C stand m-m-madness! at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Photon Management

Photon Management
Shine an ever-loving light on you.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old January 2nd, 2006, 10:21 AM   #1
Slash Rules!
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 4,723
C stand m-m-madness!

So I'm on B&H's site looking at C stands. I see there there at five or so different brands and prices range from under 100 bucks to around 200. What I'd like to know is why--

Obviously, some packages are the stand, and the grip arm, so that makes sense, and some stands go higher than others, but other than that, what's to keep me from buying the cheapest 10 foot stand with grip arm vs. buying the 175 dollar matthews stands and arm? The cheap ones seem rated for the same weight as the expensive ones, and I can't see any real difference in construction.

Grips have told me Matthews is the bomb, 'cause the feet are one piece, where as with an avenger stand, it's fitted together from several pieces, and that the avengers weigh about five pounds more and don't last as long.

Regardless, what's the deal?
Josh Bass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 2nd, 2006, 10:44 AM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: San Mateo, CA
Posts: 3,840
Josh,

The mathews stands will outlast your lifespan. Seriously. A lot of the cheaper knock-offs will perform the same functions, certainly... but as you've discovered they can weigh more. The bases can 'fall apart' after a while, the locking threads can strip out (cheap castings instead of machined steel), you get the drift.

Like any mechanic faced with buying tools for a start-up operation, you have to choose between paying now, or paying later for quality. Invest in the best upfront if you can. If you need a tool, and can't afford the best and buy a knock-off to accomplish a task needed IMMEDIATELY, then you can count on eventually replacing that tool at a later date, with an overall greater expenditure.

Always a tough decision to make.
(By the way, ebay is usually a good place to check for c-stands)
Richard Alvarez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 2nd, 2006, 12:12 PM   #3
Slash Rules!
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 4,723
I figured as much.

Consider this, though--these will not, by any means, be used on a regular basis. I've so far output a few short films a year, and there's the rare occasion when I shoot for someone else who doesn't provide the gear. Does that change things?

Re: ebay--the problem is, most of the stands are just the stands, you'd have to get the arm, and, I"m assuming, the knuckle that has the female spud adapter (that mounts on the stand) separately. Add to that the somewhat inflated shipping costs one might associate with ebay items. . .
Josh Bass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 2nd, 2006, 12:13 PM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,259
Everything about a Mathews stand is built for decades of hard use by many people.

About 15 years ago I bought some Norm's stands for my (former) production co. They still mostly work, but certainly not as well as when new, a couple of the grip heads are gone, the legs take some attention to rotate, many of the plastic insert feet are gone, but they can still hold up a flag or whatever.

Norm's seems a direct knockoff of Math, I've not had experience with Avenger.

There's a lot of gear you can buy that will hold up pretty well when babied by an owner-operator, but rapidly falls apart in rentals - this is the reason that equipment like Math has become the industry standard, you wouldn't want anything else to be delivered when you rented that grip truck. Speaking of which, c-stands are dang cheap to rent if you're in any sort of larger city.
Seth Bloombaum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 2nd, 2006, 12:24 PM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: San Mateo, CA
Posts: 3,840
Seth makes a good point about rental, and also about 'babying' inferior gear.

Josh, it's okay to spend less in terms of cash upfront for your tools, but the point I want to make is, you will have to spend MORE in terms of money or ATTENTION to make them last as long. That's true with just about any tool for any profession.

Sometimes, you need a tool for a specific job, and you don't have the cash to get the best, so you have to make do with the inferior product. In that sense, you are leveraging the outflow... the cheap product is paying for itself immediately, and allowing you to get the job done. (But again, ask yourself seriously, wouldn't the better tool pay for itself many times over in the long run?)

That's just the sort of question you always have to ask whenver you make a purchase... microphone, camera, lights or c-stands.

I lucked out a while back, on craigslist a guy was selling some lowel omni-lights with 'stands'. I drove over to Berkely, and low and behold, he had two omnis with barndoors, and THREE MATHEWS C-STANDS with grip heads. He wanted $250 for the lights, and would throw in the stands 'for free'. Hell, I knew the stands were worth more than that alone! So it was a great deal.

Like seth said, if you are only needing the stands once in a blue moon, call up TexCam and rent them.

Good luck.
Richard Alvarez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 2nd, 2006, 02:08 PM   #6
Slash Rules!
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 4,723
I dig. Thanks dudes.
Josh Bass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 3rd, 2006, 01:10 AM   #7
Trustee
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Tulsa, OK
Posts: 1,689
Best stands for the money are the amvona stands on eBay. They are equal in quality to the middle to higher end stands for less than half the price. I bought some before the word was out and got them for abour $50 - $60 shipped...


http://cgi.ebay.com/PROFESSIONAL-PRO...QQcmdZViewItem



ash =o)
Ash Greyson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 3rd, 2006, 02:32 AM   #8
Slash Rules!
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 4,723
Really? I've seen a few. Amnova's the seller, though, not the brand, yes?

I keep seeing these dynatran ones, but they're all less than six feet max height. Me want tall, like ten feet.

How bout JTL?
Josh Bass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 3rd, 2006, 07:01 AM   #9
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: San Mateo, CA
Posts: 3,840
If you bid on the Amvona stands, make sure you are bidding on the TALLER versions, 117 inches, not the shorter versions 70 inches.

