September 19, 2014, 06:29:01 PM

Author Topic: Light stand recommendations/advice  (Read 3204 times)

Random Orbits

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1346
    • View Profile
Light stand recommendations/advice
« on: May 25, 2013, 11:18:55 AM »
I've picked up a couple flashes and am looking into multi-speedlite setups for both indoor/outdoor use.  Where I can use your advice/experience is what type of stand to get.  I'm looking at something like the Manfrotto 1051BAC or the 1005BAC.  I'd like it to be small enough to be somewhat portable, but I also intend to use softboxes with the speedlites in the future so stability against wind and weight might be a factors (with possibly more than 1 speedlight in the softbox).

Is one model better suited than the other, and if you know of something more appropriate, please let me know!

canon rumors FORUM

Light stand recommendations/advice
« on: May 25, 2013, 11:18:55 AM »

neuroanatomist

  • CR GEEK
  • ********
  • Posts: 14413
    • View Profile
Re: Light stand recommendations/advice
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2013, 12:54:57 PM »
I have six of the Manfrotto ####BAC stands (a pair each of the 1004, 1051, and 1052), and they're great.  They fold flat (vs 'round' like tripods and typical light stands) and stands of the same size lock together when folded.

The key considerations are height, load capacity, and footprint diameter.  Of those, I've found that I don't pay much attention to load - the 1004 is rated for 20 lbs, I've had 30 lbs at least (boom with counterweight and heavy monolight/softbox which also exceeded the boom's rating).

I like the 1051 for indoor use, because of the small footprint.  I typically use it with a 600EX-RT in a Lastolite 24" Ezybox.  That's a fairly heavy modifier, but no problem on the 1051. An umbrella with 2-3 Speedlites would be fine.  But, outdoors it'd be likely to blow over in a breeze, even with the legs sandbagged - the larger footprint of the 1052 is an advantage there (still need sandbags).

Also consider if a 9' stand will be enough outdoors.  The closed length of the 12' stand (1004) is only 1" longer than the 9' stand.

I think for just Speedlite(s) in a modifier, the 1052 stands would work well, IMO.  If you want to use a boom, the 1004 or 1005 are better.  I have the Manfrotto 024 boom that I've been using with a 600EX in a Lastolite 12x48" Hot Rod Stripbox as a hair/background light - a boom is great for that, as you can get the light over the subject without the light stand being in the shot.

Side note - the Manfrotto LBAG is great. The 90 would hold a set of 1052s, I have the 110 and it holds two 1004s, two 1052s, the 024 boom (without the counterweight), and a couple of Justin clamps.
EOS 1D X, EOS M, and lots of lenses
______________________________
Flickr | TDP Profile/Gear List

privatebydesign

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2359
  • Ermintrude says "moo"
    • View Profile
Re: Light stand recommendations/advice
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2013, 01:45:56 PM »
Like Neuro I have and use various BAC stands amongst others, they are great and my pair of 1052's are my go to lightweight stands. But if I could only have one stand it would be a Manfrotto 420NSB http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/513014-REG/Manfrotto_420NSB_420NSB_Convertible_Boom_Stand.html
a bit more money but so worth it, it does double duty as a tall stand, which is often very useful, but it also works as a self contained boom and stand, booms are so much better than stands for so many lighting situations I can't recommend the 420 enough as a first stand.
The best time to plant a tree is twenty-five years ago. The second best time is today.

Mt Spokane Photography

  • Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
  • ********
  • Posts: 8679
    • View Profile
Re: Light stand recommendations/advice
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2013, 03:18:07 PM »
Wind will be the big issue, a gust of wind is going to blow over a lightstand with a softbox, or even without one.  You need to devise a weight or sandbags to hold it in place.
 
 
 

neuroanatomist

  • CR GEEK
  • ********
  • Posts: 14413
    • View Profile
Re: Light stand recommendations/advice
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2013, 03:45:05 PM »
PBD, how does the combi stand do as a boom without a counterweight?  I looked at them before, nice idea!  I was concerned about load (monolight use, sometimes) so I went with the 024 boom on the 1004 stand.
EOS 1D X, EOS M, and lots of lenses
______________________________
Flickr | TDP Profile/Gear List

Random Orbits

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1346
    • View Profile
Re: Light stand recommendations/advice
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2013, 08:54:18 PM »
Like Neuro I have and use various BAC stands amongst others, they are great and my pair of 1052's are my go to lightweight stands. But if I could only have one stand it would be a Manfrotto 420NSB http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/513014-REG/Manfrotto_420NSB_420NSB_Convertible_Boom_Stand.html
a bit more money but so worth it, it does double duty as a tall stand, which is often very useful, but it also works as a self contained boom and stand, booms are so much better than stands for so many lighting situations I can't recommend the 420 enough as a first stand.

