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Nissin LS-65C carbon fibre light stand reviewed

2 minute read

Light stands are one of those essential bits of kit that you don’t often think about until they go wrong or you have to carry them a decent distance. Which is where the extremely lightweight Nissin LS-65C comes in.

Many people assume C-stands are the safest and sturdiest because of their heavy turtle base, but you can tip them over easily due to their narrow footprint. A similarly sized spreader stand will be less prone to tipping it over because its footprint is much wider. That’s why for both photographers and film makers who work without a grip crew, the spreader stand is preferable. Travel spreader stands are the lightest and the easiest to throw in the back of a car and quickly set up on location. Nissin’s 214.95 USD LS-65C is such a stand and it’s made of carbon fibre, which is both still is somewhat of an exotic in the realm of light stands and goes some of the way to explaining its $199 price.

The LS-65C extends to a full 269cm, weighs in at 880g and has a maximum load capacity of 3kg. Its spreading legs are made of carbon fibre, while each spreader leg has two aluminium stabilising arms. The legs can be laid flat on the ground, which is a boon if you want to add a sandbag for added stability. You fasten the stand’s spreaders as well as its five extender poles with twist locks. As spreading the legs to their maximum can be a struggle on some models — the LumoPro LP608 Air-Cushioned Light Stand comes to mind — setting it up is much faster than with traditional light stands. The baby spigot is made of aluminium, a soft metal, which is why the barrel of the 3/8in part is protected by a steel band so that mounting screws can’t bite into the it. A 1/4in converter is part of the package.

Nissin LS-65C carbon fibre light stand set up

You lose height with the legs flat to the ground but it gives you the opportunity to use sandbags for extra stability

Closed, the LS-65C fits in a backpack as it’s only 60cm high. I tested this Nissin light stand with a 2.6kg continuous light/fresnel lens combination and found that I could extend the stand to its full length without any problem. However, with that kind of weight 2.5m above the ground, any sort of disturbance makes for the light uncomfortably swinging back and forth. I for one would rather not risk someone bumping into the stand with such a weight on top. It’s not the breaking of the poles I’d be worried about but the possibility the stand would jump around if there’s no sandbag on its legs.

I wouldn’t mind mounting it up to a fully extended second pole at all, though, because there was no swinging at that height at all. In case you were wondering it has no reference whatsoever to the stand being made of carbon fibre; it’s what I also do with my 5kg max load capable metal Manfrotto 1052BAC. With the light/fresnel combination, that one swings at full extension as well.

Another benefit of the Nissin LS-65C over metal stands is its weight, especially when you need to carry a few light stands around. The next lightest stand I tested it against weighed 400g more.

Last but not least, the LS-65C has a very nice look, with its bright blue spreaders, bright blue accents on the twist locks, and meshed carbon fibre poles. It comes with one accessory, a velcro contraption that should be a battery holder to fix your battery pack to the stand. It’s still an enigma to me, though, as it doesn’t seem to have anything a battery pack could hold onto. So I am currently using it as an extra binder to hold the legs tightly together during transport.

Tags: Production Lighting