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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 25 Jun 2013 (Tuesday) 00:26
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Boom Questions

 
wizeguy4
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Jun 25, 2013 00:26 |  #1

so I am looking into more lighting and stands and whatnot and a boom is one thing I know I want. I began my search looking at dedicated Booms. and then it moved toward convertible booms. I think I am doing this all wrong tho

- can any light stand be turned into a boom with the addition of an arm? I have 1 good lightstand and a few garbage ones

- what is the part called that connects the arm to the light stand?

and finally, I can install a speedlight on the end with just an umbrella swivel?

to be more specific - I am looking to buy a softlighterII 60" and use my existing speedlight (550ex) and cheap trigger.

any recommendations for a decent arm, stand, combo, and whatever connectors to make it all work. I am nothing more than amateur who owns too much money on gear who likes taking pics of his family


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PacAce
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Jun 25, 2013 07:15 |  #2

If the boom is just for Softlighter II and a hotshoe flash, then it doesn't have to be the heavy duty stuff. Something like the following boom arm can be used with a good, sturdy stand. You may need to extend the 5/8" stud at the top of the stand, though, if you have the regular brass stud that comes with most general purpose light stands. This is so that the griphead on the boom arm has something substantial to grip on to.

http://www.bhphotovide​o.com …_Boom_Assembly_​Black.html (external link)


...Leo

  
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wizeguy4
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Jun 25, 2013 10:51 |  #3

Perfect. That is the exact arm I was looking to get also.


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PacAce
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Jun 25, 2013 11:07 |  #4

wizeguy4 wrote in post #16063391 (external link)
Perfect. That is the exact arm I was looking to get also.

Don't forget to get a weight or weight bag to put at the foot of the stand because it will be top heavy, especially when the stand is extended high, even if the stuff on the boom arm itself isn't very heavy. :)


...Leo

  
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Safetybob
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Jun 25, 2013 11:12 |  #5

Good recommendation for the arm and consider getting some sort of bag and some sand too. Probably not needed for inside, but finally I wised up and started putting weigh on my light stands to add stabiltity incase it gets bumped by me or someone else accidentally.

Before going out and blowing alot of money, once you get that arm, set it up and try it, then it will become very obvious if you need additional weight here and there. You don't have to get expensive sand bags, DIY can be very cost effective first to practice and see what's needed.

Bob E.




  
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Wilt
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Jun 25, 2013 13:05 |  #6

wizeguy4 wrote in post #16062241 (external link)
so I am looking into more lighting and stands and whatnot and a boom is one thing I know I want. I began my search looking at dedicated Booms. and then it moved toward convertible booms. I think I am doing this all wrong tho

- can any light stand be turned into a boom with the addition of an arm? I have 1 good lightstand and a few garbage ones

Cheap stands with small footprints will be inherently more unstable than more expensive stand with larger footprints.

Remember, counterweight adds total weight aloft, and will only offset the weight of the boom arm and light source and light modiers at the other end of the arm. A smaller footprint will always be more inherently unstable in all directions, not merely along the plane of the boom.

And a vertical stand column which is larger in diameter is more rigid than a smaller column diameter, so there is less inherent wobble induced in all the weight aloft, which the footprint has to stabilize against.


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wizeguy4
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Jun 25, 2013 14:02 |  #7

Here is the light stand I own and plan on using
http://www.adorama.com​/BG3333.html (external link)


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Pearlallica
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Jun 25, 2013 15:49 |  #8

The advice already presented is good and should get you on your way. I just thought I'd add my experience as I've been down the same road already and have changed paths to c-stands and metal stands with wheels. I've found that even with speedlights and larger modifiers such the softlighter, there is too much flex to light stands when incorporating booms. I even tried the manfrotto heavy duty boom with a heavy duty light stand and I didn't like the weight balance from top to bottom. If you find the right balance with a counter-weight, that's great. It's just a little more adjusting to get there. C-stands just lock into place in a way that light stands just can't - and it's instant. Light stands are a great place to start. They are great if all you need to do are small jobs. Just don't play with anyone else's c-stand because you'll immediately know what you could have and you'll want to replace your light stand/boom right away. Just sayin' ;)

Oh, and I've put an overhead monolight/softbox on a lightstand/boom combo before. It required three sandbags despite the counterweight. It was also nice that it had caster wheels as it was damn heavy and need to be moved for positioning. All added up, it was much more $ than a c-stand with arm and one sand bag.


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fashionrider
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Jun 25, 2013 18:25 |  #9

I would highly suggest a heavy duty avenger c stand (http://www.bhphotovide​o.com …_Turtle_Base_Ce​ntury.html (external link)). If you're like me you'll start with really cheap, lightweight stands, several of them will break, or you'll start using studio lights like alien bees with a softbox and the lightweight stands just can't support it. I wish I just went straight to heavy duty avengers. It's basically indestructible, won't bend with weight at the top, and can take a beating, FOREVER. The kit comes with a Boom Arm (that's what the arm is called). or you can take the boom arm off and just use the regular stand. it's portable as the legs detach from the tall part of the stand. Only problem it's HEAVY, but that's what makes it sturdy anyway.


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wizeguy4
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Jun 26, 2013 00:14 |  #10

This has been great advice. Thank you everyone. I have read a lot about C-stands. I may eventually move to it. Right now I am using my light stand and I have a DIY beauty dish and umbrellas. My cheap flashpoint stands have been turned into my background holder. I am looking to first get a boom arm onto my current stand to at least get me started doing what I want with the softlighter and if it is something I like, take the arm to a better stand. I am going to look into everything people have said in here


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