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Ceiling Mount?


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4 replies to this topic

#1 bikegod

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 13:37

I've been planning a long time to convert some unused space in my little house to a studio. I had planned on moving into a new building my family owns that had high ceilings and lots of space. Unfortunately that huge space got filled and it doesn't look like it will be emptied in the near future and I've got more and more clients lining up (but not enough to justify renting a retail space). I could rent, on an as needed basis, a studio of another photographer, but his place is too far away and availability is limited. His stuff comes first, not to mention hauling my gear.

When we found our home it had a completely unfinished basement. The ceiling (open joists) is only 1/2" below standard height, and with the exception of a few drain lines hanging down in one corner, ready to be converted. I have already carved out a 13'x13' space that was my home office (soon to be converted to the kids playroom) and a 10'x13' craftroom/office for my wife. Our laundry is downstairs as well as the HVAC, water heater and our junk. The space I have claimed for my studio is 16'x25'

I have been debating on how I want to cast light downward (when required/desired). I have seen some boom stand systems but since my square footage is a bit small, I would like to consider a ceiling mount. Since I haven't yet put my drywall up, I can easily add a power outlet as well as reinforcements as required. The only ceiling mount I have seen so far doesn't allow for any movement, and will not allow me to point my alien bee (or any other monolight) to point strait down. I'm willing to do a whole system (minus head) if I could be able to move the light around even a bit. I would love to find a swing arm system, but just haven't stumbled on one yet

If anyone has seen or used something similar, or has an idea on how I can accomplish this, please share. I'll muddle along for a bit till then as I have lived without one so far.

In case this makes a difference I have two manfrotto stands (expand up to 13') and a smaller bargain stand (only expands to about 2') that I only use for a backdrop light. Various umbrellas including a 64"Paul Buff PLM V.2 shoot thru with all the spill kills and diffusers that you can get with it.
Don't forget my homemade softbox.

Thanks for your time.

Ron
slave to the wind...but at least I can choose my chains

#2 RC51

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 13:42

Ron,
I use these..... http://www.manfrotto...nd-not-included

Cheers
Bez

#3 bikegod

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 13:50

Thanks for the link. I guess my search had the wrong keyword. Never thought to look up Boom. I do wonder whether or not I can mount it directly to the ceiling, since mounting to the nearest wall would leave the unit, even fully extended, off center. Otherwise it is perfect for my needs and the price is quite good. Maybe getting two would be a good idea, though I don't think I would ever need both at the same time, but who knows.

Every time I set up my lights, I try something different if my model doesn't mind. I don't always get great results when I experiment, but I definitely remember what doesn't work. I'm so excited to soon have a space dedicated to my photography, even if it is just my basement. No more packing everything up or rearranging my living room everytime I shoot. I'll still be carying things out when I shoot on location, but eventually my travel bag will be portable/collapsable backdrops and my speedlights on lightweight stands. Sometimes I miss that setup, but the batteries were killing me. Rechargables would wear down too fast, and lithiums were expensive. My AlienBees weigh a bit more and need extension cords but once set up could just go and go.

Thanks for the help, and if anyone else has some other ideas feel free to chime in.

Ron
slave to the wind...but at least I can choose my chains

#4 RC51

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 21:39

Ron,
You can mount them to your ceiling joists on 90% brackets.... Manfrotto sell them but it less expensive to use one from a Builders Merchant/Hardware store.
Any other ceiling mount systems I know of are very expensive.

Cheers
Bez

#5 bikegod

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 16:37

I found a few used on Ebay as well as some off brand that look similar. I'm gonna save up and buy the brand name (Manfrotto). I've had some off brand stuff that, while they were inexpensive, didn't feel like they could take too much abuse. I recently picked up two used Manfrotto Lightstands thrown in with the purchase of an old White Lightning 10k. The seller also included cases and a collapsible backdrop.

I kept the stands, one case, and the backdrop then ebayed the WL and case and sold it for $10 less than I paid for the whole kit. I don't even pull out my old Lightstands now, well maybe the short one when I'm lighting a background. The collapsible backdrop has also served me well, but it is a pain in the arse to fold up correctly.

Done hanging the recessed lighting, and insulation. Next step, final wiring of outlets, then onto drywall (sheetrock). So far I haven't had to hire anyone, or even ask for a helping hand, but that is coming when I install drywall on the ceiling. Total budget so far has been $314 in building supplies (lumber, recessed lighting, outlets etc.) I've been lucky enough to find my lighting on sale and a contractor friend had leftover Romex (thats electrical wiring). He does mostly commercial installs, and pieces shorter than 25' are unusable to him. Most of my runs of cable are 15' or less.

Drywall will be the most expensive thing that I do, unless I paint everything black, then the paint could get pricey. It's slow going, but at least I won't be too badly in debt when it's done.
slave to the wind...but at least I can choose my chains




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