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Deliberate1
17-Jan-2008, 10:57
Friends, I am looking for a lightweight, compact dark/focusing cloth for traveling. Suggestions? Thanks. David

jwarren116
17-Jan-2008, 11:06
I just went to a fabric store down the street and got a yard of black corduroy. It works great, super compact, and weighs very little. If it's super bright sun I just fold the fabric in half, and it takes care of it. If you know how to sew, I'd just suggest hemming the edges, then you can toss strips of velcro on there too.

mikec
17-Jan-2008, 11:12
if you dont need it for protecting the camera, an XL black t-shirt is ok.

Ron Bose
17-Jan-2008, 11:21
The weatherproof Ebony is expensive but packs down very nicely. You do however need the metal holder thingy ....

Peter Lewin
17-Jan-2008, 11:42
if you dont need it for protecting the camera, an XL black t-shirt is ok.
A second vote for the black t-shirt; I used one as a dark cloth on my summer vacation trip to Europe (and ever since) and it worked well.

Deliberate1
17-Jan-2008, 12:32
A T Shirt? To go with my Rodenstock APO Sironar lenses? Isn't there something more expensive that I can buy? To spend so little is disorienting. David

Dan Schmidt
17-Jan-2008, 12:47
one of those flip up darkshades like on a crown graphic?

Aender Brepsom
17-Jan-2008, 12:54
The weatherproof Ebony is expensive but packs down very nicely. You do however need the metal holder thingy ....


I use the small Ebony dark cloth too, but without the lens shade clip. Just sew some strips of velcro on it and glue another one on top of the rear standard of the camera and you're done.
The Ebony cloth packs really small and is very light (so not ideal for windy days ...). Definitely the best dark cloth for my needs.

vinny
17-Jan-2008, 13:49
Expensive? The Sundance catalog sells a t-shirt with a 35mm slr on the front for $40. How's that!
I had my mom sew a black shirt inside a white one and an elastic cord at the neck to go over my 4x5 or over my head for my 8x10. A black shirt alone isn't thick enough and gets hot in the summer.

M Salhuana
17-Jan-2008, 13:57
I have used and traveled with the BlackJacket by Quietworks. It basically works the same as a black t shirt and is extremely compact. You can check then out at:

http://www.quietworks.com/FRAMES_FILES/BJ_SPECIFICATIONS/BJ_NEW_HOME_FRAME_.htm

Regards,

Miguel

BradS
17-Jan-2008, 15:13
I usually use a jean jacket but, I also have a simple piece of black corduroy cloth - about a meter square. Neither is optimal but both work.

Amund BLix Aaeng
17-Jan-2008, 23:21
A T Shirt? To go with my Rodenstock APO Sironar lenses? Isn't there something more expensive that I can buy? To spend so little is disorienting. David

Well you could buy a $700 Armani t-shirt, if that helps. :p

Baxter Bradford
17-Jan-2008, 23:39
This new versatile and high quality product deserves a mention. It is waterproof, windproof, breathable, lightweight and low volume.

Paramo darkcloth (http://www.lightandland.co.uk/article.aspx?articleId=326&typeId=2&conId=8)

It has been developed by Joe Cornish and David Ward, two of the UK's most prominent LF landscape photographers. The design process was quite extensive working with the manufacturer.

I have had one for a couple of months now and am very happy with it. On misty mornings, I use it unzipped to minimise condensation from my breath, otherwise, zipped up works brilliantly. When zipped up, there are two options for diameter, I prefer the wider option having tried both.

David A. Goldfarb
17-Jan-2008, 23:40
My compact solution for 4x5" is just to use the folding focusing hood and fresnel on my Linhof Tech V, a hat if I need more shade, and a jacket if I need more.

Miguel Curbelo
17-Jan-2008, 23:55
I use a black T-shirt as well.

