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Thread: Focusing cloth

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2005

    Focusing cloth

    Could you suggest a suitable size of the focusing cloth for 12x20" camera?

    Thanks a lot.

  2. #2

    Focusing cloth

    A dark cloth for a 12xz0 can be really cumbersome - it's a long way around! After trying a few options, I recently bought a BTZS focussing hood from the Viewcamerastore ( - it's light, very compact and works perfectly. I'd highly recommend it as a solution for 12x20.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 1999

    Focusing cloth

    Take a look at Quietworks "Black Jacket" focus cloth - there is an ULF version under development as we speak!

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Riverside, CA

    Focusing cloth

    BTZS focussing hood cracks on cold winter days; Blackjacket will avoid this problem.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Portland, OR

    Focusing cloth

    I went to a local fabric store and purchased some very nice burgandy red microfiber faux-suede cloth. Then I sewed a couple velcro tabs to the cloth to help hold it in place as it wrapped around the camera back. For the free edges (non-selvage) I used pinking shears and have had no problems with tearing or fraying.

    Anything else just slips off and doesn't fit as nicely.

    The micro-fiber cloth cost me less than $9/yard and can be used to wrap the camera when the system is stored or for traveling. There is some thicker microfiber materials that cost upwards of $70/yard. But check with the sales people for the less expensive but perfectly suitable materials. The microfiber I picked up was near the upholstery section.

  6. #6

    Focusing cloth

    "BTZS focussing hood cracks on cold winter days; Blackjacket will avoid this problem."

    I also have a BTZS 4X5 and 8X10 hood - I have used both in weather between 0 and ten degrees and neither have any cracks - is that not cold enough?

    I have heard good things about the black jacket too - but there was no 12x20 model available when I bough the BTZS 12x20 hood. I also have had no quality issues with any of the three BTZS hoods I own.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Sep 2003

    Focusing cloth

    I recently made a darkcloth for my 11x14 with an aluminized nylon material I purchased from Outdoor Wilderness Fabrics. Lightproof, silver on one side and black on the other, I essentially made a large tube with drawstrings at both ends. The tube fits around the perimeter of the camera back (about 72" IIRC) and is about 58" long (the width of the fabric bolt). I secure one end over the camera back with the drawstring and slip the other end of the tube over my head, shoulders, and upper torso. I can easily reach around the tube with an arm if I need to focus and the extra material folds to keeps the light out. It is very lightweight despite its size, collapses down to a compact size, and it is the best darkcloth I've ever used. Material cost was $9.70/yd for the black/aluminum lightproof nylon and a couple bucks for the drawstrings and locks...roughly $24 total cost. It is also large enough to easily double as a reflector/subtractor.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Sep 2003

    Focusing cloth

    Peony, I recently have replaced my old, fragrant dark cloths with new ones I "fashioned" from black ultrasuede from the local fabric store.

    Ultrasuede isn't woven, so it requires no hem, nor sewing of any kind. It is heavy enough to resist flapping in a light breeze. And the rough texture helps keep it from slipping and sliding around.

    Made from some type of polyester, it washes easily without shrinking. But don't put it in the clothes dryer, as it will melt.

    Only downside I can figure would be discomfort under the desert sun. But then, I'm in New England and winter is coming.

    As for size: a couple of yards (normal 54" or 60" bolt width) should do the trick.

    For a dark cloth that size, you might also consider mattador cape-handling lessons...

  9. #9

    Focusing cloth

    while this is not exactly on topic, can any of you guys recommend the material for a cooler dark cloth? I have had BTZ, way too hot, now have Blackjacket, plenty hot, and used a heavy cloth which was white/black, and it was too small and also heavy, I like the design of the blackjacket, but the tail is short- they will special design, but they are still hot.

    Is the answer to avoid shooting in hot weather?

  10. #10

    Focusing cloth

    Beer Herb...

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