Friday, January 22, 2010

Light stand lite.

I have been working on this stand for a while now. Have been using the prototype for a couple of years in the field and was considering commercializing it in some way.
However today on the Strobist blog a very similar design by Swedish Photographer Peter Karlsson with an almost identical simpler version has put paid to the idea of patenting the concept.
So in the interest of sharing and giving back I will put my own design out there for people to copy if they want.
Like Peters stand it uses the light weight tent pole concept of thin tubes held together with bungie cord. Mine has spreaders to separate the legs. The flash is attached to a Kaiser cold shoe flash bracket that rides up and down the stand on a tube over the three legs. This stays in place purely using friction created by the legs being under tension.

So the flash can go from the top down to the first leg joint.
To go lower I just pull out the lowest leg sections and let them lie on the ground.

The prototype uses hobbled together hinges made from various model plane bits and pieces.
One end of the spreader slides up the leg to bring the three legs together then the three leg sections can be pulled apart to break the stand down.
This prototype is made from carbon fibre tubes used in kite construction and will support a flash at almost two metres and weighs just 250 grams.
Collapsed it measures 69 cm.

The next version I intend to make will be a five section leg so that the collapsed stand will fit in my Pelican lighting case.


  1. CC,

    That tripod's a real delicate beauty! Sorry if I've ruined your plans for a patent. I've just checked out that about patents also, but for me it's not a big deal, I've just made these for my own amusement, and to carry some less weight. I also noticed it's expensive. Merry christmas, Manfrotto/Bogen ;-)

    Actually, the special version I mention above is almost like your construction, with solid spreaders a little lower than midways. Mine are done with collapsible rods with cords inside them though. Picture to come.

    Much respect for your construction Chris!

  2. As a patent holder I can say that a patent is a very expensive way of publishing your idea, and often serves as nothing more. A granted patent still needs defending and the burden of proof is on you, not the defendant. In this day and age, the best way to make money from an idea is to get out there first.

    Nice simple idea though. I like the lack of tightening screws to reposition the flash... just slide it and let go.

  3. Thanks for the comment Jon.
    Your observation regarding patents reinforces what I had learned from my research.
    It was going to cost NZ$10,000 to get a patent for New Zealand only. (pointless)

  4. Oh thanks Chris, beautiful work.
    I like your concept