Light stand / flash / umbrella recommendations

#1
OK i want to upgrade my current set up which is two fairly inexpensive light stands with flashgun mounts and two shoot through umbrellas around 30 inch which i use for indoor groups and similar on the odd occasion when needed and very infrequently outdoors so the ability to weigh them down with bags hooks or similar would be good.

these have done me fine over the years but have their issues and want something better quality , currently the light stands are prone to dropping back down with a little pressure so not clamping great and the flashgun connectors are fiddly so would rather have something stronger and easier to get on and off.

Prob looking to spend around 100-250, the wescott umbrellas I have are fine and can be used again.

Any suggestions welcomed :) thank you and Happy new year

Wedding Photographer North East & Yorkshire Northumberland & Wedding Photographer Cumbria
 

LDS

EOS 80D
Sep 14, 2012
1,396
45
#2
Lighter stands are easier to carry around but also less stable, depending on the weight and size of gear put upon them the "footprint" may matter, stands with a larger one will be more stable.

As stands legs are close to ground, usually sand bags are put around the legs, as there's no space to put hooks or the like below. I use some Manfrotto (1004BAC/1005BAC/1051BAC) and Elinchrom (don't know the model, came with flash units) stands and with proper sand bags added they are quite stable. Folded they are easier to store and carry around - classic C stands may take more space.

I use sometimes a Manfrotto Lite Tite to use a small strobe and umbrella, there is also the simpler MLH1HS but I never used it - but most of the time I use the Elinchrom units.

There are surely many cheaper Chinese clones of varying quality.
 
Mar 2, 2012
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189
#3
Like LDS I have some manfrottos which came with an elinchrom kit. They’re fine for speedlights and strobes with small modifiers (say up to 36”), but they won’t hold large softboxes. The stand itself is fine, but there isn’t enough torque in the head to keep the light from sagging.
For larger lights like my profoto monolights with huge mods (as large as 60” octoboxes) I use Impact heavy duty light stands. Naturally, they weigh more.
 

neuroanatomist

Spends Too Much Time on This Forum
Jul 21, 2010
23,500
533
#5
I have several Manfrotto stands, they work very well. The 1051 have a small footprint (0.6 m), they’re good for tight spaces and with a weight on the base (I use the 10 lb Manfrotto orange lead weights), they’ll hold a 24” softbox. The 1052s are fine for pretty much any Speedlite modifier. I use the 1004s with moonlights and large modifiers (48” octa), sometimes with the 024 boom.

I also use the 420 combi-boom, which is great for a gridded speedlite or a small (e.g. 12x48”) stripbox as a hair light. I use the 3 lb Manfrotto lead weight as a counterweight on the combi-boom.
 
Likes: LDS
Sep 14, 2012
1,396
45
#6
They’re fine for speedlights and strobes with small modifiers (say up to 36”), but they won’t hold large softboxes. The stand itself is fine, but there isn’t enough torque in the head to keep the light from sagging.
This is a flash head issue, not a stand one, as you say too. As these stands should have standard studs (5/8") you can easily mount anything using that standard.

With larger and heavier modifiers, from a stand perspective, it's a matter of footprint, counterweights. and max acceptable load (which decreases with height).

With heavier setups air cushioning will also help to avoid issues, while in a studio adding wheels (if not already fitted) helps to move stands with less risks of overturning.
 
Sep 14, 2012
1,396
45
#8
The 026 is sturdy enough, sure. The issue is when the modifier is directly attached to the lamp. I have an issue using a Lastolite Pro Switch 44/89x89cm on Elinchrom D-LIte RX4. Unluckily the blocking mechanism is made of plastic, and is not strong enough. My solution is to attach a rope to the unit handle, with a rubber-covered gym weight at the other side to restore enough balance. It doesn't need to be heavy enough for a perfect balance, just to let the blocking mechanism to work, no need to overload the handle. Or the rope can be tied to something. A workaround sure, and care must be taken to not overload the contraption.

Anyway I could try to put the 026 between the stand and the lamp, and move it back to offset the tendency to fall forward.
 
Mar 2, 2012
2,715
189
#9
This is a flash head issue, not a stand one, as you say too. As these stands should have standard studs (5/8") you can easily mount anything using that standard
You are of course correct. Disregard my post. My elinchroms (d-lite) droop with big mods; my profotos (d2) do not. I use light duty stands with the former and heavy duty stands with the latter, and it got muddled in my brain. Thanks for noting that.