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ABS vs ABSL, HUGE difference
on September 15, 2010
The reason I am recording my opinions on the ABS 10x12.5 stand: I purchased this ABSL kit, but received the ABS one instead. I have processed a return but did not feel confident that I will get the stand I actually purchased so I spent a few moments with this one. I will update the review when/if I actually get the item in this listing. Also know that I have not owned other background stands to compare this to.
UPDATE : 9/30/2010, Aaron Bennett:
I contacted Cheetah Mounts about the mix-up to make sure I could get the stand I originally ordered and they resolved the problem right away. It turns out that Amazon Fulfillment mixed up the two version of Ravelli's stands for a large number of customers. Check the comments to this review for contact information to purchase over the phone (their photography product website is not available at the time of this review), or just purchase from the "Sold by Cheetah Mounts" listings here at Amazon. You will need to process a return with Amazon, and repurchase from Cheetah if you ended up with the ABS version.
Ravelli ABS Stand (10x12.5):
The stand is what you would expect for $45. Very light, extensions slide fairly smoothly, horizontal bars connect easily, it's easy to pack away, and the reversible adapter is quite nice. The only problem is that with the stands expanded, it becomes somewhat unstable. This is quite important for me as I intend to use the stands as lighting stands when I'm not using it for a backdrop. It would be fine for a cloth as long as there is not a major tug or are not using it for heavier equipment.
Ravelli ABSL Stand (13x15)
This is a MASSIVE improvement over the ABS stand that I originally received. The linking/tightening joints are clearly different and feel sturdier and more stable; the hydraulics found within gently lower each section even when loaded. The stand is huge, and larger than I am likely to ever need (I prefer to overdo things). At full extension, the stand is very stable thanks to the thicker materials, better joints, and much wider base. I believe I got much more than I expected with this version of the stand, and believe it to be among the best values possible at around $80.
How to determine which you received:
ABS - three sections on stands, "ABS" written on box and manual, and 4 bar segments
ABSL - four sections on stands, "ABSL" written on box and manual, and 5 bar segments