PDA

View Full Version : Need a dark cloth, lupe



macandal
9-Oct-2012, 09:38
My eyesight is not the greatest. To make the problem worse, I have a crappy dark cloth and a not so-powerful lupe. Needless to say, focusing is hell. In fact, to use the word dark to refer to my dark cloth is an insult to darkness. Can you guys please recommend a real DARK cloth and a powerful lupe? Thanks.

BrianShaw
9-Oct-2012, 09:45
Any piece of dark cloth will work. The challenge is to keep the light from sneaking in around the edges and bottom while focussing. Some people seem to use tee-shirts, presumably to let the elastic neckband seal the light out a bit better. I just use a big cloth and wrap it around and up (if that makes sense) to seal the light out. I'm not sure you really want a more powerful loupe. 4x - 6x should be sufficient if the light is sealed out enough. An option I'm about to investigate is the use of cheap reading glasses instead of a loupe -- one less thing to hold onto while focussing. I think I remember reading others using htem successfully.

Ed Bray
9-Oct-2012, 09:53
I have a Schneider 4x Lupe and a Silvestri 8x Lupe, I find that the 4x Lupe is much better for checking focus on the ground glass as the 8x gives a much grainier image and interferes a bit with the process. Just my observations, others may feel differently.

John Kasaian
9-Oct-2012, 09:53
Quick and dirty:
Black Out curtain material from a yardage shop. If light reflecting from underneath is an issue get a black sweatshirt and use like the tee shirt BrianShaw mentioned above.
For a strong loupe, try an Agfa (or Agfa clone) 9x. If light is an issue wrap the clear base with black gaffers tape.

Dan Henderson
9-Oct-2012, 09:54
I am a black T-shirt guy. Works great for me, lot less weight and bulk to carry than the big, black/white darkcloth I paid too much money for.

How bright is your ground glass? Maybe you should look into a brighter glass. That made the biggest difference for me in seeing the composition.

Jody_S
9-Oct-2012, 09:58
I've experimented with quite a few 'loupes', from my Schneider 4x to 5x magnifying glasses to inverted 50mm lenses (from 35mm gear) to a doctor's gizmo for examining ears to..... I don't know, I've tried quite a few. My best results to date are the magnifying glasses, some from the $0.99 store, some ordered direct from China (for the 4x-6x range). More than that, I can't focus both eyes on the subject. Dark cloths? No help here, I've never had a good one.

rdenney
9-Oct-2012, 10:20
I use a Silvestri tilting loupe, 6X. It works quite well with 4x5, especially with short lenses that require an angle view thorugh the focus screen.

And I've tried a variety of dark cloths, and found that those that were opaque were hot and grabby, making them unpleasant to use on warm days. I'm now using a Blackjacket, which just makes life easier for me.

But the biggest step I ever took towards focusing ease was installing a Maxwell focusing screen. Yes, it's expensive--I paid more for it than I did for my initial used Sinar F. No, I don't regret a cent of it.

Rick "focusing with both eyes? A fantasy for me" Denney

macandal
9-Oct-2012, 10:34
I use a Silvestri tilting loupe, 6X. It works quite well with 4x5, especially with short lenses that require an angle view thorugh the focus screen.

And I've tried a variety of dark cloths, and found that those that were opaque were hot and grabby, making them unpleasant to use on warm days. I'm now using a Blackjacket, which just makes life easier for me.

But the biggest step I ever took towards focusing ease was installing a Maxwell focusing screen. Yes, it's expensive--I paid more for it than I did for my initial used Sinar F. No, I don't regret a cent of it.

Rick "focusing with both eyes? A fantasy for me" DenneyRick, I had been looking at one of these black jackets. How do they compare to the ones BTZS makes? Do they keep out light well? Which one do you have? They have several.

rdenney
9-Oct-2012, 12:16
I've never handled the BTZS model, and its maker seems to think one picture of a guy with his head inside of one explains it. (I refuse to watch a video because the seller is too lazy to organize four or five declarative sentences.) It seems to have a Velcro-fastened opening at the bottom for poking one's hand into the dark area to hold a loupe.

