I have a vinyl back drop, black one side and white the other. It is very easy to clean with a cloth and SIF, but does show high heel marks, but easily removed in photoshop. Highly recommended and not very expensive to buy (mine is 3 metres wide and 6 meters long).
Vinyl is a great backdrop option as its very robust, but you need to consider how to support it as its also heavy, classic studio light stands can work but the nature of the footing might push it further away from the wall than you want to, important if working in a small space, like what I do! Some photographic vinyl can be very thin but it still out performs paper for durability. I use a solid grey floor vinyl 2 meters wide by 4.5 meters long, the one thing I like about it is its very durable but will rip eventually, but most important doesn't shine! A lot of vinyl's out there have a highish gloss finish to them which I don't like.
If you are planning to travel out to models house say, then you'll need a hard floor to place them one as heels will go through them if placed on carpet! This and weight is the only advantage for me a material backdrop could have over vinyl. The infinity curve part can get ripped by a heavy weight, i.e if a model in shoes flat or otherwise treads on the curve!
The choice of colours is limited, although not a massive issue I'm looking at buying a darker grey to what I currently use and there the choice is at the moment floor vinyl only!
Thank you very much for your input. My vinyl will be kept in the studio so hopefully I should not have to worry about carrying it around and ladies high heel shoes going through it as the floor is concrete. Not sure whether that's good or bad?
I use a white one in the studio most of the time. Like all things they have good and bad points. For a pure white background. That is with background lighting to blow it white the one we currently use is not too bad. There is the constant maintenance of cleaning the floor part but shooting every day the savings on paper make it worth the effort.
I'm less impressed about my current roll for other work though as it tends to 'curtain' slightly, which shows if you are going off white. It also tends to be a little shinier than paper too. If you are doing shoots with stilettos then I would advice against using it over carpet. Holes in paper are one thing. Touch up in photoshop and cut off the damaged paper. Holes in vinyl get expensive.
I use white vinyl for the usual white family shoots, its good at getting clean images and find it doesnt need as much power to get the blow out. However I wouldn't recommend it for anything other really. I find its too shiny even the matt side so much prefer to use paper rolls or walls for that.
Thank you everyone for your contributions to what to me is an extremely important decision. I have heard so many positives, but almost as many negatives views and opinions. This is going to be extremely difficult decision to make. I'm going to the have to bite the bullet soon.
Thanks again to you all
Vinyl is very easily damaged as in kinked, dented with heel marks. And the reflectiveness of brands varies, some of the cheap ones can be very overly reflective.
Also a lof of the cheap ones have a texture to them which can be problamatic.
The best type of Vinyl is commercial grade for office use, i.e. flooring, wall covering. But its very heavy not foldable and only suited to studio use.
I have an absolutely huge one, its about 20' x 30' and no its not brilliant. It has that horrible texture weave to it I mentioned earlier, and marks easily but it is portable and about the biggest thing I can get with the portability and at least this one is tough. Despite hauling huge heavy products across it it hasn't got damaged.
Thanks Paul for your input, if I go with vinyl then I want quality vinyl.
It's an expensive business sorting out a studio to your own personal tastes and standards. Every time I pop in I always think of something I need to buy. oh well, hopefully I should get the show on the road by March.