GODOX V850 VING – Lithium-Ion Flash Review

The new V850 Ving from Godox would have to be one of the nicest inexpensive manual speedlites currently available. And they are not just a pretty face, Godox have slipped some groundbreaking features into this very impressive little flash as well.

UPDATE – There is now a full TTL version V860 also available – Full Review Here.

 

Godox V850

 

Firstly the V850 are the first inexpensive manual speedlite available with remote manual power control via radio.

Power levels of a number of off camera flash units can be adjusted remotely from a fast and simple transmitter unit, either mounted on the camera hotshoe, or even held in hand.

And not only that, HSS (High Speed Sync) is also available off camera when using an appropriate transmitter unit (for Canon or Nikon).

A compact FTR-16s radio receiver units clips neatly to the side of the flash and does not require any batteries.

 

Godox V850

 

The FT-16 radio transmitter provides one of the fastest and simplest remote manual power control interfaces currently available, and controls up to 16 groups of flashes.

Being a single firing pin on the transmitter foot it can also be used with just about any camera with a standard hotshoe.

The FT-16 never miss a beat, and range will easily reach 100 meters. In real use that’s a big practical advantage over many higher priced TTL systems currently available.

 

Godox FT-16s and FT-16

 

And the FT-16 transmitter are the same as used with the already very popular Godox Witstro.

So the V850 integrate seamlessly with the larger bare bulb lights, all using the same system of remote power control.

And all with HSS off camera if needed (for Canon and Nikon, and using an appropriate Cells II or similar transmitter unit).

 

Godox AD360 and V850

 

Hidden inside the V850 though is where the most ground breaking feature lies. A small note on the battery door is the only hint that there is actually something pretty special about this flash –

 

Godox V850

 

The V850 are the worlds first Lithium-Ion powered speedlight, replacing AA batteries altogether.

The compact VB18 battery mounted neatly inside the V850, and providing a massive 650 full power pops! With full power recycle time of just 1.5 seconds.

 

Godox V850

 

The compact 11.1V 2000mAh Lithium-Ion battery literally replaces 12 AA batteries, and all the hassle of battery management that goes with them!

That’s effectively an external battery pack built directly into the flash, without all the extra size, weight, and inconvenience of an extra pack.

 

Godox VB18

 

Features –

  • Full Power – GN 58 (m ISO 100)
  • Lithium-Ion Battery – 650 Full Power Pops!
  • 1.5 Second Recycle at Full Power
  • Fast Simple Remote Manual Power Control
  • 1/3rd Stop Power Adjustments (1/128 – 1/1)
  • HSS to 1/8000th Off Camera (with Cells II or appropriate TX)
  • 100M + Range & Very Reliable
  • Manual, Multi, S1 & S2 Optic Slave Modes
  • Fast Clear & Simple Interface
  • Large Clear LCD Screen
  • High Build Quality
  • Full 360 Degree Swivel and Tilt Head
  • 2.5mm Sync Port
  • Manual AF Assist Light
  • Plug In Receiver can be Updated
  • Metal Foot with Locking Pin
  • Kit Comes with Battery and Charger
  • 12 Volt Car Charger Available
  • Remote also Compatible with Witstro
  • Inexpensive – Excellent Bang for Buck!

 

The V850 are really a very impressive inexpensive flash, and they were quite an unexpected release.

The huge capacity of the V850’s Lithium-Ion battery means you simply don’t have to worry about batteries anymore, and the time consuming battery management that goes with them. Which really can get pretty ridiculous if using a number of speedlites and AA battery packs.

The V850 build quality is very high for a $120 flash, and power is really very close to a Canon 600EX-RT. In HSS I was surprised to find that light output is even well above the (much higher priced) Canon flash.

The V850 have transformed speedlites into a serious tool if needed, though the added convenience makes them much more enjoyable for anyone using them. And the V850 are priced to be affordable to most people. The the V850 really are a game changer.

 

The first thing you notice about the V850 is that the box is around twice the size of a regular speedlite –

 

Godox V850 Kit

 

And that’s because the kit version at least comes with its own charger and Lithium-Ion Battery.

When you start to think this flash is just $120, but that also includes a battery equivalent to 12 AA rechargeable batteries ($30), and a charger that will charge all that in one go. A good 8 Cell AA charger costs $70+. That’s $100 there already, and not to mention the cost of an external AA battery back to put all the batteries in.

I have to pinch myself sometimes that this flash even exists, let alone the fact that you’re basically getting it for little more than the cost of just the equivalent batteries and charger (in the old AA money).

 

Godox V850 Kit

 

 

Interface

 

Godox received a lot of praise for the super clear and simple user interface of the Witstro, so they have clearly tried to bring as much of that goodness to the V850 as well.

The result is not quite as good as the Witstro (because they actually use a different type of LCD screen which are constantly illuminated), but nevertheless the V850 are still very good, and likely the cleanest and simplest LCD style speedlite interface currently available.

The LCD screen is very clear, and the buttons are large and all have their own functions clearly marked. Anyone could easily pick up this flash and use most of the functions without having to go through the user manual first.

The test fire button is large and easy to press, and there is a quick and simple ON – OFF switch. Both of which are much better than many other speedlites currently provide.

 

Godox V850 Interace

 

Mode

The first button is simply the Mode button only. Pressing this scrolls through M (Manual), S1 and S2 optic slave modes, and RPT (or otherwise known as Mulit stroboscopic mode).

S1 is a regular optic slave, which fires the flash from the light of any other flash. And S2 ignores preflashes, so a TTL flash can be used to optically trigger the V850 in sync as well.

 

Godox V850 MODE

 

MORE V850 INTERFACE DETAIL HERE - Click to Expand

 

Zoom

The second button adjusts flash head Zoom on short press, and Custom Functions when held down for 2 seconds.

The Zoom goes from 24 to 105mm. And the good thing is that it stops at either end, instead of cycling back to the start again as some flashes do. This really helps to adjust the setting by feel if needed without seeing the LCD screen. An animation can be seen here.

There is currently no remote control of the flash head zoom with the current FT-16 transmitter. And Godox have not said if this function may be possible or not with a new transmitter at this stage.

 

Godox V850 Zoom

 

Custom Functions

There are only 2 simple Custom Functions. Sleep Mode time, and the time the AF assist light stays on after you press the MF button to turn it on (or take the last shot while it’s still illuminated).

Sleep mode is either OFF, 3, 10, 30, or 60 minutes. Though the flash has so much battery power its likely best to just leave the sleep mode off. Because the current FT-16 transmitter at least will not wake the flash from sleeping at all. Though I really don’t see much need to use the sleep mode at all with this flash.

The AF assist light is either 10, 20, or 30 seconds before it automatically goes off. You can turn it off manually by pressing he MF button a second time as well though.

 

Godox V850 Custom Functions

 

HSS (High Speed Sync)

The third button is MF (or AF assist light) on short press, and HSS (or H Mode) when held down for 2 seconds.

H Mode is simply released by pressing the Mode button once. An animation can be seen here.

H Mode or HSS can not be turned On or Off from the current FT-16 transmitter. And this is likely one of the biggest shortfalls of the current system. Again Godox have not indicated as yet whether or not this can be implemented with a new transmitter unit. There is more detail on the HSS mode further below.

 

Godox V850 HSS

 

Test Fire Button

The Test Fire Button / Recycle Indicator Light (illuminated red) is big and easy to see and press. Why on earth Canon and YongNuo etc make tiny dome shape Test Fire buttons that are ridiculously hard to push I have no idea. But the V850 is a big improvement anyway.

 

LCD Backlight

Probably the one main point to criticize about the V850’s interface, is simply that the LCD back light constantly goes out after just 10 seconds. And there is no way to keep it illuminated.

Its not that easy to see the screen indoors without the light on. And even pressing any of the buttons to make an adjustment does not automatically turn the light on, you have to remember to press the light button first.

This may sound trivial, but its really a bit annoying. And again the flash has so much battery power, there should at least be a custom function option to keep the light on all the time. That is one of the great things about the Witstro, the screen is always lit.

Like most speedlite LCD screens the viewing angle from above is not very good. From the sides its quite good, and just ok from below.

 

Godox V850 LCD Light

 

Sound Prompt

Holding the 5th button for 2 seconds turns the sound prompt On and Off.

This is a bit weak on the V850 compared to the Witstro. Its not a huge issue, but the sound prompt is very good on the Witstro, which really helps when setting manual powerl levels remotely with the FT-16 transmitter. The sound prompt gives you a clear indication the power level has changed on the flash, without having to see the LCD screen (which is often too dark to see on the unlit V850 LCD anyway).

 

Godox V850 LCD Sound Prompt

 

Power Setting

Power levels are set via the scrolling wheel, in 1/3rd stops, from 1/128 to 1/1.

This is very fast, as turning the wheel instantly starts changing the power levels, no need to press the SET button first, or after changing levels.

Again the settings stop at either end, instead of cycling back to the beginning. Which is a good thing. An abbreviated power setting animation can be seen here (its still 1.5MB though).

 

Godox V850 Power Levels

 

This is being picky, but like the Witstro flashes, Godox have gone to the extra effort of displaying power levels in both positive and negative increments, depending on whether you are scolling up or down in power level.

