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. Denniz 3 years ago

    Thank you!, ok I’ll try that. I wish they had made a cover for it.

    Can you clear up one thing for me?
    Do I only need one cells II transmitter for HHS? can FT-16s receivers trigger HSS or will I need to put a cells II on each flash?

    I have a Canon 6D and two 850, FT-16S Flash Trigger Kit.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      No worries, yes you only need the one Cells II on the camera hotshoe.

      That then fires all the FTR-16s receivers with the early HSS signal.

  2. Denniz 3 years ago

    it’s ok, I just read the GODOX – V850 & Witstro – Radio Trigger Alternatives post

    http://flashhavoc.com/godox-v850-witstro-radio-trigger-alternatives/

    So all they needed to do was was add a delay and HSS would have worked with FT-16S.. I hope they come out with a new trigger very soon to sort out this mess.
    Thanks!

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi Denniz,

      Adding the pre-sync signal is not a simple process. The Cells II are effectively communicating with the camera like a full TTL trigger, and therefore must be dedicated and compatible with the TTL system in all camera models. Its a big and ongoing task to reverse engineer this.

      The FT-16 are just basic manual transmitters which will work on any camera.

      Clearly they do need to combine the 2 transmitters, I just hope they will be able to keep the new one as universal for all cameras as the FT-16, while still providing the Pre-Sync function when used with a dedicated Canon camera. (There will be a Nikon version as well).

      But this is why they can’t rush out a new trigger this time, they are carefully planning a full system that needs to be compatible with their future plans as well.

      The Pre-Sync signal is actually an early fire signal, which fires the flash before the camere’s first shutter curtain starts to open. Instead of regular X-sync where it waits until the first curtain is fully open, and the sensor is completely exposed.

      A delay timing adjustment (if available in the transmitter) then lets you slightly delay that early Pre-Sync signal back towards the normal timing, so that you can tune the system to avoid any shutter in the frame, or catch the most light in the frame. I’ve illustrated that process here with the Phottix Odin timing adjustment, though its all the same principal across other triggers as well.

  3. Alberto 3 years ago

    On the Neewer TT850 user manual does not have a table showing the guide number for each power output (1/1, 1/2, etc). Do you know where I can find such a table?

    Alberto Ayala

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi Alberto,

      Sorry, no the original Godox manual does not appear to have one either.

      The output is very similar to the top end flashes like the Canon 600EX-RT and Nikon SB-910 etc. So if you can find a table for any flash like those, its going to give a pretty good indication with the V850 etc as well. Thanks.

  4. Marc 3 years ago

    I purchased a Godox V850 last year for off camera flash and it has been working great with the FT-16S Flash Trigger.
    BUT, I put it on camera the other day (Canon 5D Mark III) and it won’t fire.

    I tried it on my daughters Nikon point and shoot camera, fires every time.

    Took my camera to the local camera shop, the man had a look at it, put a Canon 600Ex on and no problems!

    He blamed Godox, said it was rubbish and not compatible with the 5D.

    Has anyone else had problems like this or know what could be going on?

    I appreciate any response.

  5. Thomas 3 years ago

    I have a Panasonic GH4 and I’m interested in 2 V850’s, to get it to flash can I just use an need an FTR-16s? Or do I need a Cells II which I’ve heard doesn’t work with my camera.

  6. george 3 years ago

    Does anybody else is having problems with the V850 batteries? Mine ( I have two flashes and three batteries ) drop dead at unpredictable points, so that becomes a huge problem.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi George,

      There were some bad batches of VB-18 for a while. If the cells aren’t well matched they simply won’t charge. Its not that they are dropping dead, its that they won’t take much charge to start with. If you have a multimeter you can check the voltage across the contacts after charging, and you will see the voltage is already low straight after charging.

      If you can exchange the batteries the you should be right. Thanks.

    • Max 3 years ago

      Yes, I bought two V850’s, only one of which I’ve really used. I just tried to charge the other battery and find that it’s not taking a charge. This is after a few months and maybe two or three charging cycles. I’ll have to get it replaced.

      • Max 3 years ago

        Scratch that, it seems to have come back to life. Live and learn.

        • Ian Cheung 3 years ago

          Actually I’m having similar problems with my batteries. A bit of a pain when you have a four light set-up and one light dies on you. Especially if you’ve gone to the effort of freshly charging them before a shoot. Almost enough to consider going back to AAs 🙁

          • Author
            Flash Havoc 3 years ago

            Hi Ian,

            I’ve had one dud now. The rest are fine though.

            If you have a multimeter by any chance, the good ones will read around 12.4 to 12.6 volts after being fully charged.

            If you know they are not reaching anywhere near full capacity though, you want to talk to the seller about exchanging them, because they will only go downhill fast from now if not charging fully.

            • Ian Cheung 3 years ago

              Thanks for the tip, I don’t have a multimeter but I might pick one up.

