Karamy Studio designs and manufactures various lighting gear for photographers. We have previously reviewed its light stands, umbrellas, and hot-shoe adapters, as well as the lighting kit (studio) bags. In this review, we are looking at the Karamy KAC-LB1 Sandbag (or rather a weight bag), which has some interesting qualities.
The purpose of a photography sandbag is to weigh your light stand down to prevent it from being knocked over by your clients or a gust of wind, for example. The sandbags are also critical when you use a boom arm and need a counterweight to balance out your flash light.
A typical sandbag has pockets that you can fill with sand. Generally, it works well, but there are a few issues with that. First, you either need to have access to sand or buy it separately. Second, you cannot adjust the weight of the sandbag. (Technically you can dump some of the sand to make the sandbag lighter, but it's hard to imagine doing that during a photo session, unless you are shooting at a beach.) Lastly, you have to carry the sandbag around, so it can significantly contribute to the total weight of your gear. The Karamy KAC-LB1 Sandbag addresses all of the issues mentioned above in an interesting way.
The Karamy Sandbag is made of a very thick and durable cloth and does not actually use sand. So, it's not really a sandbag :), but it serves the same purpose. It features four pockets that can each accommodate water bottles of various sizes up to roughly 1 liter (34 oz) depending on the shape of the bottle. Water bottles are generally more accessible than sand. You can use almost any drink that comes in plastic bottles and can fit into one of the pockets: drinking water, iced tea, juice, etc.
You can easily adjust the weight of Karamy Sandbag by using different number of bottles, varying the bottle size, and dumping some of the water and refilling the bottles when necessary.
The Karamy Sandbag weighs next to nothing by itself, it can easily fit in your gear bag, and you add weight to it when you actually use it. However, instead of always carrying the sand, like with other bags, you can just carry some extra water bottles, which you can drink after or even during :) your photoshoot. Plus, you can often get the bottles on location, which is especially important when you travel. And the weights don't even have to be the water bottles. If you shoot outdoors, you can use small rocks or even sand when you are at the beach.
Featuring a carabiner, the Karamy KAC-LB1 Sandbag can be hooked onto a lower knob of a light stand or a dedicated sandbag loop (like the one featured on the Karamy light stands).
The left image below shows the sandbag mounted on the center column of a light stand. If you want to weigh down one of the light stand legs, you can use the Karamy Sandbag as a saddle bag, as shown in the right image below.
The Karamy Sandbag can also be used with boom arms, thanks again to the carabiner, and that's where the weigh adjustment capabilities are most useful.
To summarize, the Karamy KAC-LB1 Sandbag is a great solution for weighing down your lighting gear. The built-in carabiner makes it easy to attach this sandbag to a light stand or a boom arm. It is very portable and can be filled with standard water bottles at the location rather than with sand at the time of purchase. Best of all, its weight can be easily adjusted during a photoshoot if necessary. We highly recommend the Karamy Sandbag for use in studio or on location. Please check the latest prices below.
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