The Black Jacket is like a sleeved shirt. The "neck" has an elastic drawstring in it, which stretches over the back of the camera. The sleeves provide access for arms for doing whatever arms need to do, including holding the loupe. It's easy to pull an arm out to manipulate camera controls. There is no Velcro and thus no unintended closure, pulling the thing off the camera trying to open the closure, and resulting noise. Velcro is good for a lot of things, but I do get tired of it being used for everything.

Obviously, I have the latter. Mine is the 4x5/5x7 "hybrid" model with the breathable top panel. Not the new Mark II version.

Rick "they both block all light pretty well" Denney

Jody_S
9-Oct-2012, 12:25
(I refuse to watch a video because the seller is too lazy to organize four or five declarative sentences.)

Finally, a man after my own heart (no I'm not gay).

macandal
9-Oct-2012, 13:18
The Black Jacket is like a sleeved shirt. The "neck" has an elastic drawstring in it, which stretches over the back of the camera. The sleeves provide access for arms for doing whatever arms need to do, including holding the loupe. It's easy to pull an arm out to manipulate camera controls. There is no Velcro and thus no unintended closure, pulling the thing off the camera trying to open the closure, and resulting noise. Velcro is good for a lot of things, but I do get tired of it being used for everything.

Obviously, I have the latter. Mine is the 4x5/5x7 "hybrid" model with the breathable top panel. Not the new Mark II version.

Rick "they both block all light pretty well" DenneyRick. I have a Sinar 4x5 F2. The F2 can be converted into an 8x10. I do plan to eventually shoot 8x10 as well. That said, which Black Jacket should I get? They seem to come in exact measures (i.e., 4x5, 5x7, 8x10, etc) so I want to know if there is one I can use for 4x5 now and for 8x10 when I'm ready to do so.

Also, does this block light well?

Thanks.

rdenney
9-Oct-2012, 14:44
I don't have an 8x10 so I can't say if you really need the special 8x10 model. The 4x5 and 5x7 models are the same, near as I can tell.

With the Sinar, you usually pull the opening down over the bottom of the rail, so it will let in some light around the base. That will be true with all monorails. It's still much better than a conventional focus cloth, which requires some means of holding sealing it around the bottom. I don't see how the BTZS product would avoid that.

The rest of it is effectively opaque. Maybe not changing-bag opaque, but opaque enough so that you won't notice.

Rick "noting that Quietworks has a phone number" Denney

Roger Thoms
9-Oct-2012, 15:12
Rick "noting that Quietworks has a phone number" Denney

Are you implying that there is no phone number for BTZS? I own both and yes I called Quietworks and they are very helpful, and I have also called the view Camera Store, who distributes BTZS products, they are very helpful. The phone number for the View Camera Store is at the bottom of each web page on the site, no need to go hunting around for a contact link to find that info.

Roger "who usually enjoys Ricks posts but was irritated by this one" Thoms

rdenney
9-Oct-2012, 15:21
I'm done for today. Nothing I say in any thread is bring interpreted without malice.

I was simply inviting the OP to discuss application details with the maker, since his use cases were beyond my experience.

Rick "who wasn't expecting a sort of Spanish Inquisition" Denney

Alan Gales
9-Oct-2012, 15:26
Rick, I had been looking at one of these black jackets. How do they compare to the ones BTZS makes? Do they keep out light well? Which one do you have? They have several.

I own and use both the BTZS and a Black Jacket. I bought the BTZS for my first 4x5 (Cambo SC) and now use it on my Tachihara and Sinar P. I purchased the Black Jacket for my Wehman 8x10.

The BTZS works just fine but if you want it really dark while using a loupe then the Black Jacket is the way to go. The BTZS is a little faster to use but with 8x10 everything is slower anyway so I prefer the Black Jacket for 8x10.

There was recently a tread started asking about Black Jacket dark cloths. You might want to read it for more opinions.

Alan Gales
9-Oct-2012, 15:31
Rick. I have a Sinar 4x5 F2. The F2 can be converted into an 8x10. I do plan to eventually shoot 8x10 as well. That said, which Black Jacket should I get? They seem to come in exact measures (i.e., 4x5, 5x7, 8x10, etc) so I want to know if there is one I can use for 4x5 now and for 8x10 when I'm ready to do so.

