Cheetah stand C8 or Denny EZ stand?
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ukphotographer
Registered: Dec 12, 2009
Total Posts: 1266
Country: United Kingdom

I fancy trying out a collapsible stand with a fixed lighting setup.

Which is the best stand between the Cheetah and the Denny - it looks like the Cheetah has square section legs which is unusual.. does this make the stand less durable?

Cheetah C8

Denny

Does anybody have any experience of these stands?



kdphotography
Registered: Dec 22, 2005
Total Posts: 1225
Country: United States

I can't remember why, but I went with the Cheetah stand. It works well and holds up well, but I wouldn't suggest anything heavy. It's a "fast" stand and great to move around quickly without the legs getting in the way. I use the Cheetah stand with a Quantum Qflash, Turbo battery, and Pocket Wizard attached.

ken



Jim Cowsert
Registered: Jul 10, 2003
Total Posts: 1768
Country: United States

I have the C8 and fairly happy with it when I use it on solid ground. It's not as solid as my other cheaper lightstands with tubular style legs. I know you're a Qflash shooter and that's what I mount on mine too with their 27" octobox. Handles it OK but a little flimsy and not all that sturdy when I need to extend the height.
When using outdoors, I make sure that I'm on sturdy ground and out of any breeze when using the C8.
I wish now that I had of just gotten the C12 from the beginning, seems a lot more sturdier.



ukphotographer
Registered: Dec 12, 2009
Total Posts: 1266
Country: United Kingdom

I've heard that the larger ones and 'heavier' ones (C12) are too much on the heavy side and that the centre column works like a fourth leg - so not so good on uneven surfaces because of it (?)

I'm going to permanently fit a Quantum Qpaq 400Ws and X5d-R to it.. the section between the top of the legs and the first extension looks like its designed to fit.



ukphotographer
Registered: Dec 12, 2009
Total Posts: 1266
Country: United Kingdom

I just found this review Link which says the Denny, despite having round tubes on the legs also has plastic tube locks (I'm not fond of plastic tube locks) and in this case the tubes separated in use. It was a while back, but not good.



kdphotography
Registered: Dec 22, 2005
Total Posts: 1225
Country: United States

I think that may have been one of the reasons for my going with the Cheetah. I use the lightweight stand only with the Qflash, but only with the standard reflector or barebulb. Jim points out correctly about difficulties when using larger small modifiers--it pushes the capability limits of the small stand, and as with any modifier can catch more wind. If I'm using larger modifiers, I'll simply opt for a heavier stand and weights.

Be aware that the old Qpac certainly weighs more than a original Turbo or Turbo SC! You might be pushing it with the smaller Cheetah, and I think you might run into the "flimsy" realm that Jim describes.

ken



ukphotographer
Registered: Dec 12, 2009
Total Posts: 1266
Country: United Kingdom

I regularly use the Qpaq's on Nano stands, even with the 27" octobox without any issues, but the additional weight of the Qpaq and large battery might actually be a help there in ballasting the stand.



cgardner
Registered: Nov 18, 2002
Total Posts: 9376
Country: United States

Indoor or outdoor use?



ukphotographer
Registered: Dec 12, 2009
Total Posts: 1266
Country: United Kingdom

Everywhere use. I doubt it will suffice in every case, but the majority of cases would be OK.

Setting up and breaking down lighting is a chore. I used to have a kit of Balcar 1200Ws packs with monopods and heads all connected.. brilliant concept.. carry in, plug in, shoot. Profoto had a similar arrangement. With this I want to carry to location, turn on, shoot. If the single head and modifier are not sufficient then I can easily carry a couple more of either the T5d-R's or X5d-R's in their shoulder bag or cases as well, or if this works out OK, I'll create a kit all ready-built and ready to go.

In the last week I've been on Windfarms, in Engineering works, Prisons and shooting corporate portraits.. the process of open the stand, attach the clamp, fit the pack, connect the head and fit the cable can become really monotonous several times over and time consuming.

I have a gazillion stands already, but whilst considering these options I'm also considering how to do a DIY job on a stand using a pole spring from the poles of a frame tent. There only needs to be a closing pressure and a bottom stop on the stand to make it work..

S&H to the UK for these stands is almost as much as the stands themselves..



cgardner
Registered: Nov 18, 2002
Total Posts: 9376
Country: United States

Now I'm a bit confused. Ease of movement it the primary advantage of the auto retracting feet vs. conventional stand but the description it sounds like mostly static rather than "run and gun" like a wedding where you are constantly moving the OCF around to follow the action.

If the primary goal is making the logistics of set-up simpler a padded custom case where you can keep everything connected (stand, flash, battery) for storage and transport would seem to fit the bill better. I briefly worked for a free-lance PJ who had a rolling case containing a 16mm video news interview kit like that. There was a ball head stand mounted on top of the case and the camera and lights w. stands attached fit into padded compartments in the case. It could be rolled in and set-up in a few minutes with very little effort, but needed a van for transport.

While it doesn't seem to be what you need here's what I use indoors for my off camera my speedlight: a modified five-legged IV pole on casters.







It's got a small 28" footprint and is nearly un-tippable. If it gets bumped it just rolls away. It works a treat indoors if moving around with a flash on bracket and one OCF as I do with speedlights. I occasionally find one at thrift stores. Got the idea working for Zucker. It's what he used, but his had 4 legs and a cast iron base.


dmward
Registered: Apr 12, 2002
Total Posts: 1825
Country: United States

The value of the Cheetah stand is its ability to collapse its legs when picked up.
The C8 is OK for speedlites with smallish modifiers. The C12 is robust enough for an Einstein moonlight with relatively big modifier.

The foot print of each is smaller than a corresponding light stand. Primarily because of the self collapsing mechanism.

