I received two LumoPro Umbrella Swivels (model: LP679) this week, to add to the two LP633 models I already have.
Why didn't I go with two more LP633s? The main reason, as I noted in my review of them, the cold shoe isn't removable. So I found an umbrella swivel at Adorama that had a removable cold shoe, but when I was ready to order, it was out of stock (which seems to happen quite often on Adorama these days). So I found this LumoPro model on another site. It was $2 cheaper than the LP633 and had a removable cold shoe.
As shown at left, the LP679 has two removable brass studs and a removable cold shoe. One stud has female threads at each end, and the other has male threads, each with a 1/4"-20 and a 3/8"-16 — both standard photographic thread sizes. The cold shoe's locking knob is very tiny, with very tiny threads, but it holds a hot/cold foot in place.
The two knobs that hold the studs, as well as the small thumb screw that tightens on the umbrella shaft all have 1/4"-20 threads so they could someday be repurposed elsewhere. (The bolt in the middle that tighens the swivel is somewhere between 1/4" and 3/8".)
In my review of the LP633, I listed "four major components" of that swivel; the LP679 has more, obviously, since it can hold a stud at each end. Additionally, as seen in the images above, there are multiple locations where an umbrella shaft (or other rod) can slide through. Another difference is the central locking mechanism — there are no geared teeth on the LP679; the middle joint slides smoothly, which means you have to securely tighten the middle knob or it will rotate under the weight of a flash.
Perhaps the biggest difference between the two is the size. The LP679 is considerably larger than its brother:
And, noticeably, the LP679 pictured on LumoPro's product page is different from the ones I received. Mainly, all the knobs are different.
LP679 product page screenshot
The specifications are different too, though only slightly. The product page says it's 0.6 lbs., but mine are 0.5 lbs. each. Instead of the five inches of length advertised, mine are 5.5 inches long. The listed width is four inches, which has to be from that long lever-knob in the middle. Mine doesn't have that knob, so the width is 3" and the depth is 2.5". (I will always try to point out spec inaccuracies so anyone reading my reviews will have accurate information.)
The LP679 does what it's supposed to do, however, which is all I can ask of a product. (1) It attaches securely to a lightstand — or to any object with a 5/8" protrusion or 1/4" or 3/8" threads. (2) Its cold shoe holds a flash or radio trigger, or any object with a hot or cold foot. (3) It securely holds a photographic umbrella.
It has three distinct advantages over its brother LP633:
1. removable cold shoe component
2. three knobs with identical thread size
3. alternate slots for umbrella shafts
But the LP633 also has three advantages that I noticed:
1. cold shoe itself is better (larger knob, movable gripping edge)
2. geared teeth in middle locking mechanism
Like its smaller counterpart, the LP679 feels very sturdy and should last a long time.
(Note: I do not receive any compensation for mentioning any company or its products in this review.)