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Old July 25th, 2005, 06:42 PM   #1
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Amvona light stands/grip gear?

While perusing ebay for cheap gear i came across amvona, (which looks more like a still photography vendor) who has c-stands for a fraction of the prices i've seen elsewhere. I was curious if anyone has any positive or negative experiences with their stuff. Thanks.
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Old July 25th, 2005, 08:19 PM   #2
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I have two of their AS-806A light stands. I have not used them much but my impression is that they are adequate for the price. They are very attractively finished and use large diameter tubing and substantial looking fittings. I'm just not fully convinced that they will last as long as the major brands because they havent had heavy use. So far I am not disappointed but not thrilled.

The amvona c-stands will probably be ok as long as you are aware that they are much smaller than other c-stands. An Amvona stand reaches 70" and comes with a 21" arm for $106. A Matthews c+-stand reaches 9 feet and comes with 40" arm for $170. It doesnt seem like much of a difference in value to me to go with Amvona.
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Old July 25th, 2005, 08:42 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Ball
I have two of their AS-806A light stands. I have not used them much but my impression is that they are adequate for the price. They are very attractively finished and use large diameter tubing and substantial looking fittings. I'm just not fully convinced that they will last as long as the major brands because they havent had heavy use. So far I am not disappointed but not thrilled.

The amvona c-stands will probably be ok as long as you are aware that they are much smaller than other c-stands. An Amvona stand reaches 70" and comes with a 21" arm for $106. A Matthews c+-stand reaches 9 feet and comes with 40" arm for $170. It doesnt seem like much of a difference in value to me to go with Amvona.
Bill,

Good reply. I was disappointed at the height of the C-stand, but even more so with the length of the arm. I bought it for use with a Lowell mini-pro as a backlight and you can barely do a medium shot of a seated interview subject without including the stand in the frame. I have also experienced lens flare due to the inadequate height. Oh well, live and learn. I'll just have to put even more debt on the ol' credit card and buy a Matthews now.

Sincerely,

Stephanie
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Old July 25th, 2005, 08:48 PM   #4
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I use the bogen boom stands instead of c-stands. A bit cheaper ($117) and lighter (half the weight) but sturdy and plenty of reach. See:

http://tinyurl.com/ex5d2
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Old July 25th, 2005, 10:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Ball
I use the bogen boom stands instead of c-stands. A bit cheaper ($117) and lighter (half the weight) but sturdy and plenty of reach. See:

http://tinyurl.com/ex5d2
VERY pretty, Bill.

Yeah, I can hardly haul my light kit around with the Amvona C-stand inside.
And at over 13' at full height the Bogen looks excellent.

Thanks so much for the tip. Whipping out the credit card right now....

Stephanie
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Old July 26th, 2005, 08:07 AM   #6
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thanks

thanks for the input, it sounds like i'll be better off finding a used matthews or going with the boom stand. thanks for the input.
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Old July 26th, 2005, 10:23 AM   #7
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You need some sort of counterweight for the boom stand. I suggest going to your local sporting goods store and buying a pair of 2.5 lb free weights and a spring clamp designed to hold the weights onto a bar. The total should be <$5. The boom stand wont disappoint as long as you dont overload the arm (10 lbs total) when in horizontal position. I use mine as light stands, reflector holders, mic. stands, and even backdrop supports.
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Old July 29th, 2005, 12:01 PM   #8
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If you watch the ebay auctions carefully, you will notice that they offer two different sizes in c-stands and 3 different sizes in grip-arms. Just be careful you read to the bottom to know which you are bidding on.

I have bought two each of the 20", 30", and 40" arms and I'm happy for what little I paid for them.
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Old August 3rd, 2005, 11:20 AM   #9
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Agree with Patrick

Hey there:

As Patrick said, make sure you know WHICH C-stand you're buying. I myself have 3 of the tallest stands and 3 grip arms of differing length. The shortest grip arm is all but useless, but the longest is great.

The prices are fantastic, and they are built like tanks. Look good, too.

I'd say get the tallest with the longest grip arm and you'll have a good package at a good price.
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Old August 7th, 2005, 11:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Ball
You need some sort of counterweight for the boom stand. I suggest going to your local sporting goods store and buying a pair of 2.5 lb free weights and a spring clamp designed to hold the weights onto a bar. The total should be <$5. The boom stand wont disappoint as long as you dont overload the arm (10 lbs total) when in horizontal position. I use mine as light stands, reflector holders, mic. stands, and even backdrop supports.
Sometimes a little ten pound shot bag makes a nice counterwieght. Just be sure that it is properly secured. Use a mafer, or Cardellini and make sure the bag won't slip off. Don't use a spring clamp. You can also use sash cord to tie off the boom to the lower part of the stand.

Always put sandbags on your stands. That way they don't get knocked over, fall on the talent, or break the 1,000 year old Ming Dynsaty vase that you are shooting.

Memorize Mike Uva's Grip Book.

Remember the Right Hand Rule: As you tighten the gobo head, be sure that the handle is on the right side so that the load will self tighten the head. Righty tightey lefty loosey.

Position the stand so the arm and load are out over the higher C stand leg.

When you have positioned your flag, net, light, or whatever, put the sandbag on the higher leg. Be sure that the bag is not resting on the ground. It is not working if it's resting. If you have to, put more than one bag on a stand. Use at least a 15lb, or 20lb bag.

It's helpful to have one grip hold the flag or net in position and then a second grip brings the stand in and positions the gobo arm and stand, essentially bringing the gobo head to where the flag/net is. This speeds up the process and makes for more accurate placement of cuts and attenuation.
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Old August 8th, 2005, 02:02 AM   #11
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I bought a new Amvona AS-9101 extra large C stand/grip arm kit for a little over $30 on ebay, took a few weeks to finally win at my price. It extends to 117", the grip arm is 40". Better quality than I thought it was going to be. I've bought a couple different things from them, pretty good bang for the buck.
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Old August 8th, 2005, 10:52 AM   #12
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Good Advice!

Hey, Mark:

Thank you for the reminders and advice! I had always thought that placing the sandbags should be on the leg opposite the load to help provide more of a counterbalance. It does, however, mean that the sandbag is sitting on the ground: and not doing a very good job because of it.

Thanks again!
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Old August 9th, 2005, 01:02 AM   #13
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I'm actually a fan of Amvona. I've got a number of products (all eBay,) happy with each. Most recent was the 117" C Stand for a total of $42 (cost AND shipping.) I've got one already, and at this price (and my needs) I can't justify the price of Matthews or Avenger.

Cheers,
-Matt
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