Measure Twice, Buy Once – The Compact Boom Arm

We are always trying to find the most weight, and size efficient gear for the work we do.
In an interview situation, our light of choice is LED for speed and weight, and the stands we use to point them also have to be in the same mode.

For awhile now, we have used Manfrotto Avenger stands or even Nano’s, for the key light, and a PhotoFlex Compact Lite Disc Holder, with the disc holding spring clips removed, to boom in a hair or side light .

Of course much of our gear is cross purpose, and used for strobes when needed. Speedlights, with some accessories,are okay with these stands, but for the real strobe banks, heavier duty support is needed all around. Even our strobes are Dynalites for quality and light weight.

But basically, this a good lightweight setup that is easy to travel, easy to breakdown.
Then a few weeks ago, one of our fave sites “The Strobist” with David Hobby, mentioned another boom arm, with the same mindset of a converted lite disc holder, pressed into service.
Made by Lumopro, this set-up promised to give a bit more reach for the pole, while being slightly less expensive.

We decided to order one up and take a look at the differences so, if this is something for your kit, you can make the best choice.

First off, you can see a construction difference in the 2 units:

Here are the brackets that slide onto the pole, and then to your light stand:

The Lumopro has a rougher feel to the assembly , but seems to do the same job as the Photoflex.

The counterweight system (important feature here) is achieved by an added short sleeve cap with a ring on the Lumopro, and on the Photoflex, a machined hole.

An important difference here also is that the Lumopro has a stand stud on either end and the Photoflex does not in the compact model. Remember though, we are using these poles in a different manner than what they are sold for.

And in that vein, check out the clip assemblies on both units:

On the left is the simplistic tension manner from Lumopro, and on the right and more complex evenly distributed tension rig.

We have been using one clip on the rig as a flag holder for the hair light however so it does come in handy.

Here comes one of the biggest differences:

The extended length:
Lumopro- 30″ to 66″ and the Photoflex – 28.5 to 50″

Now to get the longer extension in Phofolex, you need to go their standard size: 36″ to 67″ plus you’ll get studs on both ends.

Cost difference? Street price-about $5.00
Shipping in the US is about $10.00.

So which one to get?

Well, the Photoflex has been made better, no questions, as can be seen in the details. If you feel you’ll need that extra length though, you may have to get the Lumopro.

Basically you are buying a telescoping, aluminum tube. You do want to make sure that the gear assembly that sits on the light stand, locks tight at the the selected angle,and does so for a good long time.
Both use meshing teeth, and the Photoflex has a double set.
Depending on how often you may use this, and for what, will help you make your decision. You should click on the Photoflex to see alt uses for either of these units.

We like to buy gear once, and will pay extra for something that will last.
Now that we have both there is no question each will get used since there is always something to hang or support.
The $900. Litepanel gets boomed on the Photoflex.

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