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Thread: "The ideal Focus Cloth"

  1. #21
    LJ Segil
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Highland Park, IL
    Posts
    618

    Re: "The ideal Focus Cloth"

    Also vote for Blackjacket (only used the hybrid versions), though not cheap you get a lot for your money. 8x10 size has convenient slots for loading film holders from outside the cloth to any orientation of the ground glass without needing to adjust cloth or break the light seal around the camera (though a little fussy to use). Pretty comfortable, hot or cold, and adjustable zipper on 8x10 to enable compromise between light tightness and fit (doesn't easily slide over the shoulders if the zip is completely closed). Use of Velcro to enable light seal at camera end could be easier to use IMHO, but overall I'm happily sold and have purchased it for multiple formats (8x10 is qualitatively more sophisticated and capable than smaller sizes). Lightweight, packs nicely into a carrying sack and fits easily into most any crevice of a backpack, although the 8x10 is ideal for the side packs on the Photobackpacker P2 where it still allows room for a few 4x5 or 5x7 film holders, or quick/ready/polo holders, if you're also a reducing back kind of guy/gal with your 8x10. 4x5 and 5x7 versions have enough room to enable loading film holders into cameras without removing the cloth. In my experience much more comfortable in the heat than the BTZS with greater capability. Recommended if you got the extra requisite stash.
    LJS

  2. #22

    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Posts
    757

    Re: "The ideal Focus Cloth"

    Quote Originally Posted by RicT View Post
    Greetings forum members. This is my my first posting on this site. I have purchased a second-hand LF outfit and will be travelling across South Australia during my next vacation. Hope to get some good shots with my recently purchased ToyoView 5X4.
    I would like to make a really good quality focusing cloth and I would welcome any information on size, materials etc - so I get it right first time.
    Regards
    RicT
    RicT are you in Australia or traveling to Australia? Vacation possibly indicates travelling.

    Depending on the time of the year the sun temperature is often in excess of 60 degrees so wear a hat. No amount of white on your darkcloth is going to help your brain. If you can find a tree, if you are going bush, and it is near what you want to photograph, there is a slight possibilty of shade. The intensity of the direct sun will fry your brain. For my preference steer clear of the horse blacket style as the reflected light will play havoc with you GG screen. Mine fits snugly around the GG and reaches below my backside allowing me plenty of room to step back in a dark environment to view the full screen.

    Depending on the time of the year and the areas you intend to visit you will have a great time.

    Steve

  3. #23
    multi format
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    local
    Posts
    3,715

    Re: "The ideal Focus Cloth"

    cheap is ideal for me.

    i have never wasted my money on
    the latest and greatest.
    a local fabric store has dark cloth by the bolt.
    i have used a few different ones
    some felt, some not,
    but they were all big enough and about $2.50

  4. #24
    Still Developing
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Leeds, UK
    Posts
    582

    Re: "The ideal Focus Cloth"

    Quote Originally Posted by ljsegil View Post
    Also vote for Blackjacket (only used the hybrid versions), though not cheap you get a lot for your money. 8x10 size has convenient slots for loading film holders from outside the cloth to any orientation of the ground glass without needing to adjust cloth or break the light seal around the camera (though a little fussy to use). Pretty comfortable, hot or cold, and adjustable zipper on 8x10 to enable compromise between light tightness and fit (doesn't easily slide over the shoulders if the zip is completely closed). Use of Velcro to enable light seal at camera end could be easier to use IMHO, but overall I'm happily sold and have purchased it for multiple formats (8x10 is qualitatively more sophisticated and capable than smaller sizes). Lightweight, packs nicely into a carrying sack and fits easily into most any crevice of a backpack, although the 8x10 is ideal for the side packs on the Photobackpacker P2 where it still allows room for a few 4x5 or 5x7 film holders, or quick/ready/polo holders, if you're also a reducing back kind of guy/gal with your 8x10. 4x5 and 5x7 versions have enough room to enable loading film holders into cameras without removing the cloth. In my experience much more comfortable in the heat than the BTZS with greater capability. Recommended if you got the extra requisite stash.
    LJS
    Another black jacket vote. I'd definitely go tubular anyway .. The sleeves on the blackjacket are extremely useful and I've made a couple of modifications to mine to make it a perfect light tight seal..

    http://www.timparkin.co.uk/blog/5500784231778145784

    Tim
    Still Developing at http://www.timparkin.co.uk and scanning at http://cheapdrumscanning.com

  5. #25

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    4

    Re: "The ideal Focus Cloth"

    Hi Steve
    I am a Sydneysider - born and bred in Sydney. About ten Years ago My girlfriend and I drove from Sydney to Adelaide. At that time I had an Omega View Camera which I used to take about eight photos. I laid the large format gear aside for a few years, but have since acquired a nice Plaubel Peco 5X7 (with a 5X4 back) and a ToyoViewG with a short, medium and long lens. I will always remember some of that great South Australian outback scenery and have looked forward to making another trip - most probably sometime later this year. There is so much I need to catch up on. Most f the films and developers I have used seem to be discontinued.
    Anyhow, they say that it is the journey that counts.
    BTW, I would like to post a photo I took in SA last trip to see if anyone can identify the location, but am not sure how.
    Regards
    RicT

  6. #26

    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    9,476

    Re: "The ideal Focus Cloth"

    Just don't buy a used Blackjacket (or other darkcloth for that matter) from a cigar smoking guy who used a lot of hair gel but still had dandruff and psoriasis... just saying, you don't have to repeat my dumb experience.

  7. #27
    C. D. Keth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    1,841

    Re: "The ideal Focus Cloth"

    I just bought some cloth and made one. I used black microfiber cloth that has a bit of fuzz to one side (which I put on the inside of the cloth sandwich so it can't possibly shed) and is very light tight. I sandwiched that with some white nylon-y stuff that I sprayed with waterproofing stuff for a backpack. It's pretty light, as light-tight as I care to pursue, and should be pretty water resistant. Cost me about $15 plus a couple hours in front of the TV sewing.

  8. #28

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Stevens Point, WI
    Posts
    1,534

    Re: "The ideal Focus Cloth"

    Another vote for the Blackjacket 8x10 hybrid. It is large but designed to be used reasonably well on smaller cameras. It is very well designed and well made. I agree that it is expensive but so is wasting film with poor focusing, etc. I have tried BTZS (good but does not fit some cameras well and is very humid in hot or cold weather) and horse blanket styles with and without weights. Black jacket is more light tight and more easily used with different cameras and different formats. I wanted to get away from a different cloth for each camera.

  9. #29

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    139

    Re: "The ideal Focus Cloth"

    I'm a BlackJacket user, too. I like it!

    http://www.quietworks.com/FRAMES_FIL...OME_FRAME_.htm

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