Unique Moments Photography, located in Gig Harbor, Washington, has been capturing weddings and portraits for families since 2007. PLEASE NOTE, The image you see at the top of this blog post is a straight off the camera capture, on the ocean in F/18 daylight conditions. It was so bright that we had to wear sunglasses to keep from squinting. A very bright day but Godox Lighting handled these conditions with ease. This was a Godox 600 and a cheetahstand CL360 at 1/2 power and the lights were 10Ft from the clients.
When we first started the business there was several choices for professional lighting needs. We were new, starting out and after much research, we choose to use Paul Buff lighting aka Alien Bee Lighting. The product was perfect for our small home based portrait studio when we were in Minnesota and they worked flawlessly. We were able to trigger all the lights with Pocket Wizards Plus 11 triggers. This lighting set up was an inexpensive option for new photographers who were entering the industry at the time. It did what it was supposed to do and allowed us to invest in other areas to build the business.
For outside photography needs, there were tons of creative guys who were writing posts about hooking up car batteries to inverters and converters that allowed them to take studio lighting outside and plug into the inverters instead of a 110w light socket which was inside everyones studio. The creativity of some really smart guys, Off Camera Flash was born and introduced to a larger number of professional photographers looking for the perfect lighting kit. Remember, this was 2006-2008 when this race to the top started in the lighting market.
The word Wow came to mind at the time for professional wedding and portrait photographers. Taking a powerful studio strobe outside and having the ability to slap on an ND Filter to your lens and reduce the ambient light for the image capture process to 1/200 (which is most MFG’s Gate speed where the little black bar will not show in your photos) and having the ability to create magical imagery with skies that did not blow out. Clients could now be lit to the available ambient light for mid day lighting needs. Photographers instantly recognized what this technology could do for their photography business models and the race to have the perfect light kit and the ability to stand out in a sea of photographers was on.
Paul Buff introduced the vagabond portable battery systems, Pocket wizard invented the Flex TTI and TT5 Radio triggers for speed lights and other MFG’s invented devices like radio poppers that created mass confusion as to which was the best way to go for lighting. The OCF race was on and growing pains for photographers and their pocket books was officially on. Everyone was upping the game and making monumental changes to how we light clients indoors and especially outdoors for our business needs. This is now 2010 and the race for the perfect set up was in full force and it was extremely expensive to participate in. Many bowed out and reinvented themselves as Natural light photographers. It was easier than spending $$ and trying to keep up with the changing technology. It was three years of non stop what’s the best way to go to light my clients, especially when it’s F16 @ 1/125.
Fast Forward to January 2014.
Profoto, the top dog and most expensive lighting company for professional photography lighting products changed the game permanently with the introduction of the Profoto B1 off camera flash/strobe. These lights gave professional photographers the ability to light to in F/16 daylight lighting, not blow out sky’s, and allowed them to use High speed synch (HSS) and TTL capabilities with a strobe for outside use. It was battery powered, so no more car batteries and vagabond batteries to drag around, it was almost as powerful as a 600ws studio strobe ( power output needed to compete with F/16 daylight), and the biggie was the lighting had HSS which allowed photographers to shoot at wider apertures (F/2.8 ) with faster shutter speeds (1/8000) to create imagery that could not be created in the past from a single light unit.
This was Game changing technology for professional photographers. The trouble was that the Profoto lights cost $2000.00 each and photographers could easily invest $5-7000.00 for a lighting kit to be able to play at F/16 for mid day use. That was a lot of $$ money that could not be supported by many in the wedding photography community.
A few months later Godox, who previously introduced the 170ws 180 bare bulb light units and the 305ws 360 bare bulb light units jumped into the game and changed it forever with the Godox 600 light units. These light units did everything the Profoto light units did at 1/3 the price point. But Godox Did It did it better with the invention of 2.4gz triggers and the X1 trigger system. AnotherGame changer for professional lighting needs.
The X1 trigger system which is $48.00 did everything that the Profoto air remote trigger system does which costs $419.00 and the Godox 600 light was $650.00 vs $2,095.00 for the Profoto B1. How could this be true ?
