review: lightstands – Manfrotto 1051BAC and 1004BAC
I recently updated the lightstands that I regularly use, to the – if you could use this words in relation to light-stands – the quite sexy Manfrotto 1051BAC (B&H), and the taller, but equally sexy Manfrotto 1004BAC (B&H).
Previously I had used the self-collapsing Red-Wing light-stands. The Red-Wings aren’t made anymore, but the clever design has been taken up by the Cheetah Stand. (I think the Kwik-Stand was a similar design.) These self-collapsing / self-expanding light-stands are an innovative design that makes the moving of the light-stands a breeze. You pick one up, and it collapses. Great. The only problem is that the center column of the stand, which acts as the opening mechanism, acts like a 4th support to the stand. Now, the entire idea why a tripod is stable on uneven ground, is because it has three legs. You add one more, and work on uneven ground, then the light-stand is wobbly. Super-annoying. (As an example, check my comment #25 in the review of the Canon 200mm f2 IS lens, where I used a tall Red-Wing stand.)
Back to the Manfrotto light-stands. They have a few interesting features ..
The air-cushioning of the prevents damage to equipment or injury to fingers if you forget to fully tighten section locks. However, that these light-stands could be clipped onto each other, and stacked that way, really caught my attention. You can clip several of them together, and this makes them easy to carry. (I can easily carry three of the small light-stands in just one hand.) Since they are stackable like this, it also means you can stand them upright in the corner of a room or sideways on a shelf.
Detail of three light-stands clipped together …
… and a detail image showing one just uncoupled from the others. The other clip is in the foot section.
The reverse side of the three light-stands stacked together. That red clip you see there is the knob with which you tighten the legs to the center pole of the light-stand. Quite elegant and compact.
Detail of the light-stand with its feet extended.
That connector you see there in the middle, becomes the foot of the light-stand when collapsed.
Here are three 1051BC units clipped together.
In this image shown at the top, I used the larger 1004BAC unit to hold the Lastolite EzyBox softbox kit (B&H) up to the correct height. Since our model, Carrie, was standing on this ledge, I needed more elevation than the smaller light-stand could give me. I also needed something a little more sturdy against the softbox being blown over in the wind. The light-stand in the background is the smaller 1051BAC since it just needed to hold up a single speedlight (with battery pack), to light up part of the background.
If you’d like to see more about the specifications of these Manfrotto light-stands, or order them from B&H, please use the following affiliate links:
truly portable light-weight option:
The update to the classic collapsible light-stand by Manfrotto, is the Manfrotto Nano 5001B. This is ideal for photographers who travel and need their gear compact.
If you’d like a lower cost set of light-stands, the 6′ tall Impact light-stands are around $20 each. There is also the 8′ tall Impact light-stands for $35 each. Impact also makes a 45′ convertible umbrella for $15. Then you just need an umbrella bracket to hold it all together.
And for those who would love to see what the final images looked like:
Our model is lit by wirelessly controlled TTL flash – speedlight in the softbox;
the background is lit by direct off-camera manual flash, triggered by a PocketWizard Plus II unit.
With the background light disabled.
Why did I choose wirelessly controlled TTL flash to give enough light on our model .. but used manual flash for the background. Because I could. And wanted to. It all works.
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using these affiliate links to order equipment & other goodies. Thank you!