Vanguard, known for its quality tripods and supports, has entered a new era of design and innovation. We’ve already seen the company push forward an impressive update to the VEO tripod range, and now that same attention to detail has been focused on accessories.
The VEO CSMM2 is a hot shoe to dual cold shoe adapter, machined from solid metal with plenty of scope when it comes to use. The VEO CSMM2 is one of the most useful products I have ever encountered.
The design offers plenty of options when it comes to the positioning of accessories and that makes it an ideal solution for both stills and video photographers.
In the VEO, CSMM2 Vanguard has created one of the most useful accessory adapters ever, however, there is a small catch, at a penny under £70, it is expensive.
Expands hot shoe mounting options
Plenty of flexibility
Easy to use
Could add too much weight to your hot shoe
What is the Vanguard VEO CSMM2?
When you flick through a box of photographic oddities, you come across things like the Vanguard VEO CSMM2, strange things that prove to be incredibly useful.
The VEO CSMM2 is one of those oddities, a bar with a hot shoe foot and two arms with cold shoes mounted at each end. The arms are fully adjustable, sliding back and forth as required, and the two cold shoes can also be moved along the length and feature additional 1/4-inch mounting options.
I’ve been meaning to review it for a couple of months, the issue is that it’s been in my kit bag being used. The VEO CSMM2 has become part of my standard kit, it gets used as an adapter to hold stuff on a tripod and just does the job brilliantly, so brilliantly in fact that I don’t really think about it at all.
For a device that is essentially just two additional cold shoes, there’s quite a bit to the VEO CSMM2. Firstly there’s the foot of the device that gives you two mounting options; either slot into your camera hotshoe or screw into a standard 1/4-inch tripod base plate thread.
Both mounting options are simple enough and, once in place, offer the same functionality.
When the VEO CSMM2 is hotshoe mounted, a securing ring is tightened down onto the hotshoe mount to ensure everything stays in place.
Next, in the centre of the device are two small silver levers, these can be lifted to enable the two arms to be extended from either side. This increases the distance between the two cold shoes from 120mm to 208mm.
This width adjustment offers plenty of flexibility. As there is no centre point stop, it is also possible to slightly offset the position of the cold shoes so that you can have one more central than the other. This positioning can help with the balance of the accessories you are using, say a monitor and light.
Each cold shoe also enables some adjustment, with a small screw knob at the back enabling you to side the cold shoe along the arm’s length.
Setting up the VEO CSMM2 takes seconds; it’s the same as adding any standard hotshoe accessory such as a flash or microphone. Once in place, the ring screws down and holds the arm in place with the full metal build, giving the whole thing a robust feel.
Accessories can then be put in place, I mounted a video mic and monitor and opted to keep the light off-camera. Both accessories mounted securely and held in place. Just as a note the two cold shoes don’t offer any built-in clamping, which is normal, instead, relying on the accessories clamp to hold the item in place.
Being able to add one additional accessory to the hotshoe is a great benefit, but, if you feel the need, there are two additional 1/4-inch threads on the front of both cold shoes where additional accessory arms could be added.
The one downside about using the VEO CSMM2 is that you will lose the data connection between the camera and flash or another accessory that makes use of that data connection. Both Sony and Olympus make use of the hot shoe as a comms port to accessories. But then in most uses, if you have one of these accessories that require that connection, such as a flash, you are unlikely to need another accessory mounted by its side.
The VEO CSMM2 gives plenty of options for mounting, but as you add more accessories this will of course add weight and this weight will be placed directly onto your camera hotshoe, which I would be wary about overloading too much.
Ultimately the VEO CSMM2 is expertly designed and adds in mounting options that are extremely useful for today’s photographers and videographers who have far more to think about than just taking stills.
The VEO CSMM2 is extremely useful, and the solid metal design makes it feel robust and solid when mounted. The fact that the adapter offers plenty of flexibility makes it possible to position an ATOMOS and NEO II side by side and evenly balance the weight without putting too much strain on the hotshoe.
Taking the VEO CSMM2 off-camera and mounting directly to one of Vanguards VEO tripods it was then possible to load the small adapter up with an ATOMOS, Mic, NEO II and Tascam DR-40. The CSMM2 held all accessories in place securely acting as a physical hub that enabled the arrangement of the devices in a workable format.
The VEO CSMM2 sits in the background of the audiovisual gear holding everything together and becoming a valuable part of the workflow. It is like all the best accessories in use and forgotten.
The CSMM2 is an excellent accessory and one that today’s photographers and videographers shouldn’t be without. The CSMM2 is expensive, but its value cannot be underestimated, it’s just far too useful.
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