Picture of Repairing Photography Umbrellas
OK, its bound to happen. You are walking around your studio, you hit your light stand, knocking it over. Or even though you have a ton of sand bags on your light stands outside, a gust of wind whips up and blows it over. In either case you scream, run over, and see a couple of bent or broken supporting rods to the spokes of the umbrella. There isn't anything you can do except run down to your nearest camera store or order another umbrella online.

After three umbrellas I got to thinking there has to be a better way and being a hands-on guy I think I've come up with a reasonable fix. I've seen web pages suggesting a fiberglass rod to replace the supporting rod. That's pretty good. They are flexible and chances are if it falls again it would flex enough but another rod would break or bent. I don't have small fiberglass rods like that and they could be hard to find. Like other folks I want to do something with materials on-hand or something I could get my hands on quickly.

If you looks at the supporting rods they are actually long skinny strips of metal bent in a “U” shape along the length of the rod. Instead of using a solid cylinder style rod they use a “U” shape rod for cost and ease of assembly. Instead of replacing the rod I'm thinking of reinforcing the rods. So my answer is wired coat hangers.

rimar20002 years ago
Good repairing work.

When I see a broken umbrella in the waste, I take it. Last week I fixed an umbrella with rods of other.
jugglem (author)  rimar20002 years ago
thanks. i'll have to start looking at other's trash now.
Kiteman2 years ago
Nice idea.

If you had the budget, I guess you could use fibreglass or carbon fibre rods instead?
jugglem (author)  Kiteman2 years ago
Thanks. This was more of a proof of concept fix. I agree, if I had the budget. On the next fix I'll try fiberglass or carbon.