July 13, 2016 at 3:13PM, Edited July 13, 3:14PM


Tools for Shaping Light?

What's the best flags/floppies/scrims to get?

I've been looking to buy some floppy cutters for lighting but don't know what's best. What I really want is some negative fill, so I've been looking around on B&H and the best deal I can find for a professional 48x48" floppy is around 150 (with the frame). Not too bad, then I look at shipping, and It costs more to ship it than buy it. That kinda sounds ridiculous to me, but, to try to narrow down my question, is something like that worth it or are there better professional tools for the money?


Some possible "budget" options:

1) Use a black foamboard, like from a Art & Crafts Store, and attach fabric at bottom like a Floppy. Challenge would be rigging into a stand. A Cardellini Clamp or similar could work.

2) If a rigid form is not needed, you could simply "deadhang" a piece of fabric from a horizontally mounted bar/pipe on a stand.

July 14, 2016 at 5:33AM

John Dimalanta
Freelance Photographer/Cinematographer

Black foamboard is still likely to have more specular reflection than a floppy, so you may need to plan on having more freedom in exactly how you point the foamboard at your subject (to not cast its specular reflection exactly where you don't want it).

July 14, 2016 at 5:40AM


These are not cheap, but if you want something compact and portable it's hard to beat the Mathews Road flag kit.

Matthews Road Flag II Kit (48 x 48")

Dave Dougdale Review of Matthews Road Flag Kit

Digital Juice also makes a good flag kit : http://goo.gl/0UBZdN

July 14, 2016 at 12:49PM

Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer

Hey Logan,

Totally worth it. Many people don't know this, but when the material that covers the metal frames go bad you can have them re-skinned. As long as the frames aren't destroyed you could potentially have these your entire career.

With Matthews and other name brand companies like American and Norms you'll also be paying for the name. But they are also well established companies with good
A non name brand option is canvasgrip.com. Way cheaper than name brand stuff. They use all the same materials so there's nothing to worry about when it comes to quality.

I would also avoid B & H for stuff like this and see if there are any local dealers for what you're looking for.

If you're looking to save some money you can call around to rental houses. They usually have used gear they are willing to sell. Look at the frames and make sure they are in good shape. If the fabric is garbage then you have the option to get them re-skinned which shouldn't be too much of an additional cost.

Another option for negative fill and cutting light is to just buy a roll of duvetyne (commando cloth in some circles). Get the 16oz - it's the thickest which will prevent any light coming through the fabric.

July 15, 2016 at 3:51PM, Edited July 15, 3:57PM

Nick Rowland
Street Bum

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May 30, 2018 at 2:25AM


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January 3, 2019 at 5:18AM


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