I’ve read many reviews over the years for a lot of products, and a review will tout a product as “budget friendly” but this usually leads me to two main questions, “is it just for people on a budget then?” 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. If you are really wealthy, there are better flashes than the Godox studio strobes but there are not many really good speedlights. Sony are coming out with their own system but it’s not complete yet. 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 strobe and use it with your speedlights.
I chose Godox because I felt they had a decent power output, set of features and price.
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.
A lot of people aren’t aware that 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.
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. It would fit really well in my bag, but I have more important things to buy at the moment. I will not be taking a flash when I travel next year, and £1 saved is £1 I can put towards travelling. 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.
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.
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) 3) it’s bulky.
The complaints are not enough to care about though. 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.