It’s seems I always have something new to understand when I go to Cannes. (Well thats a general in life – the day we stop learning/have something new to understand is the day we die).
This year it was the Godox V1f Round Head Flash .
As usual this will not be a really technical write up (there are far more techie blogs and better writers for that), what follows are a few of my thoughts and experiences.
The first thing to talk about and one of the real reasons for getting this flash is the quality of the light. Not only is the fall off of the light at the edges far more pleasing, the hotspot in the centre seems, well less hot and more flat. (The above images have had the white and black points expanded to hi-light the fall off pattern.)
The second thing to talk about is the quality, this flash feels solid, well made, very similar to the AD200 and a definite improvement over their other on-camera units.
The battery is chunky and comes with it’s own USB-C charger which charges quite quickly. That said, even with heavy use (on the evening of amFar) I do not think I used more than one bar.
This quality and battery add up to a unit that is quite heavy and when top mounted on an X-T3 (even one with a fully loaded grip and 16-55/F2.8) the result is very top heavy. As my main use for flash during red carpet events is to shoot full length images, I use a custom flash bracket CB Mini-RC and in this configuration it does not feel to bad at all).
Actually using the unit took a little getting used to. Although it does support High-Speed Sync and has TTL Metering, in red carpet situations I found this combination to be a little sporadic and the additional power required for HSS meant slower recycling (and the manual states that the thermal cutout is likely to cut in earlier). In slower situations this has not proved to be a problem.
Once in manual the unit really is consistent (see the two images above). With a bit of experimentation I came to the power setting of 1/16 +0.7, which allowed the unit to keep up with my X-T3 in High Burst Mode for the short bursts I shoot (Its a technique to try and ensure no other flashes and open eyes on the subject).
With the manual power set and the shutter fixed between 1/200 & 1/250 (so not using HSS) I worked back to get a suitable iso from the selected F-Stop.
As the subject distance varied on the carpet, I needed to allowed for the fixed output of the flash by opening the aperture slightly (maybe 1.2 a stop) so I think the zoom head was also helping as little in this regard.
Overall I am very happy with the unit and its a great addition to my Godox kit, adding to the two AD200’s , the TT685 and single AD600. Like the other units it can act as a slave, controlled by any of the Godox Remote Controllers. Or it can act as the Master in a multi-flash set-up (which is how I will use it for portraits with the AD200 at the up-coming Frightfest where I will be returning as the house photographer)