So I planned a fashion/portrait shoot with a girl I'm doing regular shoots with, and who has a blog: www.thatstresvogue.com. It gave me the chance to test my decision to switch from studio flashes that need electricity, to strobist gear. It took me a while to decide what brand I would go with, and in the end I chose for Godox.
Click on any of the images above to go to the complete gallery.
I shot with my trusty Canon 6D and a 70-200 lens. But what it really is about, is the lighting I used, which was just two flash units. One with an umbrella and the other one to create rim light or background light. Mind you: it was a rainy day, but we needed to create sunshine. And so we did.
This is a Canon compatible standard flash with E-TTLII and a built-in 2.4 Ghz radio receiver. I opted to pair it with the Godox X-1 transmitter, which allows me to modify the parameters of the flash unit remotely. With this transmitter and flash, you can work in full TTL and HSS. The flash unit is powered by an internal battery, giving you 300 full-power flashes on one charge. Since with this shoot I wanted the ambient light to be darker, I did have to use full power most of the time. And there's the first drawback of this unit: the recycle time at a certain point becomes 5 seconds or even more. The unit will extend its recycle time in order to prevent overheating. I needed to use this unit as my main unit for some time though, as I used colored filters on it. More about that later. If you want more information on this flash unit, click on the image above and it will take you to the related product page on their website.
Now here's about the most versatile flash unit I've ever seen. It's a flash unit with an external battery unit that will give your the power of 4 to 5 normal flash units. 360Ws to be precise. And there are lots of affordable yet sturdy accessories you can buy for it. You can use it on-camera, which makes it all a bit heavy, since this unit is slightly bulkier than other normal on-camera units. But it's possible! It comes with the same built-in 2.4 Ghz radio receiver, allowing remote manipulation of the settings, and the external battery is simply impossible to empty in one day. This is a strobist solution with the power of a studio flash. I LOVE this piece of equipment. Also, if you don't need to use full power, the recycle time is nearly instant, which makes working a lot easier for both model and photographer. Once I started using this as the main light, I used the V860II to color the background, and that makes it an ideal combination. All have remote TTL and HSS, which makes this an incredibly versatile setup.
Just for completeness: there's also a Godox Witstro 600. I'm pretty sure I will get this one as well, as it's about 7-8 times more powerful than a normal on-camera flash. Even if you don't need the power: the recycle time is so fast it's as if you're in the studio.
Recently, Godox has announced the Godox Witstro 200, with a feature that is amazing again: you can choose whether you want to work with the bare bulb head or with a normal flash head. Versatility people!
And what's good about this: you can use all those different units in one setup, and even combine them with your own Canon flashes that are E-TTLII capable.
The X-1 transmitter allows you to put all that power into five different groups, each of which you can set to TTL or manual and modify the parameters on-camera. Tell me that's not convenient!
Oh yes: all those units will also be triggered by flash light. No transmitter? No problem: use any flash on camera, and they will work as well. First or second flash instance, as you wish.
The only thing that bothers me a bit: look at the standard reflector with diffuser filter in the image above. Well, you can only get four additional filters: red, blue, yellow and green. No orange! Which is more widely used than any other color, right? I guess you could combine two filters, but that will take a lot of power away.
Again, click on the image to go to the product page on Godox's website.
I guess this is something lots of strobists have. it's a rubber magnetic holder that you put on your flash head. you have adapters that will magnetically stick to it. An adapter that holds one of the many color filters that come with the basic kit, and a grid, to concentrate your light. Awesome stuff, really, and so easy to use. Click on the image to go to the product page.
It's simple: Godox is so innovative I love everything they put in the market. And best of all: this is not your average cheaply built material. It's sturdy at about one-third of the price of the branded stuff, and it has more features and possibilities! That's what I call getting bang for your buck, and I will build my setup around their gear. No second thoughts!