Portable back drops

Discussion in 'Lighting and Hardware' started by Nwcid, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. Nwcid

    Nwcid No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    While I typically only shoot with backdrops in my studio I have been asked to do some head shots on location. Currently I have worked with canvas, seamless paper and sheets (they were cheap when starting), so I am familiar with that.

    When doing on location shoots what typically works best as a balance between style, ease of set up, ease of transport and of course cost?

    I am looking at something in a medium grey. I do like seamless, but how well does it hold up to transport? I have not worked with vinyl/plastic style back drops, are they any good for this? Of course there is the traditional fabrics but you would need to make sure there is a way to get the wrinkles out. How are the ones that "pop" open like a reflector? Is there an option I am missing?


     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I use Lastolite's collapsible backgrounds for almost all of my location work. They're well made, collapse easily, and when used in conjunction with the support kit make for a system that sets up quickly, stores in a very small footprint, and lets you really impress people when you fold up the background.

    I do use seamless on location, but it's a bit of a pain to transport. It holds up fine; I use 4 or 6" PVC sewer pipe with an end cap and one end and a threaded cap at the other to store all my seamless, so they're well protected, but maneuvering a 109" roll to the top-floor boardroom is a PIA to say the least.
     
  3. Nwcid

    Nwcid No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Do you use the 5x6 or 6x7. On the link you sent they are a bit more then I was looking to spend on a single job (for now). However they do have black/medium grey 6x7 for $150 (US) shipped right now from several sources. The stand kit looks neat, but I am pretty sure I can just hang it from one of my booms.

    Good tip about transporting seamless. I was not considering packing a 109" roll, but getting a smaller one.
     
  4. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I've got several of the collapsible; not actually sure what the dimensions are, probably the 5x6. They're not cheap, but the quality is there. As for the stand, yeah, it's not an essential piece, but it's convenient, and being magnetic, if something gets knocked, it just falls off, nothing broken or damaged.
     
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  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I use Target store-brand queen size medium charcoal gray microfiber plush blankets. You can also get a slightly inferior but much cheaper brand from Walmart. They don't wrinkle too badly, but you need a crossbar and two stands and at least four A-clamps, unless you sew a curtain rod Style pocket for the crossbar to be slid through.
     

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  6. Nwcid

    Nwcid No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Funny, before I bought an backdrops I was practicing with the $10 king size grey sheet from Walmart.
     
  7. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I've tried a few of the vinyl backdrops, the problem for me was getting the wrinkles out. I have a painted canvas, on a roll but it's heavy. I have a couple of Impact 10x20 muslin (black and gray) that despite their size are much more manageable on weight. They're rolled on 11/2" pvc which keeps the wrinkles out. Impact also has some of the popup backdrops that are fairly reasonable on price.

    Available at Wal-Mart and most fabric stores is a synthetic, somewhat stiff material, called fabric backing, comes in white and gray, approximately 50-60" wide, very inexpensive. I roll mine also on 11/2" pvc which keeps it wrinkle free. Lightweight and stiff enough that it will hang straight.
     
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