Get yours here: Flashpoint 10″ C stand
Whether you are just starting out in photography or you have been shooting for ages, a C stand is something every photographer should have in their studio arsenal. The C stand, or century stand has been around since the golden age of filmmaking. The hallmark of the C stand is their sturdy three footed base and their weight. The C stand is considered an industry standard for lighting support and there is no shortage of accessories available for them. This is likely one of the most versatile stands available, but are they worth the weight and trouble?
When you mention a C stand to anyone who is intimately familiar with studio lighting the brand Avenger will undoubtedly come up. The Avenger name is synonymous with C stands and was unchallenged until recently. Avenger C stands retail for around 200 dollars, but competition has arrived in the form of the Flashpoint 10′ C (Century) Light Stand. Products with the Flashpoint name are made and sold by Adorama, a well-known camera store with a large online presence. Adorama also releases their own version of many Godox studio flashes under the Flashpoint name. You can search here on Epic Shit for reviews we have done featuring Flashpoint strobes and equipment. I consider the Flashpoint 10′ C (Century) Light Stand a good alternative to the higher priced Avenger stands and the Flashpoint version comes in at about half the price, 99 dollars.
In my years in the photography industry, I have worked in many studios and came to trust the quality and sturdy nature of the Avenger C stands, so when Adorama introduced the Flashpoint 10′ C (Century) Light Stand I was a bit skeptical that a stand half the price of the beloved Avenger stands could compete. My strobes are not cheap and putting trust into a stand to keep my gear from crashing and burning on the floor is something I don’t take lightly. I ordered a Flashpoint 10′ C (Century) Light Stand and hoped for the best. The stand arrived quickly from Adorama and my first impression upon opening the box was that this stand is as heavy as the Avenger counterpart and seemed like it would support a small child without breaking a sweat. The Flashpoint 10′ C (Century) Light Stand weighs as much as an Avenger stand and came standard with many of the grip pieces that need to be purchased separately when investing in an Avenger stand. The Flashpoint 10′ C (Century) Light Stand I ordered form Amazon (link above) came with the standard turtle base, and some very useful other goodies. The kit included a 40-inch grip arm, two GOBO heads (the heads that allow you to move the arm around or attach accessories to “go between” your light source and your subject) and even a baby pin. The baby pin is a piece of metal which inserts into the GOBO head and allows you to attach any strobe with a standard base. With this kit, if your strobe will fit on a regular light stand, it will fit on this C stand.
The most common question I get when I tell a fellow photographer about the Flashpoint 10′ C (Century) Light Stand is “will it work with my [insert strobe brand here]”? Part of the accessory kit that comes with the Flashpoint 10′ C (Century) Light Stand includes the Baby pin, which slides into the grip heads and will allow you to attach any standard strobe. I commonly use mine with a Godox S-type bracket and AD200 strobe as well as my Profoto D2, B1 and B10. I know that this stand will work with any standard Elinchrom or Paul C Buff strobe series as well. As long as the strobe will fit on a regular light stand, it will work perfectly well with the Flashpoint 10′ C (Century) Light Stand – except it will be a lot more sturdy.
Using the C Stand
If you have used other straight light stands, you may have noticed that once you get your strobe, and maybe a softbox or octabox on there they can feel a bit “tippy” or unstable. We are all using sandbags on the base of our light stands right? I mean, safety first right? We would not want our lights to fall on our clients. The C stand does not remove the necessity of sandbags for stability, but when you have a whole strobe and modifier rig on one it feels so much more stable than a standard straight light stand. The first thing you will notice about the C stands is that they are HEAVY, especially compared to a regular light stand. If you will use them in your home studio mostly, I recommend investing in the caster set which allows you to easily roll your whole rig all over effortlessly. I use my Flashpoint 10′ C (Century) Light Stand at home in my studio and on the road. Due to the weight, I never bring it with me on planes but if I am shooting local, I always throw it in the back of the car. You will be surprised how sturdy the C stand is compared to other light supports. Every photographer I recommend them to never looks back and always ends up getting at least two. Even if you are using the Flashpoint 10′ C (Century) Light Stand as a straight light stand and taking off the grip arm, it will still be significantly more stable than a standard light support.
The biggest difference between a standard light stand and a C stand is that the C stand likes to be tightened, I mean really tightened. I can’t tell you how many times I have been able to get my strobe in just the right position by just cranking down on the grip handle. If you don’t have a lot of hand strength this might be a tough item for you to operate, just like if you don’t feel comfortable lifting a heavier-than-it-looks stand with a strobe and modifier attached. Therefore, I suggest practicing with the stand before you take it on a shoot or shoot a client in your home studio.
We have fully established that C stands in general are heavy, so that isn’t really a negative, it is more of a point that should be reinforced. The only negatives I have for the Flashpoint 10′ C (Century) Light Stand is that it is only available (as of this writing) in chrome. Many like the look of the black versions of C stands and the Flashpoint model is not available in other colors. The newer Avenger stands also come with an updated design for the turtle base, where one or more of the legs can be lifted to set the stand up on an uneven surface. This (for me) would only be a big benefit for shooting outdoors in rocky terrain or on stairs. These issues are certainly not a deal breaker by any means, but hey – I had to find something to ding them on, right? This stand works as well as any Avenger stand I have used so other than color this is as close as you can get to a perfect but cheaper than an Avenger option.
Do you need one?
The short answer is yes. The cost of the Flashpoint 10′ C (Century) Light Stand is very reasonable given how much you will probably use it. I have turned so many photographers on to C stands, and always love to hear from people who have been converted to the way of the C stand, please drop me a message and let me know about your experience! I would love to hear from you.
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