I was initially interested in just getting one solid, well-built steel light stand. I researched and compared for hours among mostly Avenger, Matthews, and Kupo brands, and my choice finally went to Matthews Junior Steel Wheeled Stand. Once I received it, I had to name it "Beauty and the Beast" -- in one muscular steel frame. It definitely was an overkill for my needs, but it was love at first sight! Anyone who owns this Beauty and the Beast would know what I'm talking about.
I loved it so much that I decided to get the "Baby" version, too. I wanted a strong stand that was "heavy yet light" enough for my location shoots. There was no way I can or even willing to haul around the Junior. The Junior will have to sit tight permanently in my studio. I also wanted it to be a wheeled stand so when I'm not using it outdoors, I can wheel it around in the studio. I don't mind a wheeled stand for outdoor use; I care more about the overall weight and portability. When Matthews Baby Jr. Steel Wheeled Stand came, I knew immediately that my decision was perfect. It has that "Matthews" quality built yet it was lighter than I expected -- perfect for the outdoor location shoot:
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/QynPUR
Well, I thought I was done at this point. Wrong. During my hours of researching for the above Matthews stands, my eyes caught this Kupo Master C-Stand with Turtle Base with an innovative quick leg set up and take down mechanism. Well, I figured one additional light stand wouldn't hurt (except my bank account), so I decided to get it along with the Kupo Runway Stand Base, so I can change out the base for different purposes. When it arrived, the first thing I had to try out was the quick leg set up and take down mechanism, and WOW, what genius! It literally took me one second to set up the legs and one second to fold them. It never posed even the remotest sense of danger to my fingers when doing so. The boom that is shown here is that of Matthews Mini Boom, in itself a Beauty and the Beast of its class. I only intend to use the light stuff when using the boom with this particular stand along with some sandbags. I will soon get a Kupo 40" Hex Grip Arm for this stand:
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/PvbALB
One of the reasons why I decided to invest in this highly versatile light stand:
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/QynQHV
For outdoor, location shoots, I decided to settle for this Tenba Car Case Tri-Pak CCT51, 51" Padded Tripod & Lightstand Case. This can fit everything shown above and more except the Junior, which is just fine by me. This Tenba is overpriced IMHO. It's well built, and it can do the job. That's just about it. For the price, they should have provided better shoulder handle for backpack style carrying. If you're bigger than me (160LBS and 5' 8"), then forget about this style of carrying. The handle itself is a bit short even for slinging it over one shoulder. For the price, too, it should have been made with the rubber feet. Some outer zipper pockets would have been nice, too. Just have to settle for the quality material and zipper and the storage capacity.
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/QJG4A6
So, there it is, my new light stand family.