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Manfrotto 1051 BAC Mini Compact Stand (Black)
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- Unique stacking feature makes storage and transport a snap.
- Improved castings for secure locking and reliability.
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Manfrotto 1004BAC 144-Inch Air Cushioned Aluminum Master Light Stand with 4 Sections and 3 Risers, 3-Pack (Black)
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|Item Dimensions||4.88 x 2.32 x 28.07 in||4.88 x 2.32 x 35.55 in||20 x 3.3 x 3.3 in||5.79 x 2.99 x 42.91 in||5.79 x 2.99 x 42.91 in||6.89 x 6.89 x 44.49 in|
The lightweight construction and compact-size of these stands make them a practical tool for your lighting support needs. With a patented Quick Stack System (QSS) you can easily stack the stands together with their built in connectors for portable transport and storage. The adapto collars and spider casting Material is crucial to provide high performance and light weight. Adapto is the new material specifically developed by Manfrotto for both collars and spider castings is comparable to aluminum in strength, but is 50% lighter and has a superb resistance to extreme temperatures and will not corrode or oxidize. Additionally, Adapto is an excellent vibration absorption material. the new Adapto collars are made from a single locking component, ensuring better performance and easier maintenance. A stronger and more ergonomic handle makes it easier to secure stands into the operating position. A 3/8’’ screw top female to 1/4” adapter male (015), allows you to connect additional accessories. A new bi-injection casting provides the photographer with a better ergonomic grip. Closed length: 26.38 in.; footprint - maximum diameter: 27.56 in.; material: aluminum; max load: 4 kg.; maximum height: 83.07 in.; minimum height: 29.53 in.; 4 sections . 3 risers.; weight: 2.20 lbs.
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Setup and teardown are fast: the air cushioned tubes are silky smooth and locks hold securely without heavy torquing. When fully extended, the 1051BAC is surprisingly tall and can touch an eight-foot ceiling with head mounted. Folded length is only 26-inches but too long fit in a carry-on (will fit a large checked bag), so a padded light stand bag for travel is a good idea.
The aluminum construction makes for a durable and lightweight product. Plus, this Italian made beauty exhibits exemplary fit and finish--no sharp edges--something I appreciate after using a budget portrait kit for a year.
All in all I found the 1051BAC thoughtfully engineered and a joy to use both in the studio and on the road.
That said, I've always loved some of the aspects of Italian design, and there are certainly some Manfrotto products I like. This is one of them.
I shoot Real Estate, and have to bring everything to the location. These inconsiderate Realtors refuse to bring the house to my office. I also do shoots and video on location for Hotels and Seminars. So, everything comes along for the ride. A little while back I was looking for light stands - sturdy and portable. I figured yet another oxymoron. I must confess I sort of skimmed right by Manfrotto, and was looking at other brands I've seen in the studio and liked, such as Cheetah. I was reading an article by Neil Van Niekerk about lighting, and there was a link to a review on the Manfrotto light stands. He raved about them, and when I saw how they worked (and the very reasonable pricing) I gave them a try.
My parameters for a light stand were twofold. First it needed to be built for travel and hopefully compact. But secondly it needed to be relatively compact when in use as well. As the stands are used for shooting interiors, I need to be able to use them in a variety of spaces, often tucked out of the way. Around a corner, in a bathroom or hallway - even right behind me in a corner. A small footprint and about 7' tall would cover all the bases. Turns out Manfrotto had just the stand, the 1051 BAC. In fact, this is their "Baby" light stand.
The 1051BAC really is the perfect travel companion. I see why they sell them in packs of 3! The design is ingenious, this is Manfrotto's Italian design and engineering at its best. Not at all "fussy" like some of their other products. First, unlike typical 3 legged light stands, the legs and column all line up when folded up, so the stand is flat. There is plastic on the stands certainly (another Manfrotto complaint), and more than on most other light stands. However the way it's used is minimal, and doesn't affect the strength as most of it is not used in "stress" points.
The base plate for the legs has a small socket type setup, so that you plug one stand into the other. Then, up at the top, the collar for the legs also has a socket, so that the stands snap together. Because of the flat design, these things are held together quite tightly. It takes all of 3 seconds to snap them together, and they come apart just as fast. By depressing the little button like logo (because it IS a button!) they disconnect.