I personally think this is unnecessary, and even adds a little to confusion, as its possible to mistake a positive or negative fraction. From a distance these can look almost the same, but they are really over a stop apart. So all full number first would simplify these ( 1/4+0.7 and 1/8+0.3 ). That’s really being picky though.

 

Godox V850 Power Levels

 

Battery Level Indicator

With such large battery capacity, a battery level indicator is almost mandatory, otherwise you could be often recharging the battery unnecessarily.

The only small criticism here is that 4 bars would be give more of an indication than just 3 bars provided on the LCD screen indicator. 2 bars left showing could mean there are as many as 400 shots left, or possibly closer to just 200.

The battery charger does have 4 bars though, so the battery can be placed in that quickly to get a better indication if needed.

 

Single Firing Pin Foot

 

Before looking at Radio Triggers and HSS etc below, its important to understand that the V850 are only a simple single firing pin manual flash.

So there can be no communication beyond a simple fire signal through the flash foot, to cameras, or to more advanced TTL radio triggers etc.

The V850 also has a safety locking pin in the foot, which the Witstro lack.

 

Godox V850 Foot

 

 

Remote Power Control and Triggering –

 

FT-16 Transmitter and FTR-16s Receiver

The FT-16 transmitter provides very fast and simple remote manual power control. You simply press the + or – buttons to instantly bump the power levels up and down (in 1/3rd stops, from 1/128 to 1/1).

A sound prompt on the flash lets you know that the new power setting has been sent and adjusted successfully on the flash (which is great for when you can’t see the LCD screen).

The transmitter dial with letters and numbers looks a bit confusing, but its really just a simple dial with 16 different groups. Match the transmitter and receiver group, and you can change the power level of that flash (or group of flashes). All groups will always fire unless you set the power level of a certain group down to OFF.

Sound Prompt and AF Focus Assist Light can also be turned On and Off remotely for each group.

 

Godox V850 & FT16

 

The FT-16 are currently 433MHz, though they are not like the cheap short range ebay triggers often associated with 433MHz. They never miss a beat, and have solid range which will easily reach 100 meters. In real use they have a decent range advantage over most higher priced TTL systems currently available.

And they have no pre-flash to cause issues with light meters etc. The fire signal is also separate from the power level control, so they are not trying to communicate a lot of information before every shot. Just a simple reliable fire signal.

The FT-16 transmitter has a single firing pin foot, so it will work on just about any camera’s regular hotshoe to fire the flashes. Or the transmitter can be held in hand like a TV remote to change power levels, and other radio triggers etc then used to actually fire the flashes.

 

FTR-16s Receiver

The FTR-16s receiver unit is an updated version of the original FTR-16 receiver used on the Witstro, and many of Godox’s other studio lights.

The more compact FTR-16s is now connected to the flash via a specially designed 4 pin connection, rather than a standard USB port used previously. This new connection clips the receiver into place on the side of the flash, and also has much more robust electrical connections as well. The receiver has no batteries as its powered by the flash.

Even though there is still some gap between the receiver and flash body, the 4 contact pins are spring loaded with quite a lot of travel, so they will still make good contact even when the receiver is pushed in and out against the flash body.

This works well, though I would personally like to leave the receivers attached to the flashes. So I’m planning to also Velcro the receiver to the flash body, and then cover them over with Gaffa tape, so that the edges can not get snagged anywhere and pull the receiver away from the flash. I’ll look into a separate post on that.

 

Godox V850 & FT-16s Receiver

 

The advantage of separate plug in receivers (rather than built into the flash) is that they can be updated later, allowing the system to evolve without the flash itself becoming obsolete.

For example, even though the 433MHz system works well for now, we still hold out hope Godox may even switch completely to a 2.4GHz radio system at some stage.

 

Godox Witstro / Cheetah Lights

The FT-16 transmitter are also the same as used already with the popular Godox Witstro.

The V850 integrate seamlessly with the larger bare bulb lights, all using the same system of remote power control. And even with HSS off camera if needed (using an appropriate Cells II or similar transmitter unit).

And there are no AA batteries in any of the flashes now, which creates a very convenient and portable system with very little battery management at all.

 

Godox AD30 and V850

High Speed Sync – HSS

 

The V850 allow FP HSS off camera, similar to the HSS Canon or Nikon Speedlites provide. The flash pulses many times, basically acting as continuous light source for the time it takes the small slit between camera shutter curtains to move across the camera sensor.

Though HSS is only available off camera with the V850. (Remember this is a single firing pin flash, so it has no way of communicating HSS signals when mounted on a camera hotshoe). And a suitable transmitter like the Godox Cells II is also required to enable HSS.

I was pleasantly surprised when testing side by side with a Canon 600EX-RT, to discover the V850 actually provided considerably more light in the image than the Canon flash. From around 1/2, to nearly a full stop more light at higher shutter speeds.

The 600EX-RT does provide more even light across the frame with less gradient than the V850 though. Still any extra light available in HSS is a significant advantage.

The results below are with a Canon 50D crop sensor camera, and Godox Cells II transmitter. Results with full frame and other cameras may vary.

 

Godox V850 HSS

 

MORE DETAIL ON HSS HERE - Click to Expand

 

To engage the HSS (H Mode) on the V850, simply hold the third button down for 2 seconds, and the HSS symbol will display on the LCD screen as shown below. Press Mode to switch H Mode Off again. An animation can be seen here.

H Mode can not be turned On or Off remotely from the current FT-16 transmitter unfortunately, it has to be done directly on the flash. And Godox have not said as yet whether this would be possible to implement with a new transmitter unit or not.

 

Godox V850 HSS

 

To enable HSS a compatible transmitter unit is also required. This transmitter needs to communicate with the camera, detecting the early pre-sync firing signal required for HSS. So this transmitter must be dedicated to the camera, much like a compatible TTL flash unit would be.

Godox currently have the Cells II transceiver available for Canon, and a Nikon version should be coming soon.

The Cells II transmitter must be mounted DIRECTLY on the camera hotshoe. They won’t even fire on a short TTL cord connected to the camera hotshoe otherwise.

The FT-16 transmitter can then be held in hand (a bit like a TV remote) if you would like to change manual power level remotely on the flash.

 

Godox V850 and Cells II

 

This current system of 2 transmitter units is obviously not ideal, and its highly likely Godox will provide a new combined transmitter at some stage. I would imagine likely in the first half of this year.

 

Nikon and Other HSS Trigger Options

The Cells II are not the only HSS trigger option though, as most TTL radio triggers can also provide the early pre-sync signal required for HSS with the V850 / V860.

A few TTL triggers now even have a timing adjustment which can fine tune the timing, possibly allowing more light in the image.

For Nikon owners, currently the simplest option that appears to be providing good results for many people, is by simply stacking the Godox FT-16 transmitter on top of an inexpensive YN-622N transceiver, mounted on the camera hotshoe. No extra receivers (other than the FTR-16s) are required on the V850 / V860 flashes then.

 

This method doesn’t quite work so simply with the Canon version YN-622C though. As the YN-622C only provide the early fire signal required through their PC sync port (whether they are acting as transmitter or receiver).

 

Godox FT-16 and YN-622C

More detail on alternative triggering method with H-mode HSS can be seen in this post.

 

Flash Power

 

The V850 state a guide number of GN 58 (m ISO 100), and comparing directly with the Canon 600EX-RT they are really quite close.

Which is impressive because most flashes like YongNuo are over all really around 2 to 3 tenths bellow the Canon flash.

Speedlites have varying light patterns, and some have a hot spot in the center helping to boost the guide number. So I compared them direct, through a shoot through umbrella, and bounced of the ceiling at the same settings.

Direct – Equal
Shoot Thru – Equal
Bounced – V850 1 to 2 tenths less than the 600EX-RT

 

 

Flash Duration

 

I do not have the equipment needed to measure flash durations, though its fairly normal for speedlites to have T.1 duration longer than 1/250th of a second at full power, and this can be seen by comparing images at 1/1250th x-sync, and then longer shutter speeds. Because the flash duration is longer than 1/250th the shutter needs to be left open longer as well to allow the flash time to get all of its light out.

The results below are only light from the flash in the image, no ambient light. And the V850’s duration looks to be very similar to the Canon 600EX-RT at full power. From around 1/160th you loose about 3/10 of a stop of light moving to 1/250th (which is quite normal).

 

Godox V850 Flash Duration

 

Color & Consistency

 

The V850 are also fairly close to the Canon 600EX-RT in light color. While the YongNuo flashes are quite different in comparison.

And there is also very little color change at different power levels. Well within the stated 200 degrees variation across the power range. Speedlites, being relatively low power, generally do not suffer from color shift issues at different power levels though anyway.

 

 

Recycle Time

 

The V850’s 1.5 second full power recycle time is pretty respectable, though its definitely not rocket ship fast like Godox’s own PB960 external battery pack can provide with some other speedlites.

Full Power recycle at 1.5 second is good, but not super fast –

 

Godoc V850 Recycle - Full Power

 

Though ideally with speedlites its best to be using them at 1/2 power or less if possible anyway, so that they are not going to overheat too quickly.

