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Light stands
  • I'm only beginning to build a very basic lighting kit. So I bought myself this 800W Redhead from eBay for £29.80 ( ), but until it arrives I want to buy a cheap light stand for it. And I don't know which one to get? Which light stand mount will work for mounding an 800W Redhead? And which one of these 2 light stands should I buy? This one or this one (first one has a screw at the tip of its mounting knob, and the second one doesn't)

    Or would you recommend another light stand for Redhead?

    If you have used Redheads before, please reply. Thank you for your advice!

  • 18 Replies sorted by
  • First, screw on top does not matter, if you are mounting lights. Plus you can always get cheap converter otherwise.

    Second, you need to clearly tell how you want to use this stands. It is very common error to provide multiple links of that you consider an option. Better tell us that you want to do using lights and how.

    If you ask me, I prefer two stands.

    • Long, air cushioned, with good tube diameters and wide legs spread.
    • Medium, designed to be extra portable (they must be light and very short packed).

    I think you can figure our yourself my reasons and where to use each:-)

    And, almost forgot. Never very buy cheap crap. generally, stands are like tripods. Good ones will serve you very long.

  • @Vitaliy_Kiselev thanks for the response. For now I don't need to add a C-stand or anything complex and heavy/disbalancing like that - maybe just a small flag arm. Since I'll use the Redhead as a bounce light, all I need is a light stand to hold a Redhead (2kg) securely without easily falling down (withought someone accidentally knocking the redhead off the stand). Adding a couple of sandbags should secure the stand. But the knob is still a concern to me - will the Redhead be completely secured to both kinds of these knobs???

    Also, if you think that these are "cheap crap", which alternative one would you buy for a Redhead?

  • If you won't be frequently moving and don't need light, then get something like 3m air cushioned stand. Just get best you can get. Something with biggest legs and tubes used (cheaper stuff like to use small diameter tubes, same as in tripods).

  • Not sure what shipping for you would be on these, but just ordered these and received them today: Plan to use them with 312 LED lights that I just got. The stands are probably over kill for these lights, though can probably handle some of the 500+ LED lights just fine.

    They are not air cushioned (which are ideal as Vitaliy noted) though they do have springs for each section so if they do drop too fast when you are adjusting them, it won't hurt your equipment. They are not too heavy and if you compress the springs when dropping them down and locking the clamps you can shorten them by about 8 inches for storage if needed.

    Used some basic Lowel lights and stands for years, which were considered decent, though thinking back, they seem less stable than these, though probably could take a bit more of a beating.

    Anyways, good topic to start, and leave it to Vitaliy for always having excellent advice :)

  • If you can afford them Manfrotto .. they will last forever

  • @sam_rides_a_mtb, How have these light stands worked for you? Was thinking about buying them.

  • I would prbably shy away from anything that claims "photo stand". Strobes weigh practically nothing, so your stands will not be very hearty. I concur with Vitaliy, don't skimp. Always get a little more "beef" than you think you may need. Nothing can ruin a shoot more than a stand falling over or crumpling onto someone. I use Avenger or Matthews, usually.

  • I've bought a few "cheap" stands.. If you can find a model number in the description, usually they will have an 80x number like 806-something. Like this one:

    The 806 is a 12ft stand. It's probably the smallest/cheapest one I would buy simply because the cheaper/smaller ones are considerably more unsteady with any weight on top of them. This one has a pretty big spread of the legs and the center tubes are much thicker so they don't sway as much.

    As others have said, name brand stands are much higher quality, but you could buy a cheap stand that is much bigger than you need for a lot cheaper and still gain the stability you want.

  • @jakepowell

    It is some rebranded chinese stand. Check maximum tube diameter and get air cushined stand with best locks and biggest tube diameter. Weifeng makes good stands, in US ebay they cost not much, do not know about UK.

  • Recently purchased a C Stand from Aliexpress, compares well against Matthews Studios C Stands.

  • Tips for C stands

  • C-stands and light stands are different. A C-stand without the gobo arm can work as a lighting stand in a pinch, but it has some drawbacks like not going down very far or being quite as stable.

    Pro lighting stands are great, really stable with heavier lights and last forever. That's why rental houses use them. When I'm renting gear for bigger shoots, I use pro stands. But for little shoots, I've used air cushioned photo stands for quite a while. My personal lights are a lot lighter than pro lights and I don't use them every day. The cheap stands do not last forever and break down after a few years of not-too-heavy use. But for most people with today's lighter pro-sumer lights, they're a good deal.

    I have about eight C-stands in my personal kit because they are irreplaceable. So useful on set and there's no suitable stand-in for a real C-stand. As you start using modifiers on lights to get a more refined look, you just can't get by without proper C-stands. Same with setting up a video village or unusual but necessary grip situation. A few short stands (Gary Colemans) or rocky mountain leg stands come in really useful.

    Just about every piece of gear that I paid actual money for is a result of coming back from a shoot where missing that thing was a huge problem and I swore I would never be in that position again. So the fact that I have eight C-stands says something about their usefulness. (Especially compared to the fact that I don't own any proper light stands.)

  • Other highly under-rated bits of gear: sandbags, apple boxes, milk crates, directors chairs.

  • Will be on lighting deal today - pair of stands