Anyone used a Westcott X-Drop Pro Wrinkle-Resistant Backdrop Kit (8x8'): Studio and Lighting Technique Forum: Digital Photography Review (2024)

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Started Jun 21, 2023 | Questions

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Darkmatterx76 Regular Member • Posts: 226

Anyone used a Westcott X-Drop Pro Wrinkle-Resistant Backdrop Kit (8x8')

Jun 21, 2023

This is the link to the manufacturers website although I'll be buying it from someone in Canada, if I buy one.

My first thought is that using this outdoors would be crazy, but for indoors, I don't see an issue. One thing I'm not sure about is if 8' height is enough when photographing more then 1 person standing side by side. Sure, I can probably just do a content aware fill as the top should be nothing but the colour of the backdrop, but I thought I'd ask for some opinions.

My other option would be the standard top horizontal bar style backdrop frame such as this.

Thanks!

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grapevinephoto New Member • Posts: 6

Re: Anyone used a Westcott X-Drop Pro Wrinkle-Resistant Backdrop Kit (8x8')

In reply to Darkmatterx76 Jun 21, 2023

1

I've gone from the 5x7 X Drop to the 8x8 and the added height and width is easy for groups of 4. With the 8x8 you can still use the 5x7 drop also.

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rumple Senior Member • Posts: 2,704

Re: Anyone used a Westcott X-Drop Pro Wrinkle-Resistant Backdrop Kit (8x8')

In reply to Darkmatterx76 Jun 21, 2023

1

Darkmatterx76 wrote:

This is the link to the manufacturers website although I'll be buying it from someone in Canada, if I buy one.

B&H, if they sell them, will ship to you as or more quickly than CDN sellers.

My first thought is that using this outdoors would be crazy

Yes.

, but for indoors, I don't see an issue. One thing I'm not sure about is if 8' height is enough when photographing more then 1 person standing side by side. Sure, I can probably just do a content aware fill as the top should be nothing but the colour of the backdrop, but I thought I'd ask for some opinions.

My other option would be the standard top horizontal bar style backdrop frame such as this.

I believe Ellis V is a fan of these. I use the smaller size, really like it. Much easier to transport and setup than a two-stand-plus-crossbar arrangement.

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"THINK" - Watson

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OP Darkmatterx76 Regular Member • Posts: 226

Re: Anyone used a Westcott X-Drop Pro Wrinkle-Resistant Backdrop Kit (8x8')

In reply to rumple Jun 21, 2023

Thanks for the responses.

In general, what do you think of the crossbar type stands?

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rumple Senior Member • Posts: 2,704

Re: Anyone used a Westcott X-Drop Pro Wrinkle-Resistant Backdrop Kit (8x8')

In reply to Darkmatterx76 Jun 21, 2023

1

Darkmatterx76 wrote:

Thanks for the responses.

In general, what do you think of the crossbar type stands?

If you need to hold a roll of seamless, or a heavy canvas, I think they're the only option. If light velvet, there are other options (like the westcott or various DIY solutions).

Other people will have more experience with this.

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"THINK" - Watson

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Gato Amarillo Forum Pro • Posts: 10,484

Re: Anyone used a Westcott X-Drop Pro Wrinkle-Resistant Backdrop Kit (8x8')

In reply to Darkmatterx76 Jun 22, 2023

1

Darkmatterx76 wrote:

Thanks for the responses.

In general, what do you think of the crossbar type stands?

I used a crossbar for a while. Later I then went to a T solution with one stand, sometimes with a light tube to stretch the bottom of the fabric. The T was quicker and easier to set up, and for a location photographer one less stand to carry.

Now I use a DIY solution -- essentially just a rectangle of 3/4 inch PVC with a cross brace and enough joints to make it portable. I can lean it against a wall, or if no wall available can use an angled leg behind it.

I built it before I knew about the X-Drop system, maybe before it came on the market. Today I would look hard at X-Drop. I've seen favorable reports and the price is not bad compared to other solutions.

If you're considering DIY here's Joe Edelman's solution - pretty similar to mine. The stand is down toward the bottom of the page.

https://www.joeedelman.com/diy-portable-background-stand-background

Gato

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KE_DP Veteran Member • Posts: 6,271

Re: Anyone used a Westcott X-Drop Pro Wrinkle-Resistant Backdrop Kit (8x8')

In reply to Darkmatterx76 Jun 22, 2023

2

Darkmatterx76 wrote:

Thanks for the responses.

In general, what do you think of the crossbar type stands?

