I was looking at parts to connect a speedlight + umbrella etc. to a light stand, and I (link) saw a zoo of types: B,C,E,EII, EIII, maybe F (or is that the other end?), and Google didn't turn up a guide to them. I'm hoping someone here can explain.

  • I'm confused. They are usually just 5/8" studs. For example the Manfrotto 026 - amzn.com/B001ENW61I I don't know what these zoo things are you speak of. – dpollitt Dec 11 '14 at 21:37
  • I added links in the question, @dpollitt – JDługosz Dec 12 '14 at 0:23

Looks like you're looking at umbrella swivels on eBay. Those designations don't really mean anything--they're not a naming standard, and there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of differences among them. The main styles generally are whether it's compact with a knob, or the more traditional size with a handle, and then there are more variants for a) holding a flash on its side rather than upright, and b) mounts that can hold multiple speedlights. Whether it comes with or without the stud might be another characteristic. The foot that holds the flash or the angle of the umbrella shaft hold may change, but they pretty much all work the same way. And those letter designations simply seem to be a way for the seller to keep track of which model they're selling.

This is a simple mechanical linkage to connect a speedlight to the lightstand. The pictures of the swivels pretty much tell you what you need to know.

  • The types are used across many sellers, and are part of the title in many cases. – JDługosz Dec 12 '14 at 9:21
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    Lots of sellers--one manufacturer. Looks like these all come from a single Chinese company called MRO. If you look at retail sites that aren't selling sub-$5 swivels, you don't see those designations. – inkista Dec 12 '14 at 9:35
  • Ok, so that is MRO's model designation. Is there anything wrong with them compared to spending 5x as much on B&H? – JDługosz Dec 12 '14 at 10:09
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    Yes there are things wrong with them. Do you want your flash to fall off of the bracket, or your umbrella to fall out of its holder? Trying to mess around with a flash bracket on top of a stand is a huge pain in the butt. I've tried cheap ones and much prefer spending the $25USD on a nice Manfrotto one. It makes a significant difference. – dpollitt Dec 12 '14 at 18:24

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