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A NEW NECK DESIGN For All HYBRID BLACKJACKET™ Focusing Cloths

 
 

Two Cords are Better Than One!
Previous models of the BLACKJACKET™ featured a single, 1/8” shock cord threaded through the front edge of the neck to attach the focusing cloth to the camera.
The adjustable cord could be secured and released with the spring-loaded toggle, permitting attachment and removal without disturbing the position of the camera.
A single adjustment point in the upper left corner provided even tension along all edges of the neck to ensure a better seal between the fabric and camera cabinet. With care, the single-cord neck could be made to grasp very narrow surfaces.
But… the width of view camera cabinets varies considerably, from wooden cameras 2-1/2” to 3” thick, to metal studio cameras with rear standards barely half an inch wide.
After much consideration, I concluded that using smaller diameter shock cord, and using a pair of cords, threaded through separate, parallel channels to accommodate the varying widths of the camera backs would signficantly improve how well, and how easily the neck attaches to the camera.
For the greatest flexibilty, there are actually three parallel channels running through the neck, but, by default, the cords are threaded in the outermost casings. This position is ideal for most wide, wooden and metal field camera cabinets.
For narrower cabinets like those typically found on monorails, the center casing on the neck of the cloth may be used in lieu of the default position. To make this change, the photographer simply removes and rethreads the innermost cord through the center casing.
The neck may still be attached to the camera using a single cord as in the past, (best accomplished with the cord threaded through the front edge of the neck), but for best performance, we recommend both cords be used, and the neck positioned to act like a flange, with its diameter reduced by tensioning the shock cords so that the casings are just slightly smaller than the cabinet. The paths of the cords would run just in front of and just behind the cabinet, with each cord working against the other to keep the neck from moving either forward or backward on the camera back.
Please note, very little tension is required to achieve this result, and if properly attached, the operator can easily slide fingers in between the rearmost casing and camera to reach controls on the side of the camera such as rise, fall and tilt.
You may have noticed that the neck is no longer silver, and not nearly as stiff as the previous versions. In short, I admit to overdesigning the original cloths with a robust, four layers of fabric in the neck. I found over time that worrying about wear was unnecessary and that the extra fabric actually impeded the neck's ability to gather easily. For this newest generation of cloths, I’ve reduced the number of layers of fabric in the neck from four to two, which dramatically improves the fabric’s ability to gather when the neck size shrinks. The difference in performance was so great that I now only stock HYBRID cloths with a 46” neck for use with all 4x5 and 5x7 cameras. The 56” neck of the new 8x10 Mark II now works even better with 4x5, 5x7 and 8x10 cameras, without the clips I formerly used to restrict the neck when used with the smaller formats.
I am very pleased with the new design, and hope you are as well!

Here's how the new design works! A pair of cords (A and B), threaded through separate, parallel channels accommodate the varying widths of the camera backs on all HYBRID BLACKJACKET™ focusing cloths for a better seal, and ease of use. The paths of the cords run just in front of and just behind the cabinet, with each cord working against the other to keep the neck from moving either forward or backward on the camera back.

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