Customer Reviews: The Frio Frio Universal Locking Cold Shoe V2 - with 1/4-20 and 3/8 Threads
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on August 31, 2013
Seems like a nice product. I worry a bit about having too much weight hanging on it, but the mounting threads seem secure and the extra snap-in gives some additional piece of mind. My main beef with it is that it will not work with my 600 EX-RT flashes because of the rubber weather-sealing flange on those units. I am still keeping this however, as it works well with my Olympus and Yonguo flash units.
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on May 21, 2014
Despite the fact that I was disappointed with cold shoe solutions from every vendor, including Stroboframe and Manfrotto, I was hesitant to pull the trigger on the Frio. Why? One, the price. I was willing to give Manfrotto $10 for their version, which is worthless for Nikon speedlights because it doesn't have a hole for the locking pin. Never mind the fact that drilling such a hole is easy. I simply refuse to pay $10 for a $.02 piece of plastic and then have to modify it so it serves its original purpose. Is it too much to ask of Manfrotto to drill a tiny hole in the thing? Are they not familiar with a small company called Nikon and the way they've been designing their flashes for decades? And I won't even get into the $65 Manfrotto spring clamp with micro ball head that has the same pinhole-absent flaw.

But I digress. The other reason I hesitated on the Frio was my perception of the size. For some reason the picture made me think this thing was relatively huge and would be sticking out by inches on all sides of my stands and mounts.

Finally, I actually read the dimensions in the product description and realized, "Hey, this thing's tiny!" So I ordered one and was delighted by it. It's a solid material, whatever it is (plastic, nylon), the metal threading works fine, the included bushing is great, but most importantly, it has a pin for my Nikon speedlights, and the secondary locking mechanism.

With any other of the many mounting options I have, I'm always worried about the flash falling off the shoe. With the Frio, I have no concerns about putting my SB-910 upside down on a boom 15' in the air.
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on June 5, 2014
It's blue. I am not taking any stars off for this though as i knew it was. Just wish there was a different color option. I prefer this type of stuff black. But that just me. I just painted it black and it's all good. I recommend this product. I love this type innovation.
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on November 12, 2013
I've tried a few cold shoes for remote flash use and so far, I like these the most. Here's why I think they're better than other options:

1 - They LOCK. This feature already narrows down the competition significantly. The lock is secure and is easy to manipulate once you get used to it.

2 - One single piece. No thumb screws to lose. The threads are a separate molded-in piece of metal, but it's not coming out. The only thing you might possibly lose is the indcluded 3/8" to 1/4" adapter. Hopefully you don't mix light stands or umblrella adapters of different thread sizes. As long as you stick with one size, you won't have to worry about this.

3 - Plastic doesn't conduct electricity. Simple, no shorting the terminals on your flash and no need for tape. Other locking cold shoes are metal and could potentially short your terminals. Shorting won't cause damage but it will cause your flashes to not work correctly.

4 - Saved my SB-900 from a broken foot. This ties in with the previous point about it's plastic constrution. I had an expensive flash on a stand with an umbrella outdoors. Despite the use of a sand bag on the stand, a strong gust of wind sent the light stand to the ground. The Frio shoe broke around the metal foot of my flash in the fall. Granted, I could no longer use the shoe (I had a spare) but I'd rather replace a cheap cold shoe than an expensive flash. Other clamping style cold shoes may have broken or otherwise damaged my flash.

Other reviews say this can't fit the top Canon flash so, be aware of that prior to purchase. My SB-900 uses a slightly larger foot than other Nikon flashes but it still fits the Frio just fine.

The only thing on my wishlist is that they make a multi-flash version. A centrally positioned thread with a Frio on each side, horizontally opposed, would be great for umbrellas. Enlight, if you're listening, I promise I'll buy one!
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on January 17, 2014
In concept, I liked the design of the Frio Cold Shoe v2 adapter. It is made of strong plastic and has a nice smooth finish. It is compatible with both 1/4"-20 and 3/8"-16 stands or connectors. The metal threads are well-integrated into the Frio.

The design prevents the flash from sliding out inadvertently. Overall, it looks like a great, well-thought out design. However, I wouldn't have been able to mount my flash without putting pressure on the electrical contacts of my Canon Speedlite 580EX II. I also thought the mechanism to remove the flash was difficult to press, but that might not be a problem for other stronger people so please take this with a grain of salt.

So although I really liked the design and quality, I returned it. If they modify the design to address my issues, I'd gladly purchase the new version. Although it costs more than the competition, if it were compatible with my flash, it would be worth every penny.

If you think this was a user error, feel free to add a comment on a method to install the Frio without pressing against the contacts on a Canon Speedlite 580EX II. Or perhaps it doesn't really matter. I will gladly update this review to set the record straight.

