Just what I was looking for!
I have done photography for years when I was younger and am now getting back into this incredible art form. I wanted a descent yet portable umbrella, reflector and lamp stand for my Speedlite SB600 that was reasonably priced. After reviewing many comments I chose the Adorama Universal Swivel Holder, the SP Studio Systems 6' Lightstand, JTL 33 White Shoot Through Photographic Umbrella, and a Fancier 32" 2-in-1 Circular Collapsible Disc Reflector, Gold/Silver with another stand and holder. But I digress; I'm here to review the Adorama Universal Swivel holder. For the money I couldn't ask for a better hot shoe/ umbrella clamp. Firstly there are several companies that all practically produce the same product; NRG Multi-Mount Bracket, the Westcott Hot Shoe Mount, Photoflex shoe mount, and the Norman Umbrella Stand adapter are essentially the same. I found the Adorama unit to be the best price for the same thing so I chose it.I have heard several reviews that claim the package is put together upside down or that the shoe mount is sloppy or open on both ends or is weak or deficient in some way. Let me put those fears to rest, I did not experience these issues at all. First of all the ferrell that is inside the swivel holder can easily be taken out and flipped over to accommodate mounting on 1/4 or 3/8 threaded tops or onto studs up to 5/8" within seconds, mine was in the correct position for my setup. Second, my SB-600 flash fit snugly into the hot shoe, it was not open at both ends which is great, it was not lose nor did it leave you with the feeling that it was not secure. In addition to the lock screw provided, mine lockdown on my flash unit just as if it were on my camera. One review that I read said to consider placing a piece of black electrical tape on the hot shoe as the contacts appeared to be close to the shoe mount, this made sense to me so I did that and took all of 10 seconds. The umbrella fit fine and this unit gave me much flexibility, that combined with the reflectors made for stunning improvements verses just bouncing the flash off the wall. The fill light and softness was just what I was looking for. The quality of the units seems durable and yet light weight which is what I wanted. Some people will complain that it's not sturdy enough yet they want the light weight like titanium but don't want to pay the price. This is the best unit for the price you can buy in my opinion. I can't wait to get a SB-800 for my other stand and I will for sure be buying another Adorama universal swivel holder when I do. You can be using this product within minutes and turning out great photos. Oh I almost forgot to mention the service was great, I bought the pieces individually so it didn't come with a bag, I have since ordered what appears to be a good bag that will hold two lamp stands, the universal holders, a reflector and it's holder. I'm set and ready to hit the road that is until I see something else I can't live without!
Value for the price
Pretty good umbrella / off-camera flash holder, and a good value for [$]. It is not too heavy, though well-made (most functional parts are metal) and seems sturdy enough for use in the field. My primary complaint is a nuanced one, and it has to do with that word "swivel" in the part name... By providing three openings for attaching to light stands etc. rather than merely two, the clamp achieves the ability to pivot in a second plane at 90 degrees to the first plane. Almost always, more flexibility is good. But the joint itself is limited to a single plane, with maybe 170 degrees of rotation (the two tightening-screw heads are on the same side of the clamp and interfere with a wider swing). Replacing the simple-but-effective finger joint with a universal joint, or supplementing it with a second finger joint at 90 degrees to the first, would justify the use of "swivel" in the name of this clamp. Of course, adding complexity to a simple clamp is not necessarily a formula for sturdiness and long-term usage. On balance the solution implemented may be the best choice, so take my criticism with a grain of salt. The second nit I'll pick concerns the handle for tightening the swivel joint -- it is rigid, fixed, and sticks out at maybe 120 degrees to the primary line of the clamp. This is good for utility but bad for packing. A pivoting handle would be easier to pack, and if done right, suitably sturdy and long-lasting. Finally, the handles for tightening are all plastic. It seems to be good quality stuff, and not likely to break in casual usage. What I cannot say, having just purchased my first instance of this clamp, is how the handles will hold up over time. I am particularly concerned about their performance in cold weather, when I'm clumsy and plastic gets brittle. Time will tell. On balance, thumbs up.
Very good product
1- sturdy, the clamps, clasps are strong and hold all items in place with no movements
2- Lightweight yet very well made and durable.
3- Size is perfect, i don't have to remove it when i put the lightstand in it's bag.
