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Old December 6th, 2008, 06:50 PM   #1
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Silks, scrims, and reflectors for outdoor shooting

I need some advice on building my "outdoor studio". I've got a satisfactory indoor studio now, but when I shoot outdoors, I'm lacking in gear.

What do you all recommend for outdoor gear such as silks, scrims, and reflectors?

I've been reading about different brands, and here are some of the tidbits I've picked up:

* Scrim Jims might be a little on the flimsy side during windy conditions, but they seem to be the "industry standard".
* California Sunbounce might be more rugged, but might be better for still photography
* Matthews seems to have great equipment, but might be a little on the pricey side.

I'm leaning towards getting a couple Matthews 4x4's and maybe an 8x8. I own several pieces of Matthews gear like C-stands, apple boxes, sandbags, and other items, so I know they make quality, rugged materials.

Any other recommendations? Would a couple 4x4's and an 8x8 be a good start?
Israel Hyman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 6th, 2008, 10:01 PM   #2
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I've got a Scrim Jim 4 x 4 with reflector and silk material. Doesn't seem flimsy at all, very stiff, in fact. Now, in 8 x 8 size...dunno.

I would definately recommend adding the 8 x 8 to the kit, if you've got the room, because it's really hard to get good, wide coverage with the smaller screen.
Bill Ward is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 7th, 2008, 04:38 PM   #3
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When using reflectors or scrims outdoors, you need pretty substantial C-stands and lots of sandbags, and if it's windy at all, a person holding on. It doesn't take much wind to turn a big reflector into a sail.
Bill Pryor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 7th, 2008, 06:45 PM   #4
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as far as an 8X8 goes, buy the corners & mount brackets from Matthew's. get the 1X1 aluminum from a local source. I bought 32 ft, cut into 8 ft pieces for something like $75, about 1/4 what Matthew's will charge for the exact same thing.

BTW, the mathew's brackets stink. the rectangular peice that grabs the bar has a tendency to slip off the screw part way and jam up. the solution was to take it apart, and put 2 #8 or #10 washer in it. that will keep it on the end of the shaft.

however, a 6X6 is a little more flexible because the sides can be doubled up to make a 12X12, which is why they are more common.
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Old December 8th, 2008, 07:19 AM   #5
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I've used the larger Scrim Jim and have found it to be somewhat flimsy. I guess it is not bad considering its price as a cheaper alternative, but it is nothing compared to the real thing.

The Scrim Jim can also work in the background of your shot to take it down a stop (or half, etc . . .). I would only hang it as a butterfly if there was absolutely zero wind or I had someone holding it down.

Indoors I can see a benefit to using it and the smaller version as a reflector or silk.
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Old December 11th, 2008, 10:22 AM   #6
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Location: London, England
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I've used California Sunbounce all around the world for both stills and video, they're great but as Bill says, watch the wind. Don't dismiss making a few yourself, there's nothing wrong with using a homemade reflector.
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