And at 1/2 power, recycle time is around 0.5 seconds. Which in practical terms is almost instant.

And this is where I find the V850 is brilliant. It can bang away like this for over 1200 shots, with virtually instant recycle time (provided you break for at least 30 seconds once within every 60 shots avoiding the heat protection). And all without the hassle of any external battery pack.

 

Godoc V850 Recycle - 1/2 Power

 

Compared to the Canon 600EX-RT at full power without an external pack the the V850 is considerably faster, around 1.5 seconds vs 2.2 seconds or more.

YongNuo flashes like the inexpensive YN-560 III however, without any battery pack, are actually a little faster than the V850. Considering they are a bit less powerful, you could say basically around the same times.

I think that shows that the V850 battery is likely not acting like a High Voltage Battery Pack, and sending power straight to the flashes capacitor like an external High Voltage Pack normally does. (As there would need to be a transformer squeezed into the flash somewhere as well to bring the battery voltage to 330 volts or so first).

And the V850 does not have any external HV battery port, so there is currently no means of speeding up recycle further if you really need that. Though as noted further below, there are actually extra electrical contacts in the V850’s battery compartment. So Godox have obviously allowed for some other power source than the current VB18 battery in the future.

As it stands, for general off camera use I think the V850 are brilliant as they are. Though I have mentioned to Godox that I’m not sure this is going to translate as well to a TTL version of the flash, where wedding photographers etc often do want super past recycle for a short burst of shots. Off camera you can simply double up the flashes to half the recycle time if needed. But you can only have one TTL flash on the camera. So it will be interesting to see what the TTL version (expected around March) will be like with regards to recycle times.

 

 

Overheat Protection

 

Recycle times are one thing, but the main limiting factor with speedlites is really overheating.

The V850 will enter overheat protection mode and slow recycle down to around 15 seconds after –

20 shots at 1/1 power
30 shots at 1/2 + 0.7
40 shots at 1/2 + 0.3
60 shots at 1/2

Though as long as you pause for at least 30 seconds within those periods the flash won’t actually go into overheat protection mode at all. And knowing that its best to try and stay out of heat protection mode altogether, otherwise it probably is a little excessive once it starts.

But at 1/2 power for example, its rare that you wouldn’t pause for at least 30 seconds at some point within 60 shots anyway. So even if shooting pretty fast most of the time, the protection mode will hardly be an issue if you can avoid full power when possible.

At full power, its best to be mindful to slow down before the flash does it for you (as 15 second recycle is no fun).

 

Godox V850 Temperature

 

I did a lot of testing with the V850 to see how durable they really are. I didn’t kill the V850 (its still going fine), though the front lense is all melted now. I did blow the flash tube in a YN-560 III trying to keep up with the V850 though. I had to really cheat the overheat protection on both flashes to do that.

What I learnt from that testing though is that the Lithium-Ion battery does not get hot like the NiHM AA batteries do (as it would likely be dangerous if they did). With exactly the same number of shots in the test above, the NiHM batteries were so scorching hot I could not even touch them, while theV850’s Lithuim-Ion battery was just a little bit warm at most. So that’s saving a large amount of heat stress on the flash as well, and the cooler the flash body is the faster the heat is going to dissipate from the flash tube as well.

The V850 User Manual also states there is only 10 consecutive shots in HSS mode before the heat protections cuts in. But the flashes I have tested at this stage do 20 shots even in HSS.

 

Battery

 

The compact VB18 11.1V 2000mAh Lithium-Ion battery literally replaces 12 AA batteries.

Provided I counted correctly, I was able to get 645 full power pops from the one battery. And the recycle did not start to slow right down until the last 5 pops. That’s compared to around 210 pops which a set of 4 AA Eneloops would generally provide.

So the Lithium-Ion VB-18 really does replace 12 AA NiHM batteries. And the hassle of charging and managing them all.

And that’s just for one flash and AA pack. With a number of flashes the V850 really save a lot of time and hassle with battery management, and extra gear to organise and carry.

 

Godox V850 VB18 Battery

 

The supplied battery charger fully recharges the VB18 battery in around 2.5 hours, and again its well made.

Both the battery and charges are also shaped nicely so that a number of them can be stacked together in a compact package. And a 12 volt car charging adapter is also available as an option.

One thing that would be a nice option would be a multi dock charger, which could possibly charge up to 4 batteries at once. That may not be that much smaller, but at least it would only need one power cord and power outlet then.

 

Godox 850 Charger

 

The VB18 slides into the V850’s battery compartment quickly and effortlessly, and clips in place behind a spring loaded lever, just like most DSLR battery compartments.

Unlike messing about messing about with AA batteries, if you do need to change the V850’s battery, you can do it quickly, and literally in the dark if needed.

And there is no spring pressure then on the actually battery door. Which negates the need for all the crazy engineering that has previously gone into trying to perfect a battery door the won’t eventually break.

 

Godox V850 Battery Compartment

 

Inside the V850 battery compartment there are actually two extra sets of smaller electrical contacts. Which are not being used at all with the current VB18 battery.

One extra set on the back wall where the main power contacts are –

 

Godox V850 Battery Compartment

 

And another extra set of contacts on the side wall of the battery compartment.

 Godox V850 Battery Compartment

 

This suggests that at the very least that Godox have made plans for some other form or power supply in the future.

These could possibly be a direct path to the capacitor like a regular external High Voltage battery port provides. Meaning faster recycle times with a some form of high voltage battery, or battery pack, yet to come (likely for the TTL version of the flash, due around March).

That is just my speculation though, they could even be some form of communication port.

UPDATE – These may actually not be contacts at all, just cutouts in the flash case to allow the circuit board to fit in. As everything is packed very tightly inside the flash with the larger battery compartment now needed.

 

 

Ports

 

Apart from the custom 4 pin receiver port, the V850 only has the one other simple 2.5 mm sync port.

This sync port appears to be covered by the rubber cover in most images when the receiver is mounted, though its actually accessible with the receiver still in place if needed.

As much as I hate whine about a mini-phone port (as they are much better than regular PC sync ports), it is a little frustrating that Godox could not have kept with a 3.5mm port instead of 2.5mm, especially as the Witstro units and even the Cells II use 3.5mm ports. That’s not a big issue though.

 

Godox V850 Sync Port

 

 

AF Assist Light

 

The V850 has a manual only AF assist light, which can actually be turned On and Off remotely from the FT-16 transmitter, or directly on the back of the flash.

The beam is a bright sharp lazer style projection similar to what the current YongNuo flashes use.

This is clearly aimed more towards the coming TTL version of the flash though, as it has pretty limited us off camera, and on camera its not particularly convenient to turn On and Off manually either. Without TTL contacts on the current flash foot its impossible to operate automatically with the camera focus (or half shutter press etc).

For a mainly off camera flash like the V850 (or Witstro units) I think an LED modelling or video light could be much more useful here instead. Particularly with the remote control already available from the FT-16 transmitter.

 

Godox V850 AF Assist Light

 

 

Compared To

 

At the time of writing this the V850 are really the only inexpensive remote manual speedlite currently available. And likely the only Lithium-Ion speedlite to be available for a while until others catch up.

The remote manual flash coming from Cactus in a few months will likely be the most comparable alternative we know of at this stage (though don’t expect Lithium-Ion power).

The YongNuo YN-560 III are likely the flash most people will currently be choosing between though. The YN-560 III should have actually been the first inexpensive remote manual speedlight available, but YongNuo have been very slow to release a transmitter which will enable the remote power control already built into the flash.

The YN-560 III are still a great little flash for what they are. Though the V850’s built quality alone is better, and considering the flash without battery and charger (as the YN-560 III comes) does not cost that much more, the V850 come out pretty favorably in comparison. That’s even if they didn’t have the Lithium-Ion battery, currently available remote transmitter, and HSS option.

Where YongNuo have also dropped the ball a little with the YN-560 III, is that they are not directly compatible with their other popular systems like the YN-622. So there is no real incentive to not go with another brand option like the V850, as they are no more or less compatible with YN’s other systems.

How well Godox will integrate the V850 into their own coming systems other than the current manual Witstro also remains to be seen.

