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Thread: Which brand light stand?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2001

    Which brand light stand?

    Can anyone recommend brands to look for - or to avoid - for a light stand that will provide stable support for up to a ten-pound strobe head or monolight plus a large softbox?

  2. #2
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Albuquerque, Nuevo Mexico

    Re: Which brand light stand?

    I have been using the same Bogen stands for almost 30 years now. They have been used extremely heavily on location, and they show allot of wear, but have never given me a single problem in 28 years to be exact.

    at age 67
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2006
    grand rapids

    Re: Which brand light stand?
    3-riser steel baby stand
    call because i think their prices are discounted
    these are the best light stands made. hands down

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    God's Country

    Re: Which brand light stand?


    My unit is made by Manfrotto/Bogen and has a counter-weight on the one end.

    Pretty reasonably priced too!

    Life in the fast lane!

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2002

    Re: Which brand light stand?

    I seem to disagree with Kirk about so many things, and inspite of my pro-Italian stance, I hate all things Manfrotto. Their cast parts crack, their plastic parts disintegrate, and their aluminum -- well I guess they do aluminum tubing OK ;-) But I just think their designers are loopy with all their strange connectors and latches and whatnot. Maybe Kirks 30-year old stand is better than their new stuff?

    Lowel stands are slightly heavier but they are all metal, reasonably priced, heavy-duty, and repairable with off-the-shelf parts.

    Considering the TSA likes to dismantle my lightstands when I travel (I guess I just give off that terrorist drug dealer vibe) the Lowels are easy to put back together.

    PIC brand stands are similar (but not from the same factory I think), but Lowels are plentiful. They also come in fly color combinations, like Titanium and Gold. You'd want the Grand stand and a few Omni stands for reflectors and what not.

    Matthews makes really nice, heavy duty stuff for the movie industry. If price and weight are not a barrier, theirs is probably the best. Manfrotto also has a heavy duty movie grip line called the Avenger series -- but usually this is overkill.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2003

    Re: Which brand light stand?

    I've got a few 325s. Price is reasonable. Rated for 10kg. The heaviest light I've got is less then 10lbs. But even with a 5' octobox it seems stable. Obviously outdoors it would be a sail.

  7. #7
    Ted Harris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    New Hampshire

    Re: Which brand light stand?

    I've got some old steel ones with wheeled legs that flip up for transport. Those are indestructible and now pushing 40 years old. I've also got a couple of newer ones from Calumet that work fine but worry me in terms of their stability if cranked up too high .... same problem with any of the aluminum stands taht aren't weighted.

    If you are looking for performance and a very low price call Jim at Midwest, he was telling me last week about a new line of stands that they are carrying that are sturdy and very inexpensive.

    As others ahve n=mentioned, if price and weight are not the object then the steel types I hae and others mention are the best. BTW, Kirk's 30 year old stands probably are this type!

  8. #8

    Re: Which brand light stand?

    If you're traveling with your gear the 625 Manfrotto is a nice compact stand and will just do the job with a small softbox or umbrella. But they're not the first choice for studio use. They're not very tall and not very heavy duty but they fly well. They are lighter than a similar Lowell stand and they don't last forever.

    A major brand of C stand is what you want for anything but air travel. Vinny suggested American Grip C-stands - a well proven choice. I have Avengers and consider them equal to Matthews or the Century. Any of the steel versions are heavy duty enough to last a long long time. Aluminum is fine too but may not be as strong (but strong enough and lighter). As Ted mentioned Jim at Midwest is a good resource and not just for new stuff. He usually has some used grip equipment, old heavy stuff thats basically unbreakable is and repairable from the hardware store if it does break. Old heavy stuff is wonderful unless you have to move it a lot or have lots of help to do the moving. I see lots of old C stands in grip rental houses that looks like it was made 50 years ago thats still going strong. A big old steel C stand is a lifetime purchase.

    No one has mentioned sandbags. You NEED sandbags for safety of your gear and especially safety of the people who work around and in front of your lights. Home made is fine but be sure all your stuff is weighted down.

    And you might consider a short boom for a big box and light combination. Balanced gear does not turn over so easy and there is less stress on the stand/boom arm/light mount, etc.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Re: Which brand light stand?

    What do people think of the light stands that White-Lightning sells?

  10. #10
    Jack Flesher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Los Altos, CA

    Re: Which brand light stand?

    I use them all and find them fine -- after all, they just need to hold the light For a 10 pound head, you'll want to get at least a medium duty size and avoid the smaller, lighter models. I like Bogen/Manfrotto for location work and Matthews C-stands for studio. I use sand bags on all of them to add stability.
    Jack Flesher

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