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Old September 20th, 2010, 02:19 PM   #1
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Black vs. chrome C-stands...

I've been on sets from everything from tiny little basement indie films, to mega Hollywood features.

Not once in my life have I seen a BLACK C-stand.
Yet B&H has them in black. Why does no one use black c-stands?

Chrome:
Avenger A2030D Turtle Base Century C Stand Grip Arm A2030DKIT -

Black
Avenger AVA2030DCB Turtle Base Century Stand, Grip A2030DCBKIT -

Price is about the same. Is there something I'm missing? One one hand, I'd like to be the only guy in town with black C-stands. On the other, it might get me shunned... or burned at the stake.
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Old September 20th, 2010, 02:31 PM   #2
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Probably as simple as people feeling the chrome finish is tougher and more durable. I felt that way, so that's what I bought.
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Old September 20th, 2010, 02:34 PM   #3
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I've only been on a set with black C-Stands once. The black finish seemed to have been chipped or scratched off in several places. That along with the stigma of not using the conventional silver C-Stands are the only reason I could think of not seeing them more often. IMHO using black stands could be an advantage.

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Old September 20th, 2010, 02:54 PM   #4
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For mostly mobile work, chrome is better because the black paint can scratch/chip off. Imagine a grip truck with 20 stands on top of one another - that is some rough abuse.

However, for a studio, black is used more to prevent reflections - which is why we have 8 black and only 2 chrome for our studio.

Also, for grip heads and arms, everything we use is chrome except maybe 2 heads & arms.
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Old September 20th, 2010, 04:32 PM   #5
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I prefer to use a black stand for stationary audio boom work.
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Old September 20th, 2010, 04:39 PM   #6
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Every response in this thread is right on the money. You know who uses black C-stands a lot? Still photographers shooting in the studio. For anyone who shoots on location, whether still photographer or video/film, chrome is so much more heavy duty. Black rubs, scrapes and chips off pretty quickly.

Oh yeah, and sound mixers like them too because their C-stand holding their boom is actually working right on the edge of the frame so black is an advantage.

If you want black, go for them, they are fine. But they will chip up in just a few months if you drag them around.

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Old September 21st, 2010, 08:58 PM   #7
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On a side note, does anyone know where I can get chroma key green C-stands? Do I have to get one and paint it green myself?
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Old September 21st, 2010, 11:23 PM   #8
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I would advise just buying a roll or two of chroma key green tape, FilmTools has it. Who would want an ugly funky green C-stand when NOT shooting green screen?

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Old September 22nd, 2010, 10:01 PM   #9
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As a practical note, it also depends on the type of practice you do.

Personally, I own MOSTLY black C-stands. The reason? For a while I was doing a LOT of studio work both photographing and videotaping small and medium sized sculpture. A percentage of it was either reflective or chrome plated.

It was MUCH easier to set up a black drape at the camera lens plane and use black stands and arms than to fight masking for a CIRCULAR chrome form that would reflect literally EVERY direction.

I wanted the ONLY thing reflective behind the plane of the camera to be the lights and bounce cards placed specifically to light the subjects. That's it. Period. End of story.

Hell, when I started that gig, some shoots I'd use up $25 in black gaff knocking out chrome reflections off of stands. Got too damn expensive.

And yep, my black stands and arms are dinged up. So what? It looks exactly like what I am. Someone that USES my gear - not someone who buys it to be admired by others on set.

It's GRIP gear - for gods sake.

Sheesh.


PS Dan's advice about the sticky green key tape is useful, but use the stuff carefully. It's NOT like gaff. You put it on a wall, for example to clean edge a green painted a "key window" - and expect it to rip the top layer off the wallboard when you go to take it off. Great for covering a stand. Not so great for other stuff. FWIW.
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Old September 23rd, 2010, 09:18 AM   #10
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Yes, you have to be careful with tape, I have taken off some paint in a few walls at various corporations around the country. It is never a good feeling to mess something up at a client's place. Even gaffer tape can take off paint or wall covering if you aren't careful.

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Old September 23rd, 2010, 10:39 PM   #11
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My C stands are silver/rust but where I live even plastic rusts. A friend just replaced most of his rust colored C stands with chrome. I am jealous.
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Old September 24th, 2010, 08:58 AM   #12
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I did a couple of shoots at the beach where we had C-stands rigged in the surf about ten years ago. Yep, those stands look like your stands, some nice oxidation mixed in with the chrome.

I used to live at the beach, I hated it. EVERYTHING you own will oxidize within a couple of years, it is horrible.

Dan
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Old September 24th, 2010, 11:09 PM   #13
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There might be a subliminal comfort factor going on in all of this. A hapless wanderer might be less likely to hang a toe on a chrome C-stand leg and stretch himself senseless at the pointy end of the debris fan of what he was carrying now scattering across the set. Chrome is more apparent to the peripheral vision.
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Old September 29th, 2010, 09:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Brockett View Post
I would advise just buying a roll or two of chroma key green tape, FilmTools has it. Who would want an ugly funky green C-stand when NOT shooting green screen?

Dan
I do a lot of green screen filming and I've gone though a lot of green tape. I have no clue what to do with the grip heads and knuckles on the stands. Also, do they sell matte, chroma key green spray paint?
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Old September 30th, 2010, 12:25 AM   #15
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you could start with a black C stand, and paint it CK green. much better then trying to paint chrome !

I've used them once in a while. they are cool when you need to place something in the BG of the shot at nite, you don't have to cover them with duvatene. then again, a couple peices of black should be part of your gear as the cloak of invisibility - to cover yourself / camera when shooting directly into windows / reflective surfaces
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