How to Mount softbox from ceiling ??

4 months 1 week ago #672691 by Soccer Mom
Is there a bracket or way to hang a softbox from the ceiling in my studio?  Can you make some suggestions for me.  I did some searches and couldn't find a clear solution. 

Thanks in advance.  

Canon 7D, 18-55mm, 55-250mm, 70-200mm L f/2.8, 100mm and 17-55mm f/2.8
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4 months 1 week ago #672694 by Nikon Shooter
Use these search words: ceiling rail pantograph system.

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4 months 1 week ago #672783 by Zach Mosher
They make scissor arms that are mounted on the walls that extend the soft box out and left and right.  Neewer makes one as I recall.  


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4 months 1 week ago #672793 by Soccer Mom

Nikon Shooter wrote: Use these search words: ceiling rail pantograph system.



Thank you, wow some of those can be expensive!

Canon 7D, 18-55mm, 55-250mm, 70-200mm L f/2.8, 100mm and 17-55mm f/2.8
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4 months 1 week ago #672819 by Nikon Shooter

Soccer Mom wrote: Thank you, wow some of those can be expensive!


Yes because the rail system is part of that great solution.
Beside the many advantages, the drawback is that it is a
fixed approach — you will need additional solutions for on
location work.

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4 months 1 week ago #672975 by CharleyL
In my small 17' 6" X 26' studio, I have some 10' lengths of 1 X 1 X 1/8" steel angle with 4" X 1/2" steel pipe with one end welded at right angle to each end of the steel angle to form a wide based U shape, and 1/2" floor flanges screwed onto the un-welded ends of these pipes. A steel supplier in your area will have steel angles in stock in 20' lengths and will cut them to any length you desire. In my case 10', as I have 10' wide backdrops. If you will be hanging heavy lights or spanning a wider area, I suggest that you increase the size and thickness of the angle to suit the distance and the max weight that they will need to support.

These assemblies get hung upside down with the floor flanges screwed to the ceiling. To these I Attach electrical conduit bolt-on kind-of C clamp fittings that are intended for attaching electrical conduit to the edges of "I" beam flanges. The size that I bought has two 1/4-20 threaded holes, so I can install a photographer's spigot fitting to the threaded hole that will point down when the fitting is attached to the horizontal part of the angle. Then, any monolight, speedlite, softbox, etc can be attached to the spigot as you would to a floor stand, but upside down. I use a loop of steel rope safety cable or chain and small snap hook to prevent the light from falling, should the screw attachment to the spigot ever get too loose. Spigots, safety cables, snap hooks, pipe nipples, and floor flanges are all available from Amazon, and in many cases, from local suppliers. A floor flange is normally used when a pipe railing or similar needs to be attached to the floor or a step and has 4 screw holes used for attachment. In this case these are used to attach the pipe nipples and angle assembly to the ceiling. I have 3/4" plywood on my ceiling, spanning across the ceiling beams to support the weight of my backdrops and lighting that these floor flanges are screwed into.

Many years ago I once ran a multi purpose theater, and frequently hung lights in a similar manor,  always attaching safety cable loops around the light frame and building support member (in this case the angle) to lessen the chances of a light falling.

I have several of these steel angles attached to my 8' high studio ceiling, spaced about 3' apart and parallel with the backdrops. My lights can be hung anywhere needed along these steel angles. There is also one of these angles mounted about 4" from the backdrop roller that is closest to the camera. With clamps every few feet, I can hang large fabric or paper backdrops on this angle for temporary use, if they won't be attached to one of the ceiling mounted backdrop rollers.  I'm also considering modifying some of my lighter weight stands, so they can be attached upside down to these angles in the same way, should I ever want the floor clear, but the lights attached lower than they would be if attached directly to the steel ceiling mounted rails.

These are just suggestions for ways of solving this. You may need to modify my ideas to meet your particular needs, ceiling heights, width of backdrops, etc. In my case, my studio walls and ceiling are white, so the steel angles, pipes and floor flanges are also painted white (use oil based paint or rust will show if latex paint is used). The paint comes off some when the lights are moved, but it's quite easy to just re-paint them whenever significant paint is scratched off to justify it's need.

Charley


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4 months 1 week ago #673060 by Toby J
Hey Charlie, you have any photos of that set up?


