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I’ve been using studio lights for a couple of years now, I’ve used a few different brands with all sorts of different modifiers, from the basic softboxes that your less expensive lighting kits might come with, to my current favourite, the 2 meter Octa from Studio-Flash.com.
The one consistency with bundled lighting kits is that they mostly all come with a set of lightweight stands that, for the most part, are great and will certainly do what you need them to do when you’re starting out and they’ll get you a long way with clever use of sandbags and counterweights. But when you start using bigger, heavier modifiers on these stands, you may find it’s time to get yourself a dedicated “big” stand.
I wanted a stand that was going to take anything I’d ever use, I wanted it to be modular and easy to put up and tear down, I’m a one man show and setting up and packing down needs to be easy! (I’m not lazy, honest) so after visiting the crew out at ProTog in Melbourne, I settled on the 40″ C-Stand (C for Century, folks) with the Kupo Turtle base. The base and the upright pole come apart for easy packing and transporting.
They come in 20″ or 40″ and in black or silver (I went for the black option, for no real reason…)
It isn’t always the strength (or weight) of the stand riser that gives you problems, it might be when you first get a 70cm beauty dish and put it on the front of your studio light and then find that the locking mechanism that holds the stand’s legs in place just doesn’t have the wherewithal to hold it all up. Maybe you simply need something more sturdy to hold a light and Kupo Convi Clamp (like the little beast below) or something similar like a Magic arm that you sit a Tether Tools Aero on… Anyway, you get the point – one solid workhorse of a stand has made all of these things much easier for me.
The other main reason I love my C-Stands is that with the legs the way they are, sticking out low to the ground and horizontally to the riser pole, you can load them up with some big heavy sandbags and use them in most any weather. If you’ve ever had even a single flash on a lightstand blow over and smash on the ground, you’re most likely nodding along right now! I have a special umbrella at home that’s kind of flat on one side – as a reminder. Use a solid stand OR bag your lightweight stands.
As I mentioned earlier, with the ‘Turtle base’ they’re easy to pack down but obviously not as easy as a small telescopic light stand or a tripod with a long neck and you might not want to fly a whole lot with them, but when you need a heavyweight and you want innovative, maybe take a look at the Kupo Grip Master C-Stand.
Kupo Grip gear (well, my stands at least, I’ve not checked ALL of their products) comes with a two year warranty which, if you register, gets you an extra three years giving you five years warranty.
My summary, if you will… They’re priced nicely, they have a really solid build and a great finish, I can’t fault the things – that’s five big smiley stars from me.