LATEST: Newly expanded, updated Strobist Gear Guide.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Finally, A Little Compact Stand Competition

I have long been a fan of the Bogen 3373 compact, five-section light stand. Same goes for it's twin, the Manfrotto 001(b). They will stick a bare speedlight right up into an 8-foot ceiling (if you angle the legs right) and they fold down to about 19.5 inches.

Add to that the solid legs (perfect for drilling for a strap) and you have an ultra-portable, long lasting stand. The problem is, they are $57.95 each. And that is when you can find them -- they always seem to have shortage issues.

But that was then, and this is now. Enter the LumoPro LP604, which is the stand on the left in the photo up top.

Full review after the jump.
_________________________


Okay, here's the Reader's Digest condensed version: If you like the Bogen/Manfrotto version, you'll like the LP604 (UPDATE: This stand has been replaced by the LP605. Same price, but with removeable ground spikes.). In fact, you'll like it about 30% more, 'cause at $39.99, it costs about 30% less than the Manfrotto 001(b).

As you can see from the top photo (click it for a bigger version) the two stands are both 5-section designs. The LP604 LP605 is a tad longer -- 1/2 inch collapsed and about an inch longer when extended.

The LP605 comes with a 3/8" thread up top, but includes the little nubby adapter to get you to 1/4x20 if needed. This adds a half inch to the folded length. But I do not need it, so I use them without it.

Comparing the two, there are some differences.

First of all the LP605 is a tad heavier. I do not have a scale that will measure the difference, but I would guess it is 5-10% heavier. This is due to the bigger center column -- it has a larger diameter -- and being slightly longer.

Transport-wise, the two are basically interchangeable. If you already have a Bogen/Manfrotto or two, these could be used along with the LP605 with no difference in workflow.

That may seem obvious, but I am pretty picky about smooth workflow. That is why I like to use four of the same model strobes -- SB-26's -- and all of the same umbrella swivels.

If I am using multiple bodies, I prefer they be the same model, too. Just makes for less fumbling around.

If the LP605 cost you a little in terms of marginal size and weight, you get it back with a little increase in strength and stability. Don't get me wrong -- you stick an umbrella on this thing in the wind and it is going down. (You have to anchor those stand/umbrellas with a bag or strings and stakes.)

We are talking marginal differences here. But they are differences.

What is not a marginal difference is the price. MPEX (LumoPro is a house brand of MPEX) has them for $39.99, which is $18 cheaper than the Bogen/Manfrottos. Essentially, you get the LP605 and an umbrella swivel for the price of a Manfrotto 001(b).

(MPEX is now incorporating them into the various, ready-made Strobist kits. And they are reducing the prices to reflect the lower cost of the stands.)

Best yet, these should be much easier for them to keep in stock, as the supply line is pretty much totally under the control of MPEX.

Cool beans.

__________________________

:: LP605 Product Page ::


__________

Brand new to Strobist, or lighting? Start here.
Or, jump right into our free Lighting 101 course.
Connect: Discussion Threads | Reader Photos | Twitter

36 Comments:

Blogger Ken said...

My friends and I have used the phrase "cool beans" forever...you know, since the 90's. That's forever, right? It wasn't until now that I googled it and found it to have originated in the 60's. Thank you for both the tip about the light stands and to peak my interest to find out about the slang I use.

That said, I challenge you to use these phrases for your next post: "Bee's knees," "Baby Vamp, "know one's onions" and/or "I'm gonna see a man about a dog." All slang from the depression: (http://home.earthlink.net/~dlarkins/slang-pg.htm).

Yours truly,
"Baby Grand" Brown

October 16, 2007 1:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great review. Nice timing,too since I'm looking for light stand. Now I'm gonna go see a man about a horse...

October 16, 2007 1:56 AM  
Blogger cl0ne said...

Great news I just ordered 3 stands from MPEX and gave you a plug while I was at it.

October 16, 2007 5:06 AM  
Anonymous Alexander said...

This nice light stand is nowhere to be found but at the mpex shop which is kinda far since I'm in Europe and the shipping cost will be about the same as the price of the item :(

October 16, 2007 5:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahhh bad timing for me. I just received the Bogen stand in the mail the other day. I contemplated for a while on whether to buy it. Now there's a similar one cheaper! Oh well I know where to get my next one.

October 16, 2007 5:49 AM  
Anonymous thom said...

by the way.........I use the little carry bag that comes with the folding chairs that are so popular to carry my two monfrotto light stands and two umbrellas.

October 16, 2007 8:05 AM  
Anonymous Madelien said...

30 euros. Bloody brilliant. I'm just really kicking myself about just having spent 140 euros on two Manfrotto Nano's, which I really couldn't afford to miss. Couldn't I have waited just two weeks longer?

