The question “Does gear matter?” probably ever since photography became more widely available. Some swear that it does, some that it doesn’t, we’ve heard it all before. But photographer Robert Hall takes a different approach to the topic. In his latest video, he discusses the argument itself, wondering if it’s the most pointless argument photographers keep having.
There has been some drama around the recently announced Godox V1, which was accused of stealing the Profoto A1’s design. But can the more affordable Godox V1 compete with the $995 Profoto A1? In this video by Robert Hall, the two speedlights go head-to-head, so let’s see how they compare.
In my newest video I compared the 6 different softbox options available from Cheetah.
This includes the Quick SoupBowl (QSB-26, QSB-34, QSB-42), Quick RiceBowl (QRB-36, QRB-48) and Max20.
In 2016 I made a video comparing the Profoto B1 and Godox AD600. Since then both models have had an updated release and Broncolor has also released the Siros 800 and 400. I decided to put all three models head to head to help people decide which is the best option. I compare these 3 models because they are very high powered lights that feature an attached battery, remote power control, and all of the features that photographers look for in a strobe designed for location-based work.
Chinese lighting manufacturer Godox has already released a few products in 2017 that have helped a lot of strobists build lighting kits with a modest investment. Most notably the Godox AD-200 (Flashpoint eVolv) has become a crowd favorite for a portable and powerhouse flash.
More recently they added Fuji and Olympus/Panasonic versions of the TT350 (Flashpoint Zoom-Mini R2 TTL), which is a smaller speedlight aimed to be a better fit for mirrorless cameras. The TT350 has TTL, HSS, and radio connectivity to the rest of the Godox lineup, which really helps Fuji users expand their flash options.
In 2016 I adopted the Godox X series, specifically the Godox AD600 and the V860II speedlights. Later I added the AD360II as a portable option. While I was satisfied with that product lineup, they kept adding new releases that intrigued me. Eventually, I added the H600B and H1200B, as well as the AD200 pocket flash and QT600II studio strobe. One thing I’m often asked in groups is how the output compare between the products. While w/s ratings tell us the amount of power the light draws from the battery, it doesn’t convert to light output perfectly (think about an inefficient strobe, for example, lots of W/S, not a lot of light). By metering lights at the same distance with the same modifiers, we can truly tell the power difference between products.
In 2016, I joined team Fuji after being extremely impressed with the X-T2 body. I had been watching mirrorless technology for a while, but this was the first time a system had everything I wanted in a camera body. While I finally had a satisfying mirrorless experience, with great autofocus, low-light capabilities, and image quality, I quickly realized the system was lacking in the flash department. Not only did Fuji lack a dedicated speedlight, but the low market share has also kept 3rd party companies from building dedicated lighting products for Fuji systems.
After plenty of delays, the flagship Fuji EF-X500 speedlight has finally hit shelves globally. While it fills a monstrous gap in the system, it comes with a steep price of $449.99, which may be a tough pill to swallow for photographers who have become accustomed to affordable feature-rich solutions such as the Godox X series lighting. I have been holding out myself, but thankfully Fuji friend Jeffrey Lewis Bennett let me borrow his 3 EF-X500s to see if they were right for me. Here’s what I found in my testing.
*Note, my accompanying video is quite long and goes over the flash in-depth, so if you are interested in a specific portion you will find links in the video description, as well as the category headers.
Using coloured gels with speedlights has become pretty common. Many people who shoot with speedlights have given it a go at least a couple of times. But speedlights are quite easy to gel. All you need is a small strip of gel which you then gaffer tape over the front of the head. Studio strobes, though, are a different matter entirely. They’re not flat on the front like speedlights, and they project light in all directions.
You could, of course, just cover the entire front of your softbox with a massive gel sheet. But that can get expensive if you use many different colours. So, what can we do? Photographer Robert Hall shows us two options in this video on the Godox AD600 strobe. The first is the way he has been doing things, although it does have a problem. White light is still able to come out of the front, without a second piece of gel attached. One of his viewers sent him a solution to try that seems to work brilliantly.