Studio light rail systems?

Started Feb 10, 2013 | Discussions
Timzee
Contributing MemberPosts: 850
Like?
Studio light rail systems?
Feb 10, 2013

Given a rather narrow studio area we're looking to maximize space by utilizing a ceiling mounted rail system to support lights. Would be interested in input from anyone who may have had experience with such systems from Calumet Photo, or perhaps another supplier/manufacturer?

http://www.calumetphoto.com/eng/product/calumet_hi_glide_short_litelift/ce26082

Peter Berressem
Forum ProPosts: 10,647
Like?
Re: Studio light rail systems?
In reply to Timzee, Feb 10, 2013

Ceiling hight is enough to get sufficient clearance? Tracks eat a lot of it.

-- hide signature --

cheers, Peter
Germany

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Timzee
Contributing MemberPosts: 850
Like?
Re: Studio light rail systems?
In reply to Peter Berressem, Feb 12, 2013

Peter Berressem wrote:

Ceiling hight is enough to get sufficient clearance? Tracks eat a lot of it.

-- hide signature --

cheers, Peter
Germany

Hi Peter,

Yeah, ceiling is a bit under 11 feet high so I think that should give us enough room. The space is long but relatively narrow at around 14 feet so the goal is to get as much as possible up off the floor to maximize space.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Peter Berressem
Forum ProPosts: 10,647
Like?
Re: Studio light rail systems?
In reply to Timzee, Feb 12, 2013

I usually use the tracks for just one large source (bank), all other lights from stands. This way the bank can be moved freely to any place without being hindered by other suspensions.

YMMV, though I wouldn't use too much (all) sources from the tracks. It's advantage may quickly turn into the opposite when you often have to dismantle a source just to get it to a different place.

-- hide signature --

cheers, Peter
Germany

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Wilbur T
Forum MemberPosts: 90
Like?
Re: Studio light rail systems?
In reply to Peter Berressem, Feb 12, 2013

I use the Photogenic master rail system and 5 Studiomaster  lights in my studio.  The freedom it offers has been much appreciated over the years especially when using any of the lights for hair lights (no cables, no booms etc).  My setup covers an area 20 x 40  with a 12 foot ceiling.  If you plan on doing extensive studio work a rail system has been, at least for me, the answer.  I will be retiring this year and will sell much of my studio equipment. Let me know If you want any specific details about my rail system.

-- hide signature --

WMcIntosh

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Timzee
Contributing MemberPosts: 850
Like?
Re: Studio light rail systems?
In reply to Wilbur T, Feb 12, 2013

Wilbur T wrote:

I use the Photogenic master rail system and 5 Studiomaster lights in my studio. The freedom it offers has been much appreciated over the years especially when using any of the lights for hair lights (no cables, no booms etc). My setup covers an area 20 x 40 with a 12 foot ceiling. If you plan on doing extensive studio work a rail system has been, at least for me, the answer. I will be retiring this year and will sell much of my studio equipment. Let me know If you want any specific details about my rail system.

-- hide signature --

WMcIntosh

Hi Wilbur,

Thanks for the input. Good to hear the positive comments re. your rail system.

I went to some of the websites listed on the Photogenic site, but couldn't find any of their rail systems. B&H, Adorama, Calumet-- nothing. Perhaps stores like Calumet are now just rebranding?

Sounds like you have a very nice setup in your studio. You're in PA?

Tim

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Peter Berressem
Forum ProPosts: 10,647
Like?
Re: Studio light rail systems?
In reply to Timzee, Feb 12, 2013

Timzee wrote:

I went to some of the websites listed on the Photogenic site, but couldn't find any of their rail systems. B&H, Adorama, Calumet-- nothing.

Master Rail

Perhaps stores like Calumet are now just rebranding?

Calumet offer the Bowens HiGlide which is made in Italy. There are China made knock-offs sold at various dealers. Just FYI.

Buying used is a very, very good option, so I'd look sharp at Wilbur's offer.

(My opinion on track systems is related to larger commercial studios. For studios dedicated to portrait, wedding etc. the mentioned rail system may well be viable.)

-- hide signature --

cheers, Peter
Germany

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Timzee
Contributing MemberPosts: 850
Like?
Re: Studio light rail systems?
In reply to Peter Berressem, Feb 12, 2013

Peter Berressem wrote:

Timzee wrote:

I went to some of the websites listed on the Photogenic site, but couldn't find any of their rail systems. B&H, Adorama, Calumet-- nothing.

Master Rail

That link was what I saw previously, but the site just says "Discontinued"

Perhaps stores like Calumet are now just rebranding?

Calumet offer the Bowens HiGlide which is made in Italy. There are China made knock-offs sold at various dealers. Just FYI.

Buying used is a very, very good option, so I'd look sharp at Wilbur's offer.

(My opinion on track systems is related to larger commercial studios. For studios dedicated to portrait, wedding etc. the mentioned rail system may well be viable.)

-- hide signature --

cheers, Peter
Germany

Very useful information-- thanks much Peter. We'll be in NYC later this month and will have to check out some of the options.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Wilbur T
Forum MemberPosts: 90
Like?
Re: Studio light rail systems?
In reply to Wilbur T, Feb 13, 2013

I am located in SW PA about 30 miles south of Pittsburgh.  If you are local you are most welcome to stop by my studio and see my setup.

-- hide signature --

WMcIntosh

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
AlecThigpen
Regular MemberPosts: 241Gear list
Like?
Re: Studio light rail systems?
In reply to Timzee, Feb 19, 2013

I have the Master Rail in my studio, 16' ceiliings, 25 X 45'.  It is a lightweight system, but has lasted 50 years with some minor repairs and bearing lubrication from time to time.  The Bogen/Calumet is the better system, and the Foba is the very best, but you will pay dearly for it.  It is absolute perfection.  Probably around $25K for a studio my size these days.

 AlecThigpen's gear list:AlecThigpen's gear list
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III Canon EOS 5D Mark II Canon EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM +14 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads