BTZS Focus Hood (Dark Cloth)

Discussion in 'Talk About Large Format Gear' started by Ian-Barber, Aug 23, 2016.

  1. Ian-Barber

    Ian-Barber Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Messages:
    481
    Likes Received:
    129
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Doncaster
    Home Page:
    I am using a homemade dark cloth but I am struggling with it. The material is black and is like a nylon based material and to b honest, it very smooth and moves all over the place and it makes my head sweat.

    I was wondering if anyone is using the BTZS one from Fred Newman, it looks impressive on the video but from what I can see its only available from the USA.
     
  2. Alan9940

    Alan9940 Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    31
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    Never used the BTZS focus cloth, but I do have a BlackJacket for my 8x10; similar concept as BTZS albeit with "sleeves" for easy access to the rear standard controls. It works well enough, but I did eventually return to my homemade darkcloths because I like the freedom of just tossing it over my shoulder when done using it, and the camera is now unencumbered from material hanging all over it.
     
    Isabel likes this.
  3. Richard Warom

    Richard Warom Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2016
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Longton Lancs
    I always struggled with using a dark cloth as I didn't seem to like being shut in behind the camera so set about making a viewing tube that fixes on to the back standard. Its taken me through quite a few evolutions but have now settled on a design that works for me, this is a collapsable tube i.e. the sides fold in along its length and it is made of 3mm polystyrene filled backing board which is very light the board I obtained is white so I have used black gaffer tape for the construction and covered the inside with the same. With my Shen-Hao camera I was fortunate that it has a 3mm gap at the top of the viewing screen that the top of the tube fixes into and with the sides expanded it locks itself lightly in the back standard. I had to make sure the length was right for focusing and also it was wide enough at the viewing end to fit to the sides of my head and specs also a cut out for the nose was important so i didn't fog up while viewing. Constructing this out of the board was easy and it is very light but I would say not very durable so will have to be renewed, but I will keep searching for a more suitable material though it will have to be as light and as easy to cut to replace what I have made. If there is interest I could take some photos and give my dimensions.
     
  4. Ian-Barber

    Ian-Barber Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Messages:
    481
    Likes Received:
    129
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Doncaster
    Home Page:
    Interesting Richard. I am assuming this is a rigid design so I am wondering how you transport about
     
  5. Richard Warom

    Richard Warom Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2016
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Longton Lancs
    It folds flat to 15mm thick is 29mm long and at the widest 14.5mm and weighs 103 grams it fits across the top part of my back pack inside, I have made small cardboard protectors for each end to protect it in transit and they work fine.
     
  6. Ian-Barber

    Ian-Barber Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Messages:
    481
    Likes Received:
    129
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Doncaster
    Home Page:
    Be interested to see some images of your design Richard, I am intrigued.
     
  7. Richard Warom

    Richard Warom Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2016
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Longton Lancs
    No problem Ian but will need a little time to sort it, I will also do a not to scale drawing of the components with measurements of the one I have made then anyone can either use it to make their own if they want to.
     
    Ian-Barber likes this.
  8. Stephen Batey

    Stephen Batey Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Messages:
    278
    Likes Received:
    55
    Trophy Points:
    60
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    None (retired)
    Location:
    Sussex - but originally from Wakefield.
    Can you still use a loup on the ground glass with it, or do you need to detach it first?
     
  9. Richard Warom

    Richard Warom Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2016
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Longton Lancs
    I need to detach it first, I use it for composition and rough focus and use +3.5 reading glasses as my main specs are varifocal, I then use a Horsman loupe to fine focus.
     
  10. Richard Warom

    Richard Warom Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2016
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Longton Lancs
    I have taken some photos of my viewing tube that I hope will give a favour of what its like and also a dimension drawing not to scale but half size, the dimension are for the rear standard on my camera so dimensions for other rear standards will change these accordingly. The length I determined by experiment with best focus distance for me to the GG. The viewing end or where the head goes is determined by the width across the temples taking into account specs if you where them for me the dia of the curved curved out was perfect for one of my soup bowls (I don't know what that says about my head shape) but is perfect for me. Of course this is only suitable for landscape views unless you can levitate so my dark cloth still got with me and adds protection for my camera.

    Collapsed side view with protectors.jpg
    Collapsed side view.jpg Tube fitted.jpg Viewing end view.jpg View-tube-drawing.jpg

    Well its all uploaded. The basic idea isn't my own I hunted high and low for ideas I did find one very similar to this once but failed to find it again even after much searching. Please remember I made this to suit my requirements but if you wanted to make one its not difficult and if you have questions fire away.
     
  11. Richard Warom

    Richard Warom Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2016
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Longton Lancs
    I missed a photo out a view showing the GG image unfortunately there was a lot of light behind me hence the reflections on the glass.


    Looking into the tube.jpg
     
  12. KenS

    KenS Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2016
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    168
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    retired REGISTEREDbilogical Pho
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Ian...
    I have been using my Zone VI dark-cloth for some 25+ years... the same length of time as my Zone VI tripod. Before my 'investment', all of my home-made dark-cloths could prove to anyone watching my struggles underneath my "Batman"-type cape, that I was probably an escapee from the nearest asylum. For a while... I had a strip 'Velcro' at the center of one edge that would 'mate' with its partner on the top of my well-experienced (refurbished) Burke and James but it was a 'bitch' to use with my monorail Linhof 4x5 if there was anything over a moderate breeze... It IS somewhat 'heavy'... I am not sure of the 'material' (cotton?)... it is not 'slippery.... has proven to stay in place quite well, and... it has always been a greater delight to use than the 4 (?) previous home-made attempts. (I might also add that I make use of BTZS tubes for developing both 4x5 and my 8x10... I can't 'do' as many sheets at the one time as I can when using hangers and tanks... but I have the time to so do).

    Ken
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2017
  13. alexmuir

    alexmuir Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2016
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland.
    Richard, thanks for taking the time to show the details of your focusing tube. I'm planning on making one myself as I'm fed up with the traditional dark cloth. The only use for the one I have is to keep the camera protected if it rains.
    Alex.
     
  14. Richard Warom

    Richard Warom Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2016
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Longton Lancs
    Hi Alex if your going to have a go at this I would suggest you make your first try with some stiff card and sellotape to check all dimensions are good and that the focus length is right before using a more expensive material. I did a lot of trial and error so if you have any questions fire away.
    Richard
     

Share This Page