Number one-they're not very portable. As described, they don't fold like
most light stands and as such, they're best used in a permanent studio.
Number two-they're not quite as adjustable as most C-Stands. Although
you can put longer upper stems in them for added height, there's a certain
point where they're just plain going to become unstable and the usable range
of height might limit you in some setups. (the maximum height you can use in
your studio is of course determined by your ceiling height , minus 1/2 the
distance of any soft box you might hang on the stand.) I've found that an
adjustment of a couple feet is the most that I ever move my commercial
c-stands anyway when used in a lower ceiling studio (10' max.)
Number three-They're not the prettiest things in the world. If you're
worried that light stands made from plumbing parts might turn your clients
off, you're probably better off not making these. I have found that you can
paint them flat black, wrap the whole thing in insulating pipe wrap or other
covering and no body will ever know they're made of plumbing fittings. Even
if you don't use these as your primary stands 'out front', they make great
'backdrop' stands and extra light stands for holding flags, gobos and
The benefit - cost. Even on eBay, the
cheapest I've seen a c-stand go for is $35.00 or so (which is a steal if
you can get them for that) but they're so heavy that you're going to pay an
additional $35.00 or so to get it shipped. At $70.00, that's still a great
deal on a c-stand as most pro studio retailers sell them from $125.00 to
$200.00 plus shipping and even the cheapest buy it now on eBay adds up to
$105.00. But what if you could build one for
$30.00 (or less if you've already got some of the parts)???
You could certainly build several for the cost of just one from the
Read all the way through the article before you go out and buy this
stuff. Also, be sure to read the 'Mods' section on the last page if you 're
looking to save even more money before shopping for parts.
If you make these light stands and overload them and a strobe comes crashing
down on somebody's noggin', don't call me...... If you're confident that you
can construct and use these things like a reasonable adult and are willing
to absorb any risk yourself, read on...........