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on March 15, 2013
I was amazed by the apparent quality and value for money of these stands when I first bought them - exceptional load bearing capability at a very reasonable price. I was in the process of building out my studio and standardized on these, buying 10 in all. Four of them are background stands and those are just fine since they are not frequently adjusted. Several months later I have been exposed to the design flaws with this product. First, the plastic stopper at the bottom of the stand is not securely fastened and relies on friction to hold it in place. It will invariably pop out rendering the air cushioning non-functional. The other, more serious issue is with the tightening knobs for the risers. As others have mentioned, over time these will become harder to tighten and less effective at actually securing the risers. Eventually, you can tighten the knobs all the way down and the riser will just fall down - no tension at all.

The problem I have found is the bolt that goes into the knob. This gets worn out and the whole thing falls apart. My solution as been to replace the bolts. So I bought a bunch of those bolts from a home improvement store and I just replace them when that happens giving my stand a new lease on life. There is clearly a design flaw with this otherwise good product. I think it is a shame that the manufacturers have not addressed this - they could have a winner on their hands.
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on October 23, 2013
Everything is well made and fits snugly except for the cast spigot adapter which wiggles because it is secured with a single rivet. Eventually I drilled two holes 120° apart and added two more rivets (see uploaded photos). Other than this modification, it is quite sturdy and a good value.
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on January 12, 2011
I decided to purchase these Ravelli lightstands after purchasing the Ravelli ABLS background stand and observing the quality of the stands. I needed sturdy lightstands to replace the flimsey / wobbly light stands I received in a continuous lighting kit I purchased from Fancier (ePhoto). The Ravelli stands are sturdy and overall, excellent. The base has a 40" diameter footprint and each stand extends to approximately 10'. The top of the stand has an adapter which can be reversed to expose either a 1/4" or a 3/8" screw, the common thread sizes used in photo equipment. As a bonus, each stand comes with its own heavy duty black carrying bag with a sturdy heavy duty zipper.

I rated the stands as 4 stars since the stands arrived scratched and missing paint in very small spots. Since the shipping boxes were not damaged and since the product boxes were still factory sealed, I could only guess that the scratches and missing paint spots occurred at the factory. I chose to not exchange the stands because of the shipping cost to return the stands. Regardless, these are excellent stands for the money. I intend to purchase more of these stands in the future.
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on August 2, 2012
Up until now, I've been dealing with the little crappy stands that come with all those cheap lighting kits. The one I bought was the Cowboystudio (sometimes comes as Kaezi) continuous 3 light kit with 2 backdrops and a backdrop stand. Just as a side note, those are almost worthless for anything other than some underexposed headshots, or very small merchandise.

However, this stand, my friends, is all that you need and more! Well, mostly.

Here's the play-by-play:
- stand height when collapsed: about 4'; approx. 1.5' taller that my smaller stands collapsed.
- stand tube thickness: almost double that of the smaller stands.
- height adjusters: nice quality, contoured shape of twist knobs make it easy to tighten.
- footprint: 3' when fully opened; smaller stands are around 2' or less

The overall build quality of this is really nice. The paint looks good. fixtures and adjusters don't seem to have any flaws. The safety release on the screw stud makes it safe in case you forget to tighten the screw, at least your light won't fall off. Haven't tested how well that works but I'd imagine it should work fine. The bag it comes with is really nice quality.

The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars (would have been 4 1/2 stars but amazon doesn't recognize the existence of half stars) is because I also bought an equivalent Cowboystudio stand and that one has spring loaded sections so if the height adjusters fail or get knocked loose, a spring helps to cushion the fall so you your lights don't feel the full shock of the abrupt fall. If this stand was also spring loaded, no one would have any reason to buy the Cowboystudio one. Maybe springs could be added? The one thing about these stands is that they seem to be almost air-tight tubes, which means on an uncontrolled drop, they just slowly float down to the ground. The top tube isn't as air-tight and falls much faster then the middle section. Springs would still be a value-add and they could probably still be sold for around the same price.

