Lightech Big Nano 250 review

Will this compact light stand have what it takes to withstand location photographers' demands?

It is no secret that for either the one-man-army location shooter or the traveling photographer, carrying big stands is just a PITA — even if you have assistants you could from time to time think about their battered spines! So some grip gear that’s sturdy, packs small and is lightweight becomes a must.

So the prison master— ergh! I mean… the oh-so-lovely editor allowed us to play outside the catacombs— I mean, the LR office with Lightech’s small stand and boom arm (you wouldn’t believe how Timmy the intern was madly giggling thinking that he was going to see the sun again…)

Lightech, for those who don’t know them, is a new brand of gear based in Italy. They are specialized in gear for photographers who shoot without the comfort of a studio. Their product range goes from feather weight octas and softboxes that pack really small (a 180 cm octa that packs with rods and everything in a 37 x 10 cm bag: review is coming) to grip gear designed for those who do lots of location shooting.

You can read the review of Lightech Full Boom 450 here.

This oxymoronically-named light stand has a max height of 2.5 meters (8.2 feet for you people in the USA), weighs 1.5 kilograms (3.3 pounds) and when folded down to storage mode it is only 55 cm (1.8 foot) in length. It comes with a really nice transporting bag. What’s clever about its design is that upper tube can be dismounted for storage and its feet fold inwards to make it really tiny when it is ready to be stored.

One thing you have to keep in mind is that the Big Nano, like the Full Boom, is designed to support small location heads (Elinchrom Quadra/Ranger, Jinbei DC600/FL 500 II, Profoto and Hensel Porty, etc.) or speedlites with lightweight modifiers (like the ones Lightech sells) and not monolights with heavy accessories.

Quality-wise, it is really nice: most of the parts are metal and some parts are plastic, but thick, sturdy plastic. No loose parts, no rattling noises, solid feel overall, all the movable parts operate smoothly and work well.

“A lot of blah, blah, blah in here Eduardo!” OK, OK… here are some photos:

*In advance I apologize for the bits of hair in the photos: I have a bunny and it is shedding its winter fur like there’s no tomorrow. It is almost impossible to keep it away from the stuff even if I clean it…

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As you can see, folded down it isn’t that much of a bulge
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Since the only removable part is the upper tube you have to mount it and dismount it each time you use it, but it is really easy and not complicated at all.
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At first I was a bit sceptical about how solid this would be, but it is solid and doesn’t wobble.

If you get a spare spigot/stud you can use the Big Nano without the extension tube and with its legs flat-out on the ground as a background stand. (Psst, Lightech: include an extra stud for this added functionality and your customers will be thankful! 😉 ).

The diameter of the legs is pretty neat as it is designed to be used with their CL180 octabox too. Although since I know some people will try if I don’t say it: don’t use this light stand with heavy modifiers, it isn’t designed for this use.

It has an adjustable lazy leg in case you need to level everything out in uneven terrain too.

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As you can see in the photo, all the feet come with rubber protection to avoid damaging the flooring (like wood floors, which are damned delicate).

“Well, and what do you think Eduardo?”

I’m thinking of Chimichangas a lot lately, they are delicious and… OH! you mean about the BN250? Sorry… Well to tell you the truth I really like it — and I have seen my fair share of stands. The solid design and how small it packs makes it for a good alternative for those going on location, for those who don’t have enough space to store big stands, or  people who use speedlites.

This isn’t your average no-name stand, it is pretty solid and I would recommend it without doubt. There’s one warning though (and many will complain about it in the comment section): its price of 119,83 € plus VAT. But these products are for a niche market. Those who want  something well-manufactured, sturdy and that packs so small…  Is it quality vs price the issue? The Big Nano 250 is quality all around and it is aimed at the pro rather than the consumer (although if you cut silly expenses like as an example drinking 5 €/$ coffee every day of the week, each month of the year then you can surely afford this).

For further information, visit www.lightech-photography.com.

Eduardo Frances
Based in Spain, Eduardo Frances is a professional photographer specialized in portrait, fashion and advertising photography. You can check out his work in his website: www.eduardofrances.com
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