Chinese company Godox have released impressive new WITSTRO AD180 and AD360 bare bulb hotshoe flashes, with claimed 180 and 360ws power output, and healthy 60m and 85m guide numbers (Iso 100, with the standard 28mm reflector), and Wireless Remote Manual Power Control.
The Godox unit is just one of a number of bare bulb speedlights that were rumoured to be released in 2012, most of which did not eventuate (as yet). The WITSTRO may well be the start of some great things to come.
- Powerful 180ws / 360ws – GN 60m / 85m (ISO 100, standard 28mm reflector)
- 900 Full Power Pops – with the Lithium Godox PB960 Propac
- Fast Recycle Times 0.05 – 2.6 seconds
- No Overheating – Fire many consecutive flashes without overheating
- Wireless Remote Manual Power Control – (with optional FT-16 Radio Triggers)
- 1/1 – 1/128 power levels in 1/3 rd stop adjustments (22 adjustments)
- Accurate colour temperature output 5600K +/- 200K
- Flash duration 1/300 to 1/10,000
- Focus Assist Light
- Built in Optic Slave
- Sound Prompt Beep (recycle ready etc)
- Lightweight and Compact – just 550 grams – Lithium pack 540 grams
- Modifiers available to attach directly to the flash head bayonet mount
- Removable and replaceable bulb
- Professional Lithium PB960 Power Pack available with detachable battery packs
- Lower priced PB820 Nimh Pack also available
The AD180 requires an external power pack like the new lighweight and compact Lithium Godox PB960 ($170 – $200) or the previous Nimh PB820 (from $110) and provides up to 900 full power pops with the Lithium pack, with 2.6 second recycle at full power.
1/1 – 1/128 power levels in 1/3 rd stop adjustments (22 adjustments).
Optional FT-16 Radio Triggers provide Wireless Remote Manual Power Control. The receivers attaching to the side of the flash via USB port instead of the foot, which takes physical stress of that connection. 1/1 – 1/128 power levels in 1/3 rd stop adjustments. The FT-16 are 433MHz which is a bit of a shame as recent 2.4GHz triggers have proven much better range and reliability, the antenna would help achieve the stated 50 metre range though.
Multiple groups (A, B, C, D, E, F)
The Witstro use a standard Lumedyne style mount like the Q-flash and Sunpak 120J use, so most of the Lumedyne and Quantum accessories will be compatible.
The Metal flash foot is looking to be single firing pin only, I’m not sure how the focus assist light would not work on camera with just this one connection.
Ports appear to be both PC and 3.5mm sync, USB for the radio trigger, and the battery pack HV port.
And a range of direct mounting modifiers including what looks to be an umbrella mount that screws directly to the side of the flash head (AD-S6).
The complete unit still packs fairly light and compact.
On-camera – the Witstro is labelled as dual purpose, for on and off camera use. Though it would be manual only even on-camera, which is fairly limited compared to the Q-flash which offers full TTL (though at a higher price).
|Flash Index||60m (ISO 100, using a standard reflector)
-top use, the standard reflector flash covers the range of about 28mm
|Up and down the angle of rotation||-15 ° -90 °|
|Left and right rotation angle||0-270 °|
|Power supply||Power Box (PB960, PB820)|
|Number of flashes||900 times (full power, the power supply box PB960)|
|Recycle time||Approximately 0.05-2.6s (power box PB960)|
|Color Temperature||5600 ± 200k|
|Volume||205 * 90 * 70 mm (excluding lamps and reflectors)|
|Net weight||550g (excluding lamps and reflectors)|
So the Godox Witstro is certainly looking very interesting. Godox speedlites have not been the highest quality so far, but they have clearly put some thought and development time into the AD180/360, so hopefully this will be a pretty decent unit. As with most Godox gear you can expect they will be very reasonably priced.
The main question will be if they a can actually live up to the power and guide numbers quoted. Those are often exaggerated to some degree, though looking at the recycle times and flash durations it does look like it’s possible these will be reasonably powerful.
As mentioned this was just one of a number of bare bulb hotshoe flashes rumoured to emerge in 2012. I personally think these can be packaged into even more compact and practical speedlite style units with lightweight lithium batteries built in.
If the power (and price tag) of the Witstro does measure up, this could be the unit to really kick off the start of some very interesting dedicated, compact and powerful, off camera hotshoe flashes.
Price and Availability -
There are no sellers of the AD180 and 360 listed just yet so pricing is yet to be confirmed, though you can expect they will be very reasonable.
The Propac PB960 is already starting to list on Ebay from $179.95 – $200 so far.
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