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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting
Thread started 02 Mar 2007 (Friday) 18:56
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DIY Background Support System

 
TMR ­ Design
Cream of the Crop
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Joined Feb 2006
Huntington Station, NY
Mar 02, 2007 18:56 |  #1

This is another simple, easy DIY for a background support system. It mimics other systems that use lightstands and a cross bar.
There are a few things required for the support that many people already have and if you do have these items then you only need to spend about $14 and you're in business.

Items required for this project:

- 2 heavy duty light stands with a fairly large foot print
- 2 umbrella brackets
- 1/2" copper pipe (use whatever length you want (it's sold in 10' lengths)

There's no construction involved to make this DIY and if you have the light stands and the brackets then your only expense is the 1/2" copper pipe, which costs about $14 for 10 feet. Unfortunately I couldn't find anything that would work and was less expensive. The copper pipe is an exact fit.

Nothing really to explain on this one. The pictures show the umbrella bracket with the copper pipe attached and I took a few quick shots to show a large curtain-like backbrop going across the whole length of the cross bar and a roll of 53" white seamless. Obviously if you want something compact and portable then an 8-10 ft. piece of coppoer pipe is not all that convenient to carry around but a 60" piece is reasonable and you can use backgrounds and 53" seamless for head shots and portraits. If portability is not an issue then using an 8 or 9 ft. cross bar works great and only bows a litte when using large or heavy backgrounds. A 10' x 12' muslin background won't affect the bar at all.

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Baadil
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London
Mar 03, 2007 00:16 |  #2

Hi, This looks very functional. Do you get any bends in the pipe?

OT: Which of your lenses do you like bed and for what purpose?

Thanks


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Lotto
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Southern California
Mar 03, 2007 01:16 |  #3

Sweet, thanks for sharing, Robert.

One question: Since the cross bar looks kind of tight fit into the bracket, any problem on raising or lowering the stands?


5D, 24-70L, 70-200L IS, 50 f1.4, 100 Macro, 580 & 430EX

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TMR ­ Design
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Cream of the Crop
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Mar 03, 2007 05:00 |  #4

Baadil wrote in post #2805971external link
Hi, This looks very functional. Do you get any bends in the pipe?

OT: Which of your lenses do you like bed and for what purpose?

Thanks

No, the pipe does not bend. With 8 ft. of pipe between the stands and a heavy background attached the pipe bows ever so slightly but it's nothing to be concerned about. The picture I show with the blue curtain demonstrates that becuase the curtain weights a lot.

Lotto wrote in post #2806134external link
Sweet, thanks for sharing, Robert.

One question: Since the cross bar looks kind of tight fit into the bracket, any problem on raising or lowering the stands?

Hi Lotto,

It is a tight fit but nothing that has to be forced. There is no problem raising or lowering the stands, however if you are doing it yourself you do have to carefully move each side up a little at a time to avoid tipping one side over. If you have a helper then it's very easy. I raised and lowered the stands a few times and I was careful not to go too far at one time.


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tiffaneyjoy
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Aug 09, 2007 07:22 as a reply to TMR Design's post |  #5

Thanks Robert.

I am going to try it.


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TMR ­ Design
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Cream of the Crop
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Aug 09, 2007 17:07 as a reply to tiffaneyjoy's post |  #6

It's down and dirty but it works. The thing to be careful of, and this is real important...is that since the hole that you slide the copper pipe through is just big enough for the pipe, there is no room for it to pivot. This means that you either have to inch it up, going back and forth between the 2 sides or have someone help you adjust both sides at the same time.
Be very careful of the light stands not having footing on all 3 legs of the tripod.


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liza
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Mayberry
Aug 09, 2007 17:19 |  #7
banned

Thanks, Robert. Appreciate the idea. :)



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nuke789
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Houston
Jan 02, 2008 14:05 |  #8

Hey Robert,
Which umbrella brackets did you use for this project?
Thanks
Eric


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TMR ­ Design
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Cream of the Crop
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Jan 02, 2008 14:19 as a reply to nuke789's post |  #9

Those are the generic Impact umbrella brackets.


Please call me Robert or Rob, not TMR
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nuke789
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Houston
Jan 02, 2008 14:22 |  #10

Thanks


1D MARK III, 5D, 40D 24-70 2.8L,70-200 2.8L IS,135 2.0L,50 1.4,85 1.8
Elinchrom 600Rx X3,Elinchrom 400Bx X 4
Ranger RX AS,Ranger A -Head Ranger S-Head

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zwollenaar
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California
Jan 02, 2008 16:10 |  #11

1/2" copper pipe is the last thing to complete mine. Thanks for sharing, Robert!


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rmcrowe
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Jan 02, 2008 23:58 |  #12

Out of curiosity, did you consider electrical conduit (EMT) instead of the copper pipe. Probably cheaper and more rigid. Any home depot should have it. I think the standard lengths are 12' Nice idea and thanks for sharing.

Bob




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anamit
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Jul 05, 2008 15:54 |  #13

Hi...Whats the total weight of this rig? Is it portable & light enough to carry around from one place to another?




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TMR ­ Design
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Jul 05, 2008 16:01 |  #14

rmcrowe wrote in post #4619921external link
Out of curiosity, did you consider electrical conduit (EMT) instead of the copper pipe. Probably cheaper and more rigid. Any home depot should have it. I think the standard lengths are 12' Nice idea and thanks for sharing.

Bob

I can't believe I missed this post but anyway....

I bet that electrical conduit would work fine as long as the diameters worked, but since this DIY I've just used Superclamps instead of the umbrella adapters. This way I can use any material of any diameter.


Please call me Robert or Rob, not TMR
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TMR ­ Design
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Jul 05, 2008 16:04 |  #15

anamit wrote in post #5854824external link
Hi...Whats the total weight of this rig? Is it portable & light enough to carry around from one place to another?

I don't know the exact weight but 9.5 foot aluminum light stands are very light. Superclamps are somewhat heavy for the size, but not heavy. Umbrella adapters weigh almost nothing. The cross rod doesn't weigh much. A roll of seamless is the heaviest component, especially if you were using 9 foot seamless. I typically only use 53" seamless and if I want a wider background I go with muslin or fabric.

All in all, a system like this is just as light and portable as any other available. If you check the weight on some basic background support systems that should give you an idea.


Please call me Robert or Rob, not TMR
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"Art is the elimination of the unnecessary." - Pablo Picasso

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DIY Background Support System
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