Tent Pole Light Stands: More Details

Due to popular demand, Swedish photographer Peter Karlsson has created a more explanatory video on his tent pole light stand. They run about 1 lb. each, and pack very small and flat. They can be a good option for traveling interior/portrait shooters.

Got questions? Peter is answering them in the comments section of his blog post. Oh, and take a moment to look at his portfolio, too. It is all speedlight-driven.

Of his diminutive lights, Peter says, "clients sometimes look a little puzzled about their tinyness," but hey, it gets the job done.



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Blogger Alex said...

Of his diminutive lights, Peter says, "clients sometimes look a little puzzled about their tinyness," but hey, it gets the job done.

Yeah, they do, especially when they hired me out of the idea of "Hey, let's try a new photographer this year".

I often get questions like: "Ehm, when is your stuff arriving?" And I am like: "I have everything I need right here" followed by a small appreciative pat and a quick thanks in my mind to David!

February 24, 2010 12:18 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Alex, I'll take 3. ;-)
Great work on these!!!

February 24, 2010 2:02 PM  
Blogger James said...

Am I the only one that would rather not go through all the trouble to make something so specialized?

Bogen compact stands are really not that hard to cart around.

February 24, 2010 3:53 PM  
Blogger John Sotiriou said...

Where is the video? :(

February 24, 2010 5:59 PM  
Blogger Peter Karlsson said...

On my last shoot, I used five of these stands, and the AD actually seemed somewhat impressed I've built them myself; self made man? Possibly because the stands look a little 1960:s-sci-fi-weird; maybe designers sometimes like strange looking functional stuff. Anyhow, I try to ignore the whole make-a-bold-impression-charade and show interest in their needs/ideas instead.

February 24, 2010 6:25 PM  
Blogger Klaw said...

I have not found a place in US to buy these tent pole size's. Anyone know where I might find them in the USA and not Sweden?

Ken in KY

February 24, 2010 6:39 PM  
Blogger pokerwater said...

I like the simple design. I do have a question, DID you make the umbrella soft boxes, If not who makes those exact ones?
Very nice! I like to see people who use their mind instead of their wallet to accomplish a goal

February 25, 2010 12:56 AM  
Blogger pixelmixture said...

it look like the diffuser is always looking upward with these stands ... am i wrong?

February 25, 2010 2:45 AM  
Blogger Stefan said...

Tamrac acctually now do the same with a camera-tendpole-tripod.


February 25, 2010 3:52 AM  
Blogger Peter Karlsson said...

You Strobist guys took down one full server at our web hotel; sites, mail and FTP for a lot of companies :-) Quite entertaining. It's up again.

@ James,

I'm amused by building or optimizing stuff for certain conditions, it's a hobby; actually, that mentality got me to become a photographer: real shallow focus at something (mentally, that is). Those Bogen work fine of course, and outside even better.

Cheers folks /Peter

February 25, 2010 6:41 AM  
Blogger autodetailer said...

I was just in awe of how the video was shot. Period. And something about tent poles too...

February 25, 2010 7:41 AM  
OpenID damnuglyphotography said...

James said...Am I the only one that would rather not go through all the trouble to make something so specialized?

Nope...you're not! God help me, but trimming a few pounds by swapping these things for the heavier, more useful, more adjustable, smaller footprinted, mass-made lightstands I normally carry just seems bizarre! I'm sure if you carry everything yourself or you have a bad back or you get oof on people wondering just what that contraption you're setting up is or you're just a guy who idolizes Rube Goldberg, these things will give you a chubby, but come on....how much weight and space can you really save? The bottom line is they're just not particularly efficient! It's already been noted that there are certainly a ton of cheap, lightweight conventional stands out there that make more sense than these things.

February 25, 2010 1:03 PM  
Blogger Obscura said...

Klaw, You could always buy a cheap tent at Wal-Mart, use the poles for stands and make a backdrop from the tent fabric. Gotta love a 2-fer.

February 25, 2010 1:29 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

I used to get these at w-mart or target all of the timethey are ment to be cut to fit to replace the ones from any tent out there.

February 26, 2010 6:43 AM  
Blogger AdvRdr said...



February 26, 2010 2:24 PM  
Blogger Gizzmos13 said...

Someone earlier mentioned www.zipshottripod.com from Tamrac. My only complaint is that 1) i wouldn't spend 50$ for it. and 2) i don't trust that the legs won't move and cause the whole thing to collapse.

The ones that Peter makes are much more structurally sound due to their addition of either the cord on the bottom or the center poles. It could be even more so with both a center section and a bottom section of poles to make sure the whole thing won't be moving any time soon.

February 28, 2010 11:04 AM  
Blogger Peter Karlsson said...


I've also had some looks at the Tamrac, and hoped to be able to use them, but they're too flimsy and low (About crotch+ height). Legs slide apart under loads of a small flash and umbrella. But for supporting a compact camera on vacation it seems to be a killer!

A Tamrac weighs about 320 g for flimsy crotch+ height, but also requires an additional holder for flash and umbrella. Mine weighs 440 g for 2 m of sort-of-flimsy-but-working stability; about same weight as Tamracs with fasteners.

March 01, 2010 5:07 AM  
Blogger David said...

It shines through that Peter studied engineering physics before he started to pursue his photography career :)
He had only four exams to go until he was finished.
Funny thing is I study the same thing, have four exams to go and have just started up my photo business....well, think I'm gonna try to finish up my studies first, but it's hard... ;)

March 10, 2010 3:42 AM  

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