Andrew Sydenham takes a look a the Phottix Varos Pro BG Multi-Function Flash Shoe Umbrella holder
- Price: £25
- Website: www.phottix.com
The Phottix Varos Pro certainly knows how to give a good first impression. It’s a weighty, beautifully milled piece of high-grade aluminium alloy, and if you need to mount a flashgun and small monobloc flash head to an umbrella, this is the piece of kit to do it.
Its main function is as a mount for hotshoe flashguns, with an umbrella attached, to a light stand or tripod, where it can then be tilted through 180°. The manufacturer claims a load capacity of 30kg, which, given its construction, seems perfectly plausible and is far greater than any photographer would ever need.
The most unusual feature is its teardrop-shaped umbrella mount, which securely holds umbrella shafts of 7-10mm. It’s been redesigned to offer 300% more locking force, which keeps shafts well and truly secure. Its alignment is such that more light is able to hit the centre of the umbrella than is the case with conventional mounts.
I was able to attach my Speedlite to the holder with absolute precision, confident that it wouldn’t accidentally come away. Adapters with 3⁄8in and 1⁄4in female threaded inserts, and male 3⁄8in and 1⁄4in screws are included. These are interchangeable, so there’s no chance of being caught out by your stand or tripod bushes.
There’s also a hanging hole with karabiner, which is very useful when you need to attach a sandbag (or your camera bag) for increased stability when shooting on location. It can also be used for securing triggers and other accessories. I used it to attach the unit to my belt for handy access while setting up.