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4 months 1 week ago #673064 by CharleyL
I'm painting, so things in the studio aren't arranged very well, but I'll take a few photos and post them. Give me about 1/2 hour.

Charley


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4 months 1 week ago #673065 by CharleyL
OK, here are photos of my backdrops and first two rails. Not my best by far, but I think good enough for you to see what I did.

Charley
Make: Canon
Model: Canon EOS 77D
ISO: 200
Aperture: f/9.0
Shutter speed: 1/160 sec
Captured: Fri, 17 Jan 2020 19:19pm
Make: Canon
Model: Canon EOS 77D
ISO: 200
Aperture: f/9.0
Shutter speed: 1/160 sec
Captured: Fri, 17 Jan 2020 19:19pm
Make: Canon
Model: Canon EOS 77D
ISO: 200
Aperture: f/9.0
Shutter speed: 1/160 sec
Captured: Fri, 17 Jan 2020 19:20pm
Make: Canon
Model: Canon EOS 77D
ISO: 200
Aperture: f/9.0
Shutter speed: 1/160 sec
Captured: Fri, 17 Jan 2020 19:19pm
Make: Canon
Model: Canon EOS 77D
ISO: 200
Aperture: f/9.0
Shutter speed: 1/160 sec
Captured: Fri, 17 Jan 2020 19:19pm

Make: Canon
Model: Canon EOS 77D
ISO: 200
Aperture: f/9.0
Shutter speed: 1/160 sec
Captured: Fri, 17 Jan 2020 19:20pm


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4 months 1 week ago #673066 by CharleyL
Well, my first attempt to post multiple photos on this forum, and certainly not my best post ever.
This forum doesn't work like others that I frequent. It would be nice if I could edit the post to fix it, but
I don't see any way to do it.

I hope the photos provide what you need. I have 2 more similar rails like these, mounted further back from these two on other plywood. The rail closest to the backdrops is used for clamping fabric or paper backdrops that will not be added to rollers. The other rails being further back, are used more frequently, but at the moment there is nothing mounted on them. The two GVM LED panels were used to light the backdrop for something that I was doing a few days ago. They can be used on batteries or AC power, but for what I was doing, I didn't bother running AC power to them. 

You can see the way that they are attached. The third photo shows a closeup of the electrical conduit beam clamp and photography spigot attached. I have replaced the square head bolt with a thumb screw bolt, to make it easier for me to attach and remove these from the rail, but it isn't necessary if you are willing to take a small adjustable wrench up the ladder when they need to be moved. 

Also see the chains and hook looped around the rail and frame of the light. It's there just in case the light should fall from the spigot or the clamp from the rail. Safety is absolutely necessary when hanging and frequently moving overhead lights, soft boxes, etc. Since I haven't yet modified a light stand to be able to mount it upside down from the rail I can't attach a soft box to my rails at this time, but I think you can see the principle based on what I'm showing in the photos.

If you have questions, please ask. I can take more photos, if necessary, but again, I'm painting and rearranging my small studio, so it's not the best time for me to show the back half of the studio right now. I'm also repainting the makeup area, so at the moment all of that space is pushed into the studio as well.

Charley 


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4 months 6 days ago #673297 by Finn
Nice looking set up.  Can you mounted heavier lights on that rig?

BTW you can edit post, lower left side under your post, one of the drop downs has "edit" under it.  If someone has commented under your post already, I want to say you can't edit.  


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4 months 6 days ago #673305 by CharleyL
If you plan on using heavier lights, I would strongly suggest using larger, thicker angle and maybe going with 3/4" or 1" pipe nipples and floor flanges. What I have ( 1" X 1" X 1/8" angle and 1/2" pipe nipples will easily support my LED light panels, etc. ) but I wouldn't dare putting heavy equipment on it. About 10 lbs mid way along the angle is no problem for what I have. The electrical conduit fitting will handle hundreds of pounds of weight, far more than I would trust the aluminum spigots to hold.
For "really heavy" you might even consider going with a small H beam in 1/4" thickness. Longer spans than my 10' would also require a heavier design. If you are concerned, have a structural engineer design your rail and support. What I have is working fine for my tight budget small home studio.

Charley
 


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