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BLACKJACKET™ Focusing Cloth frequently asked questions.

• Why was the BLACKJACKET™ Focusing Cloth developed?

• Can I use a larger BLACKJACKET™ Focusing Cloth with a smaller camera?

• What are the specifications for the various BLACKJACKET™ focusing cloth models?

• Can I rotate the camera back with the BLACKJACKET™ Focusing Cloth in place?

• Can I insert a film holder with the BLACKJACKET™ Focusing Cloth in place?

• How do I use a magnifying loupe with the BLACKJACKET™ Focusing Cloth?

• How much does the BLACKJACKET™ Focusing Cloth weigh?

• What is the BLACKJACKET™ Focusing Cloth made of?

• How does the fabric of the BLACKJACKET™ Focusing Cloth perform in adverse conditions?

• How much does the BLACKJACKET™ Focusing Cloth cost?

• How do I order the BLACKJACKET™ Focusing Cloth with PayPal?

• Where can I get a BLACKJACKET™ Focusing Cloth?

• How can I get more information about the BLACKJACKET™ Focusing Cloth?

 

• Why was the BLACKJACKET™ Focusing Cloth Developed?
The BLACKJACKET™ was born from frustration. Frustration with old, hot, heavy, "horse blanket" dark cloths which seemed to require that one be an octopus in all but the most ideal conditions. I was also dissatisfied with contemporary efforts to deal with these distractions by using clothespins, Velcro™ and a lengthy list of fabrics poorly suited for working in the outdoors. I tried them all and was convinced there had to be a better way. The BLACKJACKET™ focusing cloth eliminates all these frustrations. back to top

• Can I use a larger BLACKJACKET™ with a smaller camera?
Yes. For instance, using the 46" 5x7 model with a 4x5 field camera. Since BLACKJACKET™ is secured to the camera back with an adjustable elastic, the neck will form a tight seal around the camera back, whether it is round, triangular, or square.

Matching the neck and camera cabinet size was more important with the earliest models which featured some stiff vinyl to prevent fabric wear over time. While great for minimizing wear, we found the strips impeded gathering of the neck fabric. So in later designs the vinyl strips were eliminated. This improved the performance of larger neck sizes with smaller cameras. We have refined the design of the neck three times already in six years, each time improving peformance. We continue to look at ways to improve performance.

The newest style neck is extremely versatile, easily shrinking from 60" to 0" so that an 8x10 model can easily be used with a 4x5 field camera. If you need a custom BLACKJACKET™ for an odd-sized, smaller or larger camera, we can build it for you. back to top

• What are the specifications for the various BLACKJACKET™ focusing cloth models?
There is no difference in the specifications for the ORIGINAL style 4x5/5x7 BLACKJACKET™. The new 46" neck shrinks down to 0" quickly, permitting the cloth to be used with 2-1/4" x 3-1/4" to 5" x 7" cameras and anything in between. Each weighs 8 ounces and folds to the approximate volume of a softball.

The same is true for the HYBRID style 4x5/5x7. The new 46" neck shrinks down to 0" quickly, permitting the cloth to be used with 2-1/4" x 3-1/4" to 5" x 7" cameras and anything in between. Each HYBRID weighs 17 ounces. The design of the 8x10 model employs additional fabric that add to its girth and weight. See the following list for details.

The Digital SLR BLACKJACKET™ has a collar with a maximum opening of 18", which is designed to slide over front end of fast telephoto lenses, but then synch down to match the barrel size. This eases image reviews on your camera's LCD screen in bright conditions.

The neck of the 4x5 BLACKJACKET™ focusing cloth has an opening that measures 46 inches. It was designed with 4x5 and 5x7 cameras in mind, but if your camera back has a combined height and width of less than 23 inches (total exterior measurement cannot exceed 40 inches), it should work. With the neck fully gathered, the collar of the standard BLACKJACKET™ shrinks to an opening of 0".

Each model BLACKJACKET™ now is equipped with dual adjustment points in the upper left and lower right corners of the collar to secure your focusing cloth to the camera.

The 5x7 BLACKJACKET™ focusing cloth is identical to the 4x5 model and the 8x10 BLACKJACKET™ has a 60-inch collar, so that it can be occasionally used with a 4x5. It weighs 13 ounces in the ORIGINAL style and 23 ounces in the HYBRID style.

