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Phottix vs Godox - Remote Speedlight Systems
  
 
BSPhotog
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Phottix vs Godox - Remote Speedlight Systems


I'm a wedding and portrait photographer and am looking to change my remote wireless speedlight system. I've been using a Cactus for my wireless stuff for about 3 years and, in theory, they are a good fit for my needs. They are relatively inexpensive, they are brand agnostic, allow for remote power control and zoom of flashes, as well as dumb triggering of manual flashes and strobes. Easy. I've been experiencing more and more problems with the wireless simply not communicating properly, even at short distances, so I am thinking about jumping ship to something else.

My priorities are to have remote manual flash control, preferably with zoom control and at least 3 groups. I would like a system with built in radios in the speedlights and AA battery power for everything. I also would like to have an inexpensive way to trigger remote manual speedlights/strobes at the same time, also allowing for them to be used in one of the group settings. A feature that I haven't "needed" but am interested in would be having a TTL on camera speedlight that can control the lights off camera as well.

Things I'm not needing would be remote TTL, HSS, and proprietary lithium battery systems.


Current lighting gear:

Cactus V6 Transceivers (x6)
Cactus RF60 (x4)
Nikon SB900
Yongnuo YN568EX
Yongnuo YN560
LumoPro LP160 (x4)
Impact 500WS strobes (x2)



I'm looking at the Phottix OdinII system and the Godox X1 system as the two obvious options. Both seem to check all of the boxes that I'm looking for, but there is a significant price difference. Anyone have experience with both? Is there something about the Phottix that makes it 3x better quality? My Cactus gear was somewhere between the two in cost, so I am a little worried about quality/durability/customer service buying cheaper stuff like the Godox.




Note: This has been cross posted in both the Lighting forum and Wedding forum.



Oct 26, 2016 at 02:25 PM
Tony Hoffer
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Phottix vs Godox - Remote Speedlight Systems


Godox is the best flash system ever made in my opinion. That doesn't mean it's perfect (the AF focus assist needs work), but it's awesome. You won't need receivers (they're built in) and you'll never change batteries (the lithium system is so far ahead of AA's it's not even funny). Get it... and buy from Cheetah if you can.


Oct 26, 2016 at 02:44 PM
joelconner
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Phottix vs Godox - Remote Speedlight Systems


We are using the cheetah/godox 860's, and they are amazing. They have integrated transmitters and receivers (like the Canon 600ex), so you do not need to deal with transmitters and receivers. There are a few little niggles I have with them (mainly with menu layout), but they are incredible. I bought 4 on my first pass, and I have two more arriving today.

Definitely buy them from cheetahstand.com. They are in stock now (US backed warranty and customer service)

EDIT: One of the big reasons for my switch was the hope that I could use both Canon and Nikon cameras simultaneously on the same flash system. I know there are not many out there who shoot with multiple brands at the same time like we do, but for those wondering...you can totally use different brands of cameras at the exact same time and integrate directly into the same flash system without additional triggers. Amazing.



Oct 26, 2016 at 02:50 PM
MRomine
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Phottix vs Godox - Remote Speedlight Systems


I had the Mitros + system for Nikon before the Godox system came along for Nikon. Roughly for about 2 1/2 years. The Mitros + were pretty much the only game in town when it came to transceiver units for the Nikon platform at the time. The triggering system was flawless but the recycle times were poor and over heat issues were a problem too. I used the Mitros + on-camera for the TTL and used them to fire Nikon SB900 mounted on Stratos II. The cost was a little prohibitive too. My team shoots with dual D750 bodies but we only had one Mitros + per person.

Early this year I unloaded my Mitros + system and got on board with CheetahStand Godox and bought the v860IIn. I have six of them for Nikon and one for my Sony. Like Tony above the Lithium batteries are incredible and I didn't think they would really make that big of a deal but I went ahead with the Lithium version of the speed lights based upon all the good feedback of other FM owners. I am so glad that I did. So glad to be done with massive piles of AAs.

My recycle issues that I was having with the Mitros + are gone, I still have flawless triggering. I now carry a speed light on both of my bodies because I can afford them and so does my 2nd.

Sometimes at receptions when I want to go really light weight, I put an X-T1 on one of my D750s with a 35mm f1.8 and blast away.

Here is another really cool thing about the X-T1 it will trigger the AD360 and 600 cross brand. I also have an X-T1 for my Sony and it will fire the Nikon AD360 with full control of TTL and HSS.

