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A light stand is a crucial part of the backpacker's studio. Without a light stand, well life would be a lot more difficult. Having the right lightstand can either make or break your images. There are a million choices out there when it comes to stands, but here we are going to talk about what works for us. We have a couple of different models we use and recommend with varying prices to fit your budget. You buy what you can afford, it's simple as that!
Read more to find out about the Bogen, Impact and Westcott stands.
We will start off by talking about the top of the line and we will work our way down, not necessarily in quality but definitely in price point.
The Manfrotto 1051BAC and 1052BAC stands are just cool! They truly are engineering marvels. The difference between the Manfrotto 1051BAC and 1052BAC is size. The 1051BAC is smaller at 6.75 feet than the 1052BAC which goes up to 7.75 feet. I will give you the pros and cons of each. The 1051BAC is more portable. It folds down much smaller, but it has a smaller footprint wen opened up. When the wind comes, the 1051BAC might not be the best choice. The 1052BAC is a larger stand, with an extremely large footprint. But with the larger footprint comes a larger stand. So if you are looking for portability, this might not be as good as the 1051BAC. That's not to say the 1052BAC is not portable though, they are both part of Bogen's Stacker line!
The stacker option, acts like it sounds! You can stack and lock as many stands as you want on top of each other because they close flat! That's just cool! When it comes to compact and functional Bogen nailed it with this stacker ability. Two stands stacked together will take up the same room as One regular stand! For the backpacker's studio this is just awesome! To add to the coolness, these suckers are air-cushioned. I really like air-cushioned stands because when you loosen them, the air shock will prevent the stand from just sliding down really fast and possibly doing damage to your light. Every stand I buy is air-cushioned just to be safe!
The only downside these stands have are the price. They are much more expensive than the others we have listed. But if you have the bank, then these are your stands.
Next in our recommended stand list is the less expensive, but still good Impact 8 foot air-cushioned stand!
The Impact line is Bhphoto's line, they are probably the best less expensive line available. Being backed by Bhphoto is not a bad thing either. With excellent customer support, we highly recommend Bhphoto for all of your camera shopping needs!
In any case, back to the stand. This 8 foot stand is the larger of the recommended stands going all the way up to 8 feet! This, like the Manfrottos is air-cushioned, which rocks. This stand is definitely for the beginner or pro photographer that can not find the justification to spending the extra money on the Manfrotto's. Although they are pretty rugged, these will probably fail way before the Manfrotto's do! But at half the price, that's not even an issue!
The Impact 8 foot stand is a traditional light stand, so it closes down and it's bulkier than the Manfrotto's. But again, this is NOT a big deal. It actually folds down as smalle as the Manfrotto 1051BAC, but is over a foot taller!
Ultimately the decision is yours, but this is a highly recommended stand, for price and funcionality!
Last but not least is a recommendation IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A WESTCOTT APOLLO YET! The Westcott Apollo kit is one of the best deals available at only $129.00US from bhphoto.com. For $20.00 more than just buying the Apollo Softbox, you get a stand and an umbrella bracket. This is a great deal!
The stand that comes with it is about the same quality as the Impact, the only downside is that it's not air-cushioned. This is definitely not a deal breaker being that you are basically getting it for $20.00 with an umbrella bracket!
The Westcott Kit stand, is 8 feet tall and it's pretty decent! I wouldn't say it's the top of the line, but I also wouldn't say it's the bottom. I would put it right in the middle. For the price this can not be beat, especially if you are just starting to get into off camera flash and you are buying the Westcott Apollo 28 inch Softbox!
So for a quick rundown, this is how you should buy:
It's that simple! Get on it, remember to buy from the links above, this helps us! Order them, get them, and go shoot! Upload your images to our forum or flickr group! Your choice just make sure you share!
Any questions, leave a comment!