              For the record, I am currently on 2 duds from 5 🙁 Exchanging might be tricky and I’m hesitant on getting more as there is no way of telling if the new ones will develop faults. There’s no serial number or markings to tell if batteries are from an old problematic batch or not.

              • Author
                Flash Havoc 3 years ago

                I can relate to what your saying, but if they are not taking much charge I don’t think you will have a choice unfortunately. Because it likely won’t be too long before they won’t take any charge at all.

                Hopefully Godox will eventually add a balancing circuit to the batteries, but for now you should still have a better chance of getting a good battery than a bad one.

                I’m sure we are going to hear a lot more complaints about this as the faulty batteries start to show their colors, but overall the numbers are still pretty low so far.

  7. Denniz 3 years ago

    Hi, I got a cells II trigger with my 3rd Godox V850, and I’m trying to HSS. the Flash is set to highspeed, my Canon 6D is in manual mode set to 4000/s and the flash fires but when I review the photos they all says 180/s no matter what it was set to..250 to 4000…

    I tried dropping something to see if it was just reporting the wrong speed but there’s no difference so it is only shooting at 180/s. I know there is a setting to limit shutterspeed in Av mode.. but I’m in Manual.

    Any Ideas? thanks!

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi Denniz,

      Your camera is not going into high speed mode then itself. I’m not that familiar with the 6D, but you will likely need to go into the external flash control menu, and set the flash to High Speed Sync (not first or second curtain sync). Thanks.

  8. Chris Boar 3 years ago

    Just wanted to report that just been testing my new V850 as the remote manual flash, along with the FT16s remote power control and happily using HSS upto 8000th/sec using my PocketWizard MiniTT1 as the pre-sync device all on top of my D3s.

    This is great. Looking forward to shooting a F.2 in full sun without having to use an ND filter!

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Thanks for the feedback Chris, good to hear.

    • Gary Hewitt 2 years ago

      Chris or FH, do you reckon a Yongnuo YN-622N like this:

      http://nikonrumors.com/2013/05/15/yongnuo-yn-622n-wireless-flash-trigger-for-nikon-is-now-available.aspx/

      would work in conjunction with the FT-16s for HSS? I presume the Yongnuo would sit on the hotshoe, with an on-camera flash on top of it, and the Yongnuo connected to the FT-16s with a sync cord? Does that sound about right?

      Cheers,

      Gary

      • Author
        Flash Havoc 2 years ago

        Hi Gary,

        Yes that should work. No need for a Sync cord with Nikon either. Just mount the FT-16 transmitter straight on top of a YN-622N receiver. The FT-16 Tx then fires the FT-16s receivers clipped to the side of the flashes.

        If you have an SB-800 / 900 / 910 flash though, you can mount that directly on the camera hotshoe, and connect the FT-16 transmitter to the PC sync port in the SB flash, via a PC syc cord to hotshoe. And that will fire the FT-16s receivers with the early HSS sync fire signal as well.

        • Gary Hewitt 2 years ago

          Many thanks FH. I have an SB600 at present, but thinking of using it on top of the YN-622N on the camera hotshoe, with the 622 connected to the FT-16Tx via a cord. Then two Godox 850s on stands with the FT-16s receivers clipped on. That’s what I’m thinking for a wedding reception setup. And the HSS for use with an 80-200 2.8 or 50 1.8 in the sun 🙂 Love this new equipment becoming available!

          Or maybe all I need for HSS is a TTL cord with two hotshoes? Mount one end on the camera, the SB600 on top of that, and the FT-16Tx on the other hotshoe at the end of the cord?

          Any more word on how the 850 batteries are holding up now?

          Brilliant site by the way – glad I found it!

          Thanks again,

          Gary

          • Author
            Flash Havoc 2 years ago

            Hi Gary,

            Thanks, the dual TTL cord won’t work with HSS though. You need something like the YN-622N to extract the pre sync signal from the camera first. Or the SB-800 / 900 / 910 as mentioned. The SB-600 doesn’t have the PC sync port out unfortunately, so stacking it on top if the YN-622N as you mention would be the other option.

            There is some more information in this post if it may be of any help.

            I haven’t heard of any complaints about the current batteries as yet “touch wood”.

  9. John Wright 3 years ago

    The one major advantage these units have over other options is the batteries. The one thing they needed to get right was the batteries. The one thing that was a major factor in my buying decision was the batteries. The one thing they seem to have buggered up is the batteries.

    Out of 5 batteries for two Godox Ving 850 units I have:
    1 that is acceptably good (not perfect but easily usable)
    2 that seem ok (usable but not sure how many pops they will do)
    1 that is poor (just usable but will definitely not do 650 pops or even close)
    1 that is duff (will do 20 or so pops)

    Of the five batteries 3 test ok on the multimeter after charge (12.4 to 12.53 volts), one tests low (12.1 volts) and one tests very low (11.6volts)

    None of the above hold their charge very well over a couple of days even out of the flash.

