THE PRINCE OF CHEAP IS BACK!

Discussion in 'Commercial/Product photography' started by Sweet fang, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. Sweet fang

    Sweet fang TPF Noob!

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    THE PRINCE OF CHEAP IS BACK!
    This time with a product review of some basic gear that you’d better watch out for !

    [​IMG] When buying a lighting kit - what’s the very last thing new photographers consider? Light meter? No. Weight? No. Backpack or bag to carry your kit in? Nope. I got it… THE LIGHTSTANDS!!! I know for a fact when I purchased my first kit of lighting about 8 years ago the very last thing I thought about was the stand. Just so long as the lights had “a” stand was good enough for me. Now 8 years later after breaking down four light stands I’ve come to demand a bit more.
    [​IMG] Now that I’m firmly educated (and don’t want to topple anymore el cheapo lights with 15lbs beauty dishes on them, because most lights don’t survive The Prince!), I’ll give you some help. When getting a light stand or choosing a lighting kit…. several things should be considered: max open height, max load, stand weight, closed length, and build material. Stepping back a bit, the light stands I inherited with the kit just weren’t meant to last. The were adequate but not the best (maybe not even in the top 20). Enter Linco Inc. (The company that brought you Britek – same company who I got my first flash kit from cause I was broke as a twig off of a tree). I was sent a few free stands to test and “beat down” a few stands and give an honest opinion of them. Enter the Linco 8308 Heavy Duty Light Stand. Here’s my assessment. The stands were not really what I was expecting. I expected the same subpar lights stands that I got with the original kit. Adequate but nothing at all spectacular. I was told that they had been vastly improved over the Britek brand and were more refined. Lets see. First thing to catch my eye were it had a list of features (It isjust a stand right?):
    ‧ 3 Year Warranty (already worth a look)
    ‧ Simple Leg Locking Joint System.
    ‧ 30% Smaller
    ‧ 8ft Max Height
    ‧ 19lbs Max Load

    [​IMG] Okay, I see someones gotten tired of people talking about them! They stepped up there game. Of all these features “3 year warranty”, “8ft Max Height” and “19lbs Max Load” scream try it to me!!! Sitting down with them I noticed they were already much more thought out than the previous Britek iteration of “The Lightstand”. A lot sturdier in looks as well as function!!! (A plus indeed.) I took the stands out on 3 trial runs (with my backup just in case disaster ensued). I started throwing around all sorts of combinations. Britek HS-200 with 60” translucent umbrella in the wind with sandbags holding down the stand. The test was to see how much flex the stand gave at max extension (minus 3 inches). Though the stands did show some flex due to the nature of the pressure exerted on them form a virtual 5ft sail and a 4lbs weight they did hold up REMARKABLY WELL! Its similar to loading the stand with far more weight than its rated for… IN BEACH WIND MIND YOU!!! That’s usually a serious torture test for a light stand. “Bend it like Beckham” and see what you end up with!!!

    [First Test: Rigidness ] [Results] = Exceeded Expections????
    Now onto the next assessment I put it through. Portability. The stand weighs around 4lbs (give or take about 4 ounces). Its closed length is around 34 inches. Math that out 36 inches turn into 8ft…. PRETTY DAMN COMPACT if you ask me!!! That means when you need considerable height to weight to carry around… It’s a very – very good option.

    [Second Test: Portability] [Results] = Very Good???
    Now onto my final assessment. Are these things practical in a studio environment? This is the biggest test. Flat out, will these things stand up to constant opening, closing, scrapes, falls, bumps and all the rigors of an active studio. My first shoot with them - in my Batcave (garage studio) them they got opened and closed dropped (intentionally) and kicked a bit with a weight on them and they stood up very well. No bends no bruises. Just a few cuts and paint abrasions. The second test was at Seal Beach in Sunny/Windy Southern California. This was the wind n bend test. The final test was to drag it out to my bud studio in DTLA where I let him rough them up (after he promised me I’d have to buy him a new flash if they broke his units from sudden collapse). (Keep in mind the same light stand had been used for each test). Lightstand returned without an additional dent or scratch! No complaints. Hmmm…

    [Final Test: In Use] [Results] = Just as good as his other high end brand name stands????
    Okay – okay. By now you may have noticed that I seemed surprised by each result…. Well honestly, I am! I was expecting something just barely acceptable and would be giving the unit a $#!t-job of a review! But the truth is, I’d be hard pressed to find a stand that is simpler and much better than these. I was a bit impressed. My only real quirks was that the knobs for the locking mechanism for each section is made of plastic. (How big is this? I’m not sure, I twisted those things with the intent of breaking them and didn’t do it. I’m no punk, I Kettlebell and have an iron grip! I know I put great pressure on the knobs!). Also, I’d like the top bolt to be larger than the std ? video size. Why, if the stand falls I can easily see its threaded screw slamming the ground and breaking. Another thing is Linco went with a plastic ant-slide foot. Though cleverly designed, I believe they should’ve went with something like a very durable rubber (but hey the economy is bad – and I aint payin $179.00 for any “stand” that don’t have the letter “C” in front of it!)

    [Assessment Completed][Results] = Linco has made a lightstand that is strong, tall and pretty reliable… I’d say if you want to keep your lights from turning on there heads too often, look at your stands as investments and put this stand into serious consideration! After this new product, I think I’ll be a bit more eager to see what else Linco and company has to offer for the Frugal photographer! Price…Uhhhh…. For the protection of my lights… for the sanctity of my mind…. ONLY $39.95! Perfect price for the Prince of Cheap!!! Bottom line, Linco is on to something by raising the quality up! (Hmmm, now all we have to do is get the bastards to make us a a 22” Beauty Dish and they’d get some serious shooting time!)! Just remember, a light stand doesn’t do it all. A light stand is only as dumb as the user not smart enough to supply it with enough sandbag (or some other) weight to maintain a firm position on the ground! Shoot responsibly! NO MORE EXCUSES, GET TA SHOOTIN!

    I’m David Griffin a.k.a. The Prince of Cheap , you can find me at http://www.davidgriffinphotography.com and read some of my free lighting articles at http://www.studiolighting.net
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2010
  2. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    What a crappy font for online! :lmao:

    I almost hurled when I saw it, so I didn't read any of it.
     
  3. PerfectlyFlawed

    PerfectlyFlawed TPF Noob!

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    ditto. what an eye sore.
     
  4. DennyCrane

    DennyCrane No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    tl;dr
     
  5. davisphotos

    davisphotos No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Denny, you took the words out of my mouth. I hardly got to the brand they are-Britek? The Britek website is pretty horrible too.
     
  6. Angela Kelly

    Angela Kelly TPF Noob!

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    :sexywink:oh,i think the britek website isn't too bad,you can browse the site www.lincostore.com, and You will understand.
     

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