The Godox TT600S HSS Sony Flash, Godox TT685S HSS TTL Sony Flash and the Godox X1TS HSS TTL Sony Transmitter are incredible flashes, especially for the pricing point. I’ve had these for a while now, and I absolutely love them. I plan to buy a Godox AD400 Pro or a Godox AD200 soon. I am not sponsored by Godox and I have no affiliation with them at all.
I cropped this photograph because of the personal stuff in the room, but it was taken with a bare flash head (no lighting modifiers) and Godox speedlights. I’ll be adding more photographs here soon. Obviously it’s not perfectly illuminated but I was surprised how decent these lights are at mimicking the sun in places.
Who’re Godox for?
I think Godox can appeal to amateurs and professionals at all levels. The exception might be once you need beyond 600 watts per head, and the chances are, if that’s the case you know a lot about photography and know exactly what you want anyway.
Godox lights are touted as “budget friendly” but this mislead me somewhat. It made me ask myself two questions: “Are they only useful for people with a low budget?” and “are there better options if you have a higher budget?” In my opinion, even if you have a high budget, these flashes are worth serious consideration. The Godox AD400 Pro and Godox AD600 Pro studio strobes are more colour accurate and powerful than the Profoto B1X.
Speedlights are much of a muchness; you might find some with a slightly better menu system but Godox offers the functionality and practicality you’d want and expect from any flash. The Profoto A1 has a better menu system but it’s not worth paying 10 times the price for. ETTL, high speed sync, curtain sync, etc. are all available with Godox flashes. With the latest firmware updates, you will also find the little LED on the transmitter fires a grid at the subject–it’s more useful for dimly lit environments than the cameras built in LED. My complaint with this particular transmitter is that when the camera is against the wall for interior photography, it’s hard to see the screen on the back. For that reason, I’d get the XPro instead if you’re shooting interior photography. For portraits, you might prefer the screen location (perhaps the sun is less likely to hit it) with the X1TS.
Most of the menu system is easy enough but when you delve into the more complicated features, such as sync delays, you might have to google a bit. For example, “number 10” set to “01” turns the LED grid on. Once you’ve enabled this, the switch on the side of the transmitter enables/disables the feature i.e. the initial setup might be complicated but it’s quick thereafter. Another niggle I have, and this basically applies to all speedlights (especially Godox), is the hot shoe design isn’t great in general. I have bought an “S” bracket to grip onto the flash itself, and it solves any potential hotshoe problems but it means I have to take my magmod grid system off before I put it through the bracket. Personally I’d like to see all flash companies get rid of the hoe shoe system altogether and have a metal plate underneath with a tripod thread. I know this would upset a lot of users because they’d no longer be able to mount their flash on the camera but most people shoot off camera flash these days. There could even be a little screen on hot shoe plug. Please Godox, have a tripod thread system instead with little adaptors :).
The hotshoe mount is archaic and not great at supporting weight… This is solved with the Godox AD200. The Godox AD200 is not a large flash by any means but you cannot swivel it’s head like a speedlight. The magmod system I use is a knock off (magmod are horrendously expensive) and works well.
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The products above I recommend getting. They are not expensive and will make a huge difference to your photography :). You can also buy a magmod system from ebay.
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Profoto sell the A1 speedlights and they claim they are small studio strobes (they’re speedlights, lol). They’re probably more colour accurate than Godox speedlights and they have a better menu system but the price is extortionate. With the B1X compared to the AD400 Pro, things take an interesting turn. Godox is a company that started with speedlights, so things are in the reverse order here. The AD400 Pro is (as mentioned before) more colour accurate, and the bulb type is superior as well. If you fit a flat head into a parabolic reflector or even certain umbrellas, the light doesn’t spread out enough. This is because the flat reflectors make light go forwards too much instead of a 180 degree spill. I have owned the Profoto B1 and have witnessed this myself. The AD400 Pro bulb is exposed which allows a more even fill (just like the Broncolor lighting system).
