Manfrotto Autopoles (background suppport)

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by arigram, Mar 13, 2006.

  1. arigram

    arigram Member

    Messages:
    5,474
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2004
    Location:
    Crete, Greec
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I set up a system consisting of Manfrotto's Autopoles, the 3-way holders and three paper backgrounds. I have set it up three times. The two times with all three backgrounds, the whole thing came down, fortunately with very minimal damage. The third I set it up with only one paper background hanging and no weight on the plastic chain.
    I did my best for the Autopoles to be straight and stick tight to the floor and ceiling but I cannot guarantee that the third much lighter set up will hold (the first came down after days, the second time only in hours).

    Any advice?
     
  2. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,985
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2002
    Location:
    Wine country, N. Cal.
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I have had a set of those for a long time. I never had a problem when I had a hardwood floor but when I have a place with carpet the telescoping device settles into the carpet and becomes unstable.

    You can buy tripod stands, much like the bottom of regular light stands that encircle the pole and keep it stable.

    I've had additional backgrounds attached so that there are 5 in total and have never had a problem.

    I still telescope to the ceiling though for more stability although, with the stands bottoms you don't really need to.

    Also when placing the telescoping poles in place, it helps to have two people and really jam the bottom part down and the top part up, hard into the rubber holders before you snap the lever in place.

    Perhaps a membership at your local gym for a week to bulk up before you attempt again.



    http://www.calumetphoto.com/item/BG4114.html?ac.cat.CatTreeSearch.detail=y&type=SPDSEARCH

    Michael
     
  3. arigram

    arigram Member

    Messages:
    5,474
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2004
    Location:
    Crete, Greec
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Thanks Michael. I will consider the stands if they are not too expensive. As for the gym... let's not go there! I gotta loose that pot belly somehow though...
     
  4. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,985
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2002
    Location:
    Wine country, N. Cal.
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    It sounds like you were just placing the bottom pole down, forcing the top part up and then pulling down the lever.(as it says in the directions)

    In reality you have to really force down the bottom with one person and the other forces the top up hard, then pull down the lever.

    It should be OK then. The stands are like insurance.


    Michael
     
  5. arigram

    arigram Member

    Messages:
    5,474
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2004
    Location:
    Crete, Greec
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Ah, that's a great small tip that will probably do it! I have been trying to install them myself. I guess I will sucker one of my friends to help. Bye him a beer or something.
    Thanks again!
     
  6. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,985
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2002
    Location:
    Wine country, N. Cal.
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    It's really not that big a job. A whole beer may be excessive.



    Michael
     
  7. arigram

    arigram Member

    Messages:
    5,474
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2004
    Location:
    Crete, Greec
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    You are right. He should be happy with the peanut bowl.
     
  8. Helen B

    Helen B Member

    Messages:
    1,557
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Hell's Kitch
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Save the beer for when he helps you mend the ceiling.
     
  9. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,985
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2002
    Location:
    Wine country, N. Cal.
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    That's a really good point.

    I have, depending on the placement, put a piece of 2x6, maybe 6-8 inches long above the top rubber piece to spread out the stress.

    But then I had 3, 9 foot paper rolls as well as a muslin and a 6 foot wide canvas background mounted on my system so it weighed more and needed more support.


    Michael
     
  10. arigram

    arigram Member

    Messages:
    5,474
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2004
    Location:
    Crete, Greec
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Oh, my ceiling already has a couple of "foot prints" but the truth is I don't care as long as the backgrounds are safe and don't fall on the heads of people and expensive equipment. The 2-6 you have used are pieces of wood Michael? I also have hardwood floors and I find that if I pull the poles a little they start sliding. I thought of putting anti-glide tape where the poles meet the floor and ceiling.
     
  11. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,985
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2002
    Location:
    Wine country, N. Cal.
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    If you do the poles the way I mentioned, you shouldn't have any sliding. If you're worried about it though, the tape would work OK.

    The main thing is, it's kind of embarrassing to have all your backgrounds fall on your subject when you're photographing them. So whatever it takes to make you feel comfortable with your equipment, that's what you should do.


    Michael
     
  12. Helen B

    Helen B Member

    Messages:
    1,557
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Hell's Kitch
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    "...it's kind of embarrassing to have all your backgrounds fall on your subject when you're photographing them..."

    Absolutely. I'm sure that Ari doesn't want to emulate David Hemmings in Blow Up.

    Best,
    Helen