I've seen them, and they are a good product for the price point, if you get them shipped at about 60 bucks, like Ash said.

I've had some good luck and some mixed luck from Amvona. Recently bought a large softbox kit... 36x48 to use with one of my Lowel DP lights. I was impressed by the quality of the dome material and the seam stitching, but the box arrived torn, and missing the support rods. I sent an email to Amvona, they responded the next day saying replacement rods were on the way... and sure enough, five days later they arrived. The softbox is an excellent value for the price I paid shipped... 46 dollars. But then again, I already HAD a chimera speed ring for it, which is an integral part of the system. I bought the speed ring USED for 65 dollars which is a great deal in itself. I feel like I have a good 100 dollar softbox system... not as good as Chimera mind you, but sufficient for my needs AT THIS TIME.

So yeah Josh, it's not like the 'video police' are going to come get you, or you'll be exiled from the board for looking for a bargain on c-stands or lite boxes or grip gear. I'm just saying understand the price point on value and durability.
Richard Alvarez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 3rd, 2006, 08:13 AM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Port St. Lucie, Florida
Posts: 2,614
Amovna

I had been hesitant to post here about Amvona, because of the sponsors, but since the ice has been broken I will. Besides, with the high cost of lighting, most just buy shop lights or go without.

I bought the Amvona full softbox kit, with one each small, large, and extra large softboxes about a month ago. All I can say is that I was so impressed with it, I may get another. Be sure to do the auction route and not buy-it-now. They have a buy-it-now price of over $1,400, but most auctions go for right around $500.00 or less delivered. An auction closed last night for $465.00 delivered. They have about two or more of these kits a day.

This is a three light set, but the kit includes 12 bulbs, 8-1000w and 4-500w. It comes in a hard case that is great and has separate sections for everything and the bulbs are in two 6 hole foam containers. The two large units have stands which, if I remember right, extend to 163 inches high. All have removable wheels that are lockable and it is all sturdy as hell. The two larger lights have 1000w heads and the small a 500w head. The lights themselves seem the same but they probably don't want you putting a 1000w bulb in the small softbox, so they label one head as 500w.

They are good to work with too. They had an option to expedite the shipping for an addition $15.00 and I took it. But they did not get it shipped right away, so I emailed and told them about it. They did not reply, but the next day I found the refund deposited in my PayPal account. No Hassle!

The only negative I have seen with them is that they are slow getting it shipped. They are one of those company who ship a lot, and have a 5-7 day shipping schedule, so things take about 8 to 14 days to get there by Fedex.

If you have a studio these would really be great, as you would not have to break them down and put them away afterward. That is the biggest hassle with softboxes.

Anyway, if anyone buys one of these sets and doesn't like it and does not think it is worth 3 times the price, send it to me and I'll buy it from them. How is that for an endorsement!

Good luck all.

P.S., make sure that you bid on the three light sets and not the two light sets. The two lights sets go for about the same price and you get much less. The picture with the auction should show a man pulling the case, and have three lights in the picture.

Mike
__________________
Chapter one, line one. The BH.
Mike Teutsch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 3rd, 2006, 01:53 PM   #11
Slash Rules!
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 4,723
Alright. . .well, I don't know what I'm gonna do yet. I might hold out for a "real" c stand on ebay, and see how cheap it goes, or look into amnova.

By the way, isn't this site videopolice . com? I thought "wrangler" was another one for "video policeman".

By the way. . .I trust Avengers 'cause actual grips have 'em, use 'em. There's a local gaffer who owns a buncha crap, and I think all his stands are Avengers.

Also by the way. . .
I was right, Amnova is the seller of those stands, Dynatran is the maker.

Last edited by Josh Bass; January 3rd, 2006 at 05:26 PM.
Josh Bass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 3rd, 2006, 07:57 PM   #12
Supports LPFM Radio
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Northern California USA
Posts: 126
Another approach:

Check to see if any local rental houses are selling off their old c-stands. The houses tend to want their stands to look shiny...but I don't care. A couple years ago I bought several great c-stands for $50/each with arms, gobos, etc.

No matter how hard I abuse them*, they keep working fine...

Jim

*not that much, actually. but I use them a lot.
Jim Feeley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 3rd, 2006, 08:51 PM   #13
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,781
Avengers are good gear, they used to be the Arri house brand. Matthews are of course the old school industry standard. Both are built solidly and will last.
__________________
Charles Papert
www.charlespapert.com
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 4th, 2006, 12:14 PM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: NEW JERSEY
Posts: 216
I really like the Bogen / Manfrotto Convertible Boom Stands instead of the traditional C-stand. Cheaper and much lighter. But I dont use them roughly.

I have also been very happy with the Amvona AS-806A light stand (this is just a 9 foot light stand). Not compact but sturdy and smooth. I think I got the last pair for $40 total off e-bay.
Bill Ball is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 4th, 2006, 03:03 PM   #15
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
Posts: 220
I have several of the Amvona stands and they are fine. I use them infrequently, since I primarily focus on narrative shorts.

If I was using them everyday for commercial production then maybe I would have gone with the matthews, but for the way I use them the amvonas are just fine.
Reid Bailey is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Photon Management

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:30 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network