We had to really explore and see if this was too good to be true. Remember, if its too good to be true, it probably is. How can a $650.00 copy cat light and a $48.00 copy cat trigger compete with the industry standard Profoto B1 professional light. So the guys at SLR Lounge decided to test the 2 lights side by side and the results of that testing changed our mind. The inexpensive Godox lighting was as good or outperformed the profoto light at everyplace they could test it at.
How could this be ?
So we purchased the Godox 600 strobe and the X1 trigger systems and tested it for ourselves. They got it right. We were completely blown away with the results. A 525 ws strobe that allows us to shoot at 1/8000 in outside lighting with HSS in full mid day lighting with wider apertures. We could not believe what we saw.
In addition, with the X1 trigger systems, we were able to purchase the new 2.4 gz receivers that Godox offered for our older bare bulb CL-360 lights. Now we could use 600 strobes and 360 strobes outside with HSS and there was absolutly nothing that we could not capture. As a matter of fact, we had too much power and had to start powering down the lights for mid day use. The lights are very portable, extremely easy to set up and extremely easy to move around because they are very light. Any issues we had for mid day lighting and sunset lighting outside were completely gone.
We did not stop getting our minds blown with Godox lights.
Godox introduced the 860 speed light units, which are Canon’s 600EX direct competition. The Godox Speed lights cost $176.00 and they were as good as the canon 600’s, had better ETTL capabilities than the 60o’s and Canon’s 600 sold for an insane price point of $549.00 for each unit. Many professional photographers immediately switched to the Godox speed lights that were 1/3 the price point of the canon units and they did the same thing. $179.00 vs $550.00 was not a hard decision. All the negatives we read about turned out to be pilot error from photographers who did not take the time to learn how to operate the Godox products.
It did not stop there.
The Godox speed lights are 2.4 gz frequency speed lights. Now, with the X1 trigger, we could take these speed lights and trigger them and/or control them from the X1 trigger in the camera hot shoe or off the camera. Now we have the ability to use Godox speed lights off camera with ETTL and HSS in dim reception lighting and capture images as the human eye would see them in very low ambient lighting conditions. We could shoot at 3200-6400 ISO with just a hint of light and capture images straight off the camera that were exactly what our eyes saw with the ambient light. Our camera sensors which were very clean and this new lighting allowed us to go places with our imagery that we could not go in the past.
The 860 speed lights can also act as a trigger and if we wanted to, we could light and control an entire room with the more powerful strobes from the speed light menu, if the speed light was mounted in the camera hot shoe. Nothing on the market does this with the other lighting MFG’s products.
What this means is that anything we buy from Godox in completely interchangeable with all the units they sell. X1 triggers can trigger all the lights (strobes and speed lights at the same time) in HSS and ETTL or in a combination of both formats, at the same time and in any combination of formats that we choose to do it in. No other MFG does this. You had to buy into multiple lighting set ups to do what the one Godox system did. Furthermore, the other lighting systems were always more expensive.
In conclusion, we urge professional photographers to consider before you buy any lighting equipment. There are many products to choose from and they serve different needs For our needs, there is nothing on the market that does what Godox does. We can buy any power output light we need and control everything we buy from the X1 trigger or a speed light mounted in the hot shoe of my camera. No other MFG offers the lighting products for a complete kit and there is no better trigger system on the markets than the Godox light systems. We have been using Godox for 3 yrs now and we have NEVER experienced a misfire from the trigger system. It fires the lights every single time we push the button.
All we can say is what a product, what a fantastic price for the products, and they do exactly what the more expensive name brand lighting products from the top MFG’s do at 1/3 the price point. Everything about these Godox products makes them a smarter investment for professional needs. We have dropped them, broke them and had them repaired for next to nothing. We had a flash tube go bad in my 580EX11 speed light and we sent it in to canon CPS to get fixed. It costs us $140.00 with our CPS discount to have it fixed. This past Black Friday sale, we purchased 2 V860 speed lights for $126.00 each and we got a 3 yrs drop and break or repair warranty from Adorama for $36.00. No one else but Godox and Adorama offer this for a professional photographer.
This is why we switched to all Godox lighting for our on location and in studio lighting needs. These lights do anything that a photographer could possibly want to do and they do it at a price point that No other MFG can touch.
We have attached some links so that you know where to purchase these products. Adorama’s Flashpoint line up is Godox lighting. As far as we know, only Adorama offers the 3 yr Drop/Break/Replace warranty. How can you say no that?