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Old March 7th, 2003, 07:40 PM   #1
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camera case foam

I went to The Foam Store to buy some foam today for a new camera case/bag I am making. They had "camera foam" there, which looked like normal spongy foam, only black. However, it was $5cdn per sq/ft. I was shocked at the price, as I need 15 sq/ft. I asked for the price of regular foam. "You can't use regular foam", that clerk said. "Regular foam builds up a static charge and will fry your camera."

Is this true?
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Old March 7th, 2003, 07:49 PM   #2
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I use 1" packaging foam. I lined both my bags with it. The foam is firm and above all else, free. With my Lowepro VIDCAM 2 bag, with MX300 inside, I can safely drop the bag (and cam) from 10 feet. All the bag does is bounce a bit and then roll.

http://www.dvfreak.com/bags.htm
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Old March 7th, 2003, 09:11 PM   #3
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That's new one on me, I've never heard of camera foam before. A quick search of Google turned up nothing either. To my knowledge there are two basic types of foam, open cell and closed cell. I suppose it could be made with some small percentage of carbon to reduce static electricity. None of the major camera bag manufactures make mention of it either. I don't think I'd be too worried. If it was that big of a problem the manufactures would be warning you about it. Why? Think of all the warranty claims they would be dealing with as a result of storing a new camera in non camera foam.
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Old March 7th, 2003, 09:48 PM   #4
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CAMERA FOAM --Equates to RIP OFF- idiot clerk tells unsuspecting customer CAMERA FOAM or ELSE! Unsuspecting customers buys in, and idiot clerk gets bigger commission!
Sorry, couldn't resist. I've been in cameras; still, movie and video since 1971 and I heard of alot of things, but CAMERA FOAM?! Pullllleze!
I go to the fabric store buy 1 or 2 inch upholstery foam and have never had a problem or fried a camera. Is that like frying a chicken?
I'm sorry, but I've been editing most of the day and into the night and I get a little sarcastic after awhile, only towards the moron that tried to sell you a bill of goods. Get some nice foam at the fabric or home improvement store, get some spray adhesive for foam and pad your cases.
Have fun!
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Old March 7th, 2003, 09:53 PM   #5
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Packaging foam is exactly the same as the foam that comes inside a Pelican hard case. :D
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Old March 7th, 2003, 10:34 PM   #6
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<<<-- Originally posted by Don Bloom : CAMERA FOAM --Equates to RIP OFF- ! -->>>

That's exactly what I was thinking too.

The "camera foam" was the same type of black foam you'd find inside a pelican case.
The rest of their foam was the yellow type you find used as mattresses or cusions.
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Old March 7th, 2003, 11:58 PM   #7
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Well there is a thing like anti-static foam. Whether a camera actually needs it certainly seems debatable to me. If I were shipping chips I might use it. Still I have shipped boards that cost $10K and all we do is put them in anti-static bags and wrap them in bubble wrap (but lots of it).

I think the biggest thing to look for is some kind of foam that does not flake off. That way you keep all the particles away from lenses and transports.
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Old March 8th, 2003, 12:03 AM   #8
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Dylan buddy. You should go back and give the manager an earful for trying to rip you off.
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Old March 8th, 2003, 12:24 AM   #9
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Maybe I should do an expose piece on businesses trying to rip off people in the video/camera business.

I'll go back there and find out the price of regular foam, tell them what it's for, and then tell them it's BS when they try to sell me the camera foam.

Frank, the packing foam you got, what colour was it and where did you buy it?
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Old March 8th, 2003, 02:51 AM   #10
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I don't buy it. I get it from an audio/cam dealer beside Capers, on West 4th. They put the stuff out back (across from where I live), every few days or so. The color is dark grey. I assume you can buy it from shops that sell packaging materials. If I get some more, I'll let you know.
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Old March 8th, 2003, 06:32 AM   #11
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I think Nathan is right. The biggest danger is the foam deteriorating from heat and UV exposure. Some foams will get brittle and start to crumble. The danger from the foam deteriorating and pieces getting into the mechanical parts of the camera is greater than static electricity.
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Old March 8th, 2003, 06:57 AM   #12
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It seems to me the heat deteriorating problem is small. What I mean is that you'll see it happening, when you do, replace the inexpensive foam with more inexpensive foam. It would probably quite a while before it starts to come apart anyway and by then maybe the price of "CAMERA FOAM" will have come down to a reasonable level :]
I like the idea of an expose! I can see it now, 3 or even 4 person camera crew running into small camera shop, fabric store or other store of your choice; "reporter"-preferrably Frank thrusting microphone (Shure model # _____; your preferance) into unsuspecting clerks face, Jeff Donald handling sound whacking poor clerk on head with boom, Keith Loh on controls of camera making said clerk look really bad, Dylan standing there with a smug look as the "producer"...They burst into the store and Frank ask's the question we've all been waiting to hear the answer to;
"Is it true that you are acting in concert with the CAMERA FOAM industry to rip off poor unsuspecting videographers who need foam to line a case or is all just a bunch of hyperbole?" (hyperbole?) "Details on the news at 10"
I really really really need to swtch to decafe.
Have a great day all,
Don
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Old March 9th, 2003, 03:42 AM   #13
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LMAO!
That would make a great short film for people inside the industry!
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Old March 9th, 2003, 08:17 AM   #14
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Not sure if this will work but I remember they sell anti-static sprays for office environments. Spray the carpet for example in areas where wire is being run and so on. Perhaps if you're worried you could pick some up and spray the foam before hand?

Don, I wouldn't switch to decafe at all.
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Old March 9th, 2003, 09:24 AM   #15
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anyone know where I could get some Camera Foam in NYC?
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