Every once in a while something comes along that makes you wonder why no one has ever thought of it before. The Frio is one if these items. The Frio is an elegant answer to an age old problem of how to mount your speedlight on a light stand, umbrella bracket, or any other device that would use a traditional cold shoe mount. The Frio is made by the same folks that make the very successful “Orbis Ring Flash Adapter” (http://www.orbisflash.com/) which is very popular among the “strobist” community.
The Frio is made from sturdy plastic and will hold your speedlight flash securely with its locking mechanism.
The Frio has a metal threaded stud for attachment to your 1/4 – 20 mounting points and will replace your standard bent metal or milled aluminum cold shoe. Those familiar with the typical aluminum cold shoes included with most umbrella brackets will applaud the simplicity of the Frio. No more masking off the cold shoe to protect the electrical contacts of your speed light, no more lost lock down screws, and no more frustrations. Just attach the Frio to your 1/4 – 20 threaded stud and you’re ready to go. Your speedlight flash just slips on and gets locked in place on three sides by the Frio’s fixed locking points and it gets locked in place on the 4th side by the flexible plastic release point. Ready to remove the Speedlight? No problem, just depress the release point and slide off your speedlight.
I tested the Frio using a standard umbrella bracket and a Sunpak 383 manual flash. Mounting the Frio was effortless. It screwed onto the umbrella bracket’s brass stud with no problems. The shape of the Frio made it very easy to get enough torque so the Frio was tight. I hand tightened the Frio and it did not come lose during the entire testing session. At first I mounted the Frio with the long end toward the back of the bracket. This worked for me but the elongated tab of the Frio overhung the screw knob of the bracket making it rather difficult to access. So, I just turned the Frio around so the longer end faced forward. This solved the accessibility issue. The flash still mounted with little to no effort in this configuration, although it did seem a bit odd at first sliding the speedlight on this way. I tested the Frio at several angles including facing straight down. If it was going to drop the speedlight, it was most likely going to happen when facing straight down, but the Frio had no problem holding the speedlight securely. I should note that although the Frio held the speedlight securely, it did have a little bit of play which makes the fit seem a bit wobbly but there was no way my speedlight was going to fall out of the Frio. To tighten things up a bit I just used the speedlight’s lock down ring and the wobble went away. The Frio is available at B&H Photo for about $14 USD. I’m very happy with the way the Frio performed during my testing. I’m even happier I don’t have to worry about electrical tape or losing locking screws anymore. If you want more info on the Frio you can find it here (http://www.friocoldshoe.com/) or you can check out some more photos in the forum at this thread