I have been looking for a really heavy studio stand for my camera a very long time now, and finally I got the one I wanted through an ad. It is a behemoth (I have never had the opportunity to use that word on my blog until now) and it weighs a ton (almost).
A Swedish studio camera stand called Szabad, with three wheels you can lock and a counterweight inside the stand that makes it easy to move the arm up and down. I was lucky to finally find the right ad, and I got it at a unbelievable low price.
It is originally made for medium-, and large format cameras, so my D700 (and maybe soon the D800) will feel safe and secure looking down from it. Earlier I have used a normal Manfrotto stand for my camera, but even if I tape it to the floor, it might move a little during a shoot. This one will not move at all.
Just being able to photograph products with a camera that is really fixed will same me many hours in Lightroom and Photoshop not having to adjust for minor movement between frames. And the possibilities to take photos from different angles without having to balance on a ladder is a big plus. Or shoot straight down (until now I used my ordinary stand for that, but even with a counter weight, it became hard to do).
But my luck didn’t end there, the seller also had an old Manfrotto stand with a giraffe boom which I can turn and tilt the studio light at the top with a wheel and a crank at the bottom of the boom. Very handy. I don’t have to take it down just to turn it a bit, pull it up again and take a test picture to see if it points in the right direction.
It is easy to make a wish list that can be very long when working with photography, “If I only had this or that, I would be able to get the photos I want”. These are two of the things I have been wanting for a long time, and getting them both used at a really nice price makes me even happier.
I try not to focus too much on studio equipment, it can be a very costly affair if I would follow the urge to buy more and more stuff. Especially if I would buy everything new, but much of the studio equipment I use, I have bought second hand. These stands are probably more than twenty years old, but works the same way as new stands.
But I think one of the key factors not to make the investments in studio equipment a black hole is to stick to one system that works together. Almost everything I own is either Nikon, Manfrotto, Chimera or Profoto. And they all work very well together.
It is when you start mixing a lot of different systems it might get expensive, because you need two or three of the same thing. Just to fit with the different brands.
Now I “only” need to upgrade my D700 to a D800, and replace my last Profoto Compacts with Profoto D1. After that, I will be satisfied for a long time.
But I still make my wish list longer with different thing, but those will have to wait, I need some time to try out all the new possibilities first.