Godox vs. Nissin after week of testing

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
ForumParentFirstPrevious
Flat view
shakenmartini Regular Member • Posts: 166
Godox vs. Nissin after week of testing
14

I have previously posted looking for feedback on both the Nissin and Godox flash systems. I found that there was not a lot of experience with these flash systems, especially Godox since their Fuji flash units are so new.

So, I bought both systems and have tested them for the last week. After a week of testing, I am sending my Nissin system back and keeping the Godox system. For me, the differentiating factor was access to the Godox flash system, something lacking in the Nissin system at the moment.

Godox
I originally purchased the Flashpoint versions of the Fuji compatible flashes from Adorama. As of today, those still have not yet shipped. Instead, I sourced them from Amazon, a US seller had them in stock and they arrived about a week ago.

I purchased a X1T-F and 2 TT685F flashes. Total cos twas $286 USD to the door. I spent an additional $300 on a AD200. I already own flash stands, umbrellas, gels etc.

Regarding firmware. As delivered, my Godox gear all worked seamlessly with Fuji gear. Depending on the retailer, you may need to perform a firmware update. I haven't done this yet, but you do need a PC to do this.

For the big items...

TTL works perfectly well off camera. It works just as well as the TTL system in Nikon branded flashes. Like all multi-flash set ups with off camera flash and TTL, I found that exposure was perfect across the entire frame. Like my experience with Nikon off-camera TTL, I found that this does result in fairly "flat" images since the camera is doing the exposure work for you.

HSS works perfectly and seamlessly. Nothing special is required to get HSS working on Fuji cameras, the commander does this for you. Off camera HSS worked perfectly. For those new to HSS, do not forget that HSS at high shutter speeds leads to loss of power. I found that the TT685 flashes lost about 2/3 to 1-1/3 of a stop in HSS mode. By the time you add a gel, you are looking at about 2 stops of power loss depending on the distance and the gel you are using. Loss of power in HSS mode is slightly more than what I am used to with Nikon flashes (about 1/3 of a stop or so). The TT685 is just big enough to reliably overcome sunset light. It can't quite overcome bright sunlight on its own, especially gelled. Two TT685s are more than enough to overcome sunlight and was my preferred way to do this. I am now using a AD200 to do this, and will likely get a AD600 as well. Considering the TT685s are so cheap, adding more lights is very easy, especially if ordering from Amazon.

Build quality...

I was a bit surprised on this aspect. The build quality is similar to that of Nikon flashes. The only thing that makes it obvious these are "cheap" flashes is that the button quality is ever so slightly on the "plasticky" side. Otherwise, if you did not know that Godox flashes are cheap, you would assume they cost much more than they do.

Size...

The X1T-F is big. On the X-T20 it is ever so slightly too big and slightly obscures the shutter speed dial. It is about right on the X-T2, but still slightly obscures use of the dials. On the X-T2, this is slightly more annoying since the dials are more important to use of the X-T2 than the X-T20. I prefer the size of the X1T-F to using a TT350 flash, but the lack of some controls on the X1T-F could be annoying for granular control of remote flashes.

The TT685 flashes are big. They are analogous in size to the Nikon SB-800. On the X-T20, using these flashes in the hot shoe is slightly on the ridiculous side. If you only grip the camera on the right hand, then this flash is likely too big for the camera. If you are a left-hand camera gripper (on the lens), then the setup is heavy, but not too unreasonable. They are better balanced on the X-T2, but still on the ridiculous side. I do not use on-camera flash all that often, so for me, this is not a consideration. If you frequently use on-camera flash, the TT685 units are likely not ideal.

Interface...

The interface to the Godox system is simple once you have used it for a bit, but it is not very refined. The X1T-F controller can only control a subset of functions on the flash (mode, flash compensation, manual flash power) and a few other functions. I am still working on understanding the commander for fine tuning flashes.

The flashes themselves have an interface that is somewhat similar to other flashes. You have full control of about everything with relatively few button pushes.

Why Godox...

I ultimately chose Godox because I ended up buying a AD200 flash. The combo of the X1T-F, 2 TT685s and a AD200 is basically a complete professional studio setup. The AD200 is so small that this means your studio setup is very portable. I did two portrait sessions with this setup and it was very easy to carry all required equipment with me.

Nissin

I purchased the Air1 kit (Air1 commander + Di7000a) and an additional Di7000a flash. Total cost was $560 USD. I subsequently bought a i60a for $340 totaling $900.

Regarding firmware - all my Nissin gear came with the software updates installed (from major US photo retailers). Note that if you need to update firmware, the units need to be shipped to Nissin with turn around excpetedt o take 5-7 days.

For the big items...

TTL worked identically to Godox. It worked well and again resulted in what you expect using off-camera TTL - flat photos. As with Godox, for quick setups, off camera TTL worked very well.

HSS was also seamless, just like Godox, even off camera. Nissin is a bit more complicated on light loss in HSS. The Di7000a behaved almost exactly like the Godox TT685 regarding less output in HSS mode. However, the i60a had less output than the Di7000a. About an additional 1/3 to 2/3 stop less. If your goal is to create a portable studio where you use HSS, you would probably not want to use the i60a as your key light. If you plan to overcome sunlight, the i60a is not a good choice at all. As with Godox, two Di700a's were enough to overcome sunlight, however, this is $540 worth of gear on a single light stand. Getting additional lights is expensive for HSS and was part of my decision to return the Nissin gear.

Build quality....

Considering this was a $560/$900 system that I bought, I was surprised that the build quality was not significantly better than the Godox. It was ever so slightly better than the Godox, but not twice the cost better.

Size...

If size and design matter to you, then Nissin is the system to buy. The Air1 commander is much better designed and does not interfere with the dials like the Godox commander. It sits up a bit higher than the X1T-F and doesn't get in the way all that bad.

Like the Godox TT685, the Di7000a is big on Fuji cameras. However, if you do on camera flash, and want the option to work off camera, the compactness of the i60a is very much apprecited. The i60a is still a touch big on the X-T20, but the i60a fits perfect on the X-T2.

Interface....

Here again, Nissin has a huge leg up on Godox. To put it simply, the Nissin interface is superior on every front to Godox. There are less advanced controls than the Godox X1T-F, however on Godox, these are buried down in obscure menus that at the moment are difficult to use. The Nissin Air1 is a joy to use.

Why Nissin?

If size and refinement matter to you, then Nissin is for you. Especially if you plan to use one of the flashes on camera frequently, the Nissin is the system for you. You pay a lot for this system, nearly twice as much.

Ultimately, access to the Godox system was too compelling. The power limitations of speed lights is significant if you plan to use the system as a portable studio, especially in HSS mode. If one of your lights is the i60a, you are going to feel limited with the Nissin system if you do a lot of off camera HSS (especially with gels). Given the cost of the Nissin flash units, it is hard to justify the compromises by buying additional lights. If Nissin's rumored higher power speed light ever makes it to market, this balance could change for me. However, the Godox AD200 is just too good to not have access to.

I hope this helps others considering these flash systems.

 shakenmartini's gear list:shakenmartini's gear list
Nikon D810 Nikon D750 Nikon D7200 Fujifilm X-T2 Fujifilm X-T20 +12 more
Fujifilm X-T2 Fujifilm X-T20
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
ForumParentFirstPrevious
Flat view
Post (hide subjects) Posted by
ForumParentFirstPrevious
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow