Photo Studio Light Stands and Booms
Light stands attach to your studio lights, creating a portable, flexible setup. Most models are lightweight and adjustable, so you can shift them around the room to accommodate different subjects. Select from a variety of stand styles to fit your studio size and photography style.What are some common features of light stands?
Light stands come in a variety of sizes, designs, and bundles. However, most include the following common features:
- Risers: These are telescoping sections that raise and lower to adjust the overall height.
- Locking knobs or levers: You can lock the risers into place after they are adjusted.
- Screw head: These are mounted at the top of the stand to attach brackets, cameras, and more.
- Legs: They provide a wide, stable base that keeps the stand upright.
A boom is a metal pole that attaches to a stand using a grip head. One side of the grip slips over the center post and tightens to create a secure hold. The other side holds the rod at an angle; a rotating head enables you to adjust the angle to create custom lighting. These stands are often used to light a subject from overhead, and they're common with food and product photography. When attached to tall light stands, the arms can also hold a light. They are also useful for holding other studio units, such as reflectors and strobes.What do light stands typically come with?
Some stands come with a streamlined base unit. This is convenient for photographers who already own accessories. If you’re just getting started, look for stands that come with grips, clamps, and brackets to hold umbrellas, flash units, reflectors, and lighting units. Some models include an angled post and necessary mounting hardware.What light stands are compatible with speedlights?
This depends on the speedlight. Check the small unit that came with it and measure the screw receptacle on the bottom side. Choose a light stand with a matching top screw. If you want greater control over the flash, look for a model that comes with a top-mounted bracket with a matching screw and modifier receptacles. This enables you to rotate the flash and attach an umbrella.What is an air-cushioned stand?
An air cushioned stand uses a column of air inside the telescoping section. As you lower the section, the air releases steadily and creates a smoother, slower motion than a traditional spring mechanism. This helps prevent lighting units from crashing down when you release the tension knob.How do you choose a light stand?
With so many options, it can be difficult to decide which model suits your lighting equipment and studio setup. Use these steps to find the right option for your lighting needs:
- Choose a base: Options include rolling, tripod, or C-stand.
- Pick a weight rating: Select a rating that is higher than the maximum weight of your heaviest light or flash. You could also choose a lightweight model for travel.
- Select a style: Consider air-cushioned or spring-loaded models.
- Choose a maximum height: This should be determined by the telescoping sections.
- Pick additional features: You may consider booms, clamps, umbrellas, and modifier receptacles.