Little Things Mean a Lot, Location Lighting Kit, part 2

In the first part of this series, I began with the most important component of any location lighting kit—the lights! For my wife Mary’s kit, I’m using Olympus FL-50R wireless speedlights but the kit works just as well with any shoe-mount flash, such as Canon’s 580EX II speedlite or Nikon’s SB-900. By using speedlights that have built-in wireless control you eliminate the needs for accessories to trip the lights, but that’s not to say that you couldn’t build this kit using any shoe-mount light and trip the lights using a Pocket Wizard.

The next part of the kit is something to support those lights: I’m talking about a lightstand or three. Lightstands are those humble photographic accessories that just stand around but serve an important purpose; they support the lights. Tip: Avoid the impulse to buy cheap lightstands. Don’t forget they are holding an expensive light and a well-made stand will last a lot longer than a cheap one. Purchase the best lightstand you can afford but in this case, I recommend the specific model that fits my portable lighting kit concept: The Manfrotto Nano aka the 5001B lightstand.

The Nano is a rugged five-section black aluminum lightstand that extends to 74.8 inches or down to a minimum height of 19.29 inches. The current version features retractable legs and, unlike previous models, has a 5/8-inch stud on top. Its closed length (important to the “shoebox” concept) is 18.90 inches producing a footprint with a maximum diameter of 39.37 inches. The Nano’s stated load capacity is 3.31 pounds and the whole lightstand weighs 2.05 pounds, also important to the kit’s appeal.

In part 3, I’ll show you how to attach the light to the stand.

Author: Joe Farace

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