 

YN-560 III vs Godox V850

 

 

Specs

 

SPECS HERE - Click to Expand

Godox V850
Type Lithium-ion polymer powered camera flash
Compatible Cameras DSLR cameras with universal hotshoe
Guide Number (1/1 power @ 105mm) 58 (m ISO 100) 190 (feet ISO 100)
Flash Coverage Manual zoom from 24 to 105mm
Flash Duration 1/300 to 1/20000 second
Color Temperature 5600K±200K
Rotation Angle Vertical -7° to 90°, Horizontal 0 to 360°
Exposure Control
Flash Mode Manual Zoom from 24 to 105 mm
Flash Ratio 1/1 to 1/128 in 1/3rd stop increments , OF
High Speed Sync Triggering Up to 1/8000 second depending on the camera. A high speed trigger e.g. Godox Cells II required.
Wireless Power Control Wirelessly control flash power ratio, focus assist beam, or buzzer, as well as trigger the flash. A FT-16S flash trigger is required.
Multi Mode Provided. Frequency 1 to 199Hz and Times 2 to 100
Flash Recycling
Power Supply Lithium-ion polymer battery pack (Godox VB18)
Battery Capacity 11.1V/ 2000mAh
Charging Time 2.5 hours with AC charger
4 hours with car charger
Power Saving Enter sleep mode after certain period of idle operation (time adjustable or disable.)
Full Power Flashes Approx. 650
Flash Ready Indicator Red indicator lights up when flash is ready to work
Control Panel
Flash Ready Indicator Wide LCD panel
Sync Mode Sync cord jack, hotshoe, wireless control port
Focus Assist Beam Manual on or off
Sound Beep Buzzer Manual on or off
Overtemperature Protection Function Activated after 20 successive full power pops, 60 pops at 1/2 power etc.
Sleep Function Sleeping time is 10 minutes by default. Time is user adjustable.
Power-Off Memory Function Settings will be remembered and recovered after a restart.
Dimension
Size 190 x 75 x 60 mm
Weight 530 g (Li-ion battery included)

 

Summary

 

The Godox V850 are spot on value for a well designed and well built remote manual flash. With the Lithium-Ion battery they are standout.

The Lithoum-Ion battery is small revolution, and saves lot of time and extra gear to manage. The remote manual control is very fast and simple. HSS sync is excellent.

No more swapping out a ton of AA batteries, or needing to attach battery packs all the time. Used at half power you have basically instant recycle time which is ideal.

And combining flashes is even more practical when you don’t have to attach battery packs to them all or worry about changing batteries. ( And its hard to believe all of this cost less than one Canon 600EX-RT where I live ) –

 Phottix Multi Boom 28" & Godox V850

 

Even just hand holding a single flash or 2, the freedom of not having a battery pack hanging around all the time is brilliant. (The new Phottix Multi Boom 28″ shown. 16″ version here).

 

Phottix Multi Boom 28" & Godox V850

 

For current owners of the Witstro bare bulb flash units the V850 are really the obvious companion speedlite choice (using the same remote manual transmitter and HSS etc).

 

Godox AD30 and V850

 

Godox will have an ETTL version of the V850 due around March. And a Nikon ITTL version should follow.

The question that is a little up in the air right now is if or how the current manual V850 will integrate with the new TTL flash.

I’m sure Godox are well aware many people want to integrate the current flashes with a TTL flash on-camera. But I really don’t know what there intentions are with the coming flash at this point.

I think its highly likely a new transmitter will come sooner or later as well, basically combining the FT-16 and HSS enabled Cells II.

 

 

Price and Availability

 

Available now for around $110 –

Amazon – TT850, V850FT-16, FTR-16sCells II

Ebay – V850FT-16 / Neewer FT-16, FTR-16sCells II, ($24 FT-16s SET!)

Adorama – Flashpoint Zoom, FT-16 Set, FTR-16s.

 

See alternative radio trigger options with the V850 here.

Godox – V850 Brochure
Godox – Website

V860 TTL version also now available – Full Review.

.

228 Comments
  1. Tino 4 years ago

    i own this flash for about a month now and i didn´t need to charge this beast of a battery until yet. i never plugged in the charger and this thing still keeps shooting. pretty awesome!

  2. Gusti 4 years ago

    Just one question.
    Is by using Pixel King Pro, I could remotely change the power of the flash from the King Pro interface? Does it compatible? Or do I have to use ONLY Cells II transmitter to remote control the flash power & HSS?

    • IL 4 years ago

      No, you can only remotely change the power of the V850 using the Godox FT-16/Cells II trigger system.
      Think about it this way: the hot shoe has only a single contact for firing the flash. The receiver plug-in interface is proprietary to the FT-16S receiver. The mini stereo sync plug can only be used to fire off the flash.
      So there is literally no way for a Pixel King Pro (or Pocket Wizard or Odin or YN-622) to give the flash instructions to adjust power.

      If you are trying to fit the Godox Wistro/V850 systems into your current lighting workflow, you should treat it as being on a separate trigger system. So you would use the Pixel King Pro and the Cells II/FT-16 in parallel.

      My recommended configuration is:
      Pixel King Pro on camera hotshoe, providing remote control to your existing flashes on the Pixel King Pro system.
      Extra Pixel King Pro transceiver, set to an active group, and with a FT-16/Cells II transmitter slotted on it.
      I prefer to put this piggy-backed transceiver/transmitter in my pocket during shoots so the FT-16/Cells II sticks out at my hip. Use FT-16/Cells II transmitter to adjust the power of the Godox lights as needed.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Hi Gusti,

      As IL explained very well above, only the FT-16 transmitter and FT-16s receiver can be used to change power levels on the V850.

      Also as IL explained, you could either place the FT-16 transmitter on top of just one King receiver to fire all the V850, or attach King receivers on all the V850.

      Either way you have HSS with all the flashes then. Its just a matter of managing the extra hand held FT-16 transmitter, or transmitter with King receiver. Thanks.

  3. Ross Campbell 4 years ago

    A very comprehensive and detailed review, 10/10.

    I have just ordered one and looking forward to using it. If all goes well and I’m sure it will, I can see myself buying more.

    The TTL feature doesn’t concern me that much at all, as 99% of the time when I am using off camera flash I use manual mode, TTL wireless can be very hit and miss.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Thanks Ross,

      Its not really the TTL feature off camera that many people are interested in, but more so how to combine a TTL flash on the camera hotshoe when needed. And still fire and control the V850’s off camera.

      If you only need an off camera manual system then its all pretty well sorted out now, except for the second HSS transmitter is not ideal (but I’m pretty sure Godox will combine them eventually).

  4. Eugene Bogorad 4 years ago

    Great review, thank you!

  5. mark 4 years ago

    This sounds like a pretty cool unit but…

    Is there a way to trigger and control the power of off-camera GODOX V850 VING units with an on-cmarea GODOX V850 VING or any on-camera flash? Or can this only be done with the FT-16?

    Thx

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Hi Mark,

      That’s the big question that is a bit up in the air at the moment.

      Godox have a TTL version of the V850 expected around March. But at this stage we don’t know if its just a stand alone TTL flash for on-camera use, or if it may control other TTL flashes off camera, or if it will control the manual V850.

      I’m sure Godox are aware of the need for a TTL flash on camera option, as that has already been an issue for a while now with the Witstro/Cheetah Lights.

      So we are hoping to get some detail as soon as possible on what the new TTL flash may offer.

      For now the only TTL flash on camera option with an integrated transmitter would be the Phottix Mitros+, with an Odin or Strato II receiver then attached to the FT-16 transmitter held in hand. They would still provide HSS.

      If your camera has a PC sync port, you could also use any flash on the camera hotshoe, and then attach the FT-16 transmitter to the cameras PC sync port (via a hotshoe to PC sync cord) like this. There is no HSS for the off camera flashes then though.

      The last option would be to stack a TTL flash on top of a trigger with pass through hotshoe. A Phottix Strato II would work without HSS off-camera, and YN-622 or Pixel King Pro would work with HSS. FT-16 transmitter is then attached to a corresponding receiver to fire the V850/Witstro.

      • mark 4 years ago

        Thanks for the detailed answer! Great review! This has become my go to place for all battery operated flashes. Love it!

  6. rmrpictures 4 years ago

    Great review!

    I’m loving the Godox line of flashes. I currently have a NEWWER AD 180 and was looking to replace it with these for better portability. How many V850’s would be the equivalent of the 180?

    Are you going to do a reivew of the Godox XEnergizer 600W at any point? I liked to have those for some high powered lights.

    Thanks and keep up the great work!

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Thanks rmrpictures,

      2 of the V850 are pretty close to the AD180 in light output.

      But the catch there is that the V850 won’t bang away constantly at full power like the AD180. So it depends on how you’re generally using the AD180.

      Otherwise you would basically need 4 of the V850 used at 1/2 power to match the continuous shooting ability of the AD180 at full power.

      Yes I would like to look at the XEnergizer at some stage. It would be interesting to compare to the AD360. I don’t have the Quadra so I would likely have to hire one to compare.

      If anyone else happens to have access to both in the mean time, it would be great to hear how they really compare at full power and 1/250th shutter speed (for taming the ambient/sun).

  7. Pablo 4 years ago

    I got one a few weeks ago. I like it very much so far and will probably replace my 560III with theese soon, although:

    I wish the radio receiver were built in. The FT16-S Makes the flash bulkier and harder to pack.
    I would have preferred a 3.5mm instead of a 2.5mm sync minijack.
    There is no way of turning off a group remotely, unless you lower the power to zero ( which means pressing the button up to 21 times because of the 1/3 increments only), you may also forget where was it set too.
    I´ve bought chineese batteries for my DSLR that became unreliable after not too long, I hope thats not the case with this battery.
    I miss a small transmitter even without remote control, besides the current one, specially when I use my G12 or X-100S.

    Apart from the compatibilty with the Witstro, it also works with the xenergizer (600W!)

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Hi Pablo,

      Thanks for that. I’ve been slipping the flash with receiver attached into their pouch, but without the base stand as that won’t fit. But this seems to work to leave the receiver attached. Though I’m going to look at ways attach them more securely / permanently.