Really, really clever. So 2 of these things take as much space as a regular stand. In fact, I carry 2 of these stands, 2 umbrellas and 2 umbrella brackets in a small tripod bag that used to carry a 190PROBX tripod and ball-head - and was stuffed!
Setup is rapid for something folded up so tight. There is a small red aluminum tab that folds flat and held in place with a spring. Folding flat allows the stands to nest. Pulling the tab out and giving it a quick twist loosens the legs. You can simply push the base plate and the legs pop out. Pushing the plate further up brings the legs out fully to their widest possible stance. Twist the tab closed, snap flat and you're done. A quick half turn of the soft-touch knobs (with little tactile bumps) brings the columns up, and another twist to lock. The large size of all the knobs makes it easy and delightful to use. Everything is smooth and soft and shaped to be used. I wouldn't think that "ergonomic" would be a word I'd use on a light stand, but it's certainly that.
Sturdy? You bet. Once it's up there's little to no movement when you try to move it. It's not prone to rocking or twisting. Reversing the process closes up the stand, natch. The tolerances are tight, and the column is decently wide. So you get a nice, solid "whoosh" when closing them up. More on this below.
But let me clarify "sturdy". I had originally intended that these be used mostly for my speedlites, and an accompanying bracket, umbrella or softbox. But recently I bought a couple of RoveLights. These are battery powered 600W monolights. They're 5 ½ lbs. I've had zero problems with these lights on the 1051 BAC stands. I've used them mostly outdoors, on hillsides and soft sod. In the wind. With umbrellas. With beauty dishes. Almost fully extended. They don't rock around, they don't wobble. They are very confidence inspiring. I have to admit, this is a lot more than I originally intended for these things. One day as I was wrapping up and a little punchy, I turned one of the column knobs instead of the knob to pull the monolight off. The column just sort of when "whoosh" and slowly descended with no drama. I see why this is nice to have!
Then I was on Neil Van Niekerk's website, and there he was with a Profoto B1 and a big softbox and one of the taller BAC stands, fully extended outside on the street. Looks like I'm in good company!
- Durable Construction
- Very stable with high & off-center load
- Excellent fit and finish
- Minimal plastic in stress locations
- Clever clip-together design
- Air cushioned risers
- 6.75' tall
- 2.3' small footprint
- Extensive established Manfrotto parts & network
- Large easy to grasp & ergonomic soft-touch knobs
- Reasonably priced
- Get expensive as they get larger
- Um, I got nothing
This is an brilliant product that exceeds my expectations by a large degree. Normally, a light stand is nothing you'd get excited about - or really even write a review. I see why Neil Van Niekerk wrote that article about them - he was just as surprised at their performance. While $75ish is a bit pricey considering you could easily buy a stand for half the cost - it's also not bad considering how well executed and constructed it is. I've been using these for well over a year now - they've travelled all over and have proven their durability and ease of use. The icing on the cake was being able to handle with aplomb lights that are approaching their rated limit the same as if they were only a few ounces.
So if you need an elegant compact and portable solution, look no further. They fold flat. They snap together. They're easy and almost fun to use. They look good! C'mon, good looking light stands?!? They're supported by Manfrotto's extensive parts network. There's even a parts PDF available on their website. You can be assured that these will handle a typical flash as if it weren't there. It will handle an LED panel, fluorescent lights or a heavy monolight without breaking a sweat. They're very stable with their wide stance, and I've had no problems with not having a light or softbox centered over the legs. I no longer doubt at all that their rating of 8.8 pounds is quite realistic.
I have no hesitation to give the Manfrotto 1051BAC an enthusiastic 5 star rating.
It has two studs, one for smaller gear with 1/4" threads such as cameras and small lights, and another for larger diameter 3/8" attachments.
While I've only used it twice, it has classic Manfrotto build quality, and feels way sturdier than the Impact light stands I've used in the past. Again, I really impressed by how compact it is, which is super important if you're hauling all of your own gear as a one man crew.