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Thread: Manfrotto light stands - overkill for beginners?

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    Member RedSky83's Avatar
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    Manfrotto light stands - overkill for beginners?

    Just need some quick advice here, I'm a strobist beginner and looking for a simple setup to use with either an umbrella or softbox, using a single 580EX II for the moment. I've been recommended the Manfrotto Nano 5001b with the 026 adapter but wondering if it's overkill for just starting out, the other alternative is one of the starving strobist kits or possibly the Westcott umbrella/softbox kit from Image Melbourne.

    My usual approach has been to buy mid to high spec once rather than buy cheap and need to upgrade, but the little voice in my head is saying that maybe it's worth looking at cheaper options for this and put the savings towards a better quality tripod/lenses.

    Thoughts?

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    Absolute overkill. I use my gear professionally (not very often, but in a professional environment when I do) and am more than happy with my $40 light stands! They have been perfect for the 2 years I've been using them and there is no sign of them failing any time soon either.

    I would spend the extra and get metal flash brackets, I used plastic ones to start with but they are junk. Oh, and carry a pair of pliers with you (Leatherman would be perfect) as the cold-shoe can be hard to get undone sometimes.

    I would love to recommend a place to buy from but unfortunately the business I used, and offered me exceptional service for the many purchases I have made through them, isn't allowed to be mentioned on these forums for one reason or another.
    Last edited by BLWNHR; 26-09-2011 at 1:39pm.
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    Member kaiser's Avatar
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    I have a couple of light duty $30 stands which are fine for a speedlight and a brolly. If you ever think you will be adding heavier modifiers like a large softbox or a beauty dish - then its worth getting something a little more heavy duty.
    Doesn't mean it has to be a Manfrotto. I just picked up an eBay one for $100 - 5m height with a boom arm and rated for 10kg. Having the ability to really get the light up and over a model is a big plus.

    I haven't found an umbrella adapter that I real happy with yet. There always seems to be a lot of play and sag around the spigot attachment. I have the Image Melbourne cheaper stands and brolly adapter + the metal speedlight ring mount for Bowens S type modifiers.
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    Member bretprew's Avatar
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    I have a Manfrotto 1051 that I managed to find at a good price (with 026 bracket) on a site from the US (no names obviously) that I was already ordering some stuff from. Worked out quite a bit cheaper than getting the same here and not much more than a cheapo brand.
    I am a strobist beginner too but a lot of what i have read said it is not worth going cheap on this stuff. If your light stands break, it doesn't really matter what lenses you have.
    I can say the Manfrotto stuff is very well built. If anything, I would skimp on the stand but get the 026 adapter as this part is likely to be more important and take more abuse. That is my two cents anyway, but as I said, I am a beginner too.

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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser OzzieTraveller's Avatar
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    G'day Adam

    I use metal microphone boom stands for my studio work
    They cost $50 ea

    Onto these goes a moulded-metal flash & umbrella holder [$15ea] firing the flash into the umbrella
    These stands allow me to position the umbrella up to 2.7m above floor level

    Hope this helps a bit ...
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    So long as the adapters are metal, go the cheap Fleabay lightstands! At the end of the day it's only got to hold a tiny speedlight, and a modifier. Sure, a Monfrotto will be more adjustable and more durable, but so long as you don't go chucking it off a building you'll probably never need that kind of durability.

    It's not like buying a tripod, which is responsible for holding several $$$$ worth of gear.
    Ryan

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    I have the stuff from Image Melbourne, and it is really good for what it is...
    Call me Roo......
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    Quote Originally Posted by rellik666 View Post
    I have the stuff from Image Melbourne, and it is really good for what it is...
    That is the place I didn't mention. My experiences have always been positive. Unfortunately the owners/mods of this forum think otherwise...

    This post, and yours, will probably be deleted.

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    Sorry didn't realise. Out of my knowledge, but it had been mentioned in Kaisers post too.

    Have used a few times too and had positive expereince FWIW.
    Last edited by rellik666; 29-09-2011 at 12:57pm.

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