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Thread: Dark cloths on ebay

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Aug 2020
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    New York
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    Re: Dark cloths on ebay

    Quote Originally Posted by roscoetuff-Skip Mersereau View Post
    You aren't going to need more than one of these things every jillion years, so get something made well. I'm sure a spouse can add a certain something no pro can, but why push someone up the learning curve when the cost of materials, experience and the like means it might actually be cheaper or at least no more expensive to buy off the someone else's shelf? Here's a source someone found, made by a LF photographer for folks like us. I got a traditional one, but with summer and really year round have switched (yes, a 2nd one!) to one of their ultralights (which is made of spinnaker material - yes, I'm a sailor in my time, too). Very very highly recommended. Linked to this here: https://www.wandererphotogear.com/pr...ght-dark-cloth

    Greatest benefit of the ultralights are that they literally fold up into a handful. VERY VERY small, and take no real space in your bag while still adding some padding.
    I started out with an Adorama branded dark cloth and it was terrible - for some reason, they put the black fabric on the outside and white on the inside? I practically passed out from heat exhaustion over the summer while using it. It was made out of some type of synthetic material that just made the heat 10x worse. I switched to the traditional dark cloth from Wanderer after seeing them recommended here and it was a massive improvement. The material feels substantial and it does a great job of blocking all the light out. I'd also highly recommend them to someone looking for a new dark cloth.

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Location
    Bundaberg, Australia
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    157

    Re: Dark cloths on ebay

    To those guys that have a dark cloth with elastic.

    I always thought that the elastic would be a pain and even move the camera when attaching/detaching. And in fact I just watched the BTZS video and the camera was all over the place, especially when he's tucking the cloth into the gap under the rear standard.

    Is this the case? Or am I over thinking it?

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Oct 2020
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    4

    Re: Dark cloths on ebay

    I ordered the BTZS cloth but found the elastic did get in the way of my controls. I use a Chamonix with a 90mm ot 150mm most often. I ended up returning it. I may opt to purchase Chamonix's hood instead. I'll ask for opinions on another thread. Thanks for all your insights.

  4. #14

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    Feb 2021
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    Bundaberg, Australia
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    157

    Re: Dark cloths on ebay

    I've done some research since and think I will go for the Harrison cloth

    https://cameraessentials.com/products/small-dark-cloth

    Mostly after seeing this review by Ben Horne

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbEsE06g0oM

    I've always just used a change bag thrown over the camera and this seems to be sort of the same but better.

  5. #15

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    Jan 2020
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    near Prescott, Arizona
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    26

    Re: Dark cloths on ebay

    jnanz, I'm with you. I recently made a 36"x36" dark cloth from synthetic velour and a strip of elastic, both bought at Joanne's for $13 (inflation over 34 years). I was able to sew the elastic into the velour in about 2 hours, perfectly fitted to my Wista 45SP. It does get in the way of the rear tilt and swing controls, but the elastic can be pushed forward a bit to clear the adjustment knobs, and it's loose enough not to clamp onto the bellows if it slips off the rear casing entirely. I think the 36"x36" size is quite a bit smaller than the commercial products I've seen, but I find that it works very well for ground glass viewing, doesn't present much of a cross section to the wind, and is easy to handle.

  6. #16

    Re: Dark cloths on ebay

    For my Normas I went to Joann Fabrics and made nice big ones from appropriate fabric. I did add velcro strips after I had used it for a while in the field. Now I have switched over to monocular viewers on original bag bellows for each of my cameras

    Still use the homemade cloths now and then
    “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
    ― Mark Twain

  7. #17

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Suwanee, GA
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    684

    Re: Dark cloths on ebay

    Home made with 2 layers of fabric - Cheap. I also have a very light weight thermal (silver) blanket from the hospital but it is not light proof, but is adequate. You can buy silver emergency blankets at wallmart for $10 in the camping section.
    Adventure is worthwhile in itself. ... Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done. -- Amelia Earhart
    http://www.searing.photography

  8. #18
    Corran's Avatar
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    Apr 2011
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    North GA Mountains
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    8,037

    Re: Dark cloths on ebay

    My newest 'darkcloth' for my 12x20 is simply an old bedsheet. Folded in half for a bit more opaqueness (queen-size). It's only a few ounces in weight.
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram | Portfolio
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  9. #19
    おせわに なります! Andrew O'Neill's Avatar
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    Sep 2003
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    Coquitlam, BC, Canada, eh!
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    Re: Dark cloths on ebay

    Quote Originally Posted by GRAYnomad View Post
    To those guys that have a dark cloth with elastic.

    I always thought that the elastic would be a pain and even move the camera when attaching/detaching. And in fact I just watched the BTZS video and the camera was all over the place, especially when he's tucking the cloth into the gap under the rear standard.

    Is this the case? Or am I over thinking it?

    I've been using one for my 8x10 since 2001. I use a Canham Light Weight camera. It does not move the camera around if you are careful.

  10. #20

    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    near Prescott, Arizona
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    26

    Re: Dark cloths on ebay

    It's very windy in my area, and I find some positive attachment system mandatory. I have used a 48"x48" darkcloth that was made of a rather thick, but very opaque, felt, with a couple of holes that slipped over the uprights on the rear standard of my Plaubel Peco Profia 4x5. But the wind defeated that scheme frequently, partly on account of the stiffness of the felt. I now use a smaller, lighter velour darkcloth that is not fully opaque - I haven't experienced a need for rigorous light blocking in the Profia (with a bright homemade GG+fresnel), and even less so with my very bright Wista 45SP ground glass + fresnel. I figure that if the elastic sewn into the velour is not too tight on the camera body/rear standard, and if the darkcloth is not too large and heavy, attaching/removing can be done with delicacy adequate to preserve camera position. I haven't noticed a problem so far in image registration with my velour darkcloth + elastic.

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