I don't use the AF assist light, never have with any brand of the speed lights that I have owned. I have never found that they improve AF much and the D750 is so good in low focusing. Plus I don't like telegraphing to subjects that I'm about to take a shot.



Oct 26, 2016 at 03:08 PM
MRomine
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Phottix vs Godox - Remote Speedlight Systems


One little negative and this has more to do with the D750 hot shoe than the Cheetah lights. Because of that poorly engineered hot shoe sometimes we run into problems where the flash and/or X-T1 will not fire. So we have to twist and/or retighten the flash on the hot-shoe to get it to fire. But I also had that problem with the Mitros + on the D750.

I wish that the Cheetah lights had a locking mechanism instead of the thumbwheel for securing the flash to the hot shoe. Like the Nikon flashes even the Mitros + has a decent locking lever.



Oct 26, 2016 at 03:14 PM
joelconner
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Phottix vs Godox - Remote Speedlight Systems


BSPhotog wrote:
I'm all about the idea of buying from Cheetah, but it looks like they only sell the Lithium variety (which both of you mention as strong selling points for your use). Personally, I haven't had to change batteries in a speedlight during a wedding in over a year, so I don't see the need. I am heavily invested in an AA system already and they seem to do what I need thus far. My whole kit has just 2 kinds of batteries: EN-EL15s and AAs.

I'm not totally opposed to the Litium speedlights, but it is just another factor and
...Show more


Until you have used the Lithiums, you cannot understand how much better they are than AA. Just on the recycle time alone, they are so much more amazing. But, you only have to charge a single battery, and you do not even have to charge it every wedding. I still keep one extra battery with me, but there is really no need to.

There is a AA version of the flash, but really...the lithium is so so so so so much better.



EDIT: Some notes on that spreadsheet. You do not need the transmitters unless you want to be able to control without a flash on body. I have one, but two is excessive. You do not need the receivers at all. Also, you do not need 4 additional batteries. I have two spares (from my older godox flashes). Also, the flashes are on sale at Cheetah for $169. So, that knocks a chunk on the total price listed there.


Edited on Oct 26, 2016 at 03:26 PM · View previous versions



Oct 26, 2016 at 03:16 PM
MRomine
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Phottix vs Godox - Remote Speedlight Systems


joelconner wrote:
EDIT: One of the big reasons for my switch was the hope that I could use both Canon and Nikon cameras simultaneously on the same flash system. I know there are not many out there who shoot with multiple brands at the same time like we do, but for those wondering...you can totally use different brands of cameras at the exact same time and integrate directly into the same flash system without additional triggers. Amazing.


Which units are using Joel? I could not get my v860IIs and V860IIn to fire each other.




Oct 26, 2016 at 03:17 PM
joelconner
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Phottix vs Godox - Remote Speedlight Systems


MRomine wrote:
One little negative and this has more to do with the D750 hot shoe than the Cheetah lights. Because of that poorly engineered hot shoe sometimes we run into problems where the flash and/or X-T1 will not fire. So we have to twist and/or retighten the flash on the hot-shoe to get it to fire. But I also had that problem with the Mitros + on the D750




Funny thing for me is that the cheetah 860 is the first flash for me that actually works perfectly with my 750's. I have never had anything else that always works without lots and lots of fiddling. These fit my camera perfectly without any messing around.


Using the Cheetah 860X...they all fire each other perfectly (although, TTL will not work cross system, obviously) I have not used a Sony version...just Canon and Nikon. But, I would think they would work the same :-/



Oct 26, 2016 at 03:18 PM
Dan Turner
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Phottix vs Godox - Remote Speedlight Systems


BSPhotog wrote:
I'm all about the idea of buying from Cheetah, but it looks like they only sell the Lithium variety (which both of you mention as strong selling points for your use). Personally, I haven't had to change batteries in a speedlight during a wedding in over a year, so I don't see the need. I am heavily invested in an AA system already and they seem to do what I need thus far. My whole kit has just 2 kinds of batteries: EN-EL15s and AAs.

I'm not totally opposed to the Litium speedlights, but it is just another factor and
...Show more

I honestly don't know if this is the case or not, but worth looking into, but Godox does offer a dumb li-ion flash through Adorama Flashpoint's brand:

http://www.adorama.com/fplfsmzl2.html

That could save you the cost of having to buy full TTL compatible ones. I'm uncertain of the compatibility of them with the other units you are looking at, but I'm guessing they would work.



