C-Stands - What can they be used for?

Whilst C-Stands are predominately designed to be used as stands for heavy lighting and modifiers, they offer a wide range of different uses. In this Blog Post, we look into what C-Stands are and how C-Stands can be adapted to become a versatile piece of equipment for your studio.

What are ‘C-Stands’?

C-stands or Century Stands are widely used by both photographers and movie makers alike due to their robust and sturdy build quality. They are also capable of holding heavy equipment such as large light banks, and strobes with large or heavy modifiers due to the solid stainless-steel metal construction. Due to the C-Stands build quality and weight you rarely need to use counter weights as they provide a stable platform for the majority of light setups, with many different mounting options available.

50" C-Stand With Detachable Turtle Base Grip & Arm Set-Matte Black

Light Stand

The best place to start would be as a standard lighting stand. C-Stands are suitable for combinations of heavier lighting and modifiers due to the larger maximum load capacity and stronger build quality compared to standard light stands. Most C-Stands will come with a 5/8” Spigot/Stud on the top, which is the most common size on the market, allowing them to be used with most modern lighting units. C-Stands will also come with wider height extension compared to standard light stands, making them a more versatile option for your lighting. These are ideally suited for permanent studio use, due to the heavier weight of the C-Stand which may be difficult to transport and carry between locations without the use of a suitable carry case.

Heavy Duty Portable Foldable Nanople Nano Plus Light Stand (220cm)

Boom Stand

One way you can adapt a C-Stand is by adding a compatible Boom Arm & creating a boom stand. Boom stands are perfect if you wish to expand your lighting options and allow you to light your subjects from angles not possible using a stand alone. Due to the heavy-duty design of the C-Stand, this helps to create a more secure Boom Stand set-up compared to a standard boom stand or adapted light stand and boom arm combination.

Heavy Duty Compact 2-In-1 Reclined Combi Boom Stand

Background Stand (Large)

There are also ways to use C-Stands in your studio that don’t include attaching a lighting unit. For instance, C-Stands are a suitable option if you want to create a strong background stand. What you are able to do is use two C-Stands and then attach a Crossbar between then to allow you to hold a background up during your shoots. By using two C-Stands, this allows you to change out the crossbar being used to offer a selection of different lengths to suit your background requirements. The stronger design of the C-Stands also allows you to use heavy and larger backgrounds without the worry of the stands collapsing under the weight.

Studio Telescopic Background Stand (2.8x3.0m)

Background Stand (Small)

For smaller and lighter backgrounds, you are also able to use a C-Stand for this. What you could do is attach a boom arm onto the top of the C-Stand and use two clamps to attach the background in place. The combination of strong boom arm and C-Stand would hold your light background in place without issue, and the boom arm would give you the freedom to easily adjust the background placement. This would be an ideal set-up for shooting small subjects such as product photography.

Table Top Background Stand

Scrim Attachment

You can also use C-Stands to hold different modifiers in place. For example, you are able to attach a heavy Scrim panel to a C-Stand securely due to the large maximum load capacity without the worry of it moving. By using this set-up in front of a lighting unit, it helps to diffuse the lighting to create more flattering results by reducing shadows and specular highlights.

90x90cm (35.4"X35.4")Foldable Scrim Diffuser With C-Stand

Over-Head Photography

C-Stands are also a useful option to hold a Camera in place. One way this can be used would be to attach a boom arm with a camera bracket to the C-Stand to allow you to achieve Over-Head Photography. This style of photography is ideal for capturing down facing shots, and is predominantly used in shooting products. The durable and hard-wearing design of the C-Stand offers added security compared to using a standard light stand, to make sure that your Camera is safe during the shoot.

Overhead Camera Set Up With C Stand & Camera Platform Bracket

Prop Attachment

You could even use a C-Stand with the subject of the shoot. By attaching a boom arm to the C-Stand, this would allow you to mount a selection of different items for your shoots. For example, this could be used in Product Photography as a stand to help display clothing that is being sold through online stores to give the viewer a better idea of the product.

1.5x2m Blue/Grey Collapsible Background, Stand & Clamp Kit


C-Stands offer a wide range of different uses, from supporting lighting units to holding backgrounds in place to even mounting cameras. So, having a C-Stand in your studio is highly recommend due to its versatility, allowing you to create a professional studio set-up. To view our range of different C-Stands, please click here.