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06-10-2009, 10:13 AM   #1
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what's the difference between a cam tripod and umbrella/flash tripod?

seems all the flash tripods I've seen have different bases... wondering if there are disadvantages to using my normal tripods for holding flashes and umbrellas.

Thanks!

06-10-2009, 10:32 AM   #2
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aside from the obvious answer of 2-10 pounds and the difference in stability, usually flash / umbrella mounts have shorter legs and longer columns and are not always as stable, but then they don't have to be to hold a flash and umbrella
06-10-2009, 10:37 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
aside from the obvious answer of 2-10 pounds and the difference in stability, usually flash / umbrella mounts have shorter legs and longer columns and are not always as stable, but then they don't have to be to hold a flash and umbrella
Ones they use for TV and movie productions are the same and might hold a heavy 2K or 3K light but they usually put a sandbag on the legs to make it stable plus the fact that each light/lightstand has a caretaker (as they call them) to be always at its side to be sure that nothing bad/need quick change (topple or lights need to be redirected or gel change) happens.

Regular tripods also have a different head from your regular lightstand/tripod as they have to support a different item on top.
06-11-2009, 08:46 AM   #4
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ok, thanks all. sounds like light tripods may be lighter, but so long as I get an adapter head that will take an umbrella and flash, I shouldn't have to buy new light tripods. Thanks much for your explanations!

06-11-2009, 05:22 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by vagrant10 Quote
ok, thanks all. sounds like light tripods may be lighter, but so long as I get an adapter head that will take an umbrella and flash, I shouldn't have to buy new light tripods. Thanks much for your explanations!
These kind of tripod heads can be found on ebay and other photo sites.
It holds bith the flash and has a hole for the umbrella too!

Here's an example of one: New Multifunction Swivel Flash Mount Umbrella Holder G2 - eBay (item 320381048534 end time Jun-12-09 19:01:00 PDT)
06-11-2009, 09:05 PM   #6
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Flash tripods are in fact light stands.

Other advantages of Flash/light stands is they can extend to 8-9 feet tall, something most tripods just can't do. Also, their shorter legs take up much less floor space than a standard tripod would.

Tripods don't have the capability of holding modeling lights or large flashes as they need a special mounting tip all flash/light stands have.

Also, you can buy a light stand for much less money than you would spend on a decent tripod.
06-13-2009, 12:56 AM   #7
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One thing to note is that for outdoor use a regular tripod can sometimes be more versatile than a light stand, especially on uneven ground, in tight places, or when there is a breeze.
06-14-2009, 10:28 AM   #8
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Although most tripods are stronger and more stable then most light stands the biggest (and most significant) is that a light stand is usually much taller. Most tripods are less the head high for a standing person. Most light comes from above a subject so if you are taking a photo of a standing person and want it to look natural you need the light above the person. In addition there are literally tons of lighting things made to fit on light stands. Some of them can be made to fit on a tripod but it is very limited.

DAZ

06-14-2009, 11:07 AM   #9
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As Mike said, tripods have an advantage on uneven ground, as long as you have one where the legs can be adjusted independently. lightstands are made more for flat environments like studio floors.

lightstands are also much much cheaper than tripods in general. and they can extend so much higher for when you want a light above your subject tilted down at them. they can also be had with wheels which makes them convenient for rolling lights around without lifting. the more expensive light stand is the C stand which has a different formation of its legs and the advantage of it is that you can put for example 3 stands right next to each other without the legs getting in the way, you cant do that with the more common cheaper type.
06-23-2009, 12:35 AM   #10
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One of the most important and more practical differences is that light stands have short legs and long bodies.
This is not accidental, since they are expected to support big light handling contruptions like umbrellas or whatever. The short legs allow these to move freely, while the long legs of a camera tripod would not allow them to move downwards (which is their most common direction anyway)
06-23-2009, 05:32 AM   #11
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Another important difference is that when angling your umbrella downward it will bump into the tripod legs much earlier than it would bump into the single center column of a regular light stand.
06-23-2009, 06:56 PM   #12
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The light stands they use for TV and movies are pretty big and stable.
Usually made more stable by sandbags and they usually have one adjustable leg for uneven surfaces.
..but I don't think you are interested in those type of light stands..but then again, those are still light stands.
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