Gear Isn't Everything - Boom Stands

My second instalment for "Gear Isn't Everything" is around boom stands. I'll keep it pretty brief and to the point but a boom stand is simple a light stand with a boom arm to help get the light, camera or mic (or whatever you want to hook onto it) in a spot you'd otherwise have a stand in the way.

Mantis Telescoping Boom Stand with Rotating Head, Cine Stand with Locking Wheels 
- Cost $590 when not on sale

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  • 27 kg (59 lbs) Load Capacity
  • 152-320 cm (60-126") Height Range
  • 5 kg (11 lbs) Weight
  • Aluminum Material Construction
  • Includes Rotating Head & Cine Stand on Locking Wheels
  • Durable, Affordable & Extremely Reliable

This stand does a great job at putting the light where you want it. It has an adjustable head via a crank and is a telescoping arm. This is great as the Manfrotto version is a fixed length and that causes problems when you drive a Golf GTI.

With the wheels and using a Profoto B2 you can wheel it around care free (if you have the battery hanging from it as well). This is a heavy and large stand, and if you don't have space, it is best to pass on this.

Avenger Mini Boom & Kupo Turtle Base C-Stand
- Combined cost approx $500

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Avenger D600 Mini Boom

  • Steel Construction
  • 83" Maximum Extension
  • Rubber Handle
  • Counterweight Hook
  • 5/8" Stud and Receiver

Kupo CT-40M 40" Master C Stand with Turtle Base

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  • 10 kg (22 lbs) Max. Load Capacity
  • 134-295 cm (52.8-116.1") Height Range
  • 7.5 kg (16.5 lbs) Weight
  • Steel Material Construction
  • 100 cm (39.4") Footprint Diameter
  • Knob Leg Lock Type

This is a very stable and secure combination but you should have some counterweight for the back hook. I've had numerous lights and modifiers on this set up and as long as you have it weighted on the boom and the base, you're golden. It is heavy and stable and well worth the cost. Why put an expensive light, on a cheap stand? If you're just starting, hold off on these options and go for option 3.

Manfrotto 420B Combi Boom Stand with Sandbag
Cost - $329.99

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  • 9 kg (19.84 lbs) Max. Load Capacity
  • 104.5-243.8 cm (41.1-96") Height Range
  • 19-191 cm (7.5-75.2") Boom Extension Range
  • 3 kg (6.6 lbs) Weight
  • Aluminum Material Construction
  • 16 mm (5/8") Socket, 1/4" Screw & 3/8" ScrewConnection
  • Includes Sandbag

I think they may be exaggerating on this stand a bit for the load capacity, or that could be in its vertical position. It is a great stand, but with any weight you'll see the boom bowing. I've used this stand with a variety of lights and it has been quite stable, but obviously the weakest of the three boom arms. However, it is also the lightest and easiest to maneuver, so it is still a go-to for quick trips using smaller lights and modifiers. In truth, I use it mostly as an audio boom for interviews but have no problem putting a B2 with barn doors and using a bit of hard light for portraits. If you're looking for a more stable stand, with a bit of versatility this could be the stand for you.