    What should be a revolution in off camera flash might just turn into a revolution of peed off buyers.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi John,

      I’m trying to get an update from Godox on this issue, and I forwarded your comment among others to them as well.

      I hope they are working on something to address this.

      • John Wright 3 years ago

        Thank you.
        It would be good if they could actually make some sort of announcement which would allow us to quantify the size of the problem and also publish a process for the replacement of the faulty units.

        It would also be great if they would appoint a European service agent. This would allow us to get warranty replacements/repairs for faulty units and not incur the larger shipping fees of sending equipment to China. I wont hold my breath waiting for this one 🙂

        • Author
          Flash Havoc 3 years ago

          I received a reply from Godox on the battery issue, saying they did receive a bad batch from the supplier in May.

          That was because the supplier had changed the material for a small component inside the battery which affected the battery circuit’s working. At the time of the issue Godox contacted their distributor immediately and asked them to stop selling those batteries, until they provided them with new ones.

          They also asked the distributor to contact their customers, who then ordered for replacements. Since then all batteries sent out were good quality.

          So Godox think any bad batteries that reached customers must have been from that small bad batch.

          Godox said they will contact the distributor again now and let them know to replace any batteries to customers who have an issue. And any customers that have a battery issue please kindly contact their seller to get a battery replacement.

          And Godox very much apologise to customers for this.

          I replied explaining once again that the main issue and concern with making exchanges, is that people have no way of knowing whether they will actually get a good battery the next time or not. And I just bought 3 more replacement VB18 and received another dud in that lot.

          I have no doubt they will rectify this pretty well eventually, its just in the mean time people are loosing confidence.

          So its frustrating, but I still really like these flashes, and even if I had to replace every battery I till feel like they are bargain. They do need to fix this though.

    • Adrian 3 years ago

      I can confirm the issued with the batteries. They are the selling factor point for these flashes, along with the build quality of the flash units.
      The issue is with the batteries. Out of six Godox VB-18 batteries one has died.
      It seams that the batteries have issues with long storage time.
      After a 3 months storage, 2 batteries out of 6 refused to recharge.
      After several attempts these two finally charged but one has swollen-up and cannot fit the flash unit.
      I hope the eBay seller will replace it and that the transport costs are not high.

      I’ve asked Godox (E-mail : godox@godox.com) about their recommendations regarding storage times and charging conditions. Maybe they have an explanation for this.

      According to several websites (http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/how_to_store_batteries) the Li-Ion batteries should not have problems with long storage times.

      • Adrian 3 years ago

        After two weeks from my previous post I discovered a second dead Godox VB-18 battery. First the flash unit turned on OK, it showed the battery to be half-full, flashed a few times then the flash unit turned off itself. Put the battery it in the charger, stayed there about one hour until the charger indicated that the battery is full. Put it back in the flash unit did some flashes and after about 30 flashes at 1/2 power the V850 turned off again. Pulled out the battery, measured it and indicates 11.38V. When inserted again in the flash unit and powered it on it did, but after a few flashes it turns of. The flash unit works fine with another battery. It surely is something wrong with these batteries.

        • Author
          Flash Havoc 3 years ago

          Hi Adrian,

          Thanks, yes check your battery voltage after fully charging. If its not around 12.4 volts or more you have problems. Check your other battery as well.

          You will need to contact the seller to arrange an exchange. The latest batteries should be ok again.

  10. Denniz 3 years ago

    I see high speed icon in my viewfinder, but when I take a picture it displays 200 and then
    pops back to 4000. As I change the shutter speed, the number on the lcd
    pops back to 200 and then goes to the correct number I selected.

    In the Canon 6d menus, External Speedlite control>Flash function settings I have to options “M” and “H” but switching to H and pressing SET doesn’t make it turn blue like the other menu options,
    can you change this with other Canon cameras?

    I think my cells II is defective, or not compatible with 6D..

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi Denniz,

      UPDATE – Sorry I just saw your similar comment further above as well. You may be in the wrong flash menu there.

      I’m not familiar with the 6D so the menu names may have changed, but you need the –

      Flash Control Menu >
      External Flash Function Setting >
      Shutter Sync >
      and you should see the options, First Curtain / Second Curtain / and High Speed Sync.

      You need to select High Speed Sync there.

      If that doesn’t work, then see the comments below. Thanks.

      Yes it sounds like your camera is not recognising a HSS enabled unit on the hotshoe. Could you have an early version Cells II by any chance? As the original versions did not work with the 5D III or 6D etc.

      Otherwise you may possible have a faulty Cells II. I would check the batteries, and make sure the Cells II is pushed all they way into the camera hotshoe. You could try cleaning the contacts as well.

      The Cells II are probably the most sensitive triggers I have come across, though they won’t fire at all if there is any issue with hotshoe contacts etc, so you would know if that is the problem. Thanks.