      Yes the transmitter is not ideal for turning groups on and off quickly, for light meter readings etc. Godox are aware of this, so hopefully any new transmitter will take these things into consideration.

      Luckily Godox batteries seem to be pretty good. Which is ideal as they are reasonably priced. It does get hard with all the off-brand DSLR batteries. It gets to the point where you end up paying full price for the originals (Canon/Nikon/Sony) etc which hurts. Godox seem to be a pretty good balance.

      That is an interesting point about the small transmitter option, I will forward that on.

      Have you used the FT-16 transmitter with the V850/Witstro and the XEnergizer ?

      I thought the XEnergizer used the 0 to 50 power scale. I’m still not sure these can be combined easily, without at least using two FT-16 transmitters (each set to a different power scale). Otherwise you could include many of the Godox studio lights as well.

      • Donovan Dennis 4 years ago

        Great review Flash Havoc. Really practical and lots of information inside.
        For xenergizer, please dont put your expectation too high. The power level is using 1/1 – 1/32 so we dont need extra ft-16 transmitter to use together with witstro and Ving. It has huge power, but the Flash duration is little bit slower than witstro and unfortunately it is no IGBGT tipe of flash because it dont have auto dump power. You need to pop once everytime you lower the power.
        The main complaint about this xenergizer is the accessories mounting was attach to plastic body and in my opinion the plastic quality is far from i feel from witstro body. I need to modify the mounting little bit with Bowens mount speedlight bracket.

        But it still a very good companion for V850 and Witstro series, thanks to FT-16.

        • Author
          Flash Havoc 4 years ago

          Ok great thanks for that Donovan.

          I was aware of the accessory mount, which is the main reason I’ve been in no rush at this stage. That just needs the modifier / speedring mounted directly to the stand. But hopefully they may update the head design before I get to it.

          Do you know how much light is lost roughly at 1/250th? Thanks.

          • Donovan Dennis 4 years ago

            I havent check that yet. But i predict it is still bright just like any shutter below 1/250, because its character is much different with speedlight (IGBGT) flash. Something i realize that Xenergizer has long duration, even until 1/32 power. i even can use it together with witstro and VING in HSS mode with helps of YN622N stacked. I can still get fine exposure until 1/8000 in the middle frame. The gradation is bright at the bottom side, and slowly goes down to the top frame. At the top it is not dark at all, still usable.

  8. Chris Burch 4 years ago

    As usual, your review is unmatched for thoroughness and practical application — impressed as always, which is why I check this site several times a day for new updates.

    I bought a pair of the CL-360’s right when then came out and have recently picked up my 4th V850. I now have several gigs under my belt using both types of lights and it’s a game changer for me for a few reasons. I have used 4 remote V850’s on stands for reception lighting and the CL-360’s for portraits and they all fit in my old small roller case with room for 2 kinds of reflectors, spare batters, all the remotes, and even 2 collapsible beauty dishes for the CL-360’s. That puts 6 lights in one rather small case that will cover all of my location shooting needs.

    The single remote to control power on both lights is a godsend and I will never go back to not having remote power. The fact that the same remote operates both types of flash is exceptionally convenient. I should point out that even the the remote has a battery power indicator that seems to work quite well. I find it amazing how few flash products have battery indicators.

    The power capacity of the Godox batteries is shockingly good and I have done multiple gigs in a row without recharging anything — that would have required a recharge of dozens of AA’s with my previous setup.

    Overall I am incredibly pleased with the new Godox flashes and brag about them every chance I get. If they keep progressing with products like this it will be very exciting to see what comes next.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Thanks for that Chris.

      Yes it will be very interesting to see what Godox come up with next. They have really made a huge leap compared to their previous speedlites for example.

      With the battery level indicator, we are starting to see them on flashes like the Phottix Mitros.

      But the issue as far as I understand, is that with traditional NiHM batteries the voltage discharge curve is very flat. So the voltage stays similar until the battery is just about dead. And therefore the indicator has no way to know when the battery’s at 1/2 capacity etc. Though the Mitros do seems to work ok.

      Using Alkaline batteries in the transmitter works great as their voltage drops off steadily.

      And Lithium-Ion appear to work fine with battery level indicators as well.

  9. Craig 4 years ago

    As the others have mentioned, great review Elvis.

    I actually just received me shipment from Gadget Infinity today (arrived in just over 1 week!). So far, I am also very impressed by these units. The Tx/Rxs work great as expected and I’m looking forward to the long battery life.

    Great bang for the buck for sure.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Thanks Craig,

      Yep their pretty sweet and simple. Hope you enjoy them.

  10. alberto 4 years ago

    I currently have 3 of them that I use with a 60″ softlighter II. Attached to a 3 hot shoe mount with a 3.5 jack.

    The FT-16 is awesome. Compare to using just a basic manual trigger system…the ft-16 system is everything I ever wanted. So far in my opinion they are the best flash and trigger system under $200.

  11. alberto 4 years ago

    Flash Havoc. Do you feel confident that the Neewer vision is as good? They are just $99.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Hi alberto,

      Its exactly the same flash, Godox offer a service to screen print your brand name on them.

      But New Harbor have some sort of a system where they generally ship from HK via a warehouse or similar in the USA. I’ve asked them and they say that any returns will only be to the US address as well.

      They appear to be Amazon fulfilled at the moment though anyway, so you’re dealing with Amazon, who are excellent with returns anyway and ship fast from a local warehouse.

      I’ve not heard any complaints (likely because most transactions are through Amazon anyway) but places like CheetahStand are great to deal with, as you a can actually talk to someone who cares.

      So same flash, but different approach to sales and service.

  12. HeadShotz 4 years ago

    I’m not clear on this part. Does HSS off camera with appropriate TX include the YN622N?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Hi HeadShotz,

      Yes it does include the YN-622N, but its not completely black and white as to how well they will work.

      All the triggers have a slightly different latency, or delay, when they trigger the remote flashes, so results can vary. Full frame cameras are generally the hardest to cater for as they have fairly slow shutter travel.

      But in general the YN-622N should give pretty reasonable results.

      A timing adjustment on the transmitter can allow you to fine tune the results to basically the best you’re going to be able to get. And the new YN-622N-TX also features a timing adjustment. So they may provide some advantage in light output. Thanks.

  13. jonathan jair solache ramirez 4 years ago

    How I can place my order? I care the V850 I GODOX I live in mexico

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Hi Jonathan,

      You may be best to look for an Ebay seller who will ship worldwide – Ebay

      EachShot will ship to Mexico otherwise, but they do not appear to have he FT-16s radio set listed yet. Thanks.

  14. Russell Boate 4 years ago

    Just received mine today, ordered from Gadget Infinity on Sunday and arrived today in Canada. Very solid design and everything works as advertised. I look forward to using them along with my godox ad360.

  15. Clark James 4 years ago

    You say you can adjust the power remotely using the ft-16 without needing the ft-16 to be on camera, so just holding it in your hand- so can you confirm that you can adjust power while in S1 or S2 mode

    if so that’s sweet

    as i’m currently running 2x 600ex-rt’s tripped with a yn-ste3, and a 560III set to optical trigger as fill/spare/background/on a twin bracket with a 600ex, but obviously have to adjust the 560 manually by walking over to it, so that slows things down sometimes- so I could replace the 560 with the godox 850 and have wireless manual control while still being triggered optically by the flash output of the 600ex-rt’s

    if yongnuo hurried up with wireless manual control for the 560, and it could indeed be used to adjust power without being on the camera then that would be great as I already have a large supply of AA rechargeables, but interesting to go down the li-ion route, even if it is another charger to clutter up my place, and I can’t seem to find replacement batteries anywhere

    • Clark James 4 years ago

      one more thing:

      if yongnuo come out with their 600ex soon that would be the idea solution I think- but liking the idea of Li-ion, so maybe i’ll end up replacing everything with multiple ettl 850’s

      i’ve been spoilt by not having to worry about wireless receivers on the flashes, so I like the 600’s and the 560’s, but from the looks of it the ft-16 does’t add too much bulk

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Hi Clark,

      Yes remote power control works in S1 and S2 slave mode as well.

      Replacement VB18 batteries are already available on Amazon etc.

  16. Chris Burch 4 years ago

    Clark, you can use the FT-16 transmitter for only power adjustments off camera if you want and trigger the flash with alternate means. I use Phottix Stratos II triggers on my camera and on each of the V850 flashes. My normal reception lighting is 4 remote speedlights spread around a room and the Stratos II gives me the ability to instantly turn each light off one at a time with a single button push, and since it has pass-through eTTL, I can still use my 600ex speedlight on camera for my main light. I keep the FT-16 in my pocket or nearby if I need to make power adjustments — that usually only happens in the beginning, though. I would love to be able to dump the extra set of triggers, but I have to have on camera flash, which the FT-16 won’t support.

    If I am using the V850 or my CL-360 flashes for portrait lighting, I will use the FT-16 on camera, because I don’t need on-camera flash. It’s easy to build a system that gives you all the flexibility you need on or off camera.

