2017 was a cracking year for Fujifilm and the lovers of flash photography; especially high speed sync.
Fuji has been behind the times when it comes to off camera and TBH on camera flash options. When I first got my XT1 the options were very limited for on-camera flash – we had the small Fujifilm EF-X20 (which I still use) and the Fujifilm EF-42 Flashgun – which was a rebadge flash from China and it was pants. As for off-camera flash – you had to use third party triggers and they didn’t play ball with each other – at least not when I used them.
About 18 months ago Fujifilm launched the Fujifilm EF-X500 TTL Flash which I own and use at every wedding. It’s a nice flash but again Fujifilm was behind the times – for example, it was £500 for a single flash and if you wanted to trigger it off camera using TTL you had to buy another one… WTF and so I didn’t bother with off-camera flash. But £500 was the price for a single Fujifilm EF-X500 TTL Flash and that’s what I had to pay to get all the functions I wanted in a flash and because it was a Fujifilm brand, I knew that new camera firmware would not cause problems with the flash (unlike Nissin flash and Fujifilm firmware).
But during 2017 something happened – Fuji started to give out or let 3rd party manufacturers have use of their flash protocols, and now pretty much all manufacturers (except you Elinchrom…) now offer full Fujifilm compatibility – Profoto has recently launched their own Fujifilm specific trigger (although its far too expensive for what it is).
One of the early companies to offer full Fuji support including TTL and HSS was Godox / Flashpoint / Pixapro (all the same but different branding). And what they have developed in a short space of time has been immense. Godox / Flashpoint / Pixapro have developed some really unique flash products and have done it for a good price and now I’m all in and I love the results.
I currently own 2x Godox AD200’s a Godox AD-B2 dual head mount and a PIXAPRO CITI 600. The photo’s you are seeing on this page are all shot with the Godox AD200’s using the AD-B2 head and mounted in a Bowens mount octagon softbox.
When you mount the two AD200’s together you get 400 w of power which I have found to be just enough power for some high speed sync Fujifilm loveliness. The shot above was shot at 1/500th of a second, ISO 100 @ F2 using my stunning Fujifilm GFX and the GF110 lens. As it was shot in open shade I didn’t need to go full power – unlike the image at the top of the page which was shot at 1/1000th of a second with the other settings the same – this shot was just about the maximum I could get out of the flashes without having to move the flash closer or removing some diffusion from the softbox.
Because the Godox AD200’s are battery powered and can last for 500 full power flashes you don’t need to carry a big battery pack around with you like the Elinchrom Quadra stuff I use to use with my Canon – it was PITA and the sodding cables always used to get in the way! – But thankfully that is no more, in this shot I hid the flash on my right hand side just around the corner. This was a good test of the Godox X1T-F trigger as I was a good distance away, using TTL and BOOM it fired and the shot came out great.
People think that high-speed sync is only useful for overpowering the sun when you want to keep the detail in the sky and you want that dramatic look – but high-speed sync can also be a godsend in the studio.
The above shot was taken in the studio with the sun coming in from the overhead glass panels and the glass doors – which is not what we wanted for this shot. We wanted to control the ambient light and let James be lit with the flash and nothing else. We also wanted to use F2.. well because it looks amazing on the Fuji GFX.
We needed to use a very quick shutter speed to get rid of the ambient light in the room and that meant – high-speed sync. The above shot was ISO 100, F2 and 1/1000th of a second – not the normal settings for a portrait in a studio, but we knew the shot we wanted and we knew the only way of getting to F2 (and not F16) was to use high speed sync – and it worked and the results when viewed on a proper monitor are breathtaking.
So I’m a month into ownership of the Godox stuff and I can say that I’m soooo impressed with the quality, the build and the light that they produce.
I have a few more shoots lined up and will be posting a few more things over the coming weeks.