Review: Savage Created a Swiss Army Knife C-Stand

Savage C Stand thumbnail

Savage as a company is well known for making high-quality seamless paper and backgrounds for photography and video production. I have been using their use their white seamless paper for years, and I love them. They have been branching out as of late and a new product is an innovative C-Stand.

The C-Stand with grip arm has been around for over 40-years and is one of the most used production grip tools for lighting in the industry. They are solid and designed to be sandbagged for safety. I have several and use them all the time.

Over the years, some improvements have been made, like the removable base (turtle base) and an adjustable leg (Rocky Mountain leg) for uneven surfaces, but Savage took the idea of upgrading the C-Stand to a whole new level. The question is, are these added features good ones?

1 chrome c stand grip arm kit

Savage C-Stand With Grip Arm Kit

What’s Included

  • Removable stainless steel turtle base
  • Stainless steel double riser – 40″ (102cm) and 20″ (51cm) sizes available
  • 20” (51cm) Stainless steel riser
  • Junior to baby pin
  • 40” (102cm) Stainless steel grip arm with 1/4 20″ on each end of the arm
  • Aluminum gobo head
  • Aluminum gobo clamp
  • Removable hanging hook

These risers are heavy-duty stainless steel that can support up to a 25 lb. (11.33kg) load. This is approximately three more pounds than most C-Stands payloads. For example, the Matthews C+Stand 40″ Turtle Base max payload is 22 lb / 9.98 kg. Each section is spring-loaded to prevent a hard slam if you accidentally slip unlocking a section.

Compared to a Matthews Hollywood Century C Stand 10.5′ C-Stand that weighs 17 lb / 7.7 kg. The Savage is much heavier at 24 lb / 10.89 kg. Much of the extra weight comes from all the accessories it includes that are not with the Matthews. Weight is always a concern if you have several stands, and the Savage C-Stand kit can be broken down to manage the overall weight; However, that somewhat defeated the purpose.

The good thing is you have options with the Savage C-Stand out of the box and don’t have to build a solution. With some research, you could come close to adding some of the features, but the cost goes up a lot.

Gobo Clamp Combo

Savage C Stand Grip head calmp

Sure, a standard grip head is essential, but you probably already have a crate full of them. This cool combo is super handy. The Gobo Clamp combo puts two pieces of hardware I use a lot together in one piece.
I was very pleased to see it can clamp down on smaller rods like the Mattews Grip Road Rags and blade frames.

You can use the clamp for popup reflectors or securing foam core for a bounce—lots of great uses for the combo.

The 4″ locking knobs on the clamp and grip arm are nice and big and the other knobs are 2.5″.

Savage C Stand clamp on tube LED

Another good use for the clamp is mounting tube LED lights. These can be tricky to work with if they don’t come with a mounting system. The clamp opens up to a little under 2″, so Speed Rail can also be used with the clamp.

Rocky Mountain Leg Riser

The mounting point on the leg is a good one. Not only does it give you the extension for uneven surfaces like stairs, or put the main riser on the leg to push up into a tight corner.

You can also add a light to it with the included junior to baby pin accessory. The receiver on the leg riser is a standard junior receiver making it compatible with other junior pin grips.

Putting a diffusion frame on the leg or main riser can be a simple one stand setup. Need to go higher? Pick up a Light Stand Extension Pole, and you can add another light that goes much higher.

XT 3 retail kit 2

With a couple of sandbags on the leg, I easily attached a diffusion Road Rag 2.5 feet from the front of the fixture.
UI took the arm and attached it to the leg riser and pin. Very nice and clean with only one stand.
This is great since it’s fast and takes up less space.
The downside could be you won’t be able to extend the arm much farther away without potentially getting a little off balance. More sandbags, please!
This setup can be reversed to bounce the light from below by reversing the diffusion and fixtures position.

Savage C Stand 2 light setup

Flip Out Hanger

This is a small and handy piece of kit. The hanger must have been made for Aputure lights with the controller on a leash. It’s nice to position the controller exactly where you want it instead of hanging off a lockdown knob. It also keeps the lockdowns clear so you can adjust the height and not take the leash off. Of course, you can hang extra stinger cables off the hook to keep the ground nice and tidy.

Final Thoughts

Savage C Stand Grip head calmp road rag

The Savage Stainless Steel C-Stand with Grip Arm Kit is a well-made and versatile stand that adds functionality like no single stand I have used before. The only downside is it’s heavy and probably won’t stack correctly on a standing rack as its size, and added extras don’t break down like a typical c-stand. It would be a bad idea to strip it down as the speed and fast access is one of the big features.

A first for me to see on a C-Stand is a foam pad. I’m 50/50 on it as it does block the hanger from going up the riser if you prefer to have it higher. As far as grabbing it the golden rule is to grab the grip head arm and the stand as one to prevent your fingers from getting squished in between.

In a studio setting having a few would be a great idea. It will be part of my setups, replacing one existing c-stand and single light stand in the mix.
At $232.99 for the 9.5′ and $196.99 for the 5.3′ model, I think you are getting a nice setup for a fair price. The kit also comes in chrome black.
The Gobo Clamp is also available separately for $27.99.

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