Most helpful positive review
87 of 88 people found the following review helpful
Excellent quality for the price.
on August 30, 2011
A few years ago I bought the Savage Economy Background Support System because it was recommended in The Digital Photography Book Volume 2 by Scott Kelby. It turned out to be shoddiest piece of kit I have ever purchased. They would jam constantly so that I had to carry some large pliers along with them. They pinched my fingers several times. They did not collapse to portable dimensions (they wouldn't even fit in my car trunk). I grew to HATE them.
Recently I saw this kit from Fancier Studio that cost less than my Savage setup, but looked much more useful. It arrived quickly, of course, since fulfillment is by Amazon. First impression: The carrying case is cleverly designed and appears fairly well constructed. The stands were very easy to set up without pinching my fingers; they are spring-loaded to absorb any shock from inadvertent release. There are four horizontal pieces that, when joined, span between the stands. Three of the four fit together easily. One would not fit; the aluminum coupler was just a bit bigger than the others and couldn't be inserted into any of the other pieces (it measured about 31mm in diameter, the others were all 30mm).
I emailed Fancier the next day, and they offered to replace the defective piece right away; they just asked for a photo of each end so they could be sure to send the correct piece. Once they received the photos, they emailed back that a replacement would be sent the next day.
The three good pieces could be assembled to make a horizontal pole about 7 feet long, so I used this kit for an author portrait the next day. The kit worked very well, as expected. The were very stable, easy to adjust, and projected a professional appearance to the client. These have plastic components where a Manfrotto has aluminum, so they may not be as rugged as the high-priced pro gear, and maybe if they were subjected to daily rigors they might not last as long. But if you won't be subjecting them to much abuse, they should last a long time. If you have used equipment from Ephoto or Cowboy Studio, then you know exactly what I mean. These are nearly identical in design and quality.
The new crosspiece came today, and (surprise!) they sent me all four horizontal pieces! Two of them can be coupled with the ones I already have to span over twelve feet. That will be handy for large group shots. The fit is very snug, requiring a bit of finessing during assembly, which also means there is almost no wobble when assembled. That gives me confidence when hanging backgrounds and other gear.
I can recommend these for anyone who needs highly portable stands on a budget. And I really appreciate the way Fancier Studio treated me when I had trouble. I will choose them the next time I need lighting gear.