Interesting.  If you had the choice of having 3 stands, would you opt for 3 420s or a mix of 1052s and 420s?

privatebydesign

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2359
  • Ermintrude says "moo"
    • View Profile
Re: Light stand recommendations/advice
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2013, 11:00:10 AM »
PBD, how does the combi stand do as a boom without a counterweight?  I looked at them before, nice idea!  I was concerned about load (monolight use, sometimes) so I went with the 024 boom on the 1004 stand.

Neuro, bearing in mind all these loadings go out the window in wind and you need to be realistic with expectations, the 420 is perfectly fine with no counterweight a 600EX and the 24" Lastolite at modest extensions, certainly enough to clear the frame with a clam shell type lighting setup. But it comes with a bag (well mine did) and I have become quite adept at finding stuff to put in it, my favourite is oranges, everybody here has tons of oranges at their house! Or apples or cans etc etc, never used sand in it. With a counterweight I have had my 50" Apollo and three flashes in it on the 420, not the ideal setup, but it works fine.

For proper work with the 50" Westcott I use a Manfrotto 608B and a 085B boom together to make the 085BS. This gives so much confidence I am happy to take it out on location despite its weight.


Interesting.  If you had the choice of having 3 stands, would you opt for 3 420s or a mix of 1052s and 420s?

Random, if I was getting three stands for smaller modifier (up to 30" boxes) and hotshoe flash work I'd get one 420 and two 1052's. The reason for this is the combination of weight, size, and features.

Booms are very very useful, especially for small flash modifiers many of which don't have decent tilt capabilities, like the very popular Westcott Apollo series and clones. They can also often be used when you want a very short stand, or the light low, like a background light where the subject covers the majority of the stand.

Nearly all lighting set ups can use at least one boom, but once you have that functionality the 1052's/BAC's really are a slick design.
The best time to plant a tree is twenty-five years ago. The second best time is today.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Light stand recommendations/advice
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2013, 11:00:10 AM »

neuroanatomist

  • CR GEEK
  • ********
  • Posts: 14413
    • View Profile
Re: Light stand recommendations/advice
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2013, 11:39:36 AM »
PBD, how does the combi stand do as a boom without a counterweight?  I looked at them before, nice idea!  I was concerned about load (monolight use, sometimes) so I went with the 024 boom on the 1004 stand.

Neuro, bearing in mind all these loadings go out the window in wind and you need to be realistic with expectations, the 420 is perfectly fine with no counterweight a 600EX and the 24" Lastolite at modest extensions, certainly enough to clear the frame with a clam shell type lighting setup. But it comes with a bag (well mine did) and I have become quite adept at finding stuff to put in it, my favourite is oranges, everybody here has tons of oranges at their house! Or apples or cans etc etc, never used sand in it. With a counterweight I have had my 50" Apollo and three flashes in it on the 420, not the ideal setup, but it works fine.

Thanks!  The reason I asked, actually, was the boom you linked above was the NSB version, and NSB = no sand bag.   ;)  There's a version with the counterweight bag, runs ~$30 more.

Looks like Manfrotto has a rebate on, $45 back on items $150-250.
EOS 1D X, EOS M, and lots of lenses
______________________________
Flickr | TDP Profile/Gear List

privatebydesign

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2359
  • Ermintrude says "moo"
    • View Profile
Re: Light stand recommendations/advice
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2013, 11:54:23 AM »
PBD, how does the combi stand do as a boom without a counterweight?  I looked at them before, nice idea!  I was concerned about load (monolight use, sometimes) so I went with the 024 boom on the 1004 stand.

Neuro, bearing in mind all these loadings go out the window in wind and you need to be realistic with expectations, the 420 is perfectly fine with no counterweight a 600EX and the 24" Lastolite at modest extensions, certainly enough to clear the frame with a clam shell type lighting setup. But it comes with a bag (well mine did) and I have become quite adept at finding stuff to put in it, my favourite is oranges, everybody here has tons of oranges at their house! Or apples or cans etc etc, never used sand in it. With a counterweight I have had my 50" Apollo and three flashes in it on the 420, not the ideal setup, but it works fine.

Thanks!  The reason I asked, actually, was the boom you linked above was the NSB version, and NSB = no sand bag.   ;)  There's a version with the counterweight bag, runs ~$30 more.

Looks like Manfrotto has a rebate on, $45 back on items $150-250.

Ah, sorry for the miss link. Yep mine has a bag. But I wouldn't pay $30 for it. Of course you have the same solid orange counterweight that I have on the 085B so you could use that, also I have used the reusable Publix grocery bags as a counterweight bag on the 420 and on my very lightweight reflector holder/mini boom that works really well for a snooted 580/600 hair light, the Publix bags work very well.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 11:57:14 AM by privatebydesign »
The best time to plant a tree is twenty-five years ago. The second best time is today.

docholliday

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 186
    • View Profile
Re: Light stand recommendations/advice
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2013, 11:56:01 AM »
PBD, how does the combi stand do as a boom without a counterweight?  I looked at them before, nice idea!  I was concerned about load (monolight use, sometimes) so I went with the 024 boom on the 1004 stand.