JonathanPerkins
18-Jan-2008, 02:26
I can second Baxter's recommendation for the Paramo dark cloth. I've only had mine for a couple of weeks but its already proven its capabilities. I had struggled with using coats and tried the very light but flappy Ebony cloth, but can now easily see where to set the grad filter when stopped down to f22+ with the Paramo. The adjustable neck fills in the gap at the bottom of the Ebony rear standard OK.

Jonathan

Deliberate1
18-Jan-2008, 06:48
Well you could buy a $700 Armani t-shirt, if that helps. :p

Amund, I feel much better now...

Deliberate1
18-Jan-2008, 06:53
Jonathan and Baxter, the Paramo cloth is interesting. I do like the water resistent qualities. How much does it weigh and packed dimensions? Does is come in some sort of stuff sack? Cheers. David

Ted Harris
18-Jan-2008, 08:16
Another recommendation for the BlackJacket. Comes in various sizes is lightweight, well designed, packs in a stuff sack. I show them off at all our workshops. BTZS cloths are another option (from the View Camera Store). The Paramo looks interesting but at £80 the price would be heart stopping in the US and even the price in the UK seems sort of high. Black Jackets run in the range of $50 to $70 IIRC.

sanking
18-Jan-2008, 08:22
Another recommendation for the BlackJacket. Comes in various sizes is lightweight, well designed, packs in a stuff sack. I show them off at all our workshops. BTZS cloths are another option (from the View Camera Store). The Paramo looks interesting but at 80 the price would be heart stopping in the US and even the price in the UK seems sort of high. Black Jackets run in the range of $50 to $70 IIRC.



I also recommend the BlackJacket. I have been using a BlackJacket in 5X7 size for several years and recently got one in 7X17 size for testing. I favor the very lightweight one, can not remember if this is the hybrid version? The one for 5X7 folds into a very compact package and weighs almost nothing. It is also very easy to use.

Very economical and a pleasure to use.

Sandy King

Jordan
18-Jan-2008, 08:37
I recently purchased a really nice dark cloth from www.tedsphotogear.com. It is super light weight and compact, plus has an elastic end that I am sure you will find very handy. Mine is for my 8x10 and works really well. Price is significantly less expensive as well. I have no affiliation with the seller.

Deliberate1
18-Jan-2008, 08:40
Jordan, that looks like a nice product at a fair price. The promo shot is scary, though. Kind of looks like the guys head is being sucked into the camera - and not metaphorically. Thanks for the suggestion. David

tim atherton
18-Jan-2008, 09:11
I'll add a yes for the Blackjacket - I use it for both 8x10 and 4x5 (although I find I don't actually use the sleeve feature much - though it does work well)

The regular version is very lightweight and packs up small. The hybrid (with a breathable panel for hot climates) is still pretty small and lightweight. All very well made.

One good thing from my perspective is that the reflective material it's made from was tested for extreme cold weather - I've tried other - more expensive -versions that went as stiff as a board not far below 0c and hen cracked....

JonathanPerkins
18-Jan-2008, 09:46
The Paramo cloth is interesting. I do like the water resistent qualities. How much does it weigh and packed dimensions? Does is come in some sort of stuff sack?

David, it doesn't come in a stuff sack, but fits easily in the outer pocket of my NatureTrekker with room to spare. I'll try and weigh it for you later.


but at 80 the price would be heart stopping in the US and even the price in the UK seems sort of high.

Ted, yup its not exactly cheap over here, but the problem we have buying from the US with taxes and shipping mean its not much worse than the alternatives. I don't expect they'll be exporting many at that price though!

Jonathan

Baxter Bradford
18-Jan-2008, 10:07
Jonathon, glad you are enjoying using yours.

I just whipped my scales out and 14oz, if weight is a real premium, some, like myself, could manage with a shorter length of cloth. Agree that current exchange rate makes it less attractive in USA.

Mine gets wrapped around my lens attached to the Ebony 45SU and fills the gap nicely in the Supertrekker whereas other cloths have had far more unnecessary bulk.

