Using the BLACKJACKET™ (Old Style Neck) with a 4×5 SINAR Monorail
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Using the BLACKJACKET™ (Old Style Neck) with a 4×5 SINAR Monorail

October 10, 2019


I’m here today to show you how to use the
BLACKJACKET™. In this case we’re going to be working with
the 46″ neck, original pattern, HYBRID style. And that is a 46″ neck that is designed to
work with a 5×7 camera or a monorail, because… with the 46-inch neck you can go all around
the camera including the rail and it still permits rise and fall of the back of the camera
without any impedence. Let’s take a look at the design of the BLACKJACKET™,
you see it’s like a very large shirt. It has an adjustable neck with a shock cord and toggle
to shorten that neck. And… you’ll see it’s constructed of the
silver fabric on one side which is a waterproof, but not breathable fabric, very lightweight
though… The other side is white fabric sandwiched
with black fabric, but this fabric breathes and it’s oriented so that when you are under
the cloth, it is what is facing the sun. I did this design to maintain the light weight
but introduce breathablity to make it more comfortable in hot and humid conditions. So let’s go ahead and put this on… I’ve
taken the tension out of the neck by releasing the toggle here. This makes it a little bit
easier to get it around the camera. While holding the neck with the toggle in my left
hand like so… this helps me orient things. Come around, bring the neck under the rail,
bring the neck forward over the top of the camera and just use my fingers to guide the
neck down along the side here so that it ends up in front of the rear standard. And, once
I’ve got it there I can just take up the tension in the cord like so and lock it with the toggle
in place and you can see it’s not going anywhere. So let’s take a look at what’s inside… You can see the neck of the BLACKJACKET™
is under the rail and up and around the camera in front of the rear standard. There’s not
a whole lot of tension on the neck itself to pinch the bellows, and in fact, you can
even, if you really want to mess with it, run it around the camera frame itself. I usually
just go around the front so that the camera acts as a bit of a flange and don’t apply
a lot of tension that would pinch the bellows. It might be problematic if you were using
bag bellows, but, uh, in the case of normal bellows it’s absolutely nothing to think about.
Um… but you can see already that we do have a problem in this nice dark environment there’s
going to be some major light leaks underneath the camera. This space where the neck comes
down around the camera, light gets in and that’s going to be a real distraction when
you are trying to focus in that nice dark environment. Well… remember that bag we were carrying
around, here it is, the BLACKBAG™ and the BLACKBAG™ does double duty. First off, it
is a storage sack, as we know from before, and secondly, it is equipped with this special
snag-free Velcro® that is oriented in a horizontal position on the bag. Well, the neck of the
BLACKJACKET™ has corresponding Velcro® oriented in a vertical position on both sides. And, what this BLACKBAG™ does is that it
serves as a light skirt to block the gap down below and this is how you do it…you pinch
the Velcro® piece together on the left and right just creating a little bit of sideways
tension, so it doesn’t sag in the middle and it will block that light nicely. So as we
pull our cloth forward, you can see already that it is a big improvement. In fact, I’ll
just take this out and look at the difference. So, that’s the BLACKBAG™… it takes a moment,
sometimes, it will take a moment for you to get used to how it works… Now, earlier I mentioned that the 46-inch
neck BLACKJACKET™ allows you to use rise and fall with a monorail camera with little
concern for any impedance, and I’ll illustrate that now… I’ll just loosen my rear rise
and I’ll take this all the way up as far as it will go and you can see that the neck is
expanding so that it still fits. You might want to release the tension a little bit on
the toggle so that it doesn’t pinch your bellows. You are more likely to do so when you are
using rear rise of that magnitude. But, you can see also there’s a major gap
here now, fortunately with the BLACKBAG™…. you might have to just pull those up a little
bit on the sides… pinch that together and it functions the way it is intended to, blocks
that huge gap, still permitting access to the controls under the camera. Okay…. with the assistance of my good friend
here since I’ve only got one arm free at the moment, since I’m holding a video camera with
the other… let’s take a look inside the darkened environment and… here we go…
you can see, it is nice and dark here. I’m bringing my left arm in the left sleeve,
the right sleeve at present is occupied by my friend’s arm, and you can see it’s nice
and dark in here… that BLACKBAG™ blocking the light down below.. Note: The automatic exposure of the video
camera makes the darkened environment seem brighter. And your hands can hold the fabric up and
away from the ground glass. This is especially nice when it’s windy out and the wind wants
to blow the fabric in front of your ground glass. You use your hands like tent poles
to keep it at bay. Uh… let’s go ahead and focus now and that
means that right arm has just left the darkened environment and its going to the focus knob
on the outside, and he’s going to take us in and out of focus here… And bring it back into focus and there you
go. Nice and dark while he’s doing that…. and I’m going to illustrate the use of a loupe.
I’m holding a loupe in my left arm. I brought it inside the trunk because I have the cord
around my neck and I’m going to use my left arm to take it to the ground glass, and see
how it maintains nice dark environment while I do my critical focusing. The nice thing about the sleeves is they stay
nice and dark when they are occupied or not, the folds in the fabric intercept the light
that would get in otherwise they act like an S-shaped doorway for a darkroom. So that’s
the inside. If you needed to get at the controls under
the BLACKBAG™ well, they are all right there where you can find them and rise and fall
on the left and right of the camera as well. So, that’s a look at the darkened environment
inside a BLACKJACKET™ on being used on a monorail. The neck style used in this video features
a single cord. The new style neck has two parallel cords.

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