October 16, 2007 8:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Bogen/Manfrottos are made in Italy. Are these knock-offs made in China? Please give an update after using for a few months more; I find you usually get what you pay for.

October 16, 2007 9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll gladly pay a few bucks more for something that isn't made in China.

October 16, 2007 12:41 PM  
Anonymous decoy said...

@ "get what you pay for"

I usually agree on that saying. But then again - some producers tend to get a good reputation, and up the price way beyond their production costs. (Hello PocketWizard!)

Competition is always good.

October 16, 2007 1:31 PM  
Blogger Zeke said...

Let's see, save $15? That savings costs just too much in my opinion.

You are buying a Chinese knock off. Is the quality as good as the original? Maybe, maybe not. Even if it is you are rewarding the knock off company instead of supporting the innovator. That is short term thinking.

Supporting Chinese companies also has significant cost in terms of political, environmental, and moral. Google it.

http://www.boycottmadeinchina.org/en/why_boycott/burma_success/

I'd rather pay the extra $15, thanks.

October 16, 2007 1:57 PM  
Blogger Jeff C. said...

I just ordered one of these stands from Midwest Photo. Although their web site doesn't give you shipping calculations and has a few other problems, their customer service is very good. I called them to confirm payment, and while on the phone I asked about shipping charges, if the items I ordered (a lighting kit I pieced together) were in stock, etc. Lisa was very freindly and helpful, and all the items I oredered were in stock and will ship tomorrow (too late today). Everything seems good. Thanks Midwest Photo!

October 16, 2007 3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check out the Calumet MF6030. It's about 6" longer(folded) than the Bogen, less than 0.8lb heavier, but extends to 9' and, with tubular legs, is much stronger. It's also $15 cheaper than the Bogen. Just another option...

October 16, 2007 3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been stalking this blog for a while. Since I am at the crossroads of buying new light stands I guess this question is relevant. What is the load capacity of these stands? When I bought my first lighting kit I got light weight stand that sways with my 285. Another is a heavier stand but is way too heavy to lug around.

Ohh the woes of not seeing this site before I started buying my lighting kits....

October 16, 2007 4:07 PM  
Blogger Kyle said...

Thought you might be interested in this:

http://blog.epicedits.com/2007/10/16/28-ways-to-interpret-a-photo/

I found it pretty neat.

October 16, 2007 4:12 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

As others have said the difference in price isn't worth the difference in quality. They are just a little heavier, just a little longer, and made by just a little less of a name brand. Surprise they cost just a little less. Spend the money and get what works. While your at it spend the extra and get the Bogen umbrella mount instead of the Photoflex, it's well worth it.

October 16, 2007 5:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mmmm...$18 difference...I should I get it? Is it really a chinese knock off? Is it more durable than the Bogen/Manfrattos?

October 16, 2007 5:39 PM  
Blogger David said...

FWIW, I found this stand to be functionally the equivalent of the 3373, and possibly a little more durable.

It is aluminum, brass and steel, just like the 3373. I really do not see the China issue as a worry, WRT build quality. It is very solid.

Granted, you may have idealogical issues with Made in China stuff. But if that is the case, you probably better start emptying out your gear bag...

October 16, 2007 5:47 PM  
Blogger Sean Fenzl said...

@thom - I just started using some of those old folding chair bags too - they're perfect! (and the chairs are long gone anyways)

@alexander - I feel your pain, and what's worse, I'm right next door in Canada, and the shipping is RIDICULOUS from any of the USA-based shops. Too bad, as I'd love to support MPEX, they've really catered to the 'strobists'.

October 16, 2007 7:09 PM  
Anonymous esotericsean said...

Thanks for this David and the people at MPEX! One is on its way to me right now :)

October 16, 2007 7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the savings definitely makes it worth considering if not worth it. I mean how can you quibble over 1/2" collapsed and 1" extended? And 5-10% heavier is not that big of a deal. I mean are people scaling El Capitan or Everest with these things? With the exception of those that have some kind of physical condition, it shouldn't be too much of a problem carrying a couple stands from a car to a shooting location should it? Whether indoors or out, the terrain has to be pretty flat. So how tough could it be? Just for the sake of arguement, say a stand is 5 lbs(90 oz). Another 10% is still less than 6 lbs. Assuming there 2-3 stands, you're carrying 12-18 lbs. That's a pretty light load. Throw in umbrellas, swivel clamps, strobes etc all in a roller case and you're good to go. It still makes for a light suitcase if you have to pick it up for any length of time. When you get tired...pull it. Who knows, the workout may do some good if it's that hard.

October 16, 2007 9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really wish mpex would tell you how much the shipping charge is before you commit to buying it. That is my only complaint.... maybe you strobist guys can get some two cents in and have something done about that!