  11. Denniz 3 years ago

    Thanks for the response! I tried contacting Godox but their support page has a “code” option and doesn’t work. so I emailed them.. godox@godox.com and nothing after 2 days.

    I checked the canon 6D manual and that is where the menu options should be. I checked the batteries and connections. How would I know if it’s a early version? I just bought it so it should be new..

    just to be clear, I have only one CellsII-C on my 6D hotshoe and one V850 set to Hi-speed, with the FTR-16s clipped on. I don’t have the V850 on a CellsII.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi Denniz,

      Do you have a regular HSS enabled flash like the Canon 430EX / 580EX / II or 600EX-RT? If you put that on the hotshoe, then you should be able to check the camera menu to at least see the High Speed Sync option.

      It would be good to confirm we are at least getting that far (or not seeing that with the Cells II).

      Most other TTL triggers like the YN-622C will allow the HSS mode as well.

      There is no way to physically see if you have an early version Cells II. There is really not even a model called the Cells II c. Though unless its pretty old stock you have it should be the updated Cells II.

      Either way if you can’t get the HSS menu then you basically have a faulty Cells II.

      • Denniz 3 years ago

        I sold my 580ex II to get more V850’s so I can’t test it. but I think its a Faulty Cells II.. any idea how to get support? have you got any godox contact info? or should I try through the ebay seller?
        Thanks for the help! love the site and appreciate all the work you put into it. : )

        • Author
          Flash Havoc 3 years ago

          I really doubt Godox would be able to tell you any more. You would need to contact the seller and arrange an exchange.

          I’m still not 100% sure if you have HSS selected in the camera menu though. On the 7D at least the Cells II automatically set HSS to On and Manual Flash. You can see the settings made there but they are greyed out so they can not be changed.

          I downloaded the 6D manual here. And on page 174 it shows the new Flash Functions Settings menu. Then the last image on page 175 shows the HSS selection. They are symbols there, not letters as you described above.

          Can you see that HSS symbol is selected there? If that is set to HSS, and you have the same issue, or if its not there and you can’t select in manually, then there must be an issue with the Cells II.

  12. Denniz 3 years ago

    Yes that is the menu. I just heard back from the ebay seller, who said:

    very sorry that according to Godox factory feedback that CELLSII HSS function cannot be used in CANON 6D

    Below you ca find the graph which shows the compatible models.

    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/2PCS-Godox-Cells-II-1-8000-Wireless-Flash-Trigger-Transceiver-Canon-5D-Mark-III-/151148281318?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item233123bde6

  13. Chris 3 years ago

    I have a weird problem (the unit was previously dropped on the ground once from excessive wind), it turns on fine, hear a big pop, but it still flashes as it should

    After a couple of pops, I get a E1 error. Any ideas?

    Thanks

  14. T.A 3 years ago

    I had the flash for about 1 week, and in my testing, I found out that the range is much less than the 100M you got, I was around 15M away when the flashes finally fired, and even then, it wasn’t very reliable. There was a bit of dust in the air, could that be the problem?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi T.A,

      A few people have had range issues, I’m not sure about 15M though.

      Its not very cold their by any chance?, as one person who was reporting range issues was in the snow.

      • T.A 3 years ago

        No it wasn’t. Quite the contrary, it was very hot 100+ F and humid.

  15. Andrew 3 years ago

    Hi
    Regarding the guide number, it stated at 58m at 100iso when set to 105mm, does anyone know the guide number when the flash is set to 50mm?
    Thanks
    Andrew

  16. Thomas 3 years ago

    I have a Panasonic GH4 and I’m interested in a V850, does the Cells II HSS work with Panasonic?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi Thomas,

      Sorry no the Cells II is for Canon only.

      The only way to make the Panasonic work would be using a HSS enabled flash on the camera as the triggering flash. And then rig an optic slave to radio triggers if the optic slave in the flash is not going to work alone. So its a pretty convoluted system at best unfortunately. Thanks.

  17. Denniz 3 years ago

    Do you think Godox will make a AA battery clip that fits in the V850 for backup power? I have one for my Canon battery grip and it’s nice to have that option.

    Also have you got any info on how to contact Godox support? they never responded to my email and the website support option doesn’t work.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi Denniz,

      I doubt Godox would make an AA battery pack. They are selling these flashes at very low margin, and also reducing their speedlight battery pack sales. So keeping the proprietary Lithium-ion batteries would be important to them.

      If you’re a bit handy though you could likely make an external pack with 8 AA batteries, and a dummy battery to go into the flash battery compartment.

      I’m not sure about direct support from Godox, apart from their listed contact details. Most of these companies appear to be relying on distributors and sellers to handle support enquiries etc.

  18. Chris Boar 3 years ago

    Had my V850 all of a month and the battery sounds like it’s about to explode. Turn it on and I can literally hear popping and crackling from inside the flash, not good. After a couple of seconds the flash reports and error. And of course I brought this from an Chinese Ebay seller so no warrenty, and the 30 day return has passed.