For those who haven't tried Paramo jackets, trousers etc really recommend them. They are soft supple and wonderfully breathable, yet very waterproof.

Jim Noel
19-Jan-2008, 09:18
A black T-Shirt!
All of my students use them. Get one large enough for the neck to goaround the back of the camera. Light weight, efficient, and easy to pack.

jetcode
19-Jan-2008, 09:51
A T Shirt? To go with my Rodenstock APO Sironar lenses? Isn't there something more expensive that I can buy? To spend so little is disorienting. David

I have special XXL black t-shirts that I can sell you for $200 each. they're designed to go with high end APO lenses and used as a dark cloth when traveling.

Herb Cunningham
19-Jan-2008, 10:35
I had a BTZ focusing hood, it was hot as hell in the summer. How does the Paramo work in hot climates.

I am now using Blackjacket, the non hybrid version, and they are pretty hot also.

I understand the hybrid is heavier, but cooler. Anybody have experience with either in 90 plus weather?

Ted Harris
19-Jan-2008, 11:22
Herb, I've used both the regular and the hybrid version in the summer. Probably not over 90 very often around here though. Never felt awful.

Addendum, once tried to use a BTZS hood in 117 in the desert .... went to the flip up hood in seconds.

Bill_1856
19-Jan-2008, 12:54
Double duty saves weight and space, (a present from my maiden Aunt).

Chauncey Walden
21-Jan-2008, 11:01
The dark cloth for my 4x5 measures 24x38 inches, loosely folds to 1x3x4 inches and weighs 3.2 ounces. It is made from two layers of rip-stop nylon, the outer, white, and the inner, black.

dpetersen
21-Jan-2008, 20:51
I have used a Black Jacket for about 9 months-the hybrid version. Much cooler in the heat than a regular (Zone vi) dark cloth and still flexible in cold weather down to -5 F last Sat. The stuff sack is handy or at least was until I misplaced mine (where the h*** did that go?).

DP

Former Member 8144
22-Jan-2008, 14:58
Jonathon, glad you are enjoying using yours.

I just whipped my scales out and 14oz, if weight is a real premium, some, like myself, could manage with a shorter length of cloth...


Baxter, Jonathan,
Does the paramo fold up to a small size also?
That is one of the attractions of the blackjacket.
I'm not too fussed about the arms of the blackjacket and so with the shipping and import duties here to the uk that and the paramo do end up at about the same price.

Thanks,
Marc

Don Boyd
22-Jan-2008, 15:19
David, I have used a BTZ hood that is silver-reflective on the outside, very light weight and has an elastic end that allows for quick placement on my 4x5. Not sure if it is the same type that Herb reported being too hot, but I have found it relatively comfortable to use in summer. I'm sure that it weighs mere ounces and folds or rolls up to the size of a t-shirt. I have looked in vain for a link to an image, so am not sure if they are still being sold.

lenser
22-Jan-2008, 15:23
I am a bit confused as to why a smaller dark cloth is beneficial. To each his own of course, but I seem to see the image much better with a larger cloth that blocks more of the light from below. If wind is a problem, weighting the corners helps or even sewing a channel in one length with a cord through it to create a parka style drawstring arrangement around the camera to secure the cloth works well.

I also use a hood (#220122213570 on ebay is one like it) which is smaller than my main dark cloth and totally secures to my Zone VI.

Jon Shiu
22-Jan-2008, 15:26
David, I have used a BTZ hood that is silver-reflective on the outside, very light weight and has an elastic end that allows for quick placement on my 4x5. Not sure if it is the same type that Herb reported being too hot, but I have found it relatively comfortable to use in summer. I'm sure that it weighs mere ounces and folds or rolls up to the size of a t-shirt. I have looked in vain for a link to an image, so am not sure if they are still being sold.

I think this might be the same product:
http://www.viewcamerastore.com/product_info.php?products_id=32

Jon