Our Favorite “Sticks” | Transcription

In this video, we’re talking about sticks. That’s right folks. Well, we refer to basically any type of stand, tripod. Anything you would hang lights or camera on we refer to a stick. You guys can call it whatever you like, but I like calling them sticks.

Logan is going to help me out because we have a bunch of these sticks to show you all, so Logan, why don’t you give me, first, our tripod. Number one, give me the tripod. Yes, did you see his lovely hands? Logan has such beautiful hands. He could be a hand model.

This is the MeFOTO Globetrotter Carbon Fiber. They have several different versions of their tripods. They have the MeFOTO Road trip as well as the Globetrotter. The Road trip is a little bit of a less expensive smaller tripod; the Globetrotter is just a little bit bigger, holds a little more weight and so forth. You can get both variants in either just a standard aluminum or a carbon fiber. I offer carbon fiber because it’s a little bit stronger, more durable and it’s also lighter.

All right, so these guys they start from anywhere between $150 all the way up to $350 depending on whether you’re buying the aluminum or the carbon fiber variants, but this is one area I want to say this, we’ve used a ton of tripods and there’s lots of fantastic tripod brands out there. There’s a lot of brands that you can invest in; really right stuff. They make great tripods, great adapters, mounts and so forth, but you’re going to spend a lot of money on them granted they’re going to last you forever.

There’s also a lot of really cheap tripods out there that basically you spend 50 bucks on, they’ll last for six months and then they break. You’re going to repurchase every single six months or every year you’re going to have to buy more tripods.

What we found from all of our testing; from our usage is that MeFOTO offers a fantastic product at a great value. Based on the price, yes, it’s not the least expensive tripod out there and it’s also not the most expensive but what you’re getting for that price is a fantastic product, so it’s one of those areas I would recommend to just spending a little money on. Don’t always go with the cheapest option because in the long run it will end up costing you more.

Now, this tripod features the quarter twist legs. I dig the quarter twist legs because it makes it very easy and simple to open and close. They also have the snapping legs; the ones that clip-close which are great, too. Quarter-twist is, I don’t know, just simple, but each one of them does have their own advantages and disadvantages. Sometimes the quarter twist knobs; these needs to be tightened or loosened every now and then, but you can see how small this will fold up to and actually in its travel mode it gets even smaller because the legs can actually fold up so you can basically turn the head just a little bit and then fold the legs up right here, so we can put this into Uber travel mode. Well, this will fit into any carry-on case, so these guys get really small.

Now, check that out that’s my full tripod. The other thing that’s cool about this is that they feature Arca-Swiss plates. These Arca-Swiss are incredibly inexpensive to get. You can Arca-Swiss plates on Amazon for 10 bucks which is nice because we constantly lose tripod plates and so we don’t want to buy $20, $30 plates for these guys.

All right, so that’s it for our tripod. Now, let’s go ahead and show you our most typical light stand. This is the Manfrotto Nano stand. Now, as you can see this guy is not very robust in terms of it’s not designed to hold a lot of weight. We use this for basically our single flash mounted light stand when we’re typically shooting bare bulb. If you are shooting with an umbrella or you’re doing whatever modification to this, you need to make sure that this is weighted and that, preferably, someone’s holding because it’s really not the kind of stand that you want to put a lot of weight on, but these are the stands where you use in the corners of a wedding reception, we use these on engagement shoots, on a bare building and those kinds of things because they’re small; they’re very unobtrusive and so they can get in and out very easily.

We also have on top of this just a little adapter. You can buy these adapters on Amazon. This is just an umbrella adapter. Wex Co makes a fantastic one that’s very durable and this allows you to mount not only your flash but also your umbrella onto there.

These are known as, by the way, Cold Shoe Flash Mounts or Cold Shoe adapters or Cold Shoe Umbrella adapters; whatever you want to call them, but they distinguish between cold shoe versus a hot shoe because a cold shoe does not trigger your flash, basically, so cold shoes don’t trigger the flash. Hot shoes are designed to actually have a sink port so you can actually sink to the hot shoe and it will trigger the flash. This is just an inexpensive cold shoe umbrella adapter they’re between 10 to 20 bucks.

All right, so you can see how small this guy gets when you fold him up as well. He goes up to about, I don’t know, six feet roughly. This guy costs about 65 bucks and yes, again, there are cheaper options out there. You can get light stands for 20 bucks. The problem is they don’t last you a long time. This guy has … Me, Justin and Chris, we’ve used these on hundreds of shoots each year and we’re still on the original set that we have purchased. The only time they’d ever break is if you step on them or you bend them in half or something like, but these are extremely durable little guys. They’re very lightweight, very small, they fit easily in a travel-on bag and so forth. These are the ones that we recommend they’re going to last you much longer than any $20 light stand wood.

