LumoPro 606 Light Stand & 633 Umbrella Swivel

Concept: 2 out of 5 (Nothing original about light stands)
Execution: 3 out of 5
Yeah, but: Affordable Quality is rare but it DOES exist

The Long Version: Less than a year ago my lighting accessories consisted of a rain umbrella modified with a can of white Krylon spray paint and a bunch of microphone stand and boom parts cobbed together.
It worked, but using it was a pain and letting other photographers see my rig was embarrassing.
The stand was too short, didn't collapse into an easily-transported size, and liked to tip over if someone breathed heavily.

For yours truly's birthday my girlfriend dug out her credit card and told me to call up the pertinent web pages for what I wanted.
I clicked twice on the Midwest Photo Exchange (MPEX) banner atop The Strobist blog and within a few minutes my new toys were on the way.

My choice of light stand was the LP606, an economy model 8' air-cushioned 4-section stand that retails for around $30.
Impact also makes an 8' stand in the same price range, but the air-cushioned feature of the LumoPro appealed to me.
I even asked about both in a discussion thread at the Strobist Flickr Group, and while Impact took an early lead the LP soon prevailed.
Interestingly, Moishe (the head guy at MPEX) even left his thoughts, which tipped the scales both for brand and supplier.
When you go the extra mile to help educate your potential customers (and those of your competition!) I notice and appreciate the great service.
MPEX didn't disappoint--it was a painless order with full tracking of the shipment and sturdy packaging.

I like the wide spread of the legs for stability, and the reversed middle locking collar (2nd photo) is a nice touch that keeps everything from being jammed together in finger-confusion, so setup is easier.
The air-cushioned feature is great--if you forget to tighten a segment, your flash won't come sliding down to end with a jolt. In fact, it takes a few seconds to fully collapse the stand as you fight the air pressure.

The LP622 umbrella swivel/flash mount is better than many I have seen, and is also worth the $18 charged.
Very solid construction.
There are a few on the market that are more compact, to get the flash head an extra half-inch closer to the centerline of the umbrella, but they are hard to find.
I like how the cold-shoe has a big groove under the flash's foot, which eliminates the chance of a short-circuit or the need for tape as an insulator.
It holds my flash tightly.
The big swivel knob has both a spring and large detents on the mating surfaces, so it only takes half a turn to loosen it enough to adjust the angle, yet if you forget to tighten the knob again it will usually hold position.
Nice touch!

I haven't owned or even played with any other brands of light stand or umbrella swivel, but I have read many complaints about some of them and their various features as well as looked at pictures of them from all possible angles.
As someone who understands form and function and construction in mechanical devices I feel like I got exceptional equipment for the price.

My photographic style dictates travelling light and compact on the rare occasions that I take flash equipment out of the house, and both of these LumoPro products fit my needs perfectly.
On the other hand, a busy professional's preferences might lean towards extreme durability and size. There are certainly stands that fit their needs but at prices I'll never be able to justify.

This stuff does the job for little money, and I have really enjoyed using them.
Thumbs-Up! to LumoPro and Midwest Photo Exchange.


  1. I was about to buy a Lumopro LP604 Stand but after reading your review, I think that I will order a LP606 instead as I don't absolutely need a "nano" lightstand...

    By the way, I was also about to purchase a 43'' collapsible umbrella but it seems that the 45'' (non collapsible) model is more durable.

    You should read this review if you're interested...

    Thank you very much!

  2. Unfortunately, the LP633 (and identical Calumet MF6829) have taken a turn for the worst. The current versions boast a feature which tilts the umbrella shaft up 10-degrees so that a flash points into the center of the umbrella (a great concept which MPEX specifies on their site but which Calumet email support has yet to realize they have - even though this model is in at least one Calumet store).

    However the hole for the shaft is no longer cylindrical but is tapered. As a result, when tightened down, the umbrella shaft points to the side rather than straight ahead. So much for the attempt to center the flash pattern within the umbrella...

    The new models are identified by the triangular groove running the length of the umbrella shaft hole on the side opposite the thumbscrew. The product photos on either site show the old design with the cylindrical and groove-less hole.

    I returned all of the LP633s I ordered and after the first three I checked at Calumet proved similarly bad, I stopped looking.

    It's a shame because these are otherwise well designed units with their metal construction and great hot-shoe clamp.

  3. I really don't quite understand the quote:
    "However the hole for the shaft is no longer cylindrical but is tapered. As a result, when tightened down, the umbrella shaft points to the side rather than straight ahead. So much for the attempt to center the flash pattern within the umbrella..."

    I bought 3 of these stands recently and am very surprised and pleased with the build quality.
    The work as intended and look to last a very long time.
    I also like how the LumoPro LP633 Umbrella Swivel w/ Flash Shoe Adapter states that they are designed to accomodate both the Nikon SB600 and the larger Nikon SB900. I believe these flash shoe adapter could handle any strobe. The strobe can slide in either direction and locks down firmly.



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