Boom Boom Boom

I’ve wanted a boom stand for a while. Of course like everyone else; I want a lot of things but I don’t always need them, at least not every day so I usually try to find work-arounds for gear I don’t have access to.

Photography equipment usually falls into two general categories called cheap and good. Good stuff is seldom cheap and cheap stuff is rarely good. In a shocking contradiction to the general cheap versus good rule, I’ve actually had some success lately purchasing moderately prices items online.

My latest purchase is the Fancier WT501 Boom Stand, and some extra sandbags ordered from www.cowboystudio.com

Sandbags are the type of utility item that I doubt most people would spend more than a minute thinking about but these appear to be first rate and exceeded my expectations. They are saddle style bags with two pockets that have double zippers and a strong web carrying strap. I ordered a set of four to use on my light stands.

The boom-stand arrived with a few minor scratches on the boom arm despite the fact that it was wrapped in plastic. A few extra scraps of cardboard between the boom arm and stand probably would have prevented the scratches that were deep enough to create some small burrs that could potentially interfere with the boom arm sliding through the plastic angle joint. No big deal, just a minor annoyance.  Believe me, I’ll be adding plenty of scratches myself over time but that is normal wear & tear not shipping damage.

When you first pick up this stand you will hear the spring inside the upright rattling around and that may make you think there are some loose bolts somewhere. Not to worry, its just a spring inside the bottom section in case you forget to hold onto the top half of the stand when you release the locking clamp to raise or lower it. Instead of a big thud when the top comes down way too fast, there is a slightly smaller thud. Just remember that this is not an air-cushioned stand and watch your fingers.

I stuck a Sunpak 383s flash with a Lumiquest Softbox III and a Yongnuo RF602 wireless remote on the end of the boom to test it out. In case you somehow forgot how giant levers work since attending grade school, you will quickly be reminded and start scrambling for something to put in the included sandbag that serves as the boom counterweight. The kit even ships with a petite carabiner used to attach the sandbag to the boom.

The price of this boom stand was recently reduced, making it a nearly irresistible value to budget minded photographers shooting with battery powered flashes.

The good news is that this is a sturdy and useful piece of gear. If you decide later that you need something different it can be used as a reflector stand by adding a couple of spring clamps.

At the current asking price (I bought mine through www.amazon.com) it’s hard not to like this stand, especially when compared to the price of many small and simple flash accessories being sold these days. The quality of the stand and the sandbags exceeded my expectations. This may not be the very best boom stand money can buy but it won’t break the bank either. It will certainly impress your non-photographer friends when they come over for dinner.

Others may have a completely different point of view than I do so measure the information for what it is – one person’s opinion.