We also stock an Ultra Large Format line of BLACKJACKET™ focusing cloths in 72", 84" and 105" neck sizes. back to top

• Can I rotate my camera back with the BLACKJACKET™ in place?
Yes. With the BLACKJACKET™ attached to the camera back, simply pull it forward over the camera, essentially turning it inside out. This will make it easy to rotate the camera back. Then return the BLACKJACKET™ to its original position for focusing. back to top

• Can I insert a film holder with the BLACKJACKET™ in place?
Yes. It is possible to leave the BLACKJACKET™ in place during an exposure, (to prevent light from reaching the film through the gap in the film holder), but care should be taken to ensure that no excess fabric gets between the film holder and camera back when inserting the film holder, as this may introduce light leaks as well. To check for this problem, pull the BLACKJACKET™ forward over the camera, in effect turning it inside out. When you have determined that there are no problems, return it to its normal position, close your shutter and pull the dark slide. If you prefer to remove the BLACKJACKET™ after composing your image, it is easy to do so without disturbing your composition. Simply loosen the toggle, relax the elastic cord and carefully remove the neck from the camera back. Personally, I've typically removed my BLACKJACKET™ prior to making exposures, with no ill effects, but common wisdom says I testing my luck and should opt to leave it on for added insurance against light leaks. back to top

• How do I use a magnifying loupe with the BLACKJACKET™ focusing cloth?
Though quite simple, this concept often seems to baffle first-time users. Most photographers wear a loupe around their neck on a cord. Working in this manner, insert your head into the BLACKJACKET™, and arms through the sleeves from the outside (as shown in the demo), then reach back toward your neck to grasp the loupe and pull it forward to the ground glass, thereby maintaining the desired dark environment while focusing. back to top

• How much does the BLACKJACKET™ focusing cloth weigh?
The ORIGINAL 4x5/5x7 BLACKJACKET™ style weighs a mere 8 ounces, making it ideal for backpacking. The 8x10 BLACKJACKET™ is considerably larger in comparison, yet still only weighs 13 ounces. The HYBRID style BLACKJACKET™ weighs roughly twice what its ORIGINAL counterpart does (17 ounces for DSLR, 4x5/5x7 and 23 ounces for the 8x10 respectively). This is because the waterproof/breathable fabric sandwich used for the back panel is a heavier material than the "aluminized" nylon. Want more information? Check out our model-by-model comparison. back to top

• What is the ORIGINAL BLACKJACKET™ focusing cloth made of?
The ORIGINAL BLACKJACKET™ is fabricated of a lightweight, black, nylon tafetta with an aluminized polyester coating that is similar to that used in popular film changing tents. The HYBRID BLACKJACKET™ employs a water-resistant/breathable fabric sandwich (white on outside, black on inside) for the top panel. The rest of the focusing cloth is constructed of the same coated nylon fabric used for the ORIGINAL style.back to top

• How does the fabric of the BLACKJACKET™ focusing cloth perform in adverse conditions?
The fabric of the BLACKJACKET™ has been tested in conditions ranging from minus 30 degrees to over 100 degrees. Both the ORIGINAL's coated nylon and the HYBRID's waterproof/breathable perform well, with only minor stiffening (not really even worth mentioning) of the coated nylon fabric in the coldest conditions. Both styles shed water beautifully. In areas of high heat and humidity, users prefer the breathable fabric of the HYBRID. It should be noted that the very first BLACKJACKET™ ever constructed (my very own!) is still in use after over ten years with no visible signs of wear. back to top

• How much does the BLACKJACKET™ focusing cloth cost?
Whether you choose the ORIGINAL or HYBRID style of the DSLR, 4x5/5x7 BLACKJACKET™, they cost $75 (US), while the 8x10 BLACKJACKET™ costs $90 (US). Shipping and handling for either is $5.95 ($7.95/$8.95 for HYBRIDs) via United States Postal Service Priority Mail domestically. International rates have recently increased and we need to provide a quote for accurate pricing. We offer alternative shipping methods to meet your needs. We gladly accept cashiers checks and money orders, or you may pay with your credit card via PAYPAL. To purchase your own BLACKJACKET™, click the BUY link. back to top

• How do I order the BLACKJACKET™ focusing cloth with PayPal?
To purchase the BLACKJACKET™ with Paypal, you have three methods.

1. You can set up an account for PayPal through the quietworks website (if you don't already have one).
A. Click on the "Buy One" button for the size and style you want.
B. Click on the "Use Your Credit Card with PayPal."
C. Choose your shipping method.
D. On the far right, click on the credit card button.
This takes you to a PayPal secure server where you can set up the account for payment (unless you already have one).

2. You can use your credit card with PayPal
A. Follow steps 1-A through D and instead of setting up an account, click the "SECURE CHECKOUT" button (below all the credit card symbols in the left half of the window) and you will be taken to the PayPal secure server to enter your billing and shipping information.

3. You can bypass the www.quietworks.com website and just email the proper funds (product price plus shipping fees in $US) with your product selection and any other important info (shipping name, address, phone number) to orders@quietworks.com. I almost forgot! Idaho residents add 6% sales tax! back to top

• Where can I get a BLACKJACKET™ focusing cloth?
You are at the source. QuietWorks Photography is the exclusive distributor for the BLACKJACKET™. back to top

• Do you have questions of your own?
Contact us if you have any questions or concerns regarding the BLACKJACKET™ not addressed in this website. back to top

 

 

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