  17. Jacques 4 years ago

    Love the flash, but when I use it with the FT-16s set, it syncs with the pre-flash rather than the working pop of my TTL flash (Metz 36 AF-5 on Panasonic G6). Anyone know a workaround? How are others using these with on-camera TTL flash units? Is this specific to Panasonic, or does the same thing happen with CaNikon? Any help would be appreciated.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Hi Jacques,

      Do you have the V850 set to S2 mode then, so that it ignores the TTL pre-flash?

      The way I use a TTL flash in camera, is to connect the FT-16 transmitter to the camera via a PC sync to hotshoe cord. That won’t be so easy if the camera doesn’t have a PC sync adapter though.

      • Jacques 4 years ago

        “Do you have the V850 set to S2 mode then, so that it ignores the TTL pre-flash?”

        No, I’m using radio slave – not optical. S2 mode is an optical mode, no?

        • Author
          Flash Havoc 4 years ago

          Ok thanks Jacques.

          So do you have the FT-16 transmitter connected to the PC syc port in your camera then? (considering the flash is in the hotshoe).

          • Jacques 4 years ago

            Update:

            Since my G6 and GX7 have no PC terminal, I’m using a flash bracket and a sync cord that has hotshoes at both ends, with the FT-16 transmitter at the camera end and a TTL flash at the bracket end. I was using a Neewer TTL-C 3m Off Camera Flash Speedlite TTL Shoe Cord for Canon, figuring this would be compatible since the pin layout is the same. The Neewer TT850 was set to M.

            Here’s what I’ve since discovered. When I change out the Neewer cord for an Opteka FSC-5 E-TTL / i-TTL Off-Camera Flash Sync Cord for Canon EOS, Nikon & Pentax, the TT850 (set to M mode) syncs appropriately. So, it’s a cord issue. Go figure.

            I’ve also found, rather disappointingly, that neither S1 nor S2 provides a working optical sync with a Metz 36 AF-5 or Vivitar DF-183 TTL flash on the camera. The TT850 flashes prematurely. Seems not to be compatible with Panasonic’s TTL system. I’ll be reporting this to Godox.

          • Author
            Flash Havoc 4 years ago

            Thanks Jacques, at least you have the cord issue sorted out.

            The S2 mode works fine with Canon, so if you could possibly try with a Canon camera you would at least know if its an issue just with your flash.

    • Jay 4 years ago

      Two weeks late I know but just ran across this comment and thought I’d note that I ran into the same issue with YongNuo flashes (560 EX II for example) using S2 mode there, so this isn’t specific to the V850.

      It ignores the pre-flash correctly on my Nikons but the Panasonic TTL flash seems to confuse it. The only workaround I could find was to use the on-board flash in manual mode only – doesn’t seem to be any way to get the S2 mode to play nicely with the Micro Four Thirds TTL signals.

  18. YS 4 years ago

    This really needs a modelling light option – once you worked with those it’s hard to go back to guessing your lights.

  19. GO 4 years ago

    Wish I had read more carefully as I just ordered two of the Neeweer branded TT850’s and two sets of the FT-16 trans/rec combos. Well imagine my surprise when I tried to fit the USB looking plug that comes on the FT-16 into the 4 pin style plug on the TT850. Sucks as I was looking forward to trying them out this weekend.

    WARNING.. Make dang sure you order the FT-16S for this flash!

    As for the flash both arrived in working order and should be just fine for my ocf uses once I get the proper trans/ rec

    OH Flash Havoc thanks for a great site. It is my go to resource for all things lighting.

  20. Donald M. Falls 4 years ago

    May I have your attention please?

    My name is Donald. I was a long time PW owner. I was a big fan of HSS but I just cant justify the high prices for 4 expensive flashes with “HSS” and four receivers with “HSS”. I started using Godox/Neewer TT560 during late 2012 and this went I start shooting manually. Then when I first heard of Godox Ving V850, I was so curious because it does Manual and HSS.

    Here is my method:

    I made the order since 2/2/2014 for (3) V850s, (1 pack of) YN622c, FT-16s (1 remote & 3 receivers), Triple Mount Flash Bracket with Sync & Umbrella Mount and Pocket Wizard PC Sync to 3.5mm cable from Amazon website. All of those came here to my house on 2/06/2014.

    Guess what? they all fires off 1 YN622 receiver in HSS without black bar visible on my image. I am using 5D Classic. I can put my remote on top of my YN622c on my camera and fires all three flashes with one YN622c receiver in HSS mode without issues. Look for video tomorrow.

    • Jason 4 years ago

      I would certainly like to see that! 🙂

  21. Jason 4 years ago

    When they come out with a minimalistic transmitter (see elinchrom) I will grab a pair of two!

  22. Donald F. 4 years ago

    Here is the video of my method:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ei2g3zBLvp8

    I will also find more ways.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Fantastic, thanks Donald.

      I’ve posted some more triggering options up here as well. Thanks.

  23. Naftoli 4 years ago

    this flash looks awesome! and would certainly compliment my Adorama Streaklights. am i correct in assuming i can use say a Godox transmitter to fire a Newwer tt850 bc they are the exact same thing just different names?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Hi Naftoli,

      Yes they are all the same and compatible. Though some have different group marking printed around the group dials. If you ignore the markings (if they are different) and just align the dial in the same positions, then they will all work together. Thanks.

  24. Taro 4 years ago

    Any comparative info on .T5 duration between V850/V860, and 1) YN560 III, 2) CL-180, and 3) CL-360?

    I’m looking for a portable flash setup that emits most light in 1/3200 sec, 1/1600 sec, or 1/800 sec. I want it for use with the new Canon G1 X Mark II, which has a leaf shutter that can sync at up to 1/3200 sec for apertures from F2 to F7.1.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Hi Taro,

      I think they are all reasonably similar in duration at full power, and up to 1/3200 theoretically the CL-360 should still provide the most light.

      I would like to get a camera capable of comparing faster durations myself. Though I have read the G11 etc only working to around 1/1000th. So I’m really not sure which camera would be best for this. The old Nikon D70 and D40 don’t seem to have any limitations from what I’ve read over they years.

  25. mrH 4 years ago

    Are there two different versions of the FT-16 receiver? In the pictures one seems to be oblong shaped, and another more rounded.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Yes, there is the original rounded FT-16, which connects to the Witstro AD180 and AD360 or Cheetah Lights, via a USB port connection, and the new FT-16s which only work with the V850 and V860 speedlites (and connect via a new 4 pin connection).

      So due to the connection the FT-16 and FT-16s are not interchangeable. They both use the same transmitters though. Thanks.

      • mrH 4 years ago

        Thanks for the clarification. I nearly ordered the wrong one!

  26. Aaron Hutchcraft 4 years ago

    I do not see the Cells ii transmitter on Amazon for sale? will the Cells ii from Godox work with the Neewer flash units from Amazon? thanks

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Hi Aaron,

      Yes they will work together. There is an Amazon for the Cells II here. And some more here. Thanks.

  27. Mitch W 4 years ago

    Can anyone tell me about:

    The recycle time

    The recycle time or number of consecutive pops when shooting at a lower power say 1/4 or 1/8?

    I’m asking because the new Phottix Mitros + when set to manual and 1/4 or 1/8 power will only give 1 pop then there’s a lag. My Nikon SB 800 will fire off 4 or 5 pops in a row, granted with very slightly diminishing exposure consistency.

    But I can shoot a 4 FPS motor drive burst of 2 or 3 frames with the Nikon SB on manual. And can’t do this with the Mitros+

    So I’m curious whether this flash exhibits the same behavior..

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Hi Mitch,

      As posted in the Mitros+ thread, it sounds like the Nikon Mitros+ needs some tweaking, as the Canon Mitros I have is much better than that, and pretty well the same as the V850.

      At 1/8th power 3fps I could should a dozen frames without missing any. At 1/4 power 3fps the 4th shot is dropped, and the 5th shot picks up again.

      The Canon Mitros with a good battery pack though leaves the V850 for dead on motor drive. At 5fps I could shoot 10 or 20 shots 1/8 or 1/4 power without missing any.

      As stated above the V850 is no where near that, and will start loosing shots by the 4th shot 1/4 power at just 3fps. As mentioned in the post though, I suspect the extra contacts in the V850 are for a future high voltage battery of some form.

      A firmware update should bring your Mitros+ in line with the V850 though.

  28. Adas M. 4 years ago

    Hi,

    I really liked the review of this flash! I was looking for a good flash, which I could use wireless with my Fuji x100s. I was thinking of Yongnuo yn-560 III, read so many posts in different forums and suddenly I’ve found this page and this review of this brilliant flash! Now I want to buy it 🙂

    So this flash, in combination with FT-16 Transmitter and FT-16s Receiver should work flawlessly with my Fuji x100s? The only problem I’ve got is, that I can’t buy this combination (flash, receiver and transmitter) here in Germany :/ Any tips on that?

    Best Regards

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Hi Adas M,

      Yes the V850 and FT-16 should work fine with the X100s. Though you may want to trigger the flash via the optic slave when you want to use high sync speeds up to 1/1000th.

      Sorry I’m not aware of dealers in Germany, but many sellers from Ebay will send straight from Hong Kong. Thanks.

