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Thread: What is the current trend on using dark cloth?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2020
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    What is the current trend on using dark cloth?

    Iím just a beginner on LF with my 4x5 camera and Iíd like to learn what is the best way to use dark cloth, ie do you keep it attached to your camera while you slide the film holder (which is pretty difficult to do) or do you take it off and then slide the film holder? How do you guarantee nothing moves when you do these?

  2. #2
    Foamer
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    Oct 2010
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    Re: What is the current trend on using dark cloth?

    I just use either a jacket or a black t-shirt. I use it to frame and focus, and then simply drop it on the snow under my tripod. Nothing fancy.


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  3. #3
    David Schaller
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    Mar 2002
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    Williamstown, MA
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    Re: What is the current trend on using dark cloth?

    You lock everything down when you've got the focus you want. Hopefully nothing moves either way. I do not use an attached dark cloth, often just a jacket, so I don't have anything attached to the camera.

    When you get your camera, you will decide some of these things based on your own experience. There is no cutting edge science on a lot of these questions.

  4. #4

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    Feb 2021
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    Bundaberg, Australia
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    Re: What is the current trend on using dark cloth?

    I always carry a change bag and so far I've just used that. I may buy a cloth soon, and if I do I won't get one with elastic that hugs the camera as I worry about that moving things. That said many people use the elastic ones and are happy with them.
    Rob Gray ó Nature Photographer Extraordinaire
    www.robgray.com

  5. #5
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Feb 2007
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    Re: What is the current trend on using dark cloth?

    I have never used a dark cloth with my 4x5. I use a pop-out hood and long-reach loupe.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jan 2019
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    436

    What is the current trend on using dark cloth?

    For 4x5, during the not summer times I just use my jacket. Summertime I pack a dark cloth.

    For 8x10 I always pack a dark cloth. Jacketís a bit too tight sometimes.

  7. #7
    Foamer
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    Re: What is the current trend on using dark cloth?

    Quote Originally Posted by GRAYnomad View Post
    I always carry a change bag and so far I've just used that. I may buy a cloth soon, and if I do I won't get one with elastic that hugs the camera as I worry about that moving things. That said many people use the elastic ones and are happy with them.

    Might depend on how much wind where you live. I live on the Northern Plains and am lucky if the wind doesn't blow my tripod over. Or me! The less attached to the camera for the wind to catch, the better for me.


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  8. #8

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    Sep 2012
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    Mt. Pleasant, Wisconsin USA
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    Re: What is the current trend on using dark cloth?

    I've found that a longer dark cloth is best. So don't get or make one that would just cover the camera back and your head, and just down to say your shoulders; but one that covers all that and also down to at least your waist so it will be nice and dark up at the ground glass where all your important decisions about focus and composition are being made.
    ... JMOwens (Mt. Pleasant, Wisc. USA)

    "If people only knew how hard I work to gain my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all." ...Michelangelo

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Oct 2015
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    1,126

    Re: What is the current trend on using dark cloth?

    I don't like the various dark cloths and "jackets" that attach to the rear standard. My preference is for the traditional dark cloths; my wife made me a few lightweight cloths years ago. One of the reasons why I prefer a traditional cloth is that it's easily tossed over the back of the camera to protect from inadvertent light fog when the sun is at a low angle and the dark slide is removed.

  10. #10
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
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    16,596

    Re: What is the current trend on using dark cloth?

    I seldom use one. As I black out my entire studio

    I use a remote to turn off room lights to view my GG. I can back off several feet to see the big picture glowing!

    During setup I use strong lamps for focus then switch to strobes.

    I spend days on one image. Sometimes using Digi and or Instant film for test

    I have several sheet film Rangefinders for the great outdoors

    One is for night and has red laser inside the RF split beam never used if people are around

    I am tuning a new 4x5 Range Finder box

    and an 11x14 studio gg is wonder-full
    2022

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