Mixing Monolights & Graffiti

Godox Photo Equipment Co. Ltd was founded in China in 1993 and offers a full line of lighting equipment including studio, portable, power pack and head along with speedlights, macro lights, remote controls and camera accessories. Blink Photographic is distributing Godox in the USA and I tested three different monolight models: All offering variable power control, triggering via a wireless remote and compatibility with the Bowens S reflector mount.

godox1At 600 Watt-seconds, the Godox QT600 has a flash duration of 1/5000-1/800 sec and recycle times of .05 -1.2 sec at a rate of up to ten continuous flashes per second. It has a Guide Number of 250 at ISO 100 and carries an affordable $ 319.20 price tag. Output is variable from full to 1/128’th power in 50 steps over an eight-stop range. QS Series monolights are available in 300 Ws ($159.20) or 600 Ws ($239.20) versions and are adjustable through five stops down to 1/32’th power but with slower flash duration and recycle. There build quality and functionality is similar to the QT series. The third model tested was the entry-level DS200 that’s available at a reasonable $ 111.20 and has 200 Ws output along with specifications similar to the QS series.

godox2To trigger these lights, Godox provided their FT16 transmitter and set of FTR16 receivers that plug into an USB-like slot on each monolight, even the DS200, although that receptacle is located on its side not back. The system supports multiple flash group and remote power control. Each group (up to 16) can be set to 16 different levels, which is displayed on a small LCD panel on the transmitter. The transmitter has a 164 feet effective range and easily slips onto your camera’s hot shoe with its controls facing the photographer allowing you to easily adjust power and modeling lamp settings for each monolight.

For this setup, I placed a QT600 with Westcott’s 16 x 30-inch Apollo Strip lightbank at camera left. A DS200 with standard reflector is at camera right and placed behind the subject. This is almost identical lighting setup to the low-key shot but by using different background and a wardrobe change produced different results. Amanda was photographed against Lastolite’s Distressed Paper/Graffiti Urban collapsible background with the Graffiti side out because she felt it worked best with her casual workout attire. It was shot with a Panasonic Lumix GH4 and a Lumix G Vario 14-45mm f/3.5-5.6 (at 45mm) with an exposure of 1/125 sec at f/7.1 and ISO 200.

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Joe is the author of  “Joe Farace’s Glamour Photography.” You can pick up a copy at your local camera store, favorite bookseller as well as Amazon.com

Author: Joe Farace

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