohol, laquer thinner, paint thinner, citrus cleaners, ammonia -- and it was still lots of work. I'd do it again, though. When it is done right, it works very well.

    Maybe make a frame with velcro on it and attach that to the camera with screws or magnets.

    Good luck.

  6. #16

    Re: How to attach a dark cloth?

    I have an older Calumet dark cloth with lead in the corners. It's large and stays put very well. Before that I used clips but they can scratch and I don't recommend them. Velcro is probably the best one.

  7. #17

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Baton Rouge, LA

    Re: How to attach a dark cloth?

    I got a View Camera store tube with the elastic, then it cut to about 14 inches long, sort of a shortie nightie for the camera. All you really need, does not catch the wind, and you do not die when it is 95F and 100% humidity.

  8. #18
    Senior for sure
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Southern Ontario

    Re: How to attach a dark cloth?

    I do most of the above in some variation or another - I carry two or three plastic clothes pins in my kit for pinching the cloth around the camera if the velcro doesn't do what I want, or I'm working with my Cambo weighted DC. For my 4x5 and 8x10 cambos (yes, they both go in the field ) I use the wire frame idea that's available from Cambo as an option (self-made from some 5/32 music wire from a local hobby shop for $$$ less), and use the clothespins to clip the DC to the frame if its a bit breezy or wants to slide. This is nice in the summer as it lets some air in, and the reflective white side of the DC helps keep the heat down. Troublesome if very windy tho. The DC for my little Tachi is a piece of black gabardine from Wal-Mart with a bit of elastic sewn to one side and some velcro straps sewn on strategically to tie it down.

  9. #19

    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    Re: How to attach a dark cloth?

    i use a couple of snap fasteners from a fabric store, attaching one half to the top of the rear standard with a small screw and the other half to the cloth. stays put, can even leave it on and fold it over the bellows when inserting holders. -sorry about the lowercase, spilled coffee on the keyboard and the shift key just froze up.

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