Frio cold shoe (hot shoe adapter) review

Mar 28 2011
Buy from Amazon.com
Frio Cold Shoe Mount for Tripods

Frio cold shoe is one of the best solutions out there for mounting your hot shoe flash off camera. It offers both, performance and style. It features dual lock for secure attachment of your gear, and it is more visually appealing than a regular hot shoe adapter.

Unlike most of other cold shoe mounts, Frio is made out of very durable plastic instead of metal. Combined with round edges, it is more "gear bag friendly" than the competing products. (You can throw it in places where you wouldn't put other hot shoe adapters because of their relatively sharp metal edges that can potentially damage your equipment.)

Please note, the thread that attaches Frio to a tripod or light stand, is metal, so wear and tear is not a real problem here.

Frio cold shoe (hot shoe adapter): relative to a palm, with the factory label Frio cold shoe (hot shoe adapter): compared to regular hot shoe adapters
Frio cold shoe (hot shoe adapter): close up view, front loop, snap lock Frio cold shoe (hot shoe adapter): metal thread to connect to a tripod or light stand

Thanks to the screwless design of Frio hot shoe adapter, attaching a flash to it is a breeze: just slide your flash in until you hear a click and lock it the way you do it in your camera's hot shoe. The Frio's snap-lock provides quite significant level of security, but we still recommend always locking the flash using its own locking mechanism like, for example, the lever lock of Canon 580EX II. To take your flash off, release its own lock and then push down the snap-lock to pull the flash out – quick and easy.

As a little bonus, Frio features a loop on the front side that can be used to put it on a lanyard, for example, or even for attaching radio triggers.

While Frio cold shoe mount works with virtually any flash, it may perform a bit differently depending on the design of a particular flash.

For example, Frio works flawlessly with Nikon flashes like Speedlight SB-600, Speedlight SB-900, etc. In the following images, you can see Nikon SB-900 mounted onto a tripod.

Frio cold shoe (hot shoe adapter): Nikon Speedlight SB-900 mounted on a tripod Frio cold shoe (hot shoe adapter): close up of Nikon Speedlight SB-900 mounted on a tripod

With Canon Speedlite 580EX II, however, we felt that the amount of force that is required to lock the flash in place is kind of on the uncomfortable side. We had to push the lever lock rather hard to make it go all the way. After you lock it once, the fear of breaking the attachment goes away, and it becomes a non-issue. The images below show 580EX II attached to a Nasty Clamp.

Frio cold shoe (hot shoe adapter): Canon Speedlite 580EX ii mounted onto a Nasty Clamp Frio cold shoe (hot shoe adapter): close up of Canon Speedlite 580EX II mounted onto a Nasty Clamp

Another minor thing we've discovered is that if a flash has a very short foot, the front loop of the Frio adapter may prevent your fingers from reaching the mounting nut, making it more difficult to install the flash (you have to rotate the nut from the back side only). The only flash we have with this kind of problem is LumoPro LP160. The images below show LumoPro LP160 with a regular hot shoe adapter (left) and Frio (right).

Frio cold shoe (hot shoe adapter): LumoPro LP160 mounted with a regular hot shoe adapter Frio cold shoe (hot shoe adapter): LumoPro LP160, front loop prevents from accessing the nut

The above issue is more of a flash design problem rather than Frio's, but other hot shoe adapters may have the edge here.

To conclude, Frio cold shoe mount is a piece of style for your peace of mind. It is a high quality accessory that delivers a quick and secure way to mount your flash on a tripod or light stand, while also offering a unique look that pleases the eye.

If you have any questions or comments, please post them below.





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