Sony seem somewhat interested in their own system but it’s not complete, it’s expensive and it won’t work with other brands. The nice thing about Godox is that they have a complete set of flashes all of which can fire from the same transmitter, and if you are on a budget, you can add a relatively cheap Godox AD200 or Godox AD400 Pro strobe and use it with your speedlights.
I chose Godox speedlights because I felt they had a decent power output, set of features and price. The photograph above for example was taken with two speedlights and a small softbox.
The Godox TT600S is the cheapest of the bunch and you may want to consider it if you don’t care too much about TTL. In my opinion, you do not need TTL all of the time for all of your flashes. However, what I have noticed is that you cannot (correct me if I’m wrong?) control the zoom feature remotely with the TT600S, so it doesn’t just lose out on the TTL feature.
You can control the zoom length of the Godox TT685S TTL flash from the Godox X1TS transmitter quite easily. To do this, you press and hold “CH/OK” and press “GR” and then go to the second menu (it literally says “02”) and from there you can set the zoom length in MM. It is important to note that the flash zoom length MUST be set to “A” (auto) and not “M” (manual). In the picture above, you can see it has an inverted “A” next to zoom (this is the one you want) and a normal “A”–this is the group.
Features like flash compensation (set on the camera), rear curtain sync, front curtain sync, etc. all work fine with the Sony a7II, Sony a7sII, Sony a7rII or the Sony a9 and the Godox TT350S, Godox TT600S and the Godox TT685S flashes.
The flashes have a pop out difuser, their heads rotate, they come with bags, and they have a little stand thing as you’d get with something like a Canon 600EX-RT. If you’re switching from another brand, I think there’s a lot to like about these units. Additionally, the little stand you get has a screw thread so you can use a standard tripod to mount the flash.
Wireless flash groups
With both the Godox TT600S and the Godox TT685S (and the Godox TT350S), you can set multiple groups i.e. you can have 2 flashes for group “A” and 3 flashes for group “B”, and the power settings are per group e.g. 1/128 for group “A” and 1/32 for group “B”. The only way you can set the flashes output independently is if it has its own group i.e. if you have 5 flashes all set to group “A” you cannot have them at different power settings. The group defines the power setting.
I would like to own the Godox TT350S TTL flash; it’s like a miniature TTGodox 685S TTL. I will eventually buy a Godox TT350S TTL flash and will give my comments on that. I would assume you can set the zoom remotely with the Godox TT350S TTL too but I am not 100% certain. I’d also like to own a Godox AD400 Pro at some point. If they announced a Godox AD200 Pro (The Godox AD200 isn’t as colour accurate as the Godox AD400 Pro) I would buy that tomorrow!
Godox X1TS Transmitter
The Godox X1TS Transmitter looks identical to the Broncolor RFS 2.2 Transmitter (to my knowledge, Godox make the Broncolor RFS 2.2 Transmitter) and it functions well. It’s cheap, it has a long range, and it has plenty of features. There’s also a newer model which might appeal to you more but you cannot stack other items on top of it (you probably don’t need to).
I have three complaints, 1) It’s not sealed against moisture (nor are the flashes), 2) its menu system is a bit convoluted (you get used to this over time, so it’s not really a problem–plus the newer model fixes this) 3) it’s bulky.
The complaints are not really enough to care about for me but I will be buying the new transmitter at some point and then I can speak more objectively. The system is absolutely incredible when you compare it to a native flash from any company. To my knowledge, the Canon 600EX-RT does not allow you to remotely set the zoom with the transmitter. I’m not too familiar with the Sony flash, but there’s only one small radio unit available and it’s expensive as all hell.
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Since writing this page, there’s a few new models that look awesome.
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Godox TTL XPro S and Godox v350s. The Godox v350s is a lithium powered version of the Godox TT350s. The Godox TTL XPro S works with previous models. There’s also a new speedlight going to be released soon, with a round head, similar to the Profoto A1.