      • Adas M. 4 years ago

        But I also need this FT-16s if I want to flash wireless? I’ve found the flash at Amazon-UK, I will order my flash there. FT-16 and FT-16s will be ordered by Ebay then..

        • Author
          Flash Havoc 4 years ago

          Hi Adas,

          Ok, yes you would still want the FT-16 and FT-16s, for regular triggering and remote power control.

          I just mean that you can use the optic slave, or possibly a sync cord, to sync at higher shutter speeds with the X100s because it has a leaf shutter. Radio triggers can often be a bit too slow for this.

          • Adas M. 4 years ago

            Ok cool thanks a lot! I’ll give it a try!

          • Donald M. Falls 4 years ago

            I had tested the x100s with V850 and FT-16s before.. it can actually fire up to 1/4000 and low aperture as f/2 without any issue. You dont need hotshot cable, just the remote control FT-16s and clip on receiver on the flash like you normally do. Doesn’t requires HSS enabled triggers… cause x100s uses leaf shutter. Alright take care! Cheers!!

          • Author
            Flash Havoc 4 years ago

            Hi Donald,

            Thanks for that. Though I think its pretty well documented that the X100s shutter starts showing in the frame from 1/1000th onward. That’s just the way its physically designed.

            If you have ambient light in the image you may not be noticing the flash is not reaching all of the frame.

  29. PetePixxx 4 years ago

    In many of the reviews of the FT-16s I haven’t been seeing the feature of holding down the +/- buttons to move in WHOLE stops, rather than 1/3 stops. I’m finding this works faster & saves my fingers, especially when making a big move. 🙂

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Hi Pete,

      I just tried this, and its not actually moving in whole stops, but scrolling through the 1/3rd stops really fast.

      But wow, I never even realised you could do that. That certainly helps if you want to turn a group on and off as well.

      Great Tip, Thanks!

  30. sam 4 years ago

    I just received 2 units from Amazon. Very well made. I am delighted how fast they recyle.

    The flash head tilts up but does not rotate. I am surprised.
    Not a big deal since I will use the flashes off camera.
    I hope the V860 coming out for on camera use has a swivel head.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Hi Sam,

      The head is really tight at first! If you push a little harder the head will swivel 360 degrees. Thanks.

      • sam 4 years ago

        I was just turning it the wrong way. Now it is fine and I am a happy camper.
        When the TTL foir Nikon comes out, I will order one.

  31. nitrofein 4 years ago

    Does anyone know what brand white diffuser will work with this flash? I want something similar to whats included with the nikon sb800 or canon 580 ex diffuser. Im not particular to any brand as long as its of decent quality.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Hi nitrofein,

      I’m not really sure about which brand exactly, but the flash head is very similar to the 580EX / II. So any cap made for those should fit ok. Thanks.

    • Craig 4 years ago

      Same one as the Canon 580 EX II or Yongnuo YN560 will work.

  32. Tim Henrion 4 years ago

    Has anyone who owns these been having any issues with the batteries holding a charge? I’ve got 4 of them (2 from Cheetah plus a spare battery and 2 NEEWER branded) and am running them through some testing. I’m finding some inconsistencies in how long the batteries hold out (with Sleep mode OFF and the units left on all night) . Also, I had a fully charged Cheetah battery yesterday that I put in a V850 today and the battery is totally flat. I’m wondering if anyone else has seen anything like this.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Hi Tim,

      I can’t comment on the leaving then on all night, as I haven’t tried or compared that. But in general they have been excellent.

      I think you can pretty much guarantee the one you charged and was flat the next day is a dud though unfortunately. Edward should replace it in no time though.

  33. Marcel 4 years ago

    In the Netherlands you can buy the V850 kit (flash, battery, charger) for 215 Euro. Converted to US dollars is that 296 $.

    Not a competitive price when you compare to prices other places on the world.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi Marcel,

      Have you tried EachShot, or Ebay.

      Or will they end up just as much once you add your import duties?

  34. Rob 3 years ago

    I’ve clicked through the all of the above links to try to figure out how to buy extra receiver units, and haven’t been able to find those. I’d like to buy three or four of these flashes and remote system, but the only buying option for the remote system that I am seeing is the package with one transmitter and one receiver. Any idea on how to go about buying a couple more receivers on their own?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi Rob,

      The FTR-16s receivers are available separately from most sellers. I will update the links to add them.

      • Rob 3 years ago

        Thanks! I guess I was just getting frustrated trying to find the Neewer version on Amazon. I assume all of these brands are interchangable? So I could buy the receiver/transmitter set by Neewer from Amazon, and then buy a couple more Godox receivers?

        • Author
          Flash Havoc 3 years ago

          Hi Rob,

          Yes they are all the same and compatible.

          Though some do have different letter / number markings printed around the Channel dial. As long as you place the dial in the same place though they will communicate. Thanks.

        • Mark 3 years ago

          The Neewer 16 is available on Ebay for around $22, http://www.ebay.com/itm/310817558693

  35. Class A 3 years ago

    Hi Elvis,

    you write “…even though the 433MHz system works well for now, we still hold out hope Godox may even switch completely to a 2.4GHz radio system at some stage.”.

    I know that some 433MHz systems had trouble achieving reach, but the latter does not appear to be a problem with the FT16s. So why would you prefer a 2.4GHz system?

  36. zubpho 3 years ago

    Is it possible to have two cameras with FT-16 transmitter each and both cameras wirelessly trigger the same V850 [single speedlight]?

    So far I have not seen any store selling the FT-16 transmitter seperately.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi zubpho,

      Yes you can have 2 cameras both triggering the same V850 flash.

      The power levels only change on the flash though when you make power level adjustments on the FT-16. The flash won’t update just by taking a shot. So if you’re using both cameras yourself, then you may also have to remember to update changes on the second transmitter.

      Yes I don’t think the FT-16 transmitter is available separately, but from $35 for the set you may as well have a back up receiver as well. Thanks.

      • zubpho 3 years ago

        Thanks a lot.

  37. Eric Dany 3 years ago

    Hi,
    Great and usefull website there. I have a couple of V850 and they work like a charm but I needed HSS on my Nikon D600 so I just bought a Youngnuo YN622-N just for that as advised here. It kind of works but there slight problem: the bottom of the photo is a white gradient and I can’t figure out why. Does anyone experience such a thing ? Is there any fix ?
    Thanks for your help.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi Eric,

      Thanks for the feedback. That’s a strange result though. Do you mean the bottom of the frame is blowing out with extra light?, or somehow there is white added to the frame?

      If it was shutter curtain you would see a darker band along the bottom of the frame (if shooting a white or lighter wall / object).

      The YN-622N-TX has a SuperSync timing adjustment, so you should hopefully be able to adjust the timing to remove any shutter out of the frame if that is the issue. Thanks.

      • Eric Dany 3 years ago

        Thanks for your input. The lighter area in the bottom of the frame looks like extra light no matter what the subject is (dark or not).
        I allready bought a couple of YN-622N and the YN-622N-TX has no hotshoe so I won’t be able to stack the godox transmitter on it.
        Thanks again.

        • Author
          Flash Havoc 3 years ago

          Hi Eric,

          Ok thanks. If you mount the FT-16 on a YN-622N receiver, and use the YN-622N-TX as the transmitter on the camera, then you should be able to use the timing adjustment.

          But just placing the FT-16 on the YN-622N receiver adds a little delay itself, so that alone may help.

  38. Eric Dany 3 years ago

    Thanks. Clever idea but this is beginning to be quite a cumbersome setup, I hope Godox will have an easier solution soon.

  39. Marja 3 years ago

    Hi, does this work for a Fuji XT-1 ? Thanks!

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi Marja,

      I would assume you would referring to the FT-16 transmitter? If so yes they will work on the Fuji.

      The flash should work on the camera hotshoe as well. Its only a manual flash though, and it would be very large mounted on the XT-1.

      HSS does not function on the camera hotshoe though, and there are no radio triggers available to enable HSS off camera with the V850 and Fuji.

      Remote manual power control with the FT-16 should be fine though. Thanks.

  40. Marja 3 years ago

    Thank you for your answer. As a beginner it is all new matter for me, but for a photo course I need a wireless flash “system” and because I am planning to buy the Fuji camera I was curious if this will work…. 🙂 So I don’t need it to put on the hotshoe, but it should be placed separately on a tripod.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi Marja,

      Ok thanks, that should be fine with the FT-16 transmitter on the camera then.

      You will be the envy of others in the photo course with the V850 (and the XT-1) 🙂

      Thanks.

  41. Fred 3 years ago

    When using the RF-603’s there are extra pins to make the camera think there is a flash on it. Will the FT-16s do the same or is it 100% manual?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi Fred,

      No the FT-16 is single firing pin only, so the camera generally won’t recognise it as a flash attached. Thanks.

  42. hey killa 3 years ago

    hey Ive been using 2 tt850’s with the cell IIc tranmitter for a little over a month now and have been getting good results most of the time but I find that the receivers dont go thru practically anything, I shoot skateboarding on location in nyc and sometimes i need to put a flash behind a wall or something to hide it while lighting an area and they never fire and eventually go into sleep mode, Im wondering if those yongnuo transmitters/receivers that work with HSS also have better reception so I could do this?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi hey killa,

      That’s surprising as the FT-16 transmitter and FTR-16s receivers at least, have pretty similar range to most of the 2,4GHz manual triggers.

