Customer Reviews: CowboyStudio Photography Video Studio Premium Pro Boom Set W501 with Light Stand, Boom and Weight Bag
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on March 8, 2010
I have to say, this stand is quite a value for the price. It's BIG, the components are chunky and seem to be of decent quality, and I'm not afraid to put relatively heavy lighting gear on it. I'm not using monoblocs or heavy AC powered studio light or anything, just multiple flash strobes and modifiers - softboxes, brollies, etc, but I have no fears about putting a good bit of weight on this stand.

The main tube is faux-air-cushioned (meaning, it appears to have a simple spring in the main vertical tube to dampen the shock of the weighted boom arm dropping after you loosen the tilt head). The spring scrapes a bit on the inside of the tube, making a slight noise but otherwise working quite effectively. Personally, I'm not complaining - they could've left that out entirely at this price point, but it's a welcome addition.

There is an aluminum screw-in O-ring at the short end of the boom for an (included) weight bag, and there is a cheap little carabiner included in the package. This is great, because you can stick a camera bag, reflector kit, etc on that ring to act as a counterweight, or use the included bag, or whatever else you feel like. Pretty convenient.

The boom arm has one telescoping extension that goes out pretty darn far. The end of the telescoping extension has a metal stud locked in place with a clip-tensioner that feels quite secure. Once you have the end weighted down there is a small amount of flex in the arm, but that's to be expected. The diameter and weight of all the tubing is actually quite impressive, especially at this price point.

The tripod legs extend quite far out and are surprisingly stable, though if you have any significant weight on the (extended) boom you are at risk of tipping. Just make sure to keep one leg pointed toward the end of the boom arm, and utilize a counterweight. If you do that, this stand isn't going anywhere.

My favorite feature has to be the extra stud included at the top of the central vertical tube. This allows you to attach another accessory (flash, umbrella stand, lightbox, etc) at the central post of the lightstand while having a second modifer/light setup at the end of the boom arm. This is perfect for clamshell lighting setups, etc.

I've also found that a heavy duty spring clamp (or two) works great on the boom arm to hold a large reflector.

The knobs and clip tensioners seem to be sturdy and of good quality. The tilt head is probably the weakest point. It's plastic and has chunky grooved teeth that interlock to hold the boom at the desired angle. You have to loosen the adjustment lever pretty far out to be able to slip the teeth apart and adjust the tilt. Swiveling action is somewhat stiff as well. That said, it feels secure and I'm not too concerned.

It's a pretty versatile setup, all things considered. If you're on a budget (starving student, hobbyist with pro ambitions, etc), this is the *perfect* multi-purpose lightstand. Use this one at home or in a relatively static environment (it's bulky to carry around, though it folds up quite well and doesn't weigh too much), and get a mini lightstand for portability (LumoPro LP604 is ideal). If you're a pro photog whose livelihood depends on the best equipment, well, you should have known better than to look at this product in the first place. But it's a fine, well-made lightstand that I have no problem recommending for medium-duty use.
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on November 8, 2009
Don't let the price fool you - this is a SOLID stand worth far more. The construction is very strudy. The included sand bag is tough as nails. I've since ordered two more of the bags for stand anchors.
The boom is significant enough to handle an Alien Bees B800 with a full-size beauty dish mounted on it.
An excellent deal. Cowboystudio ships extremely quickly and you won't find better customer service.
All around I highly recommend buying this boom and doing business with Cowboystudio.
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on February 23, 2011
I wasn't looking for Bogen quality in a 60.00 boom stand, but after 7 months of ownership the mechanism for adjusting the attachment and angle of the boom failed due to a stripped bolt. After I contacted the company they quickly sent me a whole new mechanism, albeit a used one (indicated from the worn threads and marks) it too had already begun suffering from inadequate machining, as the threads on one end of the bolt were already showing damage, indicating that failure is imminent. Added to this, the arm for the boom has lost its ability to hold lightweight equipment due to the inadequacy of the locks.

Even if the parts were adequately machined, and the bolt enlarged to deal with the strain of operation, the mechanism is rudimentary at best. Even when working properly, don't expect easy or fluid movements. Lastly, note that the height of operation includes the boom extended. Meaning that the center support has one height adjustment to roughly 6.5 ft. It is not a sufficient height for a horizontal extension of the boom for lighting over an individual, say as a hair-light.

