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Questions and thoughts on light/background stand options
  
 
KaBudokan
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p.1 #1 · Questions and thoughts on light/background stand options


I'm in the market for: a background stand (mainly for seamless paper, maybe some cloth) and a boom stand.

My current lighting uses are strictly speedlights along with some small modifiers - umbrellas, 28" softbox, 22" beauty dish, etc. No immediate plans to move to bigger lights, but it could eventually happen.

I don't expect to use the background stands all that much, but that could always change. I see mainly doing indoors, though I could see using it for some other stuff outside.

Here are the couple of options I've been considering:

1) Get a cheap background stand setup - usually around $100 for a kit with two stands, a sectioned crossbar, and a bag. Then for a boom, get something along the lines of the Manfrotto 420 for $140 right now: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/546705-REG/Manfrotto_420B_420B_Combi_Boom_Stand.html Total: ~$250


2) Get a 3-pack of the Manfrotto 1004BAC stands for $270: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/636420-REG/Manfrotto_1004BAC_3_1004BAC_3_QSS_Air_Cushioned.html and then get the Manfrotto heavy duty boom arm for $150: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/325362-REG/Manfrotto_085BSL_Heavy_Duty_Boom_Arm.html Get 2 clamps (Matthews or Manfrotto for around $55 for the pair) and a pole (pvc, metal, or maybe even an adjustable painter's pole that could double as a light holder with a kacey pole adapter?) to complete the background kit. Total: ~$500

3) Do a generic version of option 2 with Impact stands or something similar. Total: ~$400?


My current light stands are pretty sad - some cheap, generic 7' stands and a decent (but light) Lumopro (whichever one David Hobby recommended for the traveling strobist).

I'm kind of leaning toward option #2. My reasoning is that it will be a more sturdy support system in general compared to a generic $100 option. It's conceivable that I could outgrow a kit setup (meaning I may want/need something sturdier down the line), and then I'd be left selling a crappy system, though I suppose with only $100 into it, I couldn't lost that much anyway. If I get option #2, I can use the Manfrotto stands with confidence, and they're something that I can utilize in the future no matter how I progress. I may need different stands, but they are sturdy enough that they'll always be something I can use without reservation. They're also 12' height compared to the typical 8-10' of height in the kit setups. I don't think I'd necessarily use the kit stands the same way I may use the Manfrotto stands when not using the background.

Would one of the Manfrotto stands with the Super boom be a good boom stand option in the $240-250 range? I'd like something that is at least somewhat portable for location shoots, so a C-stand or something like that seem like too much. The three stands together have the "quick stack system," which seems to make carrying/storage a little nicer.

I think the Manfrotto boom combo from option one would work fine for now, but may not be enough if I get anything bigger.

With the rebates currently running on the Manfrotto stuff, I'd save $110 total in rebates, which is significant. The stands come out to $90 each. At that price, there's not too much difference between them and some of the similar generic styles.

Just looking to get some feedback, since I don't have too much experience in this area. Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions!



May 19, 2013 at 02:50 AM
BrianO
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p.1 #2 · Questions and thoughts on light/background stand options


I can't speak to the choice of background stands as I haven't looked at them lately, but I will say that I love my Manfrotto Combi Stand. Actually, I should say stands, because I liked my first one well enough that I bought another one a few months ago.

Here's a shot of one of them, set up to be a hair light support.







May 19, 2013 at 05:11 AM
Gozo1
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p.1 #3 · Questions and thoughts on light/background stand options


I have 3 of the 1004 stands and could not be happier with them. The stacking feature is wonderful and 3 of them together is about 6 inches square by the length. Small footprint in the light bag.


May 19, 2013 at 02:26 PM
Deezie
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p.1 #4 · Questions and thoughts on light/background stand options


Perhaps consider avoiding air-cushioned stands and opt for the standard versions. Just sold mine. They're a pain in the butt to close at the end of a long day.


May 19, 2013 at 03:52 PM
basehorhonda
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p.1 #5 · Questions and thoughts on light/background stand options


Same thing here on the air cushioned. I got a pair of them when I was starting because everyone said how great they are. I cant stand them, no pun intended. Id rather have non air cushioned ones. Never once have I had a stand come loose and need the air cushion to save my lights. They are more of a pain in the butt to close down than anything.


May 19, 2013 at 03:58 PM
 

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Roland W
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p.1 #6 · Questions and thoughts on light/background stand options


Look at the collapsible background rods that Manfrotto sells rather than clamps and some sort of non photographic tube. They have ends that will go right on the top of standard 5/8 inch stands, so they need no clamp. And they are very practical to store and transport because they collapse. They can adjust to specific situations, like shorter for a cloth background. Of course, storing and handling a roll of seamless is a different thing entirely, and never easy unless you have the space for the length.

Using regular stands for background works out well if you end up with enough stands for the job, and if you are not using background often, it is likely a better choice. You can always add more stands as you need them.

Boom arms are a complex topic, and you often want a special and stronger stand for them, or would be better to use a combi stand like all ready suggested. If you are only supporting strobes with small modifiers, things are pretty easy, but if you graduate to studio strobes and big modifiers, you need secure stands that are stable with the load, and you need to have high concern for your safety and for any subjects that are modeling for you.



May 19, 2013 at 06:18 PM
KaBudokan
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p.1 #7 · Questions and thoughts on light/background stand options


Thanks for the help. I ended up not going with any of my options at all! lol

I ended up "compromising" a bit on the background support. I got two 10' heavy-duty Impact stands for around $40 each and then went ahead and just got the Manfrotto collapsible rod, so no clamps. It seemed a bit tidier.

I then spent a bit more on the boom, and went with the Avenger A4041B combi stand: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/200109-REG/Avenger_A4041B_A475B_Baby_Combi_Boom.html . It looks to be a bit beefier than the Manfrotto (heavier too, of course). I thought this made more sense for my purposes and needs.

Thanks again everyone!



May 20, 2013 at 04:21 AM
BrianO
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p.1 #8 · Questions and thoughts on light/background stand options


KaBudokan wrote:
...I then spent a bit more on the boom, and went with the Avenger A4041B combi stand...


That's a good boom stand, and has the advantage over its Manfrotto brother (same parent company) of having a leveling leg. I may sell one of my Manfrottos and buy an Avenger for that feature alone.



May 20, 2013 at 04:36 AM
Michael White
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p.1 #9 · Questions and thoughts on light/background stand options


Well you can go either f two ways one is buy a background stand kit with a crossmember or you can go a more versital way and get two complete C-Stand kits and maybe a boom for one, I've a boom for each. The cstand way allows you a very versital light stand that can be used for more than a background holder. If you need a boom to position a light overhead you have it if you need a stand to hold a light in the wind with minor weights you got it if you get the right base you can even use the stand on uneven terrain or on a stair case. Everyone needs a couple of complete cstands. The term complete men's the cstand with the grip arm which two of the can hold any wight of background paper on a roll.


May 22, 2013 at 06:46 AM





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