    Anyone having battery issues?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi Chris,

      There was an indecent recently of a Witstro AD360 popping and crackling inside the flash (quite scary really), and the Witstro do not have any batteries inside the flash. So it was very likely the capacitor.

      So this may actually be your flash rather than the battery having the issue?

      Either way I wouldn’t be powering it on any more than absolutely needed.

      Surely the seller must have more than 30 days for warranty? You may have to pay the return postage though.

  19. Chris Boar 3 years ago

    Well it’s not making in noises with the battery removed. Could be the capacitor. Anyway So not sure what is broken. Tried to order a replacement battery from China but they can’t ship due to new restrictions of shipping batteries on flights.

    However it looks like Godox is selling rebranded versions of it’s products under the ‘Neewer’ brand, at least in Canada? Looks like I’ll have to buy another one here.

  20. Asoggetti 3 years ago

    Hi,

    i’ve got a question: is this flash compatible with the YN-622-TX controller and YN-622c transceivers?
    Do you have other suggestions for inexpensive manual speedlights to be used with the yongnuo radio controllores I mentioned?

    Thanks!

  21. Luka 3 years ago

    Anyone having misfires with a V850 flash with FT-16s trigger set?
    I have two v850 + FT-16s KITs. The first one I bought was flawless, not a single misfire in months of heavy use, the second one have a lot of misfires (10-30% of shots). Particulary when used with a hotshoe cube with PC-sync cable connected to camera PC-sync connector. But also on camera hotshoe.
    Can’t understand the reason of misfires. Why sometimes it just doesn’t wanna flash.
    At the moment I’m forced to use just one kit, because on weddings you can not risk to have misfires.

  22. Taro 3 years ago

    Is there no lock for the head tilt? How securely does the head stay at a high angle? I’m concerned about the head not holding its position when I mount FlashBender Rogue XL on the flash.

  23. David 3 years ago

    I bought 5 ving 850 flashes online and 2 spare batteries. . The build of the flashes is fine BUT the batteries are very problematic / only one of them is ok and far from the 650 full power pops advertised. I have returned two and have ordered 2 more. Looks like I will have to go back to AA strobes.
    Anyone know how to build an external power source or have any ideas. I am very hesitant to buy more batteries. I did not get far with Godox support

  24. Martin 3 years ago

    Does anyone know how to do a factory reset on a TT850?

    If not, any suggestions on where to send one for service?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi Martin,

      I don’t think there is a reset on the 850. What is the flash doing wrong?

      You would need to contact the seller for any service or exchange.

  25. Taro 3 years ago

    Why does not Godox produce a FT-16 compatible receiver unit with a PC or 2.5mm sync port that plugs into any speed or studio light, much like the coming YN-605 from Yongnuo?

    That would increase the appeal of the simple and small FT-16.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi Taro,

      You can use a Godox Cells II as receiver to the FT-16 transmitter. The Cells II does not have groups, though the groups on the FT-16 transmitter are mainly only for power level setting anyway (its not easy to simply turn light groups on and off, without possibly using a second transmitter).

      Godox are completely overhauling the radio trigger system though. It sounds like that has been pushed back for some time next your now though.

      • Taro 3 years ago

        I spent a long time comparing YN-560 iii and Godox V850, and ended up deciding on a set of YN’s in my case so I can incorporate Flashpoint RL-600B into the groups controlled with YN-650 TX, with RF605 (once available) attached to the Rovelight. Thanks for the info, as always.

  26. Howie 3 years ago

    I have a few failed batteries and unless they sort out the battery issue I have a feeling these flashes and their brand name will fade into history.

    At $US50 a pop, a failed battery is an expensive business and you certainly don’t feel like buying them on the off chance you’ll get a working battery.

    Sad because if it worked as advertised the flash recycling time is out of this world.

  27. Filip 3 years ago

    The FT-16 transmitter… is that compatible with Einstein E640 flash in some way?

  28. Denniz 3 years ago

    Has anyone ever got a reply from godox@godox.com ? it’s disappointing that I got nothing after months..

    also I just found out I’ve got a bad VB18, have ebay seller been good about replacing batteries? or do you have to send the whole flash back?

  29. Denniz 3 years ago

    I think there should be a warning notice at the beginning of these godox reviews, warning people there is a significant battery problem. and they don’t seem to be doing much about it.

    The batteries should have had serial numbers so they know which are the bad ones. I think they should send out replacements directly to anyone who asks, to make up for the mess.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi Denniz,

      The Ebay sellers should be aware of the issue by now. Godox have asked their distributors to let dealers know about this and replace batteries as needed. You shouldn’t need to return the flash.

      If you have issues getting a replacement from the seller just let me know and we can organise that another way.

      Don’t worry, I’ve spent a huge amount of time trying to resolve Godox’s problems here, but they seem to have finally gotten the message now as far as helping customers get replacements.

