This isn’t something I ever saw myself writing but it might help you if you’re thinking of investing into a lighting brand. I always look at products in an incredibly unbiased way; I don’t say to myself something is better just because it’s cheaper. Someone might have the budget to buy anything they want and if you say Godox is good value compared to Profoto, their natural thought will be that the former is better for someone on a budget. I think it’s not as black and white as that. The Godox V1 has a smoother light fall off and it’s more colour stable than the Profoto A1, so it’s arguably better in its own right. The Godox AD300 Pro is barebulb and fills a modifier and para better than the Profoto A10, but it falls short in other regards. If you’re only interested in buying speedlights, I’d say go all in with Godox regardless of budget, but I don’t know about the ecosystem though.
You can’t tell from the photographs on this website (they’re all abysmal, sorry) as I haven’t uploaded anything new, but I’ve concentrated on what I enjoy with photography recently and I’ve improved a lot. I’m getting to a point where I want the best lighting equipment for a job, regardless of cost. Unfortunately, that’s hard because each brand offers something I like.
I’ve been using Godox for a long time and I haven’t had misfires or whatever nonsense youtubers talk about to justify their purchases. I’ve found Godox to be just as colour stable as Profoto (depending on the model). As I need something a lot more powerful than 200 watts, I’ve been looking at adding to my kit with a Godox AD300 Pro and a Godox AD1200 Pro.
My Godox V1‘s are my favourite light to date, I think, but when you mix them with a Godox AD200 Pro they are far too cool. If you gel them with a 1/8th CTO, they are too warm. For certain types of photography, this is really annoying. The different mounting types e.g. Godox mount with the Godox AD300 Pro, Bowens mount with an adapted Godox AD200 Pro, and a native bowens mount with the Godox AD1200 Pro, are annoying to me. Having to use extra brackets, adapters, etc. is incredibly annoying when you want to set up quickly. If you have your own studio and you can leave your lights set up, it’s probably not a problem. In which case, you might not want to be using battery powered lights to begin with. On that note, I think both Profoto and Broncolor offer better mains powered lights for studio photography.
The biggest downside with Profoto is that there aren’t any barebulb flashes to fill softboxes properly. You can mostly ignore what you’ve seen on youtube as the tests aren’t done correctly. You can also ignore the “the Profoto B10 is as powerful as the Godox AD400 Pro!” videos as they’re ignoring beam spread. Similarly, the Profoto B10 has a narrower beam compared to the Profoto B1X, so obviously it will seem more efficient. The flat head does make a difference with Profoto compared to Godox or Broncolor, but it also has times it’s a huge benefit too. And it’s a huge benefit for a lot of the photography I’m interested in.
Godox don’t seem to care about the base colour temperature of their flashes, like other flash companies do. The Godox AD200 Pro heads all shoot at different temperatures on the same flash unit! Who’s to say the Godox AD200 Pro and Godox AD300 Pro don’t even colour match or they do but not with the head I want to use? I asked Robert Hall to check each Godox model with his colour meter (I have access to a colour meter but I don’t have access to all of the flashes he has) to check their base colour temperatures. It wouldn’t take long to do (fire one flash off for each model… ideally you’d do three pops for each head at three power settings, but something is better than nothing) and I said I’d make him the spreadsheet for it plus he’d be compensated financially for his time. Initially somewhat rude when he felt Godox was criticised, I think he understood my point later on. I also reached out to a few other youtubers and said perhaps they could shoot at a wall and try it (you don’t necessarily need a colour meter). No one was interested in helping. Godox don’t reply. The flash company I reached out to wouldn’t do what I asked, etc. My conclusion was the results aren’t favourable so they won’t show me.
It’s also possible I’d find something similar with another brand. I haven’t seen people try the Profoto A1, Profoto B10, Profoto B1X and Profoto D2 side by side. Do they shoot at the same temperature as advertised? I am not talking about flash consistency, shot per shot, but their base “white balance” if you will. The results will change if you put them in a softbox, but providing each softbox has the same material, they should be modified by the same amount. I’ve looked at Broncolor units and their cover glass is slightly tinted. It lowers the output of the bulb, I guess, but it’s a simple way to do it.
Even if the temperatures are different for each model across each brand, there are other shortcomings with Godox. For example, you can only fire so many shots before protection kicks in. The Godox AD1200 Pro is pricy enough it’s no longer a flash you can buy and throw away if it stops working. As their products get more and more expensive, I think more about buying Profoto or Broncolor. Yes, the accessories for both companies are offensive to the customer but I can buy third party accessories or make my own, so that shouldn’t be a problem. At the moment, the Broncolor Siros 400 lights aren’t all that much more expensive than Godox compared to a few years ago, and the Broncolor Move 1200 L is considerably better than anything they offer. I wouldn’t buy something 8+ years old given how fast technology moves but it’s still a great unit. The Profoto B10 is better than the equivalent Godox offerings, and the Profoto D2’s are priced reasonably as well.
As you can tell, I’m not all in with Profoto or Broncolor. Broncolor don’t do any small lights. Profoto don’t do barebulbs. And I’m in no rush to buy anything, and perhaps I could do what I want with a bunch of Godox AD400 Pro‘s (I would certainly solve the colour issue if I used the same flash model) but the mounting system will forever be annoying to me. The lack of customer support will be a problem at some point but it’s perhaps not a reason for me to switch brands. The native Godox mount is too small for a lot of modifier types and there aren’t many modifiers available in Godox mount either.
If Broncolor made an Elinchrom 500 TTL equivalent or a mini move, I would probably use them for almost everything and buy a couple of Broncolor Siros 400’s too. Similarly, if Profoto made a portable pack and barebulb head system, I’d probably invest in them. The Profoto b10, Profoto B1X and Profoto D2’s are all lights I’d find a use for. In my opinion, the Godox transmitter is better than the competition as well.
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