Last month, Manfrotto added two new backdrop finishes to its range of panoramic backgrounds; Granite and Limestone. Both have a dynamic textured finish and complement the other three already in the range, which are Black, White and Chromakey Green.
We have had the chance to use the new Lastolite by Manfrotto Panoramic Background 4m Granite for several pop-up studio shoots and have been really impressed. Let’s take a look at why it is so good.
Lastolite by Manfrotto Panoramic Background 4m Granite: It’s massive
We’ve used a variety of studio backdrops down the years. Rolls or paper, crossbar with rolls of paper, pop-up domes, you name it. One consistent problem with many backdrops is one of a matter of size.
When you start working with medium-sized families or your subject is moving around, the backdrop may often not fully surround your subjects. Certainly, if you start sitting groups down or they are jumping around.
If the backdrop doesn’t fully cover the frame once the picture is cropped to size, it can be a very time-consuming process to properly edit those uncovered areas to match the rest of the backdrop.
Size is the champion feature of the Lastolite by Manfrotto Panoramic Background 4m Granite. It’s positively humungous. A standard crossbar with paper roll is 2.7m wide. The panoramic background is 4m wide and it’s approaching 8ft tall.
We recently had a day shooting family portraits with two studios set up simultaneously – one with a 2.7m wide paper backdrop, the other with the Lastolite by Manfrotto Panoramic Background 4m Granite.
The editing job afterward took two days, the majority of which was fixing the gaps in the background of the smaller 2.7m wide paper. The benefit to the Lastolite panoramic background is clear. We’ve not had to edit out any gaps, meaning the editing is much quicker.
That said, without a floor covering as part of the package, you are restricted to upper body shots really. It will be possible to create solutions to cover the floor for full-length portraits, but not quite to the same quality as a roll of paper.
Lastolite by Manfrotto Panoramic Background 4m Granite: Portable
It may be a massive backdrop, but the Panoramic Background package is light and portable. It’s a great solution for pop-up studios. Three frames are pieced together much like tent poles, with an internal elastic rope keeping the pieces together when packed away. The frame seems solid enough, though we wouldn’t want to throw it around too much.
It’s child’s play putting the frame together. Literally. We had a four-year-old do the job for us.
Once the three frames are constructed, there are two fasteners for each side of the larger middle frame, to connect to the two smaller side frames. Next up is the background itself, which has plastic clips that easily attach onto the frame.
When the background is fully connected, there is enough tension to stretch the material out and remove any creases in the fabric. Even for a first-time use, the background takes less than 10 minutes to construct and ready to go. Taking the background down is equally easy and even quicker. This is one easy to use background.
Like with any portable backdrop, when outdoors it is worth taking some kind of weight – like a sandbag – to prevent the background from being blown over.
Lastolite by Manfrotto Panoramic Background 4m Granite: A new design
Strictly speaking, this is not a new product. The background design was launched by Manfrotto a little while back. However, up until now, there has only been Black, White and Chromakey Green options in the range.
These latest two; Granite and Limestone, feature a lovely textured finish. We have used the Granite version and the resulting portraits look great. The finish is good, plus it has a vignette which helps the center of the frame to stand out all the more. For something a little different to a plain background, the Granite version is in our opinion very striking.
Lastolite by Manfrotto Panoramic Background 4m Granite: Availability and Specification
Availability for the Lastolite by Manfrotto Panoramic Background 4m Granite is TBC. On the UK site the background costs £305.95 or £599.95 when complete with the Panoramic Background frame.
For more information, please visit the Lastolite by Manfrotto website.
• Height: 90.55in
• Width: 157.48in
• Weight (in bag): 19.84lbs
• Packed away: 11.81 x 40.94 x 13.78in
• Bag included
Five reasons we love the Lastolite by Manfrotto Panoramic Background 4m Granite
• It’s massive
• Makes editing studio shots exponentially quicker (we’ll gladly take any solution that reduces editing time)
• Its portable and light
• Really quick to set up and take down
• No creases in the material
What’s not to like about the Lastolite by Manfrotto Panoramic Background 4m Granite
• On one hand, the whole package is very expensive
• The Granite and Limestone background designs are twice the price of the Black, White and Chromakey Green versions
• Without floor covering it’s not suitable for full-length portraits