Dark cloth-It's usegreenspun.com : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread
I AM RELITIVLY NEW TO LARGE FORMAT AND WOULD LIKE TO HEAR HOW OTHERS USE THE DARK CLOTH. I HAVE A CALUMET DARK CLOTH, AND HAVE FOUND THAT THE BEST WAY TO USE IT IS TO DRAPR IT OVER MY SHOLDERS LIKE A CAPE AND THEN PULL IT UP OVER THE CAMERA (A WOOD FIELD). SOME TIMES I FASTEN THE VELCRO FASTENERS TOGETHER FIRST AND THEN STRETCH IT OVER THE CAMERA BACK, AS I FIND THIS GIVES ME A TIGHTER FIT. I WOULD BE VERY INTERESTED IN HEARING ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE'S METHODS.
-- Bill Lindley (email@example.com), August 06, 1999
I use one or more short- or long-sleeve black T-shirts instead of an ordinary cloth. I've also had good luck with heavy button-down shirts, dark in color, which button up around the back standard. The archives in this forum indicate that many others use these options too.
My experience with cape cloths is that they let in way too much light from the bottom. Good luck!
-- John O'Connell (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 06, 1999.
I'm a bit hesitant to velcro something as big as a focusing cloth to my camera for fear that a gust of wind might blow it all away. I've been using a calumet white/black polyester cloth and it seems to work pretty well. The white back keeps me cooler when working in hot weather. I find that I have to grab the loose cloth under the camera and hold it tight against the back to achieve the full contrast and brightness my gg is capable of. I do this after I've made all my initial adjustments so I can get as crisp a view of the scene before I expose any film. It works pretty well.
-- Robert A. Zeichner (email@example.com), August 06, 1999.
I use a Calumet dark cloth. I forget what they call it in their catalog but it's the biggest one they make short of the Zone VI model. It has weights in the corners.
I use two or three "bull dog" clips to hold it on to the back. These are those big clips folks use to use on flip charts or similar large pads of paper when making presentations or playing hangman with a lerge group of people. I imagine they're availa ble at any good office supply store or hardware store. Go to http://www.michaelandpaula.com and click on the Gallery heading to see what I'm talking about. To avoid the light spilling in from the gap between the back and the focus/swing hardware I do like the previous poster and bring the cloth in from the bottom.
Frederick Evans went so far as to glue a piece of black material to his back to cover this area so that he didn't have to wrap the darkcloth under. Darkroom Innovations sells an elasticized darkcloth that has gotten favorable reviews.....
-- Sean yates (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 06, 1999.
First of all: Clip the dark cloth to the camera with "bulldog" clipsthose clips that are used to hold papers together. That solves about 90% of all dark-cloth problems.
Michael A. Smith
-- Michael A. Smith (michael @michaelandpaula.com), August 06, 1999.
I had a piece of elastic sewn around one end of myu cloth to allow me to slip it over my camera back. works great. velcro fastens it to itself in various positions to help keep light out from the bottom. I don't have to have them all fastened especially when i am in the desert when it's hot. Fits my 8x10 also. james
-- james (email@example.com), August 07, 1999.
I switched to the Darkroom innovations darkcloth/hood last year. Now my cat uses my old Zone VI as a sleeping pad when I am home, or I'll use it as blanket in cold weather or as camera cover in sunny weather.
-- Ellis Vener (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 07, 1999.
This may not relate directly to the cloth, but is of help when working under. Buy some cheap glasses of, +2 diopters or so, use them instead of a loupe and you have both hands free for camera adjustments.
-- Jan Eerala (email@example.com), August 07, 1999.
Oh yes! I have a rubber band sewn on the front of my dark cloth. It matches just my camera back, holds it in place and doesn't leak.
-- Jan Eerala (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 07, 1999.
I'm with Ellis (and, I guess, a store-bought version of Jan's solution): I don't know anyone who has tried an elasticized darkcloth and then gone back to the old square blanket-style (it's not just lenses that have improved since Ansel and Edward's day!) Check darkroom-innovations.com
-- Simon (email@example.com), August 07, 1999.
The particular camera that you use may be relevant to your dark cloth choice. I used to own a Tachihara 4x5 and the Darkroom Innovations cloth worked very well with it. I now own a Linhof Technika V and the Darkroom Innovations cloth isn't quite as convenient with it as it was with the Tachihara. With the Technika I can't loosen the four knobs necessary to swing or tilt the back with the DI cloth on the camera. If I decide to swing or tilt the back I have to first remove the cloth, loosen the four knobs, put the cloth back on, and then adjust the back. The DI cloth is still usable, just not as convenient as it was on the Tachihara.
-- Brian Ellis (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 08, 1999.
Huh! I just become aware of the fact, that everybody uses a black cloth with view cameras, and the manufacturers have not at all thougth how to fasten it. Those fastening clips could be standard equipment of cameras.
-- Sakari Makela (email@example.com), August 12, 1999.
Sakari, there are very good reasons for this: different weight and designs of darkcloths and that some photographers do not use darkcloths at all but use binoculkar or monocular optical focusing devices.
-- Ellis Vener (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 12, 1999.
Sakari, on some older models, they are. However, for some reason they never made 'em beefy enough on the Calumets and Kodak Master
-- Sean yates (email@example.com), August 12, 1999.