Inspired Photo Gear, the guys behind the lightweight and cute-looking Lollipod, have launched a similarly lightweight and easy-to-erect lighting stand and two tripods that can also be extended in a flash. The Faith lighting stands use the same 'pull to erect' system that the Lollipods do, but are a little more versatile than their smaller siblings, which can also be used to mount flashes. The Faith stands have an integrated umbrella holder, a cold shoe, and a concealed spike should the ground be on the soft side.
If you need to stabilise it, there's a pocket in the case bag. Just add water and it should keep things steady.
The Faith lighting stand weighs 540g, can hold up to 2.5 kg, has a maximum height 180cm, but folds down to 41.5cm for carrying purposes. It'll cost you £50, which is US$83, €61, or AU$96, and can be ordered from the Inspired Photo Gear online shop.
When it comes to tripods, there are two models on offer: smaller at £150 and bigger at £250. Either can both be erected in under six seconds, so I'm told, owing to their Flash Lock mechanism: pull the leg out fully and it will activate the auto lock function. It should take just 0.6 seconds to extend each leg and around 5 seconds to setup the entire tripod.
There's even a demonstration video to show just how fast you can erect one:
The larger tripod has a maximum height of 148cm and folds down to 39.5cm; it can support upto 30kg, and weighs 1.55kg. The smaller tripod also extends to 148cm but folds down to a more compact 33cm, weighs a slightly lighter 1.05kg, and consequently is capable of supporting 20kg. I'm not sure that the extra 10kg is worth the £100 difference in price, especially when the smaller tripod is more compact and lighter, too!
These, too, are available from the Inspired Photo Gear online shop.