They are a must for the larger setups IMO. 9' paper roll - or 10' fabric. I've sometimes done double setups for 20' wide - or to create a 90' wall/corner setup.

There is nothing mystical about them - it's just 2 light stands and the bar (w/hardware to attach) - easily found on ebay for cheap. When not holding the BG - the light stands can be useful to have around for other things...

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Ellis Vener Forum Pro • Posts: 20,680

Re: Anyone used a Westcott X-Drop Pro Wrinkle-Resistant Backdrop Kit (8x8')

In reply to rumple Jun 23, 2023

2

rumple wrote:

Darkmatterx76 wrote:

This is the link to the manufacturers website although I'll be buying it from someone in Canada, if I buy one.

B&H, if they sell them, will ship to you as or more quickly than CDN sellers.

My first thought is that using this outdoors would be crazy

Yes.

, but for indoors, I don't see an issue. One thing I'm not sure about is if 8' height is enough when photographing more then 1 person standing side by side. Sure, I can probably just do a content aware fill as the top should be nothing but the colour of the backdrop, but I thought I'd ask for some opinions.

My other option would be the standard top horizontal bar style backdrop frame such as this.

I believe Ellis V is a fan of these. I use the smaller size, really like it. Much easier to transport and setup than a two-stand-plus-crossbar arrangement.

I wouldn’t use the Xdrop Pro Stand outdoors, unless sheltered from the wind. it just doesn’t seem built to wind stand the stress even a gentle breeze would exert on what is essentially a 64 square foot sail. But neither is the background stands and cross-bar kit you posted a link to.

But for indoor work I think it is brilliant. You can do two people next to each other but they need to be close to the background and it helps to use a long lens. Since my stroke back in October I haven’t been able to use it as much as I expected to, but I did use the kit heavily in September and October.

I have the 5/7 /8x8 kit with white gray and black fabrics. Yes I do like the kit as it an easy transport and set up and strike alternative standard backdrop setups

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Ellis Vener
To see my work, please visit http://www.ellisvener.com
I am on Instagram @EllisVenerStudio
“It's not about the f-stop." -Jay Maisel
Don't be "a photographer". Be photographing. (Paraphrasing William Faulkner's advice to writers.)

Ellis Vener's gear list:Ellis Vener's gear list

Nikon Z6 Nikon Z7 II Nikon Z8 Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Nikon Z 24-70mm F4 +5 more

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MOD Ed Shapiro Senior Member • Posts: 1,462

Re: Anyone used a Westcott X-Drop Pro Wrinkle-Resistant Backdrop Kit (8x8')

In reply to rumple Jun 23, 2023

2

They are great for portability and they are in fact, wrinkle-free! Getting large ones is a wise investment, you can always use a smaller section for a headshot or small object but you can't stretch a small one for a group or a full-length shot larger item. I have two- one multicolored (painterly kind) where I want some tonal or colr mass or color in the background and one gray model. The grey is like the "Studio Gray Savage seamless paper in that you can vary the tone with lightng- anything from dark gray to almost white. You can add color to the gray with gels.

As for outdoor usage- that is tricky. Wind resistance on a large backgoud is problematic. The amount of weight and gear that may be required to tether or weigh down the backgornd rig kind of defeats the portability aspect. Unless the outdoor job calls for a solid background, I would rather tangle with a "bokeh", selective focus, and more environmental backgrounds.

Cinematography (major motion picture) equipment sales and rental houses have very heavy light stands and scrim supports that are expensive and weigh a ton. That's why movie crews have gaffers and assistants to lug that stuff around and set up and take down the gear. I have on for shooting in lighht for third story windws- we call it the "hernia stand"!

Ed Shapiro- Commercial and Portrait Photographer. Ottawa, Ontario Canada

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OP Darkmatterx76 Regular Member • Posts: 226

Re: Anyone used a Westcott X-Drop Pro Wrinkle-Resistant Backdrop Kit (8x8')

In reply to Ellis Vener Jun 23, 2023

Thanks everyone.

Ellis, are you saying that you can only have 2 people side by side when using the 8'x8'

X-Drop Pro? I could see it, since they aren't standing right with their backs against the fabric , but I just wanted to confirm.

Thanks

Ellis Vener wrote:

rumple wrote:

Darkmatterx76 wrote:

This is the link to the manufacturers website although I'll be buying it from someone in Canada, if I buy one.

B&H, if they sell them, will ship to you as or more quickly than CDN sellers.

My first thought is that using this outdoors would be crazy

Yes.

