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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Digest condensed version: If you like the Bogen/Manfrotto version, you'll like the LP604 (UPDATE: This stand has been replaced by the LP605.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 ::


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