As of now, I use the boom arm (separated from stand) as a "round-the-studio" piece that comes in handy here and there. And I put casters on the stand and use it to roll around an extra large studio light/umbrella.
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on February 9, 2015
For the money if you're trying to build a decent home studio setup on a budget then you can't go wrong with this stand. It's build quality of the metal stand parts is heavy duty enough to get you going. The tightening knobs are what you'd expect from this price range but they work. I used cat litter instead of sand in the counter wait and it works well. I use this mainly with my 22 inch beauty dish and an SB700 speed light. If you're running higher end studio strobes you may want to get better stand, but for those of use using speed lights then this will do the trick.
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There were several problems / concerns with this unit. It is cheaply made. The leg cross supports are the thinest I have ever seen. The legs themselves are flimsy. The tubes used for the upright and boom are also thin and flex way too much. When the base is fully extended it tops out at 6 feet - but at this height the top tube wobbled by the clamp about 3/8" - the clamp did not hold well at all. I attached a 3 lb weight to the end of the boom (my flash weighs closed to 8 lbs) - The stand almost snapped in half! The top tube popped right out of the base. Had this been my flash, I would have been looking at a hefty repair bill.

There is not enough reach to put a hair light or beauty dish above a standing subject. Sitting, yes - no way standing.

All the hardware was cheaply made, from the clamps to the screws. Reminded me of a really cheap light fixture made in China - you know, where they use the thinnest parts possible for the job. It brings back memories of an old pickup truck I used to have - looked great, but was useless.
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on August 22, 2015
Review is after a year:
I have Paul Buff Einstein E340 (strobe) and beauty dish. Sometimes with a 35" octabank
Holds well. If your planning on using it with strobe. Use 3 sand bags.
Don't extend it completely out and it will last for a while.
Never took it outside. (Not sure how durable this stand is to water/sand exposure)
Use different clamps for the sand bag that balances the arm.
It breaks easy and may drop your strobe, if you leave it on the stand unattended.
For the price i'm very happy with the results.
Great for beauty and fashion photography.
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on March 4, 2014
As a professional, I have realistic expectations when it comes to equipment, that's why I named my review accordingly. Generally speaking photo hardware like stands under $150 tends to be suspect. Since I am a mobile and work on location mostly I expect my equipment to take a beating. For the price of $65 shipped, I consider this boom stand good value. It probably won't hold up like another brand name so I know I'll have to be more gentle/

The hardware for tightening are plastic so I have to be sure not to put too much weight on the boom. It should probably work ok for one Speedlite and a light modifier. I wouldn't mount a studio flash on this boom. If I did, I would make sure an assistant is stand right next to this boom.

I might update this review after a few months of use but I'm not too disappointed with this boom.
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on December 6, 2011
When i first got this i thought it was a pretty good deal. It cost 70 bucks and it worked. Well, after a few months all i did was fight with the thing. If you but any sort of weight on it the boom is IMPOSSIBLE to adjust safely. It can't hold very much anyway but still flexes under even a hotshoe flash.

After about 6 months of casual use indoors the latches had started to wear out and the pivot had become unusable. I dismantled it and still use the base as a light stand.

Buy the manfrotto convertable boom stands. They are VERY high quality and only cost about 50 percent more (~120). I have two of those now and love them. Plus you can always sell manfrotto stuff when you are done with it whereas you can barely give this thing away after using it.
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on June 16, 2011
It looked great when I opened it up. It did seem like I got a used one though it was supposed to be a new or I dunno why, but there were scratches on the boom arm already. When I used it the first time, I extended the stand to a little more height and locked it to find that the locks are so cheap and not so greatly designed, which meant I just cudn't lock the stand at an extended height. After I extend and lock it, it just slips off with ease slowly. So, I just wasn't able to use it all successfully even once because the locks were so bad. I noticed the boom arm also had same kinda locks for extension, which means you would see same problem sooner or later. Everything else seemed fine, but this flaw with the locks just made it completely useless.
Maybe mine was a defective piece and arrived broke, but after seeing the problem and looking at the mechanism and design of those locks, it is clear that they are deemed to fail like this sooner or later. They are spring locks, and maybe it was cos of the springs were loose or whatsoever. Change these locks and have better tightly holding locks, then you have got a very good boom stand. Else, forget it.

I am really upset, because after all those good reviews; I was really excited and it disappointed me big time.
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In the past I have owned a Manfrotto Boom Stand with their lead counterweight. It was a work horse and I missed it a lot when it was stolen. When I was ready to replace it I decided to go with this Cowboy Studio model because I have purchased some of their stands and have been impressed with the quality of them. The stand that comes with this kit is better than I anticipated. The tubes are really large and solid and the locks for the two sections have a flip-type switch which is really quick and convenient. There is also a quick release socket on the top of the stand with could be helpful if I wanted to mount a light or another accessory on the top of it. The weight is solid but it did not lock as well onto the boom as I would like.

The only thing that disappointed me was that the bracket that attached the boom arm to the light stand is made out of plastic where my old Manfrotto/Bogen bracket was made of metal. The plastic connector may last as long but it doesn't adjust as easily to the exact position that I want it in. Still, I am very happy with this product and would recommend it to those on a budget.
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