, but for indoors, I don't see an issue. One thing I'm not sure about is if 8' height is enough when photographing more then 1 person standing side by side. Sure, I can probably just do a content aware fill as the top should be nothing but the colour of the backdrop, but I thought I'd ask for some opinions.

My other option would be the standard top horizontal bar style backdrop frame such as this.

I believe Ellis V is a fan of these. I use the smaller size, really like it. Much easier to transport and setup than a two-stand-plus-crossbar arrangement.

I wouldn’t use the Xdrop Pro Stand outdoors, unless sheltered from the wind. it just doesn’t seem built to wind stand the stress even a gentle breeze would exert on what is essentially a 64 square foot sail. But neither is the background stands and cross-bar kit you posted a link to.

But for indoor work I think it is brilliant. You can do two people next to each other but they need to be close to the background and it helps to use a long lens. Since my stroke back in October I haven’t been able to use it as much as I expected to, but I did use the kit heavily in September and October.

I have the 5/7 /8x8 kit with white gray and black fabrics. Yes I do like the kit as it an easy transport and set up and strike alternative standard backdrop setups

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Ellis Vener Forum Pro • Posts: 20,680

Westcott Pro 8x8 Example with three people

In reply to Darkmatterx76 Jun 23, 2023

1

Darkmatterx76 wrote:

Thanks everyone.

Ellis, are you saying that you can only have 2 people side by side when using the 8'x8'

X-Drop Pro? I could see it, since they aren't standing right with their backs against the fabric , but I just wanted to confirm.

Thanks

Anyone used a Westcott X-Drop Pro Wrinkle-Resistant Backdrop Kit (8x8'): Studio and Lighting Technique Forum: Digital Photography Review (10)Faces redacted to protect the innocent

they are standing about five feet to six in front of the Westcott X-Drop Pro. The background is lit separately using a pair of Paul C Buff Einstein monolights, one on the left and one on the left and right, each fitted with a 46-inch white umbrella with black shroud. The key light is a third Einstein in a Chimera Pro Medium softbox on a boom over the camera.
For this example, I did not fill in the right edge of the photo or smooth out the tone from top to bottom, hence the curved edge on the right and the fall-off in brightness from top to bottom.

Anyone used a Westcott X-Drop Pro Wrinkle-Resistant Backdrop Kit (8x8'): Studio and Lighting Technique Forum: Digital Photography Review (11)Set up

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Ellis Vener
To see my work, please visit http://www.ellisvener.com
I am on Instagram @EllisVenerStudio
“It's not about the f-stop." -Jay Maisel
Don't be "a photographer". Be photographing. (Paraphrasing William Faulkner's advice to writers.)

Ellis Vener's gear list:Ellis Vener's gear list

Nikon Z6 Nikon Z7 II Nikon Z8 Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Nikon Z 24-70mm F4 +5 more

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LukeP_Photo Regular Member • Posts: 134

Re: Anyone used a Westcott X-Drop Pro Wrinkle-Resistant Backdrop Kit (8x8')

In reply to Darkmatterx76 Jun 28, 2023

I've used the Pro version almost since they came out and I really like them for indoor on location sessions. Definitely not something that I would want to use outdoors unless in a sheltered area, which is in fact what I had to do a couple of weeks ago. However, I mostly use it indoors since I'm photographing school sports teams usually with it. I do mostly green screen so I have the 8x8 and 8x12 versions and they will work with groups of three and even 4 across depending on how they're arranged, focal length and your position. The Pro model is a big improvement over the previous version. That said, the focus is on quick and easy setup and it still won't be as rock solid as the typical light stand/cross bar setup which I also have. However it is much lighter and quicker to set up so if that's a priority then it's worth considering. The stand also can also be adjusted for the depth of it's footprint front to back in cramped situations where you need every bit a space between it and you on location. One other thing to consider is that you will need to get backdrops that have the grommets in order to mount your backdrops securely and quickly. The Westcott soft backdrops are wrinkle free and machine washable so I've found that nice as well.

LukeP_Photo's gear list:LukeP_Photo's gear list

Nikon D70s Nikon D200 Nikon D700 Nikon 1 V1 Nikon Z6 +14 more

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aChanceEncounter Contributing Member • Posts: 983

Re: Anyone used a Westcott X-Drop Pro Wrinkle-Resistant Backdrop Kit (8x8')

In reply to LukeP_Photo 11 months ago

I just used an X-Drop Pro for an afternoon of 25 senior citizen portraits - worked great. I will be buying one. I have the smaller one and will likely use it as a vflat/reflector as I love using big lights and having large fill is nice.

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Paul

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