Light stands are an integral part of almost any lighting kit. Whether you shoot with speedlights or studio strobes, you need your lights to be supported and placed where you want them. There are many types of light stands, including the cushioned, compact, backlight, c-stands, and more. They all can be very useful, but a light stand, as a piece of gear, is not particularly cool and it's hard to get excited about ;).
LumoPro, with its most recent light stand, has spiced things up a little and added a cool factor to the concept of the light stand. The new LumoPro LP605M doubles as a light stand and a video/photo monopod, which is kind of cool :).
In the recent years, LumoPro came up with some very good multi-purpose lighting accessories. Whether it's the LumoPro Multi-Mount Beauty Dish or the LumoPro LightSwitch 5-in-1 speedlight case, it is clear that the LumoPro folks have a thing for multi-functional gear :). The LumoPro LP605M Convertible Light Stand and Monopod continues the tradition.
Similarly to the LumoPro Ultra Compact Background Light Stand that we reviewed a while ago, the new LP605M has an aluminum construction, well-sized knobs, lightweight design, and ground spikes. The LumoPro Convertible Light Stand and Monopod is not designed to be used with large studio strobes, and the maximum weight it can support is 5 lbs / 2.27 kg, which is more than enough for use with speedlights. Because of its low weight (3.6 lbs / 1.6 kg), LP605M is great for location photoshoots. The ground spikes are extremely effective when you place the light stand on grass or even sand.
Despite its compact design, the LumoPro LP605M height can be adjusted from about 2 feet (60 cm) to 7.5 feet, which is quite an impressive range, suitable for many flash photography applications.
Now, let's go back to the LumoPro's cool factor. The LP605M light stand features a fluid monopod base: 3 retractable feet and a fluid chamber with a ballhead. Combined with included adapter for mounting a camera, the base allows you to convert your LumoPro LP605M light stand into a monopod when you need to provide support to your camera rather than to your speedlight.
Monopods are helpful when you want to stabilize your camera to use lower shutter speeds and eliminate the camera shake during video recordings. The more expensive monopods have short feet that let you do very smooth panning during video shoots and achieve better panning effects in still photos.
In our tests, the LumoPro LP605M performed well as a monopod. The fluid chamber action was quite smooth. The metal feet are equipped with rubber pads, that delivered good grip on various test surfaces. Each monopod foot features a spring loaded locking mechanism, which we found to be easy-to-use: the feet stay in place when in use and fold away quickly when not needed.
The ballhead allows you to tilt the monopod in any direction. You can limit the tilt angle by rotating the twist lock, which, at the lowest position, completely prevents any tilt and keeps the monopod vertical.
The camera mounting adapter is designed similarly to standard monopod and tripod disc. So, you can use any monopod head you already own or attach a camera directly to the adapter.
Because the LumoPro LP605M extends up to 7.5 feet (2.3 meters) high, it works great for people of any height ;).
While the LumoPro LP605M works great as a monopod, it is missing some features that you can find on some high-end monopods, like the ones made by Manfrotto or Gitzo. First of all, it's heavier than a typical monopod. It is also missing a soft grip on the top section. The most important difference, however, is that the LumoPro Light Stand and Monopod uses locking collars, like most light stands. So, you have to use the knobs to adjust the height of LP605M, whereas conventional monopods use different types of quick-release locks.
That being said, typical monopods with fluid bases start from about $150 (USD) or so. The LumoPro LP605M will only cost you around $80 (USD). This definitely looks like a good deal to us, because a similarly designed LumoPro light stand without any monopod features is priced at $50 (USD).
Additionally, thanks to its dual function, LumoPro Light Stand and Monopod can save you some space and reduce bulk when traveling: instead of two pieces of gear you only need to carry one.
To conclude, LumoPro Convertible Light Stand and Monopod is a very interesting hybrid product. Being a compact light stand for smaller lights, like speedlights, it is also a very functional video/photo monopod. It is cost-effective and performs really well in various scenarios as a light stand and as a monopod. If you are a heavy monopod user, LumoPro LP605M probably won't be your first choice. However, if you want to travel light or simply want to save money, LumoPro Convertible Light Stand and Monopod will not disappoint. Our favorite features are the ground spikes, the height range, and, of course, the ability to transform into a monopod. We have no problem recommending it to anyone who needs a high quality light stand and occasionally requires a monopod. For the latest price, please check below.
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