- Great design (except for difficulty pressing lock)
- Nice smooth finish
- Strong plastic with tightly embedded metal threads
- Compatible with both 1/4"-20 and 3/8"-16 stands
- Good price for what you get

- Not compatible with my flash
- A bit too difficult (for me) to depress the locking mechanism
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on November 10, 2013
Let's admit it, I'm writing a review for a cold shoe. Doesn't get more boring than that, but wait a minute, this thing is pretty amazing! I bought this because I wanted something sturdy to attach my Canon Speedlite to a light stand and connect a Pocket Wizard. Here's what I liked about this cold shoe.

It's a heavy plastic. Built to last. Small form factor. Because it's plastic, you're not going to have any electrical interference issues. I know, that's technically the definition of a cold shoe, but there are other cold shoes that I've had problems with in the past.

The flash slides easily onto the cold shoe. The gap where the flash slides into the coldshoe is not too tight and this is great because it locks into place from behind the flash through a clever, yet simple tab design. To release the flash, you can quickly depress the tab and slide the flash off the coldshoe. What I like about this is the fact that day in, day out there is a lot of pressure being placed on the Speedlite mount. It's easy to damage the flash mount and this coldshoe is very well designed and simply works perfectly and easily without putting unnecessary pressure on your flash mount.

It comes with 2 threads (1/4-20 standard tripod, light stand thread and a 3/8 thread) If you want the larger 3/8, you simply take a screwdriver or coin, such as a dime and unscrew the 1/4-20 from the inside of the 3/8. Just don't lose it!

Now that I've actually had one in my hands and have used it, I'm very impressed and will be adding a handful of these to my lighting kit.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon January 10, 2015
I've used plenty of coldshoes for Speedlights -- between the plastic "feet" included with many, to the stroboframe, to those included on radio receivers (RF-602) to those included on light modifier brackets.

So far, the frio has felt the most secure to use, and best designed, despite a couple small gripes.

First, some positives: Very compact, very sturdy, plenty of locking mechanisms (the "snap-in", the lock down feature with the flashes pin and the plastic covering the top portion of the flash hotshoe). Metal 1/4" and 3/8" threading on the bottom.

Overall, very good -- the only couple gripes: Price -- it's expensive for what it is, especially when you see how basic it seems (adds up if buying multiple). The color: It's only available in this weird blue color.. why not black? Lastly, I hear some of the Canon flashes that use rubber weather sealing around the connector won't fit (those speedlights that use the twist-down locking mechanism will work)

Comparing to some others:

Stroboframe was the scariest I used -- a very small piece of metal that holds the speedlight only by the metal shoe -- it always seemed way off balance and like it was just going to snap the flash if I made any sudden movements with it. Price was also high.

"Feet" included with speedlights - Prior to these, the feet were my favorite. They're cheap (usually included free), have a lock-down mechanism and are very compact (plus they can sit on the floor without the need for a stand). These were a bit hit or miss as some used plastic threading and some used metal. Never had an issue though.

Radio receivers - These are nice in that they're multi-function.. they'll typically work as a radio receiver, a flash mount and "feet" if needing to stand a flash on the ground. These are typically not much more than the frio, but a bit overkill if only using it for a flash coldshoe.

Coldshoes included with modifiers -- Some modifiers, such as the EzyBox softbox, include a special coldshoe required to mount the speedlight. These, I'm not a fan of due to them trying to accomodate all flashes and typically not working great with any -- these use friction to hold the flash in but I've had a flash drop out of these before.

Overall, it's a bit pricey, it's not the nicest looking, but in the end.. it's worked the best and I'd buy a few more.
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on May 7, 2015
I really do love these things. They are plastic, and a bit pricey, but I never have to worry about my flash working itself loose from the clip. I started out with 1 of these to try, and now I have 4. Occasionally it can take a few seconds to un-mount the flash from the clip, but that doesn't bother me as that tells me once it's mounted, it's there to stay.
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on May 20, 2014
Having used almost exclusively the metal Stroboframe shoes as well as the Manfrotto shoes for many years, this is by far the most secure shoe you will ever own. Not only do you secure with your Nikon SB series speedlights locking pin, but you have the aditional flange on the Frio that once the speedlight slides on there is no way to take it off without depressing the elevated flange on the Frio. Excellent design with 1/4 and 3/8 thread metal mounting flanges so no matter what light stand or even tripod you may be using you WILL get a secure fit. Lightweight, very functional and very secure especially now with strobes being used more and more in the field. Own it!
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on November 6, 2014
It works as advertised.

What keeps it from being five stars? First off, it should be black.

Second, I'd like it to be metal, with a plastic insert below the flash pins to keep them from shorting out on the metal. But all the rest of it metal, metal, metal. I'm really not sure that this is going to be strong enough to use long term, particularly where the metal threads attach to the plastic (opposite side from the shoe). Oh we'll. We'll see how it goes.
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