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Old August 16th, 2008, 08:23 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Davis View Post
Properly constructed C-stands are the result of DECADES of trial and error focused on creating a tool that works right for motion picture production.
When I first started using C-stands this is what impressed me immediately.

One other thing to mention. As happened with the 2x4x8 stud in housing construction, there is a comprehensive grip system that has been built up around the C-stand and what it can do. To get an idea about this, look at

MSE - Matthews Studio Equipment

to get a sense of the wide range of clamps and related hardware that can be used with c-stands.
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Old August 16th, 2008, 06:13 PM   #17
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Floor space?

In tight quarters, you will discover that if you compare how much floor space the turtle base of a C-stand takes up versus a light stand like a Matthews Beefy Baby, there is no comparison. Light stands are stable but take up a LOT of floor room.

Dan
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Old August 16th, 2008, 10:58 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
I think the C-Stand is superior for all the things we mentioned we use it for. Otherwise we'd use something else.
Ah well, this is the crux. It's a crux at least. You know why you use them, I don't. I truly appreciate everyone's advice, and of course it looks deviantly upstartish of me to question it, but there you go, that's me. I hope you're not taking even the faintest offence, though I'd understand if anyone did. It's probably so self-evident to you, that it might be difficult to look at it from a beginner's perspective.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Wiley View Post
...there is a comprehensive grip system that has been built up around the C-stand and what it can do. To get an idea about this, look at
MSE - Matthews Studio Equipment
to get a sense of the wide range of clamps and related hardware that can be used with c-stands.
I can't look at that link from work, I was there only recently, seeing if their stands were obvious better and/or cheaper. But only briefly.

Bill D mentions the detatchable base (these are the kinds of details I'm after), which does sound better than a set of casters/dolly sat underneath a regular stand. The adjustable leg, as I said, isn't unique to c-stands. I'll be intrigued to see how the accessories are c-stand specific though. In my imagination, something either attaches to the stud at the top, or conceivably to the shaft. The shaft is, I'm going to guess, a lot more clamp-friendly on something made of decent guage steel- the aluminium of a regular light stand might not withstand the requisite clamping pressure and could collapse.

As Perrone says, perhaps nothing other than hands-on experience will really explain it to my satisfaction, and quite possibly I'll come out with a horse-for-courses view. But that's probably years away from happening. I might just work more, try to get at least one or two c-stands, and then remind myself not to get in a rut prematurely and try them out in different scenarios.

Anyway, we had fun, right? Little bit of banter, no harm done.

Cheers me assorted dears,
Phil
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Old August 17th, 2008, 01:28 AM   #19
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c stands come in 3 base types

1. turtle base. more expensive but vertical is removable so you can use base for low position light, or use top as stand extension

2. sliding leg. requires you to loosen a handle to open or close the the legs. i REALLY HATE these stands because they are soo clumsy and time consuming to use. minor benifit, you can set the sliding leg on less even surfaces like a stairs. however, the number of times I've needed to do this is very small. worth having maybe one, but overall a PITA

3. snap base. legs snap into position. fast setup and take down

now between brands there is quite a bit of difference. Mathews C stands are pretty light. fine for small to medium light control, and small light fixtures up to maybe a 1K. also good for various prop rigging, background support.

I've got some 15 year old Avengers and these weigh twice as much as the mathews. they are more like baby stands with C stand legs. they will hold larger light controls better, and larger lights.

as for other stands, there is no such thing as a standard light stand. there are so many out there and I think the problem is the reference is being made to light weight aluminum stands. these are ok for small lights of only a couple of pounds. for anything else steel is the way to go. there are stands for virtually any load and height. they each have their uses. while C stands are compact, the are also less stable then wide base stands, especially when putting lights or frames up high. wheels on stands are a big plus when using large stands & heavy lights. it just takes time and experience to know which one to use.
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Old August 17th, 2008, 02:51 AM   #20
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Sadly (though please do prove me wrong) the Matthews stuff is hard to find over here, which is a shame, given that the stands and most of the accessories are cheaper. On the matter of accessories, there was nothing there I saw that was c-stand specific.

The Arri/Avenger/Manfrotto c-stands claim similar specs as the Mathews, so I suspect the Avenger from 15 years ago was a different beast (possibly Avenger being a separate company then?). And as I mentioned before, that Master stand had remarkably similar specs, too. Could be that these have improved- decades or not, a stand consisting of some steel piping doesn't offer all that much scope for revolutionary improvement. And heck, there's something to be said for continuing to offer a "known-quantity". Change for the sake of change is not a particularly good thing.

I'd seen the removable base option, and noted it cost a little more, but then never bothered to research far enough to see why they existed. This was mainly because what I hadn't seen from the suppliers I was perusing the sites of, was anything that took advantage of this arrangement- to wit, the wheeled base, or fitting a shorter upright. The latter really appeals, and if I can get hold of, say, a 20" and a 40" or 60", that would probably suit my needs. Assuming it represents much of a money and weight saving at all, anyway, given that I'd not have two stands, just one.

As far as handling heavier weights go, that seems to imply higher-output luminaires than I'd have a need for normally, so I'd rent those on an ad-hoc basis, and ditto the stands they'd require.
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