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My initial impression of the Godox/Cheetah V850s and AD-360

Discussion in 'Lighting Forum' started by 13thFloorPhotography, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. 13thFloorPhotography

    13thFloorPhotography Mu-43 Regular

    118
    Apr 24, 2013
    Los Angeles
    Not too long ago, I asked you all about whether or not I should get an Einstein or some Barebulb flashes. I opted to go with the Godox/Cheetah line of lights for its portability. Don't get me wrong, I still plan on getting an Einstein later down the line, as I was impressed with it's performance. Thought I would share some of my initial impressions and in-home shots. Thanks to those who've helped me decide on going with the Godox line first...

    http://13thfloorphotography.blogspot.com/2014/02/godox-ving-v850-and-godox-ad-360.html
     
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  2. Just Jim

    Just Jim Mu-43 Top Veteran

    941
    Oct 20, 2011
    What are the real world recycle time at full and half power and GN at iso 100 at 10' of these guys (I'm always wary of the manufacturer info on those numbers)? I'd be curious to see how they compare to Quantum's seeing as they're a couple hundred cheaper.
     
  3. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    983
    Sep 8, 2012
    Chad
    HUGE LONG thread on the lights
    http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1270039

    they make a 180 more like the QTM on power (not getting into the QPax or whatever those were) or the 360 IMHO the one to get

    compared to QTM the cheetah 360 is 2x more power so you can gain a stop and recycle time is way quicker especially with the 2 to 1 cable and the battery for size weight beats anything QTM has :) at half power I would say a second recycle

    build quality ? long term who knows but initial impression when I got my 360 some time ago nicer than QTM stuff but its newer nicer thought out gear since QTM are getting old in design etc.. :)
    and I think that is the issue the QTM stuff has been around but just no solid updates in quite a while


    love the lithium pack ! one of the nice things also is the remote power control and the fact the Rx does not need batteries so one less battery thing to juggle

    some great reviews might answer more

    http://www.lightingrumours.com/godox-witstro-ad360-flash-review-4526#.Uv35YXmgdGI

    http://flashhavoc.com/cheetah-cl180-godox-