June 20, 2011

review: Frio coldshoe adapter for speedlights

[ edited to add: This review was for the original Frio, but it has now been improved with an updated version. ]

The Frio is such an elegantly simple device – ready-made for those times you need to attach a speedlight to a light-stand or umbrella bracket. What makes it so neat is that you don’t have to tighten a twisty knob to attach the flash. And neither do you have to un-tighten that same over-tightened knurly knob when you want to release the speedlight again.

Where the Frio really shines is with the modern speedlights that have a pin & lock system. This make them nearly impossible to seat securely in some coldshoes. With the Frio’s way of clipping the speedlight into position, that’s not a problem any more.

The Frio has a unique way of keeping the speedlight secure – it just slips in, and then the clip at the end holds it in position. To release the speedlight, just push down on the end of the clip, and the speedlight is easily shuffled out. Simplicity itself, with no risk that the speedlight can accidentally wiggle loose over time.

Since the Frio is made of a hard plastic, it can shatter if knocked too hard. I’ve lost one of them that way. But I see this as an advantage in that the Frio gives way; not my speedlight’s hotshoe. I can more easily replace the Frio.

The Frio can take anything that has a male hotshoe connector, such as a microphone or an LED video light. So that gives it a certain flexibility in use, and an easy choice to just have 2 or three in your camera bag anyway. It’ll find a use, somehwere, someday.

 

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Chris June 22, 2011 at 12:15 am

These things are going to sell like hotcakes! great idea.

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2 Trev June 22, 2011 at 12:30 am

Simplicity at its best.

Cheers,
Trev

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3 Eric Skagen June 22, 2011 at 12:57 am

Now if it doubled as a stand . . .

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4 Howard Owen June 22, 2011 at 4:38 am

A little OT, but is that a Cheetah Stand QBox in the photo above?

If so, how do you like it?

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5 ron lemish June 22, 2011 at 5:46 am

Now that you have helped promote this great accessory I suppose that I shall have to wait to purchase a few more to add to the free one I received from the sample bag ( mail in coupon ) at the McNally flash bus tour.That one finally came via the mail after a 2 month delay. I wish there was a Frio model that could fit on my larger Monfratto stands that end with the bigger thread.I use these larger stands when I need extra hight and stability. With a small ring thred adapter the frio then could be used on both of my stands . …Ron Lemish

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6 Nate Johnston June 22, 2011 at 8:45 am

We are always using off camera flashes and have had the same nagging feeling that they might not hold well. I’ll be stocking up with these soon.

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7 ROBIN HORTON June 22, 2011 at 2:18 pm

I have been using these since March this year and they are fantastic, safe and durable, use two with Yongnuo remotes no problems at all.

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8 James Madelin June 22, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Hey guys…. I’m James, the inventor of the frio(tm). Thought I’d drop by and say thanks for all your great comments… @RonL Hope you got my emails explaining and apologising… that delay drove me crazy. As for the 3/8 version, we’re working on it… @Robin H and @StephZ Thanks! @Chris Thanks… you can help make that happen.. hint hint… ;-)

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9 George July 21, 2011 at 7:23 am

I have to jump in as a canon user and say this shoe does not fit any flash – the 580EX II does not clip into place on this and can slide off and fall!

I purchased and returned them promptly when I realised this. Be warned, not secure with a 580EX II.

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10 Neil vN July 21, 2011 at 5:12 pm

I just double checked with my 580EX II and the Frio … the problem is the rubber weather seal around the foot of the speedlite. It has a thicker area in the back which stops the Frio from properly clipping into place behind the flash’s foot. If you remove the weather seal, then it works just fine.

Neil vN

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11 Curtis Warwick October 19, 2012 at 8:10 am

I bought 3 of these when I first learned about them. Paid about $15 each. Was very happy with the performance until the first one broke when my lightstand got knocked over. My Canon 430EX-II was mounted, with a shoot-thru umbrella and the wind blew it over breaking the plastic tabs on the Frio that hold the flash shoe. It didn’t fall very far, or very hard, and I was a little disappointed that it wasn’t more durable. I figured it was defective, and it was too late to send it back where I bought it, so I tried to contact the company. Reading their FAQ, it seemed that this was pretty common, and in fact it was a “Feature”. Part of the design to break away to protect the flash in case of catastrophe. So I let it go. It didn’t take long for the other two to sacrifice themselves, and in these cases, there was no fall or mishap, they just broke. I absolutely recommend against these in favor of just about any other locking shoe mount. For the price, they were a complete waste. I have since learned of a knock-off product that performs the same function, but costs around $3.00. It’s in the shape of a fish, and I think it goes by that name. I will buy a dozen of them at that price, and even if they break too, I wont complain. $15.00 is too much to pay for a disposable product.

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12 Rick November 5, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Five month down the road are the frios still as good as you first thought?

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13 Neil vN November 5, 2012 at 4:58 pm

I do like them. Still.

Neil vN

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14 Azimian April 3, 2013 at 4:11 pm

Hi Neil
I really enjoy your web site and your seminars on line. Could you tell me if the Canon 600 EX RT fits the frio flash adaptor? I fear the bulky weather sealing on the flash may not allow it to be locked in there properly. Many thanks in advance.
Regards,

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15 Neil vN April 4, 2013 at 10:22 pm

Yup, it would work with the Canon 600EX-RT as well.

Neil vN

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16 Darius November 6, 2013 at 8:26 pm

I had purchased a few of them, but returned them because whenever I went to remove the speedlites from Frio, I was unable to depress the retaining clip sufficiently to keep the delicate pins on the flash’s shoe from getting caught on the ‘treads’ of the Frio. I was afraid it would loosen and eventually damage the flash shoe pins.

Has this not happened to anyone?

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