Neuro, bearing in mind all these loadings go out the window in wind and you need to be realistic with expectations, the 420 is perfectly fine with no counterweight a 600EX and the 24" Lastolite at modest extensions, certainly enough to clear the frame with a clam shell type lighting setup. But it comes with a bag (well mine did) and I have become quite adept at finding stuff to put in it, my favourite is oranges, everybody here has tons of oranges at their house! Or apples or cans etc etc, never used sand in it. With a counterweight I have had my 50" Apollo and three flashes in it on the 420, not the ideal setup, but it works fine.

Thanks!  The reason I asked, actually, was the boom you linked above was the NSB version, and NSB = no sand bag.   ;)  There's a version with the counterweight bag, runs ~$30 more.

Looks like Manfrotto has a rebate on, $45 back on items $150-250.

Actually, with Manfrotto's new number system, the NSB doesn't mean "no sand bag required", it just means "no sand bag INCLUDED". (for those who have a case of nothing but sandbags sitting around and don't want more!). It's still supposed to be bagged when appropriate...

neuroanatomist

  • CR GEEK
  • ********
  • Posts: 14413
    • View Profile
Re: Light stand recommendations/advice
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2013, 12:07:11 PM »
Actually, with Manfrotto's new number system, the NSB doesn't mean "no sand bag required", it just means "no sand bag INCLUDED". (for those who have a case of nothing but sandbags sitting around and don't want more!). It's still supposed to be bagged when appropriate...

Obviously - I wasn't suggesting one isn't needed, just that it doesn't come with it.  As PBD points out, I've got the nice 10-lb clamp weight from my 024, for example.

My question was specifically because PBD linked the NSB version.
EOS 1D X, EOS M, and lots of lenses
______________________________
Flickr | TDP Profile/Gear List

RC

  • 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 608
    • View Profile
Re: Light stand recommendations/advice
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2013, 01:18:40 PM »
Plenty of great advice on stands already, I also used the Manfrotto stands.

For cold shoes and ball heads to be used with these stands,  I use the following with my Speedlites and 24" Lastolite Ezybox:

Ballheads: 
- Manfrotto 492 Micro Ball Head
http://www.manfrotto.us/micro-ball-head


Cold Shoes:
- Frio Universal - I like this plastic one because there is no way to short out the pins .  It does have a embedded brass nut so it wont strip out.  Take a Dremel and cut the tab off if you think it is too hard to remove Speedlite from the cold shoe (which I did), or just remove the Speedlite's weather seal adapter so you can depress the tab down when removing.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=orderHistory&A=details&Q=&sku=744548&is=REG

or

- Stroboframe - If you don't like the plastic ones, this metal one is great.  There is metal pin on the back that you will want to remove when attaching to a plate (like that on the 492 ball head above).  On the older units you will need to cut it off with a Dremel, on the newer units, just twist it off with pliers.  If you are attaching it to a brass spigot, you will not need to remove the pin.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=orderHistory&A=details&Q=&sku=52772&is=REG

Random Orbits

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1346
    • View Profile
Re: Light stand recommendations/advice
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2013, 11:32:18 PM »
Thanks RC for the micro ball head and cold shoe links!

Is the Lastolite Ezbox that much better than the Westcott Apollo or is it preferred for its setup/breakdown ease, and ability to turn the flash body toward the camera (as opposed to being completely in the softbox)?  I also see that the Lastolite has the Ezybox Hotshoe and now the Ezybox II, which seems like it can accommodate two speedlites using the Ezybox II speedlight bracket.  Line-of-sight isn't as big a concern for me because I intend to use Canon RT.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Light stand recommendations/advice
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2013, 11:32:18 PM »

privatebydesign

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2359
  • Ermintrude says "moo"
    • View Profile
Re: Light stand recommendations/advice
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2013, 11:47:43 PM »
Thanks RC for the micro ball head and cold shoe links!

Is the Lastolite Ezbox that much better than the Westcott Apollo or is it preferred for its setup/breakdown ease, and ability to turn the flash body toward the camera (as opposed to being completely in the softbox)?  I also see that the Lastolite has the Ezybox Hotshoe and now the Ezybox II, which seems like it can accommodate two speedlites using the Ezybox II speedlight bracket.  Line-of-sight isn't as big a concern for me because I intend to use Canon RT.

Not in my opinion, I have both the Apollo and Lastolite, they both have positives and negatives. I hate the Lastolite bracket (and price) those sliding universal cold shoes are absolute rubbish and the ABS, or whatever plastic they use, has too much flex in it. The Apollo doesn't tilt easily and without radio (moot in your case) is difficult to control the flash.

The Apollo actually sets up faster than the Lastolite and once you overcome the tilt "issue", either by using a boom or their arm thing I find it nicer.

Although I end up using the Lastolite more if I could only have one it would be the Apollo.
The best time to plant a tree is twenty-five years ago. The second best time is today.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Light stand recommendations/advice
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2013, 11:47:43 PM »