C-Stand is short for century stand, which is basically a heavier but more durable type of light stand. The Strobist‘s blog recently posted a detailed explanation of c-stands are why they can be extremely useful.
Compared to normal light stands, c-stands offer more flexibility during shoots. For its base, a single c-stand usually comprises of three horizontally flowed out legs. The Strobist recommends getting the 40-inch 3-section riser, and the same length for the extension arm.
Because a c-stand is heavier and less compact than a standard light stand, transporting this equipment can be challenging. If you’ve got a small vehicle you’ll have to disassemble the c-stand entirely between each use.
While c-stands inherit some disadvantages in mobility, they make up for it during shooting. Using a c-stand with a 40-inch riser and a 40-inch boom allows you to place a strobe 13 feet high above ground. By design, The legs lend themselves to sandbagging, allowing you to use a boom with great stability.
Lastly, c-stands are made to last longer because as David Hobby says, “they are ridiculously, wonderfully overbuilt.” A combination of a 40″ DBL Riser C-Stand BLACK and a LumoPro LP686 40″ Extension Arm BLACK- with 1 grip head will only costs you around $135.[The Strobist]