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Thread: Dark Cloths

  1. #1

    Dark Cloths

    The denim dark cloth my mother sewed for me 30 years ago is finally in tatters. It lets in more light than it keeps out. Does anyone have a favorite out there (besides your mother's) that would work well in the field on a 5x7 Deardorf?

    Tony

  2. #2
    Yes, but why? David R Munson's Avatar
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    Dark Cloths

    Though I have not yet tried one myself, I've heard lots of good things about the BTZS focusing hoods. I think they're available from Darkroom Innovations.

    -Dave Munson
    So apparently my signature was full of dead links after a few years away...

  3. #3

    Dark Cloths

    A better one that what your MOM sowed 30 years ago? Good Lord man what are you asking?

    Why not make another? I'd switch to black velveteen and white cotton or sateen or something to save weight maybe.

    I always liked the size of the larger Zone VI one, 6'6" square. My first one was just a piece of some blue material I found at a yard sale. Now I'm using the largest one Calumet sells, poly-esther or nylon with weights in the corners.

  4. #4

    Join Date
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    Dark Cloths

    I was a skeptic until I tried it but the BTZS darkcloth/hood sold by Darkroom Im pressions. Easily the best darkcloth I've used in nearly twenty years of LF photography; it is lightweight, very dark, adjustable, and packs up small. It ha s one drawback: because it is enclosed it can get really hot and stuffy in there in hot & humid weather. But that beats than fighting the heavy Zone VI and other s imilar "horseblankets".

  5. #5

    Dark Cloths

    The BTZS is well made. Most of the time I use my windbreaker, since I am packing it anyway. Has anybody tried weighting or velcroing (verb?) a mylar "space blanket"? It always seemed to me that it would be very light, very opaque and very reflective in the sun and would double as a rain cover.

  6. #6

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    Dark Cloths

    Great idea Glenn! I'll try it and let you know. My Idea was to sandwich some black plastic lightproofing material between pieces of white and black ripstop nylon to make a light-weight/proof field cloth. Of course, velcro to hold it to the camera and to close it at the bottom and front would also be a must. Regards, ;^D)

  7. #7

    Join Date
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    Dark Cloths

    If you try the one from Darkroom Innovations I don't think you will ever use anything else. I won't lend you mine because I'm sure you would not give it back. Just think...even with some breezes blowing, black as night and two free hands. Only problem is that you don't look like Edward Weston in the field.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 1999
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    195

    Dark Cloths

    I have used the BTZS cloth also and like it,BUT I found that the cloth had too much tension produced by the elastic to put it on and easily remove it from the camera. I own a 4x5 Wisner and found that I needed a 5x7 cloth. My ultimate revision--remove the elastic and replace it with the cord and locks like those found on outdor clothing--like a marmot or north face parka. So the cloth easily goes over the camera and then you can pull the cords to tighten it to your preference. That works well. The BTZS is small, very light tight. The only superior approach I have seen is a traditional cloth with velcro loops, white on one side and black ultrasuede on the other. J. Sexton uses one like that. Very nice.

  9. #9

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    Dark Cloths

    I use and like the BTZS dark cloths on both 4x5 and 5x7 (the 4x5 studio cloth will fit my 5x7 camera). However, a friend of mine made his own out of the same material that parachutes are made out of. I think I like it better but I haven't been able to find the material.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Mar 1999
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    Dark Cloths

    Another vote for the BTZS cloth from Darkroom Innovations (now called The View Camera Store, I believe). I think it's the perfect solution to keeping your hands free for holding a loup and making adjustments, etc., and for big cameras - 8x10 and up - it solves the frustrating problem of light leaking in near the bottom of the dark cloth. The extra "available darkness" these things provide make it much easier to see what's going on at small apertures (and if Edward or Ansel were alive today I bet that's what they'd be using, too!).

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