      There is likely some bad stock out there in places still, but in the most part this is hopefully resolved now.

      UPDATE – I just saw your forum post as well, and have sent you an email at your mov2aus address.

      • Denniz 3 years ago

        Great! thank you! I hope they really appreciate what you are doing for them.

        I got a message from the ebay seller:
        He said I can ship it back for replacement, or he can sell a battery at cost, so I don’t have ship the dud back. he didn’t say how much, but I hope it’s about $20.. any idea how much it should be? thanks

      • Denniz 2 years ago

        I’ve got 2 more bad batteries, they are under warranty for another month, so I have to get in contact with Gwen, but her email is not working, and GODOX@hotmail.com is useless… no answer… got any ideas? thanks!

  30. Erik N 3 years ago

    I have one of these. Very nice, but I have two complaints. One should be easy to fix: The on-of switch is too easy to operate and may easily be switched on by accident. The other is that the battery runs out when the flash is not in use. I have tried several times, with the remote removed and the switch to off. it is empty within one week. Is this normal?

    If it is normal, the flash is useless for me. I will have to charge it before every use.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi Erik,

      No that is not normal, not normal for a healthy battery anyway.

      There have been a number of faulty batteries (though hopefully the issues should now be resolved), and you will need to exchange the battery with the seller.

      If you don’t have any luck with the seller, then let me know and we can try and arrange this with Godox. Thanks

  31. John.C 3 years ago

    Hello everyone!

    Did somebody got the chance and used the trigger on a Fuji X100s? If yes, whats the maximum sync speed?

    I’ve read somewhere that not all radio trigger are able to sync @ 1/4000 altough the leafshutter of the x100s. The max sync might be 1/500. Pleas help 🙂

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi John,

      I don’t have an X100s to try this with. But from most of the information on the net, the X100s will only get a completely clean frame to around 1/1200 even if using a cord or optic trigger (which are the fastest).

      The FT-16 transmitter is quite slow. Using the Godox Cells II as transmitter should speed that up a little, while using the standard FTR-16’s receiver. Other than that you would need to look to faster triggers. Though a sync cord or optic trigger would give the best results as Zack Arias uses.

  32. Steve-O 3 years ago

    Hello all!

    I was in the market for another flash when I stumbled on the reviews on here for the V860… I was impressed and went and bought one. I have found that my unit has two issues; (a) the flash modifier screen can easily be knocked out of its closed position, this will stop the zoom function (took me an age to find out why my zoom wasn’t working) (b) My unit also has bad batteries and my unit came with 2, neither of which are perfect, this is a real shame because the lithium packs were the main reason I had for buying into this set up. I have contacted the seller but I bought on ebay from a shop that said it had stock in Portsmouth UK but now looks like the head office is in China.
    Does anybody know if Godox are addressing this problem directly? Some advice on replacements would be gratefully received.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi Steve, I’ve sent you a short email at your gmail address.

      • Paul 3 years ago

        Hi – what was your response to Steve-O? I’ve had the same issue with batteries. I have 4 850’s and two batteries stopped working right away. I bought them from eachshot based on the recommendations here, but they won’t respond. Very frustrated, because the flashes work great – when they work.

        • Author
          Flash Havoc 3 years ago

          Hi Paul,

          I’ll get EachShot to contact you at your email address here.

        • Author
          Flash Havoc 3 years ago

          Hi Paul,

          EachShot are trying to contact you, but your email address here (paulbyronspence) is getting bounced back.

          Can please contact me through the contact page. And possibly let me know here that you have. Thanks.

  33. Pat Adolfo 3 years ago

    Would you say the power reduction when using HSS is significant when compared to using it in normal sync? I’m very tempted to buy this flash with Cells II.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 3 years ago

      Hi Pat,

      Yes the power loss is still quite considerable around 1.5 stops, compared to around 2 to 2.5 stops for regular HSS.

      The main advantage of the HSS function with the V850 is that the flash can at least be used at the same time as the Witstro units. The AD360 has considerably more power making the HSS function quite usable.

      Both flashes are limited to 10 consecutive shots though at full power in HSS mode, so it also needs to be used carefully.

      If needing full power its often better to leave the H-mode off, and just use the long flash duration at full power to allow the higher shutter speeds. This still requires the Cells II or similar to fire the flash early.

      • Keano 2 years ago

        Hi Elvis I notice the 850 in HSS goes to any power while the 360 only goes 1/8 and above is that right?

        Also would there ever be a reason to use two flashes in HSS or… TTL? In TTL I don’t see use of 2

        • Author
          Flash Havoc 2 years ago

          Yes that is correct, the Witstro only go down to 1/8th in H-mode. With full frame cameras you can start to see lines across the image at 1/8th power as the flash is pulsing, so that is likely the reason Godox have not allowed any lower power levels. The smaller speedlites do not suffer from this.