4- Come with double head screws and extension which means it will fit on all light stands and hotshoes (including the one that comes with it ofcourse)
1- The plastic handle that controls the tilting of the swivel itself is strong but a bit loose which makes me a bit uncomfortable when I'm tightening it up. (feels as if it's gonna break)
2- The hotshoe is made of strong metal but as mentioned before but having in open from both sides makes it really uncomfortable to use, it didn't really matter to me since i could use the provided screw to mount my 580EX II and 430EX II hoteshoe that originally came with them when i bought them from Canon
Overall it's a very good product and i would definitely buy it again.
Versatile, Durable, Good Product
Bought after career change, sold studio strobes, wanted portable "strobist" kit to use with speedlights for occasional sidework. Haven't used much, but it's great for attaching a speedlight and umbrella to a lightweight stand. Quick and easy. Cons: The hot shoe attachment is extremely tight, and I found it almost impossible to get my SB-28s to fit. But I use wein hot shoe slaves, so that was kind of a non issue. Also, the angle of umbrella and the angle of the hotshoe mount are fixed on the same axis, so even though you can change the angle of the entire assembly very easily (adjustment is a snap), you can't change their angle relative to each other. If strobe is firing into side of umbrella, instead of dead center, there's not much you can do about it, which might bother the perfectionist in you. But the things the matter to me - build quality, ease of use, and price - are what they should be, and I've been happy.
I bought this clamp because I needed a way to attach a Nikon SB800 to a light stand. I also wanted to be able to rotate the flash to a vertical position. This clamp does that. As well as attaching to a screw mount on a light stand, the screw inserts can be removed and it will attach to a rod mount.
The only downside to this clamp is hot shot mount is rather generous in size and you have to use the screw on the mount to keep the flash tight. The normal lock on the flash side does not hold the flash tight in this mount.
It's hard to tell from the pictures, but this clamp and the Photoflex shoe mount multiclamp are virtually identical. The shape of the knobs is different, otherwise they are the same clamp.
A decent clamp for the price.
This is a good flash mount/umbrella holder. The only thing I found to be critical about is that the aluminum hot shoe mount block is a bit sloppy fitting on my SB800 flash, but what I did to remedy this is to simply remove the aluminum hot shoe mount block and to replace it with the hot shoe mount plate that came with my SB800 flash unit it works great for me and I can use the flashes lock to secure it to the plate, this is the only reason that I gave it a 4 star rating rather than a 5 star other than the hot shoe it seems to be a great mount.
Product performs brilliantly AFTER a few mods.
1) Shoe mount comes installed on wrong end. (Note I'm the second person to say this) It's an easy swap, but c'mon guys.
2) Adorama claims it will mount on a 1/4 or 3/8 threaded top or onto studs up to 5/8" - but I can't find a single light stand (some of which ARE Adorama stands) that the brass mount fits.
Once I fiddled with the screw mounts and swapped the shoe for the other side, this baby became invaluable. Seriously, probably one of the handiest tools I've ever purchased.
Best universal flash/umbrella holder
I own 2 of these universal Flash/Umbrella holders and will soon pick up a 3rd one of these ! They are very good, well made best bang for the buck. Cheaper ones are just that, CHEAP ! And the expensive ones are just more money and do not do any better. There is also 1 or 2 I saw that look like the exact same knobs, material, lever and cold-shoe mount & same warranty. BUT, they had a major name brand on it. You will pay more for just the name, but the performance will be the same.
When I first purchased it, I couldn't figure out how to adjust the umbrella. I realized it was fixed. Take a good look at the unit. Take out the bolts and turn it around and it will be adjustable for the umbrella. The entire unit is a mirror image :-). The shoe swiveled and I didnt like it but I removed it and set the cactus reciever straight to the bolt and tightened it. Once tightened, I put it back in and fightened the thumb screw and voila.... Problem solved. I would recommend this.
I bought this for the price. I don't use it often, so I didn't want to spend much. It feels like plastic, so I'm afraid to crank the screws down too tight. I wish the cold shoe had a stop to keep if from falling out the back end like some of them do. I don't trust the little screw to hold my flash at an angle. Of course, I can tighten it down with the lock on the flash unit, itself. Still, I recommend it for it's low price.