I have spent the last few months reviewing a ton of flash gear. My goal was to find the best set up for a new photographer.
This Savage light stand is one of the first pieces I got and it is awesome. It is still part of our Recommended Gear. I have used it with almost all the flash gear I have tested and I have been thoroughly impressed. Before I got the stand, I was using an old tripod and it was very limiting. The light stand is so much easier to use and allows you to get the light up high for flattering portraits.
It is very easy to use and is very sturdy. It pops right up (most of the time!) so you don’t have to fiddle with the legs at all and the only adjustments you need to make involve the height. This is very convenient because it makes it fast to extend. It is also really quick and easy to turn the knobs that tighten the column so it is really simple to get the height you want.
If you are a beginner, you want to make sure you have some kind of flash bracket depending on what kind of modifier you plan to use. If you are just getting started and working with a budget, I would recommend a cheap white umbrella. In that case, you just need a simple umbrella bracket. I used this cheap flash bracket and it attached really easily to the stand and was easy to use with the umbrella.
The only real limitation with this stand is the inability to get the light low to the ground, but I imagine the occasions where you would need that are rare. The only other downfall I encountered was the stand was not particularly compact, but since I don’t see myself needing to hike with a light stand, it should not really be an issue. I have other light stands that are smaller and more compact, which is nice unless you are in the wind or using a larger modifier.
If you are getting into flash photography, I think a light stand will really make your life easier. It was so much better to be able to throw the speed light on a light stand instead of using a tripod or otherwise trying to get the speed light where it needs to be. The light stand is a little bit of an investment at around $85 on Amazon, but it is well worth it given how easy it will make using your flash off camera.