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Thread: Chinese changing tents?

  1. #1

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    Chinese changing tents?

    Hi all
    I'm looking at the Chinese changing tents for 717 and was curious if anyone here's tried them? Something like this https://www.ebay.com/itm/Large-Forma....c100930.m5375

  2. #2
    Serious Amateur Photographer pepeguitarra's Avatar
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    Re: Chinese changing tents?

    I have not tried it. However, I considered buying one, but then, I considered buying the original one made in the USA by it creator for up to 8x10 (not 11x14) (Harrison Tent) for $254 at B&H, not the knock-off which I am not sure the quality of materials, etc.
    "I have never in my life made music for money or fame. God walks out of the room when you are thinking about money." -- Quincy Jones

  3. #3

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    Re: Chinese changing tents?

    there's this thread from last year....

    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...Changing-Tents

    I'd be tempted to try this tent when the coating on my Harrison tent gets to be more trouble than it's worth. Basically store your Harrison loose in a larger breathable sack or a box.
    notch codes ? I only use one film...

  4. #4

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    Re: Chinese changing tents?

    I bought one of these.

    I had a Harrison, and it was really getting that tacky,"moist" feel that can occur as they age. To explain a little further, if they're left folded in the bag during storage, the close proximity of the material (packed tightly) causes it to decompose from the normal kind of out-gassing that occurs with plastic.

    One more thing about the Harrison that I had . . . to see if it was lightproof, I stuck my head in it to see how dark it was in a brightly lit room. There were not only pinholes, there was a very faint presence of light that kind of alarmed me. Of course, it was really old. So, I sold it cheap, disclosing the problems that I had seen. The new owner was planning on using it in a dark room with light-proof material on top.

    My new one (that you're contemplating) appears to be well constructed, and it's huge. No pinholes, no faint sort of light. But, it also had a little bit of that tacky feel. So during storage, I keep it unfolded in a large box. (Not tightly packed.)

    The tent appears to work fine; but, I feel the need to slow the aging process as much as possible.

  5. #5
    Serious Amateur Photographer pepeguitarra's Avatar
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    Re: Chinese changing tents?

    "I had a Harrison, and it was really getting that tacky,"moist" feel that can occur as they age. To explain a little further, if they're left folded in the bag during storage, the close proximity of the material (packed tightly) causes it to decompose from the normal kind of out-gassing that occurs with plastic."

    Thanks for the information. I do realize that we leave some humidity (sweat) inside the bag when we are working on it. That moisture together with the plastic could be a recipe for disaster. However, thinking that it may last for ever is not practical either. We do inhale nanoparticles of plastic when we work on it. If that happens to the Made in USA, I can just imagine what happens to the ones made in a place without so many environmental controls.
    "I have never in my life made music for money or fame. God walks out of the room when you are thinking about money." -- Quincy Jones

  6. #6

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    Re: Chinese changing tents?

    Hi Neil

    A couple of questions. What size film and tent are you using, and do you think the one I linked will work for 717? Two, how soon does the harrison develop the stickiness ? Thanks.

  7. #7
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Chinese changing tents?

    One thing I've noticed about Chinese tent and bag fabrics in general is that they tend to use way way too much pthalate plasticizer. Even good quality camping tents needs to get aired out for weeks or you might develop a skin rash. I've had to religiously scrub such things down with alcohol, plus air them out, or outright throw them away. There's an epidemic of "inexplicable" skin rashes in this area due to exercise watches with overtly-plasticized wrist bands. You'd think someone could have put two and two together by now. This is something with added complications for film, because those same kinds of plasticizers are voodoo if they transfer from your fingers onto the film. I'm not saying it's the case with these film tents per se; but it is a relevant question to ask. As far as polyurethane coatings go, like with a Harrison, the "sticky" breakdown is accelerated not only due to the presence of trapped moisture, but by keeping the tent too tightly wrapped during long-term storage. You should hang it in a clean dry closet instead, when not in transport. I've had two Harrison tents for about thirty years, and they seem OK so far.

  8. #8
    mat4226's Avatar
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    Re: Chinese changing tents?

    Hey OP, I purchased the exact tent you posted prior to a large overseas trip last fall. I had several of the reservations as yourself and others but the tent has done its job and then some! Managed to load in and out 100+ sheets of 8x10" films (400 and lower speed) no problem. No fogging, pinholes, or any failures that I can see. Versus a smaller Harrison changing bag I own, it has a "sticky" feeling to it, but works fine in the field. While over in Africa it handled several days of 100F plus heat and back in Ohio it's even had a day at 10F. The constant packing and reassembly on the road is already chipped some silver bits, but still keeps the dark in as far as I can tell. Final note about the size, I've tried it with loading a few sheets of 8x20" film and it was a little more cramped to maneuver than with 8x10" (very roomy for lots of holders!).
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  9. #9

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    Re: Chinese changing tents?

    Great info Matt, I'm just on the fence betn the harrison and the Chinese, wondering if they're worth the extra 150 or not. I'll just flip a coin. 150 doesn't buy you as much 717 film as it used to.

  10. #10

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    Re: Chinese changing tents?

    I own that exact 11x14, chinese ebay tent. I've only used it at home, for the past 4 years or so, once or twice a month. It's light tight, doesn't smell or feel sticky. The only thing that happened, was one of the collapsible rods broke, and a replacement one would have cost $65.-, which I thought was outrageous. Replacing it with something generic/local, has been tricky however, as the length isn't a standard one.
    Otherwise it's been a good buy.

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