I’ve wanted to pull out the Lastolite collapsible for a while now and finally got around to it. After going through the various options I ended up with the 1.8m x 2.15m (6′ x 7′) black/white version with train, link.
This one is a bit more work getting setup than a standard collapsible as you have to velcro the white or black backdrop onto the collapsible frame. Subsequently you can’t easily change between white/black backdrops by simply flipping the background around. Rather you need to take down the white backdrop and velcro the black backdrop up.
The velcroing seems to be an exercise in itself as I couldn’t help but have the collapsible frame warp when putting on the backdrop. This may be due to the support I’m using, the Lastolite 1116, which only supports the collapsible frame from the top center. This, combined with me having just a bit too low ceilings in my apartment precludes me from extending the support fully and anchoring the frame at the bottom of the support. I may have to look into a bit more sturdy solution with crossbars at the top, but for now I have jury rigged it by having the frame A-Clamped to a pair of chairs which hold the collapsible frame somewhat in check.
Lighting wise I have two D-Lite 400WS monos along with two Canon EX-550’s. I have one of the D-Lites setup as the key light with a silver reflector taking the place of the fill light. The background is lit using the other D-Lite and the two 550’s to even out the exposure across the background. By exposing for f/8.0 for the subject and the 1.5 stops over for the backdrop I’ve found that even the bit of available light that creeps in from the windows is practically cancelled out by the strobes. The background lights were flagged off from the camera position with pieces of foam core, or KAPA-board as they are known over here. My trusty What the Duck served as the stand-in subject for the setup.