Personal Gear Guru – Michael S.

This question was sent to me via our free Personal Gear Guru service by Michael S. asking about booming out a studio strobe. 


Hello!  I recently purchased your 40″ Master C-Stand.  What would be my best option if I wanted to add a boom or arm to attach an Alien Bee with a large Octabox?


I have a few questions for you so I can provide you the best solution for your needs.
  1. How large in diameter is the octabox? 
  2. How far would you like to boom it out from the Master C-Stand itself? Do you just want a few feet so you can shoot directly under it, or do you need more distance between the stand and the octabox?
  3. What will be the total approximate weight of the octabox and Alien Bee combined? 


The Alien Bee is about 3lbs.  The Octabox is 3′ in diameter and weighs about 5-7 lbs.  So about 8-10 lbs of total weight. I would only need to extend it a few feet for portrait work. 
Hey Michael,
Regarding booming of your Alien Bee strobe and Octabox if you only need 3′ of lateral extension, you can get away with a grip arm instead of a boom. This will save you weight, money and the necessity of a counterweight such as a sandbag hanging off the other side of the boom. 
So besides your C-Stand:
You’d need a 2-1/2″ grip head:
Gear Guru - Michael S. - 2-1/2" Grip Head (KG203012)

2-1/2″ Grip Head (KG203012)

We have a new unique grip arm with a hex pin which is perfect for your application. The Arri 1K Fresnel on the end weighs about 10 lbs. 
40" Hex Grip Arm in Action

40″ Hex Grip Arm Supporting a 1K Fresnel (KG203711)

Just make sure you line up one of the legs in line with the grip arm, and that you use a sandbag
15 lb. Sandbag (KG083311) - Gear Guru - Michael S.

15 lb. Sandbag (KG083311)

on the base so it won’t tip over. Also, remember the righty tighty, lefty loosey rule. If the handle of the grip head is facing you, you want to make sure that the load is to the right side of the grip head. This way, as gravity pulls the load down, it will actually tighten the grip head and prevent It form slipping. If you place the load to the left of the grip head, it may loosen up on you as gravity exerts its force. 
Jason – Your Gear Guru
Never Let Go!