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Thread: Light Stands

  1. #1
    Ollokot's Avatar
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    Light Stands

    Hi Folks,
    The time has come that I need to purchase a couple of light stands for my speedlights, however there is a vast array of stands on the market, your advice on good, strong, durable, stands would be most appreciated.
    Best Wishes,

    Pat.

  2. #2

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    Re: Light Stands

    Are you looking for something permanent or easily variable and simple to carry around, Pat.

    I normally use a spare tripod, with a little bit of adaption as a light holder. A suitable wing nut is used to hold a thin steel plate to the tripod head using the camera attachment screw.

    But I have read about people who just cast a bit of pipe or wood into a bucket of concrete then use simple clamps for adjustment.

    Cheap and sturdy, but not so portable!

  3. #3
    shreds's Avatar
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    Re: Light Stands

    Are they for indoors or outdoors?

    Must admit to using old tripods on occasions provided you can fit a brolley mount. If using a softbox that mounts on the speed light then so much the better.

    Otherwise I would look at something like Calumet own brand which are usually pretty good and similar to Manfrotto but cheaper etc.

    You might also consider floor to ceiling 'acrow' type mounts that will give a greater range of heights to mount the speedlights on. http://www.wexphotographic.com/buy-m...black/p1013247

    Of course an assistant with an outstretched arm and an ear for instruction also works well, very flexible, but can vary from cheap/free through to very expensive!!
    Last edited by shreds; 31st July 2013 at 06:35 PM.

  4. #4
    PhotomanJohn's Avatar
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    Re: Light Stands

    Pat - I have had a variety of light stands over the years for both speedlights and studio strobes. In general for speedlights you can get away with fairly light duty stands for in-door use, outdoors is a different story. Umbrellas tend to be more balanced on the stand than softboxes whose weight is mostly on one side of the stands. For a larger softbox you would want a larger, more sturdy stand. Sand bags are generally needed for outdoor use it there is any wind. Another accessory to think about are radio triggers and a light/flash meter if you are going to be shooting in manual mode.

    My suggestion is take a look at some in a store and hopefully get some recommendations based on your intended use and any light modifiers you want to use.

    John

  5. #5
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Light Stands

    As always, one needs a bit of context here, and the answer really depends on what you are planning to use them for; I have 6 light stands, and they are all a bit different and all are used for different purposes. I have a fairly cheap on the holds nothing more than a Speedlight and umbrella and it was quite inexpensive; but also totally useless for all but the simplest and lightest indoor applications. On the opposite end, I have a fairly large one that I can use to boom a decent sized softbox over the subject, yet staying out of the shot. I can sandbag it and feel fairly sure that even a moderate wind won't blow it over when shooting outdoors.

    So; the question you need to ask yourself would include:

    1. What are you planning to shoot? If it is people, you need one that is tall enough so that you can project the light down from above (i.e. simulate how the sun would illuminate your subject). Minimum height for one of these should be around 10 ft/ 3m. The ones I use are 13 ft / 4m. If you are shooting product shots (table top photography), you can get away with something smaller;

    2. What kind of light modifier are you planning to use (and if you say none, I would suggest you re-examine your need for a light stand). You need legs that spread wide enough to prevent your lighting setup from toppling over and onto your subject.

    3. Are you going to shoot outdoors? If so, you are going to have to have one that is sturdy enough to support appropriate weight sandbags to prevent wind from blowing them over.

    4. Are you going to shoot around a home studio, or are you going to travel with them? In that case, you might want to look at something that folds down well and is relatively light weight.

    5. Are you a carefull shooter or do you tend to get tightly focused? If so, you might want to consider an air cushion design that lowers your gear gentley when you undo the clamps.

    6. What is your budget? This may of course be the overriding consideration...

  6. #6
    Ollokot's Avatar
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    Re: Light Stands

    Thank you all for your speedy reply, I need to get stands that I can use indoor and outdoor, have plenty of height when I need it
    and are comfortable holding a softbox.
    I do a lot of bird photography and use flash when needed and thought of having a second flash on a stand to give some direction of light.
    Also I tend to be doing a lot of people photography lately and use an old tripod that I have for one flash, and when I can a voice activated stand for the other.
    Many Thanks Best Wishes,
    Pat

  7. #7
    PhotomanJohn's Avatar
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    Re: Light Stands

    Pat - Sounds like you need what I would call medium duty stands. Manfred mentioned one that might be like one that I have. It can be used as a very tall conventional light stand or the top sections can become a boom to place a light over someone's head without the stand getting in the way (adding sand bags as needed). Mine is a copy of a Manfrotto 420 series stand. I might suggest one like that and then a similar weight medium stand that doesn't have the height and boom feature. Stands like these are sold under many brand names and are not too expensive. The only issue is that they are a little heavier and don't pack down like the lighter duty stands.

    John
    Last edited by PhotomanJohn; 31st July 2013 at 07:46 PM.

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