I've had C8 go over in the wind with just a speedlite on top, sitting on a concrete walk.

If you have to move fast they are nice. If you have time then light stands with wider base can be saver.

I got Denny version first. They had a special on a two stand kit. First stand came apart when I took it out of the box and wouldn't stay together. Needless to say they went back.

I've have a couple of things I needed to replace on the stands I have and Edward is great at customer service. He's not into email so when you email from the site with a question be close to your phone, you're likely to get a call within minutes. :-)



dmward
Registered: Apr 12, 2002
Total Posts: 1825
Country: United States

UK,
If you and your other UK photog friends can get together and come up with a shopping list, send me the cash via PayPal, I'll buy it all and bring it to London as baggage. Haven't been there in a couple of years and would love a long weekend to walk around and take some pictures. :-)

Oh, and shipping is the plane ticket and 4 nights in a hotel. :-)



ukphotographer
Registered: Dec 12, 2009
Total Posts: 1266
Country: United Kingdom

I'm constantly moving the lighting around to different locations as well as getting the equipment to the location in the first place.

The auto retracting feet mean that when I'm traipsing a camera bag on my back with cameras, lenses and lights along with a case of a couple of 400Ws the other hand has a ready to go light which on arrival at destination can be plonked down without having to mess with leg struts to secure it. Destination might be up stairs across gantries and end up on a gridded floor somewhere. You need two hands to secure a stand.. and if you want to pick up two and move them (especially the Nano type) with heads and power packs attached you need three hands! They're OK when closed up, just getting them closed up when you have a few to move presents a problem. (There might be over 10 lights all needing moving so thats a serious set up and break down time.. sometimes they do just get thrown in the van and sorted when back at the studio, but mostly they're packed). Even if you need only one light and its in your bag, it's no good being there if you need it and have only got 30s to setup before you miss the action.

I would have no objection to fitting out a case of lights set up this way if the stands do what is needed. It might be a bit lengthy..(?) and then sometimes, only one light might be enough, so a case of three might be overkill. (and weighty).

Maybe the Nano stands are the things which are causing the problem with their backward folding legs.. picking up two to move them to another location a couple of floors away means folding the legs whilst balancing the stands against your shoulders which ends up as bit of a juggling act. Even so, without the Nanos, the majority of the time the lights, cameras and stands wouldn't be where I need them all at the same time as the Nanos happily fit in the lighting cases along with the lights.

Trying to provide a working solution to an unknown requirement is difficult to judge. Three sets the other day had all the lights clamped to support struts as there simply wasn't room for stands... Back to those Balcars again with their one handed transport solution - because they only used the pack as a stand with a monopod attached they would have been fine - except there was no AC...



ukphotographer
Registered: Dec 12, 2009
Total Posts: 1266
Country: United Kingdom

dmward wrote:
Oh, and shipping is the plane ticket and 4 nights in a hotel. :-)


Thanks for the offer.. I might just put my name on a ticket and visit NY for a bit of shopping :-)

It doesn't sound like the Denny is going to be the stand of choice..



dmward
Registered: Apr 12, 2002
Total Posts: 1825
Country: United States

UK,
What you're describing sounds like one of the strengths of the cheetah stand. I usually have two setup with speedlites on top at a reception. When someone says " can we do a family picture?" I say meet me at such and such.
Go over, crab the two stands with lights on them, carry them to new site, plop them down, do a quick check to make sure I have the light I want and away we go.

Sometimes it means adding an umbrella or similar. I keep a collapsible Westcott bunged to the stand. :-)

Often I set one or two up with lights and battery packs at the first location then just collapse the vertial extension and put them in the car going to the next location then out they come.
Camera case, camera and two cheetah stands with lights on them are manageable. I have a case that carries everything broken down but once the event starts and the lights are on the stands they tend to stay there.

I also have compact stands, when I use them I just fold the legs together rather than back up onto the stand for quick transport. If you keep the tips of the legs about 6 inches apart its easy to transport and they will stand with assistance until you can get a firmer base.

If I know I'm going to spend time outside I have at least one light on a compact. The Cheetah stands don't really like uneven terrain.



ukphotographer
Registered: Dec 12, 2009
Total Posts: 1266
Country: United Kingdom

dmward wrote:
Go over, crab the two stands with lights on them, carry them to new site, plop them down, do a quick check to make sure I have the light I want and away we go.

Sometimes it means adding an umbrella or similar. I keep a collapsible Westcott bunged to the stand. :-)


Pretty much.. the bunged Westcott is where I might be heading, although I'm leaning towards having a Speedring adapter permanently fitted to the head as well so that I can chose whether to use a studio mount softbox or a compact modifier.


Camera case, camera and two cheetah stands with lights on them are manageable. I have a case that carries everything broken down but once the event starts and the lights are on the stands they tend to stay there.


Yes, some variation on that.

I also have compact stands, when I use them I just fold the legs together rather than back up onto the stand for quick transport. If you keep the tips of the legs about 6 inches apart its easy to transport and they will stand with assistance until you can get a firmer base.

I would normally do that, but I remembered why I didn't.. I was climbing through rubble and limited access past generators and demolition salvage and the like, the 6 inches might have been a problem. In that instance I was using the T series and batteries.

If I know I'm going to spend time outside I have at least one light on a compact. The Cheetah stands don't really like uneven terrain.

I think I'll have to overcome the uneven terrain somehow.

What distance is there between the top of the leg flange and the first pole clamp on the C8? The Denny is 11" which is at least a couple of inches more than I should ever need.



ChrisDM
Registered: May 17, 2005
Total Posts: 7441
Country: United States

I have both, I prefer the Cheetahs. The Dennys work as advertised, but the Cheetahs seem more well made, smoother operating feel.