Changing Tent Material : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I need to make a changing tent that I can walk into or sit inside of. Weight is a major concern. I am a wet plate photographer and already have enough to carry with chemicals, glass plates, 8x10 camera and tripod.

Can anyone suggest a material to use that would be very lightweight to make a darkroom tent out of?

-- Robert Szabo (, January 25, 2002


How about the plastic/mylar type reflective material that is used to make lightweight emergency blankets? You might want to consider a used panel van. They can be made secure and light-tight fairly easily. They can even be vented with a solar-recharged fan.

-- Andrew Held (, January 25, 2002.

I tried the emergency blanket to block off a window -- it isn't light tight. Mabye I got the cheep kind though. Dean

-- Dean Lastoria (, January 25, 2002.

I thought the old-time tents were just orange cloth, giving a safelight effect. Is your emulsion of a different sensitivity?

-- Chauncey Walden (, January 26, 2002.

The orange cloth is a good idea and I think I will try that. I use the same chemistry that was used in the 19th century, it is only sensititive to blue light.

I was worried that enough white would get through the orange cloth, through the small holes in the stitching, that it would fog my plates.

I have always used 2-3 layers of poplin type material. If I have to Ill do that and out a red window in it.

I just thought that if I could come up with something like the material the changing tents were made out of that I could do it in one layer and cut down on weight.

-- Robert Szabo (, January 26, 2002.

I just looked at the B&H website, and they sell "Visual Departures" changing tents that has a rip-stop nylon interior. You can buy this stuff by the yard ( I would think you'd need to sew two shells, just like any other changing bag or changing tent, so your seams don't overlap.

Or, this may be a stupid suggestion, but what about buying a small pup tent (like from REI) and then throwing some lightproof fabric over it? They will have the really light weight poles and things you would need and you'd already be most of the way there. The added bonus is that in theory their tent would have a strong enough bottom to handle the wear of standing, sitting, and walking.

-- Jennifer Waak (, January 26, 2002.

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