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Thread: Ideal Dark/Focusing Cloth?

  1. #11
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    Re: Ideal Dark/Focusing Cloth?

    hi scott

    i went to the fabric store
    and got some felt.
    it cost me about $2 for a huge sheet
    and i have been using it for 20 years.

    you don't need expensive you just need a cloth
    that makes dark.

    good luck !
    john

  2. #12
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: Ideal Dark/Focusing Cloth?

    Quote Originally Posted by DanielStone View Post
    ...light tight from every angle.
    Which also means "air tight". You can't breathe with your head in a tube.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  3. #13

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    Re: Ideal Dark/Focusing Cloth?

    Someone mentioned black t shirts earlier. I have a big old double sided black/white cloth. It is heavy to carry around. It is a pain to keep on the camera and me. It is hot. It does not breathe. So I ditched it in favor of a large, black t shirt someone gave me. It is much lighter to carry. The neck fits perfectly around the back of my camera. The cotton fabric blocks enough light so that I can see the groundglass well. It is light enough to let a little air in. It meets my needs perfectly.

  4. #14
    Yes, but why? David R Munson's Avatar
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    Re: Ideal Dark/Focusing Cloth?

    When I first started with LF maybe 15 years ago , my mother (I was in high school at the time) sewed a dark cloth for me. It's a big, heavy thing made from two layers of fabric - black corduroy on one side and white "blackout" material on the other. It's something like 36x48" and I love it. Yes, it's heavy, yes it can be a bit hot in the summer, but it stays exactly where I put it (corduroy = no need to actually attach it to the camera), doesn't blow around much at all, worked as well for 8x10 as it does for 4x5, and it's proven extremely durable. Granted, I don't know how one wears out a dark cloth, but aside from dirt it hasn't really changed much at all.
    So apparently my signature was full of dead links after a few years away...

  5. #15
    Daniel Stone's Avatar
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    Re: Ideal Dark/Focusing Cloth?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leigh View Post
    Which also means "air tight". You can't breathe with your head in a tube.

    - Leigh
    Well mine has an opening(velcro hook+loop to close it) on the bottom, which if you want to keep it open, will allow plenty of fresh air to get under the hood.

    I have the older(grey) version, not sure if its an identical clone to the current white version.

    -Dan

  6. #16
    Foamer
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    Re: Ideal Dark/Focusing Cloth?

    I've often wondered if there might be a way to attach one of those lightweight battery powered fans to a dark cloth. BTW, I've just been using a black t-shirt myself.


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  7. #17

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    Re: Ideal Dark/Focusing Cloth?

    Just received my second Blackjacket - got the 8x10 one yesterday. It's great! I really like it. I also have the 4x5 Blackjacket which was my first proper focusing cloth and for me it's the perfect focusing cloth, although my only previous experience of a focusing cloth were a couple of dark tshirts.

  8. #18
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: Ideal Dark/Focusing Cloth?

    Quote Originally Posted by Two23 View Post
    I've often wondered if there might be a way to attach one of those lightweight battery powered fans to a dark cloth.
    You could probably attach it to the bottom of the camera, or to the tripod, blowing toward you.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  9. #19
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Ideal Dark/Focusing Cloth?

    I use a lightweight windbreaker-style jacket (black) that can be shoved in my pack. I don't know why I'd need anything else. It does the job easily enough. I wear it in the winter instead of putting it in the pack. No need for fancy expensive stuff here!
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    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  10. #20
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    Re: Ideal Dark/Focusing Cloth?

    Had a traditional "horse blanket", an old Zone VI, and WHY didn't they say not to wash it? I did, because I got grass stains on the white side, and it spewed black powdery material from the black side all over everything else in the load of laundry. It's just a two piece cloth. Who would have thought? Fortunately the crap all washed right off with another pass - ruined the focusing cloth though.

    I'm glad that happened, because (I tried a black tee shirt and didn't like that at all - fiddly and not very dark) I sprung for a BTZS hood. It's great, one of those simple things worth every penny.

    Quote Originally Posted by DanielStone View Post
    I've found the BTZS "tube" type hoods to be the best for me, light tight from every angle.

    .....

    -Dan
    Quote Originally Posted by Leigh View Post
    Which also means "air tight". You can't breathe with your head in a tube.

    - Leigh
    I have no problem. I rarely fasten the bottom and it's still plenty dark enough. If I do fasten it I can still breath, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by DanielStone View Post
    Well mine has an opening(velcro hook+loop to close it) on the bottom, which if you want to keep it open, will allow plenty of fresh air to get under the hood.

    I have the older(grey) version, not sure if its an identical clone to the current white version.

    -Dan
    Don't know, but mine has the velcro on the bottom. Elastic keeps it around the camera, it folds down much smaller to pack than the old Zone VI, much lighter, and works much better into the bargain. A huge improvement.
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