          A lot of the time wedding photographers etc will try and keep things as simple as possible with one light, using the sun as a rim light, or as the main light, and the flash as fill. But there no reason you can’t use a number of lights with TTL. You may still want a another fill light when using the sun as a rim light.

          If setting up 4 or 5 lights etc on the subject in a studio like situation its likely pushing your luck with TTL. There is probably a lot you can actually do successfully, though I think most people would be using a manual in those situations.

  34. Jef de Vries 3 years ago

    I have an odd problem with mine V850’s. I bought four V850 flashes almost 1 year ago. But 2 of them just won’t fire a flash anymore. The batteries are fine. Swopping them with the batteries of the working flashes doesn’t make the fire. The LCD screens are fine, The remotes are working ok. But they just won’t fire (on camera, with the testbutton on the flash itself, or with the testbutton from the remote).

    The flashes have never been dropped or banged.

    Some-one with the same problems here?

  35. Terry 2 years ago

    Regarding the Neewer TT850 lithium Ion Batteries and flash. I bought 4 of these units from Amazon. They all worked fine but I never used them after initial testing for 3 months, 3 batteries hardly charged. When I wanted to use them 6 days ago all batteries were flat, only one charged. Amazon have refunded my money completely but I only wanted to change the batteries. They could not do this. Still

    • Mathias Reinprecht 2 years ago

      Hi all,
      We are now in mid March 2015 and I read comments from 8 or so months ago about the faulty battery issue supposedly stemming from a small batch of batteries assembled out of spec.
      I have just received my TT850 from a US supplier via Amazon.com and now have to join the long list of users having reported the defective battery issue.
      This means that this problem is still with us and that new faulty product is being shipped. I was well aware of the issue at time of order but have convinced myself that Godox / Neewer would have gotten hold of this critical issue and that I would not have to go through this pain.
      We should all be concerned that in this day and age we should have to put up with a pretty simple quality issue for this length of time.
      I also find it hard to believe that Dodox / Neewer would allow their reputation to be compromised by their battery supplier for this length of time.
      I love this flash and the technology behind it and should be able to enjoy it.
      Are we having to look else where?

      • Author
        Flash Havoc 2 years ago

        Hi Mathias,

        I think most of my batteries from the first 3/4 of last year are pretty much dead now, so I don’t think is was a particularly small batch. It may have been some small batches that had a large portion of batteries basically dead on arrival.

        Does your Neewer VB18 have the GREPOW marking on it though? As its highly you still received the older stock.

        Assuming you’re in the US you may as well return the flash and grab one from Adorama instead, as the have recent stock, and provide 12 months warranty on the battery as well.

  36. Gary 2 years ago

    Hi
    I’ve got two Panasonics, DMC-G6K and DMC-GX1, I’ve been told that the V850 will fit both cameras fine and work well, but does anybody know if they will work wirelessly? With FT-16S trigger kit.. I’ve done some research and can’t see while they won’t.

    Also, does anybody know where you can buy them in the UK.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 2 years ago

      Hi Gary,

      If the V850 fit and work ok on the camera hotshoe then the FT-16 transmitter should work fine as well. They are just a basic single pin foot like the flash.

  37. zarn 2 years ago

    hello hello
    I m in trouble , real trouble .
    I have one godox V850 , a FT16 transmitter and FTR16s receiver and one Yongnuo YN 622N i-TTL transceiver (even two) .
    but no way to use all of this for the HSS ?????
    do you know where I can find a text ,a manual or a website to find some explenation to use all this stuff ?
    I m just lost and I don t arrive to use it for the HSS …..
    so if somebody can help me it would be really great .

    thanks a lot and I hope an interresting answer .

    zarn

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 2 years ago

      Hi Zarn,

      You can see here how you can place the FT-16 transmitter on top of a YN-622N transmitter on the camera and this will allow HSS with the V850 and FTR-16s receiver.

      (Or you can use one YN-622 mounted on the camera hotshoe, and another connected to the V850 flash via sync cord or mounted on the YN-622N hotshoe).

      Set the flash to H-mode ON by holding the HSS button until the HSS symbol appears on the flash display.

      Then you just need to set your camera to FP HSS sync mode in the camera menu so that you can use shutter speeds over the cameras x-sync (1/250th etc). You will know if this is not on as the camera will not fire at shutter speeds over x-sync once the YN-622N transmitter attached the cameras hot shoe is switched on.

      That’s really all there is to it. I would just get familiar with using the FT-16 transmitter and V850 flash on their own first, and then add the YN-622N for HSS.

  38. Paul H. 2 years ago

    Do the V850’s have an auto shut off feature? I haven’t found any mention of this anywhere, and I’d like to be able to turn that feature off during events to keep things powered up always…

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 2 years ago

      Hi Paul,

      Yes the V850 have a sleep function, though its easy to turn off completely in the custom functions. The setting stays in memory as well so its no hassle.