All right, we’re done with that guy. Give me the Benro Monopod. Now, this guy is a Benro monopod; it’s with the S4 Head. It’s about 200 bucks. Now, of course, you can buy less expensive monopods for just mounting your lighting gear, but here is what I would say: do not go and purchase $2,000 of lighting gear and then put it on a $20 Amazon basics monopod. That’s just a recipe for disaster.

This is our go-to monopod. This, by the way, the actual leg itself is the A48FBMG magnesium aluminum monopod. What a fantastic name. You can see that I’ve actually taken off the S4 Head because when we use it just for lighting, we don’t need the Head on there. We just take it off and then we put this brass beget over that quarter … I think it actually is a little bit larger now, but basically it adapts this is a quarter 20 screw hole if we need that.

What we do over that is we place our light modifier, so we can put an umbrella adapter but more typically, we’re using the Profoto RFi Speedring over this guy, so you can just pop that right over here and then just fasten it to the monopod. Then, you place your flash of your choice; your modifier of your choice and you have a fantastic boom stick. Why do we call them boom stick? Because you can boom it into any position that you want. You can swing at your producer, “Get out of here, Joe.” I’m just kidding. He’s too far away anyway. Even I would like to do that sometimes. It also sounds cool, by the way. Doesn’t it sound cool a boom stick? Get the boom stick and your client’s like, “Yeah, that’s going to be freaking awesome. Getting the boom stick.”

This is the typical setup for this and this is what we’re talking about where, if you have just a single speed light, you can mount that to a $20 Amazon basics monopod, no problem, but we mount this with the modifier; with the flashes, with the batteries and everything, this is going to be roughly 15 pounds, and when it catches wind and so forth it’s going to be 20, 30, 40 pounds of resistance. You don’t want to be holding that clear up here with $2,000 of lighting gear on a $20 monopod. You want to have something that’ll actually hold up to it.

This is that go-to route that I would highly recommend for you guys. It’s also very small, compact and light weight so when you take everything apart and you compact this up … Compact it up, I don’t think that’s the right word at all, whatever. Logan, let me give you this speedring back. Then, you can fold up these little legs in the bottom just by pulling in. There we go. This is that travel size, so again, very small can go pretty much anyone and be a fantastic boom stick.

All right, let me give you this guy and why don’t you give me our next semi-portable boom stand. This guy … There’s actually different variants of this, but I believe this one is the Fotodiox boom stand. This guy is about 80 bucks. It’s a fantastic stand for what it does and for the price. I’ve actually been very impressed with it. The cool part about it is that it actually features a reflector holder on this. What you can do is you can boom this out and you can see right here that we have a reflector holder, so right here we can put a reflector there, we can put one up here and it can grip a reflector, and then it can boom it to whatever position you want, so it has this little booming port right here, so if we pull this all the way out, c’mon, there we go.

You can see that we can actually have an adjustable boom arm and you can raise the whole thing up. You can actually sandbag this. It’s actually fairly decent in terms of a semi-portable rather slightly more heavy duty light stand or reflector or modifier stand. It’s another great one and for the price, it’s pretty much … You can’t really beat it; it’s a great price.

All right, let me show then the C-stand now, so why don’t you grab this guy. This a Matthew’s C-stand; this is the industry’s standard when it comes to lighting modification stands and so forth. Matthew’s, in my opinion, I’ve used a lot of Matthew’s C-stands. To be honest, they’re all great, but I prefer Matthew’s, why? Because they’re at a great price point; its 130 bucks. They’re pretty much Hollywood standard when it comes to lighting gear.

They also feature very ergonomic knuckles so these knuckles are very easy on the hand, so you can basically adjust this and then boom it’s in a position. I’m going to put this up to the side for one sec and you can see that. We can have a booming arm and then the whole stand can raise up several feet. We have large legs that we put sandbags on and so forth. This is a fantastic C-stand so for studio work we highly recommend these Matthew’s C-stands.

All right, so that’s it when it comes to our favorite sticks. Let me go ahead and put this guy down. We also did mention some other options on here. If budget is a concern we have included some other inexpensive options. Just keep in mind that generally when you’re going with the less expensive options they’re not going to be as well built, of course, and so you will be purchasing them more option and they will end up being more expensive in the long run, but that might not matter to you because maybe you just need something right now for 20 bucks; you don’t want to invest yet, and that’s completely a viable option, so check out the slide to see more information as well.