A bracket without that additional support is simply begging for trouble, leverage being so high that the flash shoe is under tremendous strain**. Adding that height-adjustable screw support makes the whole item infinitely more viable and wouldn't be a big DIY job at all. However, to make the unit workable, it does need extra length on the track and it's this couple of inches which makes the Speed-Pro Mk 2 the superior bracket - there is then room between flash and upright for a trigger unit if desired, which often there isn't without the extra length.
I understand that these two mods to the basic design are quite specific to CheetahStand - it was Edward (along with a certain other member here, I gather ) who instigated the changes. As far as I can determine, after a LOT of research, the Speed-Pro bracket is unique. Not perfect by a long way, but the best imperfect bracket currently commercially available (or NOT, realistically, if you live in Europe).
I'd definitely agree with you about postal charges. I don't know which is the more frustrating:-
- USPS want an arm and a leg to ship something quite modest over a route to Europe.
- USPS call the service "International Priority", yet it seems to take 50% longer than the FREE "Economy Shipping" offered by most HK/Shenzhen/Shanghai/Beijing vendors. Warped sense of humour with the naming of that service - goodness knows how long a USPS non-priority service would take. Grrrr.
- Royal Snail are no better in the reverse direction, either for cost or speed. The phrase "Price Fixing" keeps floating unprompted into my mind.
- Charging VAT on the Import Duty as well as the product and shipping is, for me, most definitely a step too far.
A while back, I wanted some spare bands for a Rogue gel set from Expo Imaging. GBP£4
for 6 bands - fine (well, acceptable
for "International Priority" postage - absolutely NO WAY on this Earth will I pay that for something which would slip into a plain DL envelope. (I eventually got 10 off-brand for £1.99 inc p&p from a UK source)
Unfortunately (for us), I don't think that there actually IS an alternative to the Speed-Pro Mk 2 which is available in Europe. Let's design a Euro-bracket shall we? ** Quick 'n dirty test to prove this. Hold the edges of your flashshoe by your fingernails to simulate the grip of the coldshoe on the flash foot. Now hold the flash horizontal over a padded surface (because you'll likely drop it). Now wave it around to simulate moving the flash on a stand. Drop it? I did, several times. It's very hard to keep hold - yet this is what we are asking the coldshoe to do all the time.