Oct 26, 2016 at 03:26 PM
MRomine
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Phottix vs Godox - Remote Speedlight Systems


BSPhotog wrote:
I'm all about the idea of buying from Cheetah, but it looks like they only sell the Lithium variety (which both of you mention as strong selling points for your use).


The main thing is to buy from a U.S. distributor, do not buy directly from China even though it will initially save you some coin. FM member Michael Mowbray sells them too, the MoLight. You might see if he has them, the non-lithium version: http://michaelmowbray.com/molightstore/


BSPhotog wrote:
Personally, I haven't had to change batteries in a speedlight during a wedding in over a year, so I don't see the need. I am heavily invested in an AA system already and they seem to do what I need thus far. My whole kit has just 2 kinds of batteries: EN-EL15s and AAs.

I'm not totally opposed to the Litium speedlights, but it is just another factor and puts the cost somewhere in the middle between Phottix and Godox, as seen below.


I had tons of AAs and chargers I hated to let go too. With the Lithium batteries not only will you not need to switch during a wedding day but you can go more than one wedding without charging.


Edited on Oct 26, 2016 at 04:03 PM · View previous versions



Oct 26, 2016 at 03:31 PM
 

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MRomine
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Phottix vs Godox - Remote Speedlight Systems


joelconner wrote:
Funny thing for me is that the cheetah 860 is the first flash for me that actually works perfectly with my 750's. I have never had anything else that always works without lots and lots of fiddling. These fit my camera perfectly without any messing around.


It doesn't happen a lot, not every wedding just enough to be annoying. I don't know if they work loose because of hanging upside down on my MM strap or how it is happening. But I had the same problem with the Mitros +


joelconner wrote:
Using the Cheetah 860X...they all fire each other perfectly (although, TTL will not work cross system, obviously) I have not used a Sony version...just Canon and Nikon. But, I would think they would work the same :-/


You inspired me to get these out and try them again. Ha, I can get them to fire each other now. I tried when I first got them and I must not have had them set up correctly. Nikon -> Sony, Sony -> Nikon. This was one of the other reasons why I bought into the Godox system, the ability to cross brand triggering.



Oct 26, 2016 at 03:44 PM
BSPhotog
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Phottix vs Godox - Remote Speedlight Systems


joelconner wrote:
Until you have used the Lithiums, you cannot understand how much better they are than AA. Just on the recycle time alone, they are so much more amazing. But, you only have to charge a single battery, and you do not even have to charge it every wedding. I still keep one extra battery with me, but there is really no need to.

There is a AA version of the flash, but really...the lithium is so so so so so much better.

EDIT: Some notes on that spreadsheet. You do not need the transmitters unless you want to be able to control
...Show more

I shoot two cameras at the same time, so two X1t transmitters seems logical for me. Sometimes I am filling with some bounce from an on camera flash, sometimes not. Having both the transmitter and the master flash seems like a prudent backup solution to me. As for the receivers, that's so that I can add in manual flashes to the same system, which I sometimes do.
---------------------------------------------

Dan Turner wrote:
I honestly don't know if this is the case or not, but worth looking into, but Godox does offer a dumb li-ion flash through Adorama Flashpoint's brand:

http://www.adorama.com/fplfsmzl2.html

That could save you the cost of having to buy full TTL compatible ones. I'm uncertain of the compatibility of them with the other units you are looking at, but I'm guessing they would work.


I forgot all about the FlashPoint branded units as well. Having 4 of the FP R2 lights and 2 of the v860IIn for on camera use would save about $320 off of the price I calculated for the Cheetah stuff.




Oct 26, 2016 at 04:00 PM
BSPhotog
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Phottix vs Godox - Remote Speedlight Systems


Dan Turner wrote:
I honestly don't know if this is the case or not, but worth looking into, but Godox does offer a dumb li-ion flash through Adorama Flashpoint's brand:

http://www.adorama.com/fplfsmzl2.html

That could save you the cost of having to buy full TTL compatible ones. I'm uncertain of the compatibility of them with the other units you are looking at, but I'm guessing they would work.


As a bonus, Adorama has a bundle price if you buy their FlashPoint equivalent of the TT600 with the TTL version, $50/ea. That's stupid cheap.



