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| p.1 #3 · Opinions on the best budget background support system |
You should probably go for a kit like what you originally listed, and not try for anything "smaller". You do not need to use all the sections in the top bar if you want less width. You did not say if you were going to work with cloth background or seamless paper, but for cloth the kit you listed goes long enough to handle 10 foot wide cloth background. The smallest standard background paper is just under 9 feet, and some background supports will only handle that width and not full 10 foot cloth.
You are not going to want anything less than the 9 foot width. It is supprising how often you run out of background width with a 9 foot background, expecially if you are trying to have plenty of seperation distance between your subject and the background, and are working in a location that has limited space for you to back away from your subject.
I like stands that are a little more rugged than the Impact brand ones, but if you handle them carefully and do not overload them and do not overtighten the knobs on them, they should serve you well. You can add some padding to any carry bag to protect them a little better, and then still handle things carefully while you transport them in the bag.
If you all ready have any lighting stands that are similar but perhaps a little bit better built, you could consider getting more of the same stands, and then getting just a top bar to use with them. One top bar that I like is made by Manfrotto, but it only goes to 9 feet wide.
The "poor man" background cloth that you can get are top sheets made for King size beds, and they will be about 9 feet, so they will fit on a 9 foot top bar, or obviously a longer one. One edge usually has a wide seam that can be opened up on the ends to slide the sheet on to a top bar. Walmart is one source of those, and the last time I purchased one they offered only the top sheet, so you did not need to buy a set.