Studio backdrops are a great way to transform a space. There are all different sorts of backdrops but I wanted a backdrop that folds up easily and doesn’t require lugging around a bulky backdrop stand. I also own some paper roll backdrops and it is so tough bringing out of the studio. What I like about this backdrop is that compact when stored, but unfolds to be the perfect size backdrop for shooting portraits. This is a review of the Impact Super Collapsible Background.
1) Product Specifications
Size: 8 x 16′ (2.4 x 4.9 m)
Comes with a zippered carry bag
2) Initial Impressions
When I first unfolded the background, I was standing in my tiny condo. I knew the dimensions, but seeing it in its compact state tricked my mind into thinking it’ll be smaller than it really is. In my condo, it kept unfurling, getting bigger and bigger, taking up pretty much my entire living room (because it was laying out across the floor initially, instead of propped up against a wall.)
It does not have any sort of stand, so you do need a wall to prop it against. But once propped, it does support itself well.
The fabric feels somewhat cheap, but you cannot tell on camera. It does attract lint and dust, but again, not noticeable whatsoever in my photos. I did have to step across it a few times and some dirt from footprints gathered on the material. I took a damp cloth and the footprint marks came off easily.
All photos below taken with the Impact Super Collapsible Background. Taken with a Contax 645 medium format film camera and an 80 mm Zeiss lens with Portra 400 film:
Because of how the backdrop is stored, it does wrinkle. I recommend a garment steamers to remove creases.
I prefer mid-length shots with it—because you can really see the wrinkles in the bottom portion when doing a full length shot. I am sure you can take a garment steamer and steam it so that it’s smooth without wrinkles, but I did not have one to test with.
A shot where you can see the wrinkled bottom. Taken on a Canon 5D Mark III with a Canon 50 1.2 lens.
The backdrop comes with instructions on how to fold it back up. It folds up similar to a reflector, but since this is much larger than a reflector it can be tricky to fold. I had a hard time initially folding it back up – I am 5’3’’ and it was hard to get a good grip on it. However, my 6’4’’ husband had no trouble whatsoever folding it back up upon first try. He had it back in its bag within seconds.
When I opened it the first time, I didn’t think I was going to like it. I thought I was going to prefer a black paper backdrop instead because of the wrinkles. But after my first session with it, I am obsessed and want more colors! The downsides are the wrinkles and the fact that you do need a wall, or other support to allow it to sit upright. The upside (which far outweighs any downside to me) is that it compact, folds up in seconds (once you get the hang of it), is portable, and allows me to not have to pull out the background stands (which take up more space and more time).
I am very happy with this stand and am thrilled that I can just throw it in my car and use on location as needed (unlike my 8 foot long paper rolls, which take up much more space and barely fit in my car).
If you are looking for a backdrop alternative to heavy, awkward, bulky paper rolls, the Impact Super Collapsible Backdrop is a wonderful solution. It folds up nicely and can be easily hidden under a bed. It is light weight and provides a beautiful backdrop for studio work. One drawback is that you do need a wall to prop it against. And another is that it wrinkles easily. However, I find its convenience far outweighs and negatives. I highly recommend the product.
5) Pricing and where to buy
The Impact Super Collapsible Backdrop is priced at $99.95 and is sold at B&H Photo Video.