  39. keano 2 years ago

    Their is no way to control the zoom of the 850 only power settings correct?
    thanks

  40. Liquid Banjo 2 years ago

    Re the VB-18 batteries – is it worth contacting Godox for Neewer-labelled batteries, or do you know of a separate contact for Neewer?

    Thanks.

    • Joel 2 years ago

      Did you contact the Godox contact about the Neewer batteries? I’ve not developed and issue with two batteries.

  41. Keano 2 years ago

    Does anyone know what power the test flash is at and can it be changed?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 2 years ago

      Yes the V850 test flashes are at the power levels set on the flash. So yes you can change them as needed for metering etc.

  42. keano 2 years ago

    Great thanks

  43. Joel 2 years ago

    I just bought the Newer version of this flash. Everything seems fine EXCEPT the flash won’t fire! I’ve tried on camera, with the FT16, even the test button seems to do nothing. I can return it but I’d rather just have a working flash. My AD360 has been so rock solid. Just a shot in the dark to see if anyone has encountered this and has a work around.

  44. PeterA 2 years ago

    Same thing happened to one of mine after some hard use. I thought they would be more durable! 🙁

  45. Eroc Lefebvre 2 years ago

    I own 5 of the 850’s and 2 of the 860’s …
    The flashes are AWESOME, the TRIGGERS are AWESOME … the batteries are PURE GARBAGE!

    I have 13 of the batteries … 7 are dead … many of them with less than a tear of use and some RIGHT OUT OF THE BOX!

    For those of you mathematically inclined I have had a fail rate on BATTERIES of over 50% (53% I think off the top of my head). At 40$ a battery this is a PROBLEM.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 2 years ago

      Hi Eroc,

      Please see this post.

      I don’t think there have been any issues with batteries made this year.

  46. ninarosaphotography 2 years ago

    I would like to buy a GODOX V850 VING – Lithium-Ion Flash for Sony alpha99V, Please, can you tell me if Godox does manufature this product for Sony.???

    • Joel 2 years ago

      The V850 is an all manual flash. It will work just fine with the A99—or any other camera with an ISO hotshoe. Older Sony cameras used the Minolta shoe which was a superior design but never universally adopted.

      V860 is a TTL flash and there is no Sony version, sadly. Is that what you mean?

  47. Karl-Filip 2 years ago

    Hey!

    I have problem to get the HSS to work!
    I have a Nikon D800 with Godox FT-16 transmitter on top of an YN-622N transceiver and the V850 speedlight on a tripod. i set the V850 to HSS mode but still dont work. I get a bright light bar under the photo and the rest of the photo is under exposed.

    What do i do wrong?

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 2 years ago

      Hi Karl-Filip,

      Firstly do you have the camera set to FP mode in the camera menu? (so HSS would be working with a Nikon flash mounted on the camera for example).

      If so do you have a second YN-622N which you could attach to the flash as receiver? The YN-622N have less delay than the FT-16 transmitter so they may provide a better result.

      Otherwise you may need to get a YN-622N-TX, which has a SS (superSync) timing adjustment. That should allow you to tune the best results by adjusting the timing. I think the YN-622N transmitter and receiver should do a pretty good job on their own though.

  48. zarn 2 years ago

    hello
    in my first comments I asked you what sort of transciever I could use to have HSS with my godox V850 …. so I bought the YN-622N transceiver ….. in fact I have a Nikon D800 with Godox FT-16 transmitter on top of an YN-622N transceiver and the V850 like Karl Filip in the previous comment ……. I also tried with a Nikon D700 but nothing …. impossible to have the HSS speedlite ?????
    so I need your help again and if possible some explanation …… maybe there is something I don t do on the camera ???
    thanks in advance ……………… zarn

  49. zarn 2 years ago

    hello again
    if I understand well I need maybe to get a YN-622N-TX ? but it seems you say both YN-622N are working ….. and please what is the FP mode on the camera ?

    thanks again and best regards ………………… zarn

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 2 years ago

      Hi zarn,

      I think its actually called Auto FP mode. Garry Fong has a short video here on setting Auto FP mode, though I’m not sure which camera that is.

  50. Joel 2 years ago

    Anyone here know what kind of bulbs are used in the V850s? I’ve got speed light with a dead lamp (I think) and I’d like to repair it but I’m not sure what lamp to get.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 2 years ago

      Hi Joel,

      That’s a good question, I actually don’t know of anyone that has replaced one yet.

      You could try asking Lindy at godox dot com. If you don’t get a reply through the week let me know and I will try as well.

      I do know they are more heavy duty than the regular bulbs used in YongNuo and most Chinese speedlites, and if you use one of those it will likely blow straight away if you engage the High Speed Sync mode on the flash (as this happened with the first batch of V860C).

      Xenon flash tubes .com do not list the Godox speedlites, though you could try asking them as well. AS I’m not sure if Godox will sell the tubes themselves.

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