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Old 2nd of March 2007 (Fri)   #1
TMR Design
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Default DIY Background Support System

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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File Type: jpg diy_bg_support_1.jpg (32.4 KB, 5983 views)
File Type: jpg diy_bg_support_2.jpg (35.3 KB, 5867 views)
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Old 3rd of March 2007 (Sat)   #2
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Default Re: DIY Background Support System

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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Old 3rd of March 2007 (Sat)   #3
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Default Re: DIY Background Support System

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?
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Old 3rd of March 2007 (Sat)   #4
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Default Re: DIY Background Support System

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baadil View Post
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lotto View Post
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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Old 9th of August 2007 (Thu)   #5
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Default Re: DIY Background Support System

Thanks Robert.

I am going to try it.
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Old 9th of August 2007 (Thu)   #6
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Default Re: DIY Background Support System

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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Old 9th of August 2007 (Thu)   #7
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Default Re: DIY Background Support System

Thanks, Robert. Appreciate the idea.
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Old 2nd of January 2008 (Wed)   #8
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Default Re: DIY Background Support System

Hey Robert,
Which umbrella brackets did you use for this project?
Thanks
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Old 2nd of January 2008 (Wed)   #9
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Default Re: DIY Background Support System

Those are the generic Impact umbrella brackets.
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Old 2nd of January 2008 (Wed)   #10
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Default Re: DIY Background Support System

Thanks
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Old 2nd of January 2008 (Wed)   #11
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Default Re: DIY Background Support System

1/2" copper pipe is the last thing to complete mine. Thanks for sharing, Robert!
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Old 2nd of January 2008 (Wed)   #12
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Default Re: DIY Background Support System

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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Old 5th of July 2008 (Sat)   #13
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Default Re: DIY Background Support System

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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Old 5th of July 2008 (Sat)   #14
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Default Re: DIY Background Support System

Quote:
Originally Posted by rmcrowe View Post
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.
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Old 5th of July 2008 (Sat)   #15
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Default Re: DIY Background Support System

Quote:
Originally Posted by anamit View Post
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.
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