Also, does this block light well?

Thanks.

You need the 8x10 model Black Jacket for shooting an 8x10. I have read that someone used the 8x10 model on a 4x5 and it works. I have not tried it. Of course it would be bulky for 4x5.

It blocks light very well.

Alan Gales
9-Oct-2012, 15:51
Look at the "gear" section of the forum. Check out the thread "Black Jacket focussing cloth". Read post #15.

BradS
9-Oct-2012, 16:13
I'd like to suggest that before you go spend a bunch of money on loupe, get a pair of +3.25 power reading glasses from the drug store and see if those work for you. I'll never go back to using a loupe to view the focusing screen.

ROL
9-Oct-2012, 16:17
You may already have one of these (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?95394-Black-jacket-focusing-cloth-users&p=937905#post937905).


RO "who probably wouldn't have bothered to post the link again, except that the video commercial parody took more effort and consideration than a page of rambling opinionated text – and was pretty sure it would p.o. rdenney" L

macandal
9-Oct-2012, 16:24
But the biggest step I ever took towards focusing ease was installing a Maxwell focusing screen. Yes, it's expensive--I paid more for it than I did for my initial used Sinar F. No, I don't regret a cent of it.

Rick "focusing with both eyes? A fantasy for me" DenneyAnd where did you get yours? Are these screens camera-specific or is this a one-fits-all type-deal? Thanks.

--Mario "who appreciates Rick's suggestions tremendously" H.

BrianShaw
9-Oct-2012, 17:08
Spanish "?Que?" Inquisition?

rdenney
9-Oct-2012, 18:55
Spanish "?Que?" Inquisition?

NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition!

Rick "our two weapons are fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency...our Three weapons are...I'll begin again" Denney

rdenney
9-Oct-2012, 18:57
You may already have one of these (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?95394-Black-jacket-focusing-cloth-users&p=937905#post937905).


RO "who probably wouldn't have bothered to post the link again, except that the video commercial parody took more effort and consideration than a page of rambling opinionated text and was pretty sure it would p.o. rdenney" L

Thank you for spelling my name correctly.

Rick "appreciative" Denney

rdenney
9-Oct-2012, 19:02
And where did you get yours? Are these screens camera-specific or is this a one-fits-all type-deal? Thanks.

I don't have the link handy on my iPhone, but if you search on Maxwell with me as the author, you'll find all the recent threads on the topic, including some photos I made of the sort of image you see. For me, it was worth it, but it's several hundred dollars.

Rick "glad he was flush on that occasion" Denney

Alan Gales
9-Oct-2012, 19:46
Frank Petronio is selling a Black Jacket in the for sale section if you are interested. Frank has an honest reputation and posts on here all the time.

Like Rick says, bright screens like the Maxwell are great. I use a Beattie Intenscreen on my Hasselblad 500cm. I took the Blad in on a trade and it came with the Beattie and the original screen. The Beattie is way brighter than the original screen. Bright screens are not cheap though.

Roger Thoms
10-Oct-2012, 07:49
I'm done for today. Nothing I say in any thread is bring interpreted without malice.

I was simply inviting the OP to discuss application details with the maker, since his use cases were beyond my experience.

Rick "who wasn't expecting a sort of Spanish Inquisition" Denney

Rick, my apologies, I read way to much into your statement.

Roger

rdenney
10-Oct-2012, 08:35
Rick, my apologies, I read way to much into your statement.

Roger

No worries, Roger.

Rick "who was being a bit too sharp yesterday, perhaps" Denney

macandal
11-Oct-2012, 15:22
Okay. So where can one get one of these Maxwell screens? I've been looking for them and can't find them. Are they sold by one specific place or what?

rdenney
11-Oct-2012, 18:53
Okay. So where can one get one of these Maxwell screens? I've been looking for them and can't find them. Are they sold by one specific place or what?

http://www.mattclara.com/maxwell/index.html

And then follow instructions to call (or, if you are patient, email) Bill Maxwell. Bring quarters, but the time will be worth it.

Rick "only sold by their maker" Denney