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Review: Finex OM-18 Umbrella Swivel

Copyright 2015 by Wil C. Fry. All Rights Reserved.

Published 2015.03.07


All images in this entry are Copyright 2015 by Wil C. Fry. Some rights reserved.

Despite getting good use from my LumoPro umbrella swivels (LP633 and LP679, two each), I went with a different kind on my latest purchase, from an unfamiliar brand: Finex, which I discovered by accident while searching Amazon’s site for something else. I was swayed by the universally positive reviews on the product page.

Unlike all other umbrella swivels I’ve seen, this one has two joints (instead of just one), visible in the image below.


Finex OM-18 umbrella swivel, assembled (left) and disassembled (right)

It comes with all the parts seen here, all of which are completely removable and replaceable, something that other umbrella swivels lack (including the LP633). The parts include two aluminum studs, one with female threads (1/4”-20 and 3/8”-16) and one with male threads.

It also includes the cold shoe, which brings up a pet peeve of mine: too many product pages conflating the terms “hot shoe”, “cold shoe”, “cold foot”, and “hot foot”. Most pages I’ve seen ignore the “cold” term altogether, and many even ignore the “foot” part, using “hot shoe” for all four types of items. Most likely this is due to ignorance, but I’d like to see more responsible usage of the correct terms.

• Hot shoe: holder for the foot of a flash, has electrical contacts.
• Hot foot: fits into a hot/cold shoe, has electrical contacts.
• Cold shoe: holder for the foot of a flash, w/o electrical contacts.
• Cold foot: fits into a hot/cold shoe, w/o electrical contacts.

This product is advertised has have a “hot shoe”, when it clearly does not, but this is something I see so frequently that I look for it.

The cold shoe on this umbrella swivel is well-constructed, more sturdy and useful than either of the LumoPro models I’ve reviewed. It also has the geared teeth on each joint and spring-loaded knobs for those joints, which means it holds position more sturdily than some swivels.

At 6.5” and 0.75 lbs., it is larger and heavier than either of the LumoPro models I own, though not significantly larger than the LP679 (5.5” and 0.6 lbs.).


Comparison of three umbrella swivels: OM-18, LP679, and LP633

Like the LumoPro models, it does what it’s supposed to do — hold an umbrella shaft and speedlight or accessory to a light stand. Unlike the others, it has an extra joint so the speedlight can be positioned independently of the umbrella shaft, which is useful since so many swivels do not allow the flash to point directly at the center of the umbrella; this one does.


Finex OM-18 umbrella swivel, disassembled (left) and assembled (right)

Its advantages over my other swivels:

1. Entirely machined from aluminum (no polymer parts except knob heads)
2. Two swivel joints with geared teeth

Disadvantages:

1. Slightly heavier/larger

With only one disadvantage and about the same price, I’m calling this my best umbrella swivel to date.

(Note: I do not receive any compensation for mentioning any company or its products in this review.)


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