I ordered two stands and look forward to their arrival

-perry

October 18, 2007 12:54 PM  
Anonymous Didier said...

Maybe you can bring a container of these together with some umbrellas to the Paris seminar next week.

I'm putting my first strobist set together and everything is more expensive over here. Ordering at mpex is not really an option for 2 reasons (shipment and customs). If someone knows a good store in Belgium for these stands please let me know.

October 18, 2007 5:53 PM  
Blogger Photobox Studios said...

Just an update, the like for this product site seems to be screwy. A few days ago it worked fine and I went to order the product and now it goes to an under construction or new site. Maybe a hiccup.

October 31, 2007 5:59 PM  
Blogger Photobox Studios said...

Ok, it's back up now...

November 02, 2007 1:09 AM  
Blogger Tripp said...

I just posted on the Strobist Flickr thread but wanted to share here too since David did a review.
I just received my LumoPro LP604 lightstand from MPEX and I actually like it BETTER than my Bogen 3373. They're almost identical, but the LumoPro just feels a little more solid. Maybe I have a bad sample from Bogen, but it's never felt smooth extending and collapsing the sections, especially the top one that is the skinniest. I've always had to fight it to extend that last section on the 3373 (anyone else have this problem?).
The biggest difference is the LumoPro's sections are a little thicker, which is probably what makes it so much smoother extending and collapsing. Other than that, the differences are very small. The LumoPro does feel like it weighs slightly more, but not enough to make a difference. I think I'm going to have to relegate the 3373 to my second light stand now!
FYI I had good experience with MPEX too - ordered online (new website). Shipping to NC was about $7 UPS ground.

November 06, 2007 3:49 PM  
Blogger Skavoovie said...

For those not as interested in ultra-compactness, I picked one of these stands up a while back from Adorama for $30 (another $7-8 for shipping), and have been very pleased with the bang-for-the-buck.

It definitely works for the starving student budget if ultra-compact / ultra-portable is not a requirement.

http://www.adorama.com/SALSC10AC.html?searchinfo=SALSC10AC&item_no=1

It is very light for its size (2.9 lbs), surprisingly sturdy for the price (would still need to be sand-bagged in wind though), good strong air cushioning, and nice wide leg base. It extends to a whopping 10 feet (actually a little taller than that but gets a little unstable at that point).

The down side is that it is almost 3 feet long when collapsed all the way, but as light as it is (2.9 lbs), it works great in one of those collapsable lawn chair bags.

It's a perfect fit for me, since I don't need ultra-portability, and can use it for double duty for my larger lights I bought before I came across the strobist site, when not out on location.

January 23, 2008 8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does this one has a same diameter of foot span when opend as Bogen's? I like Bogen's since it has relatively wide foot span not like the cheapo tubular everything 8' tall light stand I purchased from MPEX a year ago. I would appreacite it from any users.

January 24, 2008 1:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does this one has a same diameter of foot span when opend as Bogen's? I like Bogen's since it has relatively wide foot span not like the cheapo tubular everything 8' tall light stand I purchased from MPEX a year ago. I would appreacite it from any users.

January 24, 2008 1:54 PM  
Blogger PhotoBox Studios said...

I've been giving a lot of thought on these two or trying to find an alternative. I found this one, does anyone have any thoughts?

http://www.adorama.com/GT7.html

March 24, 2008 9:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just bought 2 of these from MPEX and am very impressed with the build quality. I've brought them with me on a trip to Canada and hope to give them a work out in the next 2 weeks.

Thanks for posting this info.

Nas

April 20, 2008 10:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looking at the Lumopro stands. LP604 is $39.99 for a 6ft.

Lumopro LP606 is 8ft black A/C for $26.99.

Does A/C stand for air cushion and wouldn't that be a better stand for less money or am I missing something?

Bob W.

November 19, 2008 9:35 PM  
Blogger Infamous Photos said...

I just ordered three and the customer service at MPEX was top notch. Did I say top notch?

Mike

November 25, 2008 3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They are all out of stock! TILL the END of APRIL!!!!!!!! any other location to get these, I am not about to spend $20.00 more on practically the same light stand.
If anyone knows of a place let me know!!

March 02, 2009 9:19 PM  
Anonymous Tobi said...

Regarding those that prefer Italian workmanship oder Chinese: I just got a Manfrotto 5001B, bought in America in a photography retail store, which has a "Made in PRC" sticker on it.

Tobi

May 24, 2009 12:26 PM  
Blogger TomC said...

Supporting Chinese companies also has significant cost in terms of political, environmental, and moral. Google it.While I agree that China has a lot of problems, I encourage you to try and avoid Chinese made products in everything you do. You will not get very far. Who made your camera and many of the components in your camera? How about your flashes, batteries, and the components in your computer? That's right. It was someone in China.

May 24, 2009 7:38 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home