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These are the last light stands you'll ever need

If you're looking for a solid light stand for your photos and videos, Manfrotto is a name you should never overlook.
Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer
The Manfrotto 1005BAC leg tightening collar.

The Manfrotto tightening mechanism will never let you down.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

I do a lot of film work. Most of that is in my basement studio, but every so often, I have to venture beyond that and film in different locations in the house or go beyond the confines of our humble abode.

When a project calls for a different location, that means I need to have the right equipment. One of the last things people working in film (be it for a movie, a vlog, or a promo for your business) want to spend money on is light stands.

Also: The best vlogging cameras to take your videos to the next level

Most opt to go with the cheapest option they can find, only to soon discover those inexpensive, lightweight stands can't hold up the weight you need them to carry. For instance, my Aputure LS 60X lights are far heavier (and more costly) than a small LED light panel. Although I have plenty of cheap stands that can suffer the weight of those LED panels, they would crumble under the heft of the Aputures. 

For those lights, I needed something beefier. I also needed light stands that made packing up a bit easier. For that, I turned to Manfrotto.

When anyone who's ever worked with film or photography thinks of Manfrotto, costly tripods come to mind. That makes sense, as the company makes some of the best tripods on the market. What you might not know is that they also make light stands (and a plethora of other products). 

Also: Forget Manfrotto: This do-it-all tripod is so good, I wound up buying two

One light stand in particular, the 1005BAC is a stand that can hold up serious weight and even includes a feature (the patented Quick Stack System) that allows you to pack them and click them together. So whether you have two stands or six stands, you can fold them up, link them together, and carry them to your vehicle (or to the filming location) as one unit.

The Manfrotto 1005BAC Quick Stack System.

The Quick Stack System makes it easy to connect the stands together for easier portability.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Anyone who's had to film on the go will greatly appreciate that feature.

The specs

Here are the specs for the Manfrotto 1005BAC light stands:

  • Color: Black
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Item weight: 5.5 pounds
  • Maximum height: 107.48 inches
  • Minimum height: 46.46 inches
  • Number of leg sections: 3
  • Includes a 3/8-inch screw top female to 1/4-inch adapter male (015)
  • Product dimensions: 43.5 x 6 x 3 inches
  • Closed length: 39.37 inches
  • Maximum footprint (when opened): 41.73-inch diameter
  • Max load: 22 pounds
  • Cost: $113 on Amazon
View at Amazon

How they perform

The 22-pound load capacity should be able to handle most of your lights. I've attached my Aputures with added soft boxes and found the stands to not so much as budge. And with the aluminum tightening knob, I can be certain that once the legs are unfolded to the desirable position, I can lock them down and they won't move. 

Also: The best ring phone ring lights to improve your photos, videos, and conference calls

The collars for tightening the individual sections are quite beefy and there is a slight pneumatic resistance when lowering a section. That means, if you have a light attached and loosen the collar, the light won't necessarily come crashing down. 

The Manfrotto 1005BAC tightening collars.

The tightening collars will lock each section in place and keep them there.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Since I've purchased two of these stands, I haven't had a single issue. They work in such a way that they offer a bit of security knowing when I attach an expensive light, the stands won't fold or tip under the weight. That kind of security is priceless when you're busy filming or shooting.

If you're looking for the last light stands you'll ever need to purchase, you cannot go wrong with the Manfrotto 1005BAC. It doesn't matter if you film in the same location every time or if you're constantly on the go, these stands are worth every penny.

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