When evaluating C-stands in the first part of the year, I was looking for not only a cheaper alternative in pricing, but also quality with a great value! I wanted certain things that I feel are important in the build quality of the stand itself! Things like a good "footprint" to give the stand a firm support, starting with the base of the stand. A base that could be separated from the shaft of the stand for easy transport. The height of the stand needed to be a usable, low to high length so that it could be used for multiple situations. Locking handles that are easy to lock down the moving angles of the stand so that no matter what type of fixture is mounted to it, movement is not an issue! I realize that since I had not owned a Century stand before, I was not really sure what to expect in one but had a fairly good idea from all the various articles I had read. With a visit to photography store in Manhattan, NY, where I actually was able to touch, manipulate, twist, turn, pull, push & talk with a sales representative about the various key points to the C-Stands they carried, I had a really great insight to what I wanted after leaving the store! Now that I have actually purchased one to use with an Impact Luxbanx Duo 84" Octagonal softbox that I had acquired a while back, I can tell you about some of the things I think make this stand a winner! ...
First & formost was the money spent for the stand itself! At less than $150.00, the Impact Turtle Base C-Stand Kit-10.75' (Chrome) was the obvious choice, since other manufacturers with approximately the same measurements have an average price that is $70.34 higher (Avenger A2030D 9.8' Turtle Base C-Stand Grip Arm Kit (Chrome-plated))! And the Avenger doesn't have as large of a footprint & it's height is less than the Impact by almost a foot, which to me are semi-important issues! The Matthews Century C+ Turtle Base Grip Arm Kit at 10.5' compared to the Impact is fairly close in height but the footprint is smaller, coming in at a measurement of 27.5"!
Although the industry standard when talking with other seasoned professionals are a toss up between the Avenger & the Matthews stands, Impact is taking advantage of the price point while keeping the quality at almost even(in my view). And even if I haven't had or used either of the other stands, after talking with the salesman at B&H who uses Matthews stands in his studio, he concured that any of these stands are a value at their price levels! It all comes down to what you like about each model that makes the difference, since all are fairly close in comparisons!
I do love these features of the Impact Turtle Base C-Stand Kit-10.75' (Chrome):
1) Larger locking grip handles for ease of locking down the boom arm & grip accessories
2) The turtle base features a patented locking mechanism that allows the legs to swing out and lock into place for easy setup and collapse flat for storage.
3) Height of the stand makes it usable for all kinds of situations, high to low.The Grip Arm assembly, shown to the right, extends the height of the stand and also allows a good length of boom to reach out over or above subjects for ease in lighting situations needed.
I am very happy with this stand & will be acquiring more in the future for situations where these excel in, which is just about every situation! The quality of these stands were above my expectations & since I have been using it, I feel more comfortable about the various positions that these can be applied to! As others have said in various reviews, "they truly are a beast of a stand!"
(All prices may vary from the companies i obtained the info from & are used for comparison purposes only. No compensation was given to me by them!)