      I was going to say maybe using Cells II as a receiver as well may help, though I haven’t studied the Cells II range in much detail. So they could possibly even be the issue. With the large antenna though I would think Cells II as receiver should help. You can plug those into the flash via sync cord and still use the FT-16 / FTR-16s for remote power as usual.

      If you’re having issues though, a few things to consider would be firstly trying to keep the flashes off the ground. A foot or so on a gorilla pod etc would help, though a couple of feet would be much better. Also position the FTR-16s receiver so that its closest to the camera. Give them some space to any wall they are hiding behind if possible. And try and keep the transmitter antenna upright on the camera.

      Regarding other HSS triggers, most like the YN-622C etc have half the range of the manual triggers, so they are not going to help alone. But you could possibly get some advantage by relaying them. IE use one YN-622C transmitter and just one YN-622C receiver. But connect the FT-16 transmitter to the YN-622C receiver like this. You can then place those half way in between the camera and flash (or in a position where they can see both) to extend the range. The flash is triggered via the FTR-16s receiver as usual and with HSS.

      The other option (with HSS) would be to use manual radio triggers with greater range like the PocketWizard Plus X or Phottix Atlas II. Then use just one YN-622C attached to the camera hotshoe, and the Plus X / Atlas II transmitter attached to that via sync cord like this, and Plus X / Atlas II receivers on each flash (obviously not so cheap).

      If you have another Cells II there, I would try that as a receiver on the flash as well first. If you don’t have a second Cells II, then I can try and do some tests here and see if I can see any significant improvement that way, before you buy any more.

      Regarding the flash going to sleep, you can easily turn that off completely so the flash does not go to sleep at all. So that shouldn’t be any issue. Thanks.

  43. Peter 3 years ago

    Hopefully they release a videolight that uses the same battery pack als this V850.
    That would be really great!

  44. Dan Carson 3 years ago

    Hello!

    Just ordered a V850 and just wondering what flash modifiers can I slip on the head of the flash head?

    Cheers,

    Dan

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi Dan,

      The flash head itself can’t support a lot of weight, so your mainly limited to grids and snoots, or very small softboxes.

      The flash head is the same size as the Canon 580EX / 580EX II though, so for any size specific modifiers like the Stofen caps you would go for the Canon 580EX II size.

      If you want larger modifiers, an umbrella swivel is the simplest option. Then there are mounts like the new Godox S-type mount, or the Phottix HS Speed Mount for larger softboxes. Or the Multi Boom is great for umbrella frame softboxes.

      A small pop up softbox is about as much as the flash head can support alone. Thanks.

  45. Mark 3 years ago

    I recently had the opportunity to try out the TT850 and 16s setup, shooting entirely off camera, and I must say I am quite impressed with the results. Using a 40″ silver umbrella reflector I was able to drop power down to 1/8 and even 1/16 for many shots, cycle time was almost non-existent for many shots, even in Continuous mode, (as long as my shutter speed was less than 1/125). I mention shutter speed because I noticed that if I had my speed set to 1/320 or higher, the dreaded black band would show up, I am not using HSS only the 16s, anything at or below 1/250 was fine. Maybe it’s time to think about a Cells II add-on…
    Battery life was amazing! On a fully charged unit, we ran off well over 500 photos, granted many were at 1/8 or lower power, and used less than half of a charge. Recharge time was lass than an hour.
    In a word, I am entirely satisfied with the performance of this unit, and at less than $100 it’s a great deal.

  46. zubpho 3 years ago

    I`ve just received my FT-16s receiver set.

    It seems to me that one of the spring in the pins is damaged see picture below :

    http://s3.postimg.org/bxq53ip4z/Damaged_pin.jpg

    Is this normal?

    it works .. but I don`t know whether if it is transmitting all information.

    Anyone with similar issues?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi zubpho,

      I haven’t seen this issue before. Though as long as that pin still has spring pressure behind it, I think there is more than enough pin still protruding to make and retain contact.

      Its likely pretty simple inside to take a look at, though I guess you would loose your warranty if you open it up.

      If its from Amazon or an easily local return, you may want to talk to the seller. Otherwise I don’t think I would be too concerned (provided it does still have good spring pressure behind that pin).

      • zubpho 3 years ago

        Thank you very much!

  47. Vlado 3 years ago

    Hi and thanks for the review.

    I have a dilemma.

    My Canon 5D Mark III works great when the FT-16S Flash Trigger is attached, it fires the flash EVERY time.
    Buy yesterday, for the first time, I attached the flash directly onto my camera flash hotshoe and it didn’t work at all. Never fired! Doesn’t want to fire.

    I’ve tried all the modes, Manual, Aperture priority etc.
    I’ve tried changing menu settings, etc
    After many hours of frustration, I rang Canon Australia and they told me the flash is not compatible with my camera.

    Any ideas or feedback appreciated.
    Thanks.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi Vlado,

      You mentioned you have tried the modes like Manual, Aperture Priority etc, so I assume these are camera modes. But did you make sure the flash is just in basic M mode, and not S1 or S2 optic slave modes?

      If that is not the issue, and you don’t have any other cameras to try the flash on, I would short the contacts on the flash foot to check if that is firing the flash to start with. You would need a short length of wire, touching one end on the contact at the base of the flash foot, and the other on the contact on the side of the flash foot. If that doesn’t make the flash fire (while in manual mode) then there is an issue with the flash foot connections.

      Canon’s response there is not really relevant, as this is just a basic manual flash, not a Canon compatible TTL flash. It should still fire fine in manual mode from the cameras hotshoe.

      Other basic things are to make sure the flash has plenty of battery power, and its placed in the cameras hotshoe the right way around. Also that its pushed all the way onto the hotshoe correctly. The hostshoe could possibly need cleaning as well. Thanks.

  48. zarn 3 years ago

    hello
    thanks a lot for your post , very useful . before I buy all I need I have some question to be sure I m not going to make a mistake . in first sorry for my english cause I m french 🙂 .
    I have a D 700 NIKON and I want to be sure it s going well with the godox V850 , first .
    after what exactly I need if I want to keep the flash with my hand ? the flash of course and only the FT 16 transmitter to put on the camera ?
    I m a little lost . and finally the last question . is the godox v850 has the speedlite (more than 1/250 if I understand well) ?

    I reader everything but I just want to be sure and not buy something I don t need .

    thanks a lot in advance for your answer ……………….. zarn

  49. zarn 3 years ago

    hello again
    na answer ??? is somebody can help me , it would be great .

    zarn

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi zarn,

      The D700 should work fine with the V850 and FT-16 transmitter.

      To use the V850 off camera, you will need the FT-16 transmitter and FTR-16s receiver set.

      The V850 will allow HSS (up to 1/8000th), though only when used OFF camera. You will need another a TTL transmitter to enable this. The YongNuo YN-622N is likely the easiest option.

      You only need one YN-622N unit. Place the YN-622N on the camera hotshoe and the FT-16 transmitter on top like this. Thanks.

      • zarn 3 years ago

        hello
        sorry for this late answer , I was away .
        million thanks for your precision , I hope I understood all .
        one godox V850 , a FT16 transmitter and FTR16s receiver and one Yongnuo YN 622N transmitter .

        thanks again , all the best .

        zarn

        • Author
          Flash Havoc 3 years ago

          Hi Zarn,

          No problem. Yes that combination should work well. Thanks.

  50. Denniz 3 years ago

    Thank you for this great review!

    I’ve done two shoots with the 850 kit and I’m really happy with it. I’m thinking of selling my 580exii to buy another kit with a cells ii so I can HSS.

    You are right, the way the receivers are attached is not good and I was wondering what’s the best option to attach the FTR-16s, you mentioned writing a separate post.. thanks!

    Awesome site!!!

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi Denniz,

      Thanks for that. I am hoping to get to a post on this eventually, but I can give you the basic outline.

      The special sauce I have found is just the 3M Command adhesive velcro. But the trick is to use that on one side and regular velcro (fluffy part) on the other side.

      That combination sticks together so well its ridiculous. And that really helps because there is not much gap between the flash and trigger, so you can only use a small tab at the base of the receiver. But that is enough that I can literally pick up the flash by the receiver and shake it without the flash coming off.

      Because the velcro is just at the base of the receiver though, just a small piece of gaffa tape is best to be used at the top as well to stop the receiver connection from popping out.

      You could argue then just using a small piece of gaffa tape on the top and bottom of the receiver is all it needs anyway. Though the velcro helps fill the gap at the base so the receiver won’t rock around. And I think that makes a pretty neat solid connection.

      Other people may have come up with good, or better ways to do this too. This was the only combination of velcro I found that really worked in the small area available though.

      Otherwise you could just use that Command double sided tape without the velcro, if you didn’t want to remove the receiver most of the time. And when you did you can just pull the tab and the tape comes off. Though you need to replace that tape then each time. Thanks.

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