Oct 26, 2016 at 04:58 PM
Doug Maclean
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Phottix vs Godox - Remote Speedlight Systems


I Just shot a wedding this weekend with 4 godex tt600's and 1 AD600 with the XT transmitter.My first wedding with them after ditching all my yongnuo stuff.Could not be happier.No misfires.Great recycle times and the AD600 was the bomb shooting 6 or more shots at high speed.All the shots exposed the same,non ttl.Not a fan of ttl.Doug M


Oct 27, 2016 at 01:36 AM
BigIronCruiser
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Phottix vs Godox - Remote Speedlight Systems


I have the Nikon version of the V860II's, and they'be been awesome. There have been no issues when using a V860II as the trigger. Can't say the same when triggering with the X1-T, as it significantly under-exposes at 1/250 when used on my D800 and D5. The root cause "appears" to be that the X1-T treats 1/250 as HSS, which would be an invalid assumption for both of my camera bodies. It seems like Godox would've used the same logic in both units, but not so. It's annoying, but certainly not a deal breaker


Oct 27, 2016 at 02:35 AM
BSPhotog
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Phottix vs Godox - Remote Speedlight Systems


Thanks all for the input. I'm giving the Godox system a shot. I just placed an order from Adorama and they have a 30 day return policy, so I'll test drive them and see how they go.

Also, got a pretty good deal.
2 X1Tn, 4 X1Rn, 2 TT685n, 5 TT600 all for $729.



Oct 27, 2016 at 02:37 AM
BSPhotog
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Phottix vs Godox - Remote Speedlight Systems


BigIronCruiser wrote:
I have the Nikon version of the V860II's, and they'be been awesome. There have been no issues when using a V860II as the trigger. Can't say the same when triggering with the X1-T, as it significantly under-exposes at 1/250 when used on my D800 and D5. The root cause "appears" to be that the X1-T treats 1/250 as HSS, which would be an invalid assumption for both of my camera bodies. It seems like Godox would've used the same logic in both units, but not so. It's annoying, but certainly not a deal breaker


Check menu item e1 on your D800. Is it set for 1/250s or 1/250s (Auto FP)? I believe that Auto FP option initializes the HSS early at 1/250.



Oct 27, 2016 at 02:38 AM
mikethevilla
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Phottix vs Godox - Remote Speedlight Systems


Never used the Phottix stuff, but count me as another vote for Godox. Really awesome system.


Oct 27, 2016 at 07:53 AM
Mark_L
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Phottix vs Godox - Remote Speedlight Systems


Tony Hoffer wrote:
Godox is the best flash system ever made in my opinion. That doesn't mean it's perfect (the AF focus assist needs work), but it's awesome. You won't need receivers (they're built in) and you'll never change batteries (the lithium system is so far ahead of AA's it's not even funny). Get it... and buy from Cheetah if you can.


It is a little clunky in usability at times but.... so much this.

It is hard to argue for any other system right now, there is a risk with backwards compatibility in the future but it is all so cheap you can write the lot off without crying.



Oct 27, 2016 at 01:10 PM
kaplah
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Phottix vs Godox - Remote Speedlight Systems


BSPhotog wrote:
I'm all about the idea of buying from Cheetah, but it looks like they only sell the Lithium variety (which both of you mention as strong selling points for your use). Personally, I haven't had to change batteries in a speedlight during a wedding in over a year, so I don't see the need. I am heavily invested in an AA system already and they seem to do what I need thus far. My whole kit has just 2 kinds of batteries: EN-EL15s and AAs.

I like the lithium, but you can certainly stick with AAs with the Godox TT685, and Adorama sells them under sku FPLFSMZNK -"Flashpoint".

Identical to the lithium V860II except they use AAs.

I'm trialing the Godox system, and am very close to pulling the trigger on a full set.

My take on lithium battery packs: with the V860II (which includes an RF interface, Li-ion battery and charger) I replace an SB-900, RP PX or Jr2 Receiver, a Pixel TD-382 high-voltage battery pack, 12AA batteries, two AAA batteries, and two smart chargers (to manage the 14 batteries). Food for thought.

On the Phottix, as far as I know the Odin-based system emits a preflash even on Manual, making flash metering challenging. Certainly the original Odins did this, perhaps it's been fixed.






Oct 27, 2016 at 07:34 PM
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