Q: My steel C-Stands are killing me when I travel! I’m tired of paying excess baggage charges and breaking my back. There’s gotta be a better way. What do you use? — Jeffery
A: My favorite stands for location portrait photography are Avenger Baby Alu lightstands. These heavy duty light stands feature black aluminum alloy 0.78″ (20 mm) square leg design and wide base for rock solid stability and use the same industry standard 5/8″ Baby pin on top as heavy steel C-stands. They’re sturdy enough to securely hold an Octbank in the wind, but light enough for travel.
My favorite feature is the adjustable leg extension that allows you to lengthen one leg. This comes in extremely handy to securely support lights placed on uneven terrain like hillsides or staircases. It also allows you to tilt the light head back into the corner of a room out over a balcony – just be sure to counter weight it in such situations.
Avenger Baby Alu lightstands come in five sizes – these two are my favorites:
Avenger A0035B 11.5′ Baby Alu Stand 35 with Leveling Leg (Order from B&H) ($160) These triple-riser stands are my favorites. The combination along with it’s wide base makes this my go-to stand. They extend to 11.5′ yet fold down to 44″ to fit into a stand case with an Octabank. These heavy duty light stands have a load capacity of 19.8 lb and they weigh 7.7 lb. Their footprint diameter is 3.3′ (100 cm) and minimum height is 4.1′ (1.26 m).
Avenger A0025B 8.2′ Baby Alu Stand 25 with Leveling Leg (Order from B&H) ($155) are my choice for a smaller, shorter, double-riser stands that extend to 8’2 yet fold down to 34″ making them perfect when you’re traveling with a smaller stand case. These heavy duty light stands have a load capacity of 8.8 lb and they weigh 6.61 lb. Their footprint diameter is 34.3″ (87 cm) and minimum height is 3.2′ (0.97 m).
If you’re looking for something in-between or larger, here are three more:
Avenger A0030B 9.8′ Baby Alu Stand 30 with Leveling Leg (Order from B&H) ($155) If you’re looking for a stand between those two, these stands extend to 9.8′ (4.0 m) and fold down to 39″ (1.0 m). These triple-riser heavy duty light stands have a load capacity of 22 lb and they weigh 7.72 lb. Their footprint diameter is 3.3′ (1.0 m) and minimum height is 3.6′ (1.1 m).
Avenger A0040B 13.1′ Baby Alu Stand 40 with Leveling Leg (Order from B&H) ($196) This is the tallest stand that will fit into the Lightware stand case below. It extends to 13.12′ (4.0 m) and folds down to 48.8″ (1.21 m). These triple-riser heavy duty light stands have a load capacity of 19.84 lb and they weigh 9.92 lb. Their footprint diameter is 3.75′ (1.14 m) and minimum height is 4.65′ (1.4 m).
Avenger A0045B 14.7′ Baby Alu Stand 45 with Leveling Leg (Order from B&H) ($217) The tallest of the stands extend to 14.76′ and fold down 53.5″ – a bit too tall for the stand case below. These triple-riser heavy duty light stands have a load capacity of 22 lb and they weigh 9.92 lb. Their footprint diameter is 3.75′ (1.14 m) and minimum height is 5.0′ (1.54 m). PLEASE NOTE: This stand is too long to fit into the Lightware Stand Case below.
Lightware C6052 52″ Padded Cargo Case (Order from B&H) ($290) These are my favorite stands bags because they’ll hold two 6′ Octabanks and stands up to 48.5″ long. Made of Ballistic nylon with 1/2″ Duralight foam padding, these stand cases feature self-healing nylon coil zipper
Avenger A9000NB Wheel Set with Brakes (Order from B&H) ($131) This Avenger Wheel Set with Brakes will turn Avenger Baby Alu Stands A0025B, A0030B, A0035B, A0040B and A0045 into rolling stands. This three piece, black, braked 4.0″ wheel set has a 198.4 lb load capacity and weigh 7.28 lbs.