Godox V1 review & AK-R1 Gel Kit & Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM review

Hey everyone,

I’ve been a bit tormented over what equipment to buy recently. I’m gradually buying enough to have a full setup for interior photography (real estate, that kind of thing) and eventually everything I need for landscape photography as well.

I’ve just bought the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM lens (it hasn’t arrived yet). I love the Sony 12-24mm f/4 but I have a few complaints with it, the main one being its lack of a filter thread. You can buy kits, but they’re bulky and not ideal. The Sony 12-24mm f/4 is too wide for landscapes whereas the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM fits right in, and it’s a worthwhile focal length if it’s the only lens I take. I certainly won’t be selling the Sony 12-24mm f/4, as 12-16mm is incredibly necessary at times. It just means I’ve got a few lenses in the same focal length, and that’s a bit irritating.

I have nothing longer than 70mm, and I’d love to buy the Sony 135mm f/1.8 GM but I can’t afford everything obviously. I feel 16-35mm, despite having that focal length already covered, is the more useful lens for now.

I’m also unsure about my purchase with the Godox V1 flash. As I recommend buying Godox lighting equipment, I feel I should review as many of their products as possible. Especially as I am unbiased/not sponsored by them. If it’s not worth the upgrade over the Godox TT685 then I want people to know about it and I want to be fair to them. However, I really want a lighter tripod (the Gitzo GT1545T Series 1 Traveler) for hiking and I’m more excited about those right now. I’m not sure if the money would have been better spent on a tripod instead. That said, I feel it will be more helpful to others, to buy the Godox V1 and review it. I will try make the Godox V1 review better than all of my previous reviews, and hopefully it will be especially useful to those considering the Godox V1 vs the Godox TT685.

I bought some foam and some little things too, plus an AK-R1 gel kit. The foam is for my hard case :).

The equipment I want is always expensive, which is aggravating but I nearly have everything I want for many years to come. I’d like an Arca D4 Geared Head, light stands, a Sony 135mm f/1.8 GM and a Sony 100-400 GM and the Gitzo tripod. Once I have all those, I have a full set for everything I can think of pretty much, haha. Unless Sony start developing tilt and shift lenses!


Website Update

I’ve started editing this site a bit. I’ve made a sort of index page to make it easier to see reviews. I’m going to try make a “recommended equipment” section at some point too. I notice there are a lot of photographers who’re better than me, but they don’t always know about all the equipment on the market. Unless you google a lot, it’s hard to keep track.

I’ve also changed the font sizing. It should not work with high resolution displays.

Photochirp website updates

Within the next week or two, I’m going to be making these changes to this website:

  • Scalable font sizes for different screen resolutions e.g. 4k screens will be easier to read
  • A page listing reviews and the various pages

At the moment, I’ve temporarily made an “all pages” page, but it’s an ugly mess (I’ve left it there because viewing links on mobile is problematic). Ultimately I want to have the pages listed in a sort of table format, with headings. There is a drop down menu on the PC but it’s not very easy to see all of the pages I have written.

Future updates:

  • I’d like to kill off some of the advertisements (hopefully that doesn’t have an effect on SEO) as they’re ugly
  • Remove the portfolio page (I don’t update it frequently enough and a separate portfolio site will be live fairly soon)
  • Perhaps a new theme altogether

As usual I have other more important stuff to do, but I can start on the first two points tomorrow.

Camera equipment update for real estate photography

Camera hard case

I’ve been searching for a few new items for interior / real estate photography. I’ve just ordered a hard case vanguard 46d (not the foam model) for my photography equipment and that’ll be here thursday hopefully. I’ll review it and mention why I bought this model, its dimensions, etc. in the review.


I think I’ve made my final decision to get the Godox AD200 Pro and not the Godox V1 for now. There’s a few reasons for this… One, you can take off the head with the Godox AD200 Pro. So you can pack them in foam and they’re less likely to break than a bigger/heavier item wobbling about (the Godox V1 is obviously a smaller flash but as you cannot remove the head, it’s effectively bigger). The Godox AD200 Pro has a better mounting system too, as there’s a couple of threads to screw onto. I would still like the Godox V1 but my budget doesn’t allow for both at the moment.

Wide angle lens

Next up is lenses… I really need a circular polariser and those for the 12-24 are expensive. I also need to lighten my load for landscape photography, so for now I think I’ve decided on buying the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master lens. I won’t order it until the vanguard 46d hard case arrives. I already have a CPL, so there’s no extra cost there.

Small footprint lightstand

Lastly, I need a small footprint lightstand for a speedlight or the Godox AD200 Pro. This is where it might make sense to actually buy the Godox V1 (it’s lighter and won’t tilt a light-stand so easily). Ideally I want something that folds very compact, and the legs don’t stick out a mile. I’m not going to be using heavy modifiers so the legs don’t have to be super stable. If anyone has any ideas, let me know! It has to be compact because I have to be able to get this stuff on public transport.

Business website

Here is my mostly final design for my business website. It’s a minimalist WordPress theme, so if anyone is interested in buying it, let me know.