As a big fan of Strobist, I’ve been beefing up my lighting kit as of late. One of the latest things I’ve received is the LumoPro LP604 5-secton 6 feet stand. For those who have been keeping up with Strobist’s blog, you will realize that David Hobby uses a few Bogen Manfrotto 3373 (it is now rebranded as Nano-001, but exactly the same stand). I have not used the Nano-001, but David assures that the LumoPro is identical except it is slightly longer, has a thicker base, and is about “5-10% heavier”. I figured I would give the LumoPro a try, as it is slightly cheaper, $39.99 versus $56.50.
Sure, you can get a lot of different stands for cheaper, extend higher, and hold more weight, but the biggest advantage of the LumoPro and Manfrotto is portability and weight saving. This is very important if nature is your studio.
For the most part, the LumoPro LP604 is a very well built stand. It’s solid aluminum in the legs, which makes it great to drill 1/4″ holes to install a strap for easy carry around. Quite light, weighing in at only 2.6 pounds.
Because of the portable design, the LumoPro LP604 may not quite feel as sturdy as a regular sized stand, but that is not to say it is not sturdy in build. The LP604 can definitely take abuse from daily usage and keep up without any problems. Also keep in mind that because the LP604 is lighter, you will need sandbags or some type of weight to tie down the stand on a windy day with an umbrella.
Because this stand is smaller than a regular sized stand, you are limited to small than 46″ umbrellas; any larger and you risk constant (and expensive) tip overs. For the most part, I have not found I needed a larger umbrella than a 46″, so it is a moot point for me.
The LP604 comes with a the standard 5/8″ stud that has a 3/8″ thread adapter that can be unscrewed to a 1/4″ thread. Since I always use a Photoflex Shoe Mount Multiclamp, I leave the3/8″ thread adapter at home.
With a single LumoPro LP604 with a Canon 550EX attached to a Photoflex Shoe Mount Multiclamp and a Westcott 43″ collapsible shoot through umbrella all triggered by a pair of PocketWizard Plus II, it is a very versatile kit that handles 90% of various lighting situations for photographing with harsh sunlight to photographing in a dark room. Plus everything is light and portable making it a very good light travel kit.
For the most part, when you purchase a knock-off or copy cat, it’s never as good as the original, but LumoPro managed to build a stand that is equal to, if not slightly better than the more expensive Manfrotto. Given the quality of the LumoPro, I’m hardpressed to justify an additional $20 for the Manfrotto name. The two key differences between the LP604 and Nano-001 are: thicker center column and very slightly longer on the LP604. You can about buy two LP604s for a single Nano-001.