One last thing, the bag that comes with this is really nice. A great, rugged exterior, a nice lining and sturdy zipper make this would-be throw-away bonus a keeper!
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on July 12, 2011
I just had these delivered a few days ago and was completely satisfied with the quality.
About 6 months ago I took a chance on a ravelli tripod and was so impressed with it's quality that I had no hesitation in purchasing two of these stands. A few points to help you decide...
1)They shipped lightning fast and arrived extremely well packed.
2)The included carrying case is very nice and seems like it will hold up over time...and it all fits!!
3)These things go up to ten feet (10') and remain remarkably stable....yet weigh very little.
4)The wide stance of the base is perfect. I had these up to 10 foot with a 24x24 softbox attached on a windy afternoon and it held true.
5)The cost is exceptionally reasonable. I'm not sure how they can make them and sell for profit at that price....but I am glad they do.

I am obsessed with buying camera gear and often times I feel a bit of remorse or regret when I have purchased something based on the lower/lowest price. This stand is one of the few items I have been pleasantly surprised by. It's a great bargain. If I had the need i would buy ten of them just because they are so well-made. And no, I do not work for Ravelli, or any other manufacturer. If I did I would get my equipment a lot cheaper! I am just a customer who uses these reviews to help decide on my purchases. They are important tools and need to honestly reflect the item being considered. I hope this helps some other reluctant buyer make a decision more easily.
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on June 23, 2011
I have several different brand of stands: Paul Buff (13 foot HD and 10 foot LD (Light and heavy duty); Photoflex background stand, very heavy duty; and I had an impact 10 foot stand I immediately sent back years ago because it was truly crappy.

This is an amazing stand for 14.00US. I mean the other stands I have range from 30 to 120 and this is every bit as nicely built as they are. It's larger diameter tubing than my 10' stands from Paul C Buff, but not quite as large as my Paul C Buff 13' stands, nor as large as the 13' Photoflex. So it's just underneath the heavy duty 13' stands in tube diameter.

A couple other areas where I like it better than the Buff stands (and many others) is that the top is a 5/8" female receptor. This allows you to drop in double studs at 1/4" or 3/8" male, or any stud for that matter, without using a converter, or to drop in studs if the threads become damaged. Many other stands have the top stud permanently fixed to the stand. These are the type of studs you can drop into this stand: Manfrotto 013 Double End Stud 1/4-Inch 20 and 3/8-Inch Adapter Spigot - Replaces 3094

Two other aspects of these stands make them really nice: (1) the top 5/8" receptor also has a push to lock and unlock spring pin-out clip like Manfrotto Super Clamps have; (2) the stand uses clamp type screw downs on the collars instead of the screw down type, which can and do break the collars. I just had two of them break on my heavy duty Buff stands. (I should say that the Buff stands are nice and I called Customer Support about the collars wanting to buy new ones. They shipped them at their cost and gave them to me for free. So Buff support is like no other company. I've owned the stands for over 4 years too.)

You could use these for studio strobes and soft boxes, but I'd use my HD Buff or Photoflex stands for that, since they are just a little heavier. The Buff 10' stands are much smaller diameter. That doesn't mean they are bad. I use them for different things. The smaller diameter and smaller foot print of the 10' buff stands are great for my Canon 580s on location because they take up less space and are easier to move around.

Also, these Ravelli stands are air cushioned. Overall, they are good stands, and when you add in the price at 14.00US, they are excellent. I couldn't believe it. I bought one just because I was curious about their quality, expecting shabby to worse. That is not the case at all. Stands built like this with the same options (air cushioned, top female receiver, clamp type locks, spring loaded quick release, 10' fairly heavy duty, with a carry bag) go for over 50 dollars:

Will they last? No idea, but they seem to be made like all the rest. They are not a replacement for heavy duty C stands, but then they are much easier to move and carry too, and good C stands will run you hundreds.
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on June 12, 2014
This is among the worst light stands I've ever used. The head on the light stand is poorly connected by a single rivet that allows it to jiggle all over the place. The stand is light, and that's nice, and it has a wide footprint, but the lack of sturdiness in the head makes this a horrible purchase. When I mounted a beauty dish and speed light to the head it was immediately evident how poorly this stand is constructed as it flops all over the place whenever the stand is moved. I do not have this issue with any other stand I've ever purchased, and those stands have a traditional peg-in stand head. The single-rivet design of the sleeved head on the stand is poorly conceived and even more poorly executed. In fact, I have no idea whatsoever what possessed Ravelli to produce such a head for this stand.
I want to return it, and will as soon as I can find out how, and will never again purchase a light stand - or anything else - from Ravelli.
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on July 13, 2011
I was attracted to this light stand because of the price and other reviews. I ordered one and was very happy with it. I use it with an SB-600 and an umbrella. It works great and the carrying bag is very heavy duty. I ordered a second stand and it was actually different than the first one I received. It has an extra adjustment knob and is a few inches longer than my first purchase. These stands are awesome, you don't find many good products that are inexpensive. Buy this stand!
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on June 18, 2013
I have used Ravelli products before (the ABSL backdrop stand is a MUST!) and have always been highly impressed with how strong and well made the products are. This was no exception! I was in the market for a light stand that could hold my 5lb studio light (a Promaster 300C) with a Mola Demi Beauty Dish on it, and thought I'd give Ravelli's heavy duty stand a go. I was NOT disappointed! The people at Ravelli are really helpful too. I called them to ask how much weight this stand can hold, since it's nowhere to be seen in the item description here or on their website, and they actually had one of their technicians test it right then and there while I was the phone, just for me. For reference, they tested this as suitable for up to 20 pounds. The bag is amazing, just like their backdrop stand bag, and this thing is solid as a rock. For $31 and free shipping, you CAN'T go wrong! GET IT!!! I promise it's worth it.
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on July 29, 2011
I LOVE this light stand!!!! I only just got mine, but I've had it long enough to use and be completely satisfied.
I wasn't sure what to expect, but for the price and with such amazing reviews, I went ahead and bought two to use with my reflector and speedlights.
There are a lot of reviews on light stands here that have complaints about missing gear bags and such. These two stands arrived with bags, in perfect condition and they are identical.
It's MUCH more sturdy and rugged than I expected. I mean, they were about $20 with shipping. What a steal!

I'm SO happy!!!! If you're looking for something amazing in this price range, definitely go for these bad boys.

UPDATE: The not-so-good news :(

So I've had these stands for about 1 1/2 years now. I ended up with 3 of them, and at FIRST they were PERFECT for what I needed. Recently I've been doing a lot more with my stands, and that's when I realized that one of them wouldn't go taller than about 7 feet (the 2nd part of the stand slid right back down despite my tightening the knob). I put a marker on it and left if home most of the time since I really only NEED 2 stands. That was not long after I'd purchased them.
Just yesterday, I realized that yet ANOTHER of these stands was broken in the exact same way! I guess I just never noticed, or maybe it used to work and just doesn't anymore.

So now I have two 7 foot stands and one 10 footer. Still completely fair for the price of $13 a pop, but NOT $30! I came back to see if I could find a better stand, and I can't believe they raised the price. If I'd paid anywhere close to that price, I'd have returned these immediately. Other parts have fallen off (knobs, screws, tops of screws?? wtf?), but none of that bothered me for $13. The missing 3 feet of height is what is unacceptable, no matter the price.

Bummer. Back down to 2 stars, just because they WERE incredibly awesome for my first cheap stands.

UPDATE #2 (March 2013):
Ok, so after all of these ups and downs, the company gets 5+ stars from me for beyond-brilliant customer service! Shortly after I updated my review with the bad news, they contacted me in every possible way to help me with my issues! I was given a few options, and they are now in the process of sending me replacements! I am completely blown away by how much they care. Obviously any good and decent business cares about their products and their reviews, and I'm pleased as punch that I purchased my first and only light stands from CheetahMounts :) THANK YOU for making it right! I really DID love them when I first received them, and I'm happy I was honest about my review and updates as well. Win-Win! Can't wait to switch out my old ones when the new ones arrive!
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