When David Hobby started his campaign to abolish the PC connector over on the strobist blog a while ago. It prompted me to contact the manufacturer of the Sonia brand of hot shoe adaptors to see if they had any plans to include a 3.5mm jack socket in their product. The Sonia All Purpose adaptor is a rock solid adaptor with a cast metal hot foot, two female and one male pc connector,plus a test button. Replace one or more of the PC conectors with a 3.5mm socket and it really would be a very nice accessory. You could leave it on your lightstand and not worry about it falling apart and no pc cables trailing out of it like my modified Kaiser hotshoe adaptor.
When I got in touch with Sonia they told me that they already had a product with a 3.5mm phono socket but they weren't supplying it to the UK. So I next contacted Colin at colinsfoto.com to suggest and that he try out the new product and not only did he order them in, he very kindly sent me a sample.
Sadly it isn't my dream hotshoe adaptor. Sonia have opted for a plastic foot instead of the metal foot of their all purpose adaptor. However the plastic construction appears to be very solid and the only potential weakness is the foot. The foot is a hot one so if you want to mount it on a tripod you would need to also get a tripod mount. Sonia do a metal and plastic mount which is a very snug fit on the hotshoe adaptor even before you screw down the locking ring. Put together its a very solid little package that looks like it would survive being left attached to a tripod in a bag.
The hotshoe adaptor only has the one 3.5mm jack socket, which is fine as far as I'm concerned however I was a little sad that it doesn't come with a test button. So I'm going to have to carry on trying to jam my fat sausages into the test button on my SB28
So that's it. Like I said its not my dream adaptor but as it stands its a great replacement for the Kaiser shoes that I have been using with my Elinchrom skyports and at £9.99 its reasonable value compare to other products. One thing you will need to consider is adding on the price of mono patch cables. I had some that were supplied with my skyports which is great, but I have yet to find a suppliers of them online. Colinsfoto also sell corded versions at the same price so that might give you a bit more value if you don't mind the dangling cord. Or you could just get a screwlock cable
In the interest of full disclosure, yes I did get to keep the sample, but I don't get any commission or anything else.