MagMod is best known for its flashgun and strobe light modifiers, but it’s branching out into new areas. The MagMod MagShoe is a new device that caught my eye as it offers a solution to a problem I’ve had for a while. It’s basically a cold shoe, which means you can use it to mount a flashgun/strobe for off-camera flash.
However, unlike most cold shoes, the MagShoe has a pistol grip with a release trigger. When this is squeezed, the light can be tilted forwards or backwards. It’s far easier to use than the usual cold shoes that have a nut that has to be turned to release the movement.
It’s very easy to mount a flashgun in the MagShoe. Just flip the lever at the top to the left to release, then slide the flash in and push the lever to the right again. The MagShoe in the image above is in the unlocked position.
Alternatively, you can use your flashgun’s lock if you prefer. Or you can use both. There’s a hole in the MagShoe mounting plate that aligns with the flashgun locking pin. I tried it with Canon Speedlites and the Profoto A1, and they all stayed put.
Naturally, the MagShoe can also be used to mount the MagMod MagBox (review coming soon). That’s a quick and easy to use softbox for use with up to two flashguns.
In another nice touch, the MagMod MagShoe has a hole through it just beneath the mounting plate. This allows you to use an umbrella to modify the light. The umbrella is held in position by a bolt with a convenient thumbpad. Crucially, the umbrella can be fixed on either side of the flashgun so you can use a shoot-through or bounce type.
Helpfully, MagMod supplies a threaded octagonal stud with the MagShoe. This is the MagMod ¼-20 adapter and it enables the popular Godox AD200 to be mounted. I used it to mount my Rotolight Neo 2 lights, but it can be used to mount anything with a standard ¼-20 thread – that’s the type that’s used for most tripod quick release plates.
Build and Handling
While the main section of the MagMod MagShoe is made from plastic, the mounting plate, stand attachment and knurled adjustment section are metal.
There’s a nice silky feel to the MagMod MagShoe. Its chunky plastic main section is also ergonomically shaped, so when you reach for it your hand automatically closes around with your finger on the trigger. That shape also makes a good grip if you want to handhold whatever’s mounted.
The bolt at the base of the MagShoe needs to be fully retracted before it will slip down properly onto a light stand spigot. If it doesn’t go down fully, the unit wobbles, but when it’s correctly in position, it stays nice and firm.
Once your strobe, flashgun or Rotolight is in place, all you need to do the reposition it is grip the MagShoe and squeeze the trigger while you tip it up or down. There’s about 160-degrees of movement, so you can’t tip the light straight down to the ground or up to the sky, but it’s not far off.
If you want to rotate the light, untighten the pin that holds the MagShoe on the stand spigot a little and twist it around.
Even with the lock fully released, the mounting plate is quite snug, so you have to apply a little force to mount a flashgun. That should mean that your flash won’t fall easily if you don’t lock it in immediately, but still lock it!
- Check the price of the MagMod MagShoe at Amazon UK, Wex Photo Video, Park Cameras, Adorama, BH Photo Video
MagMod has designed the MagShoe to perform a simple task, and it does it very well. Where it wins over other cold shoes is with the ease of mounting and adjustment. I’ve used all manner of mini ball heads and light stand mounts but they’re invariably fiddly and irritating to use.
The most worrying aspect of some cold shoes is how hard it is to mount your flashgun securely. The MagMod MagShoe gets around that with a simple, easy locking mechanism that works well.
It may seem a small detail, but when you’re working on a shoot, the last thing you want is to break your concentration while you fiddle about with a stupid little cold shoe or light mount. The MagMod MagShoe let’s just adjust the light in a flash (haha) so you can focus on what’s important. I think it’s one of those accessories that once you start using, you’d really miss if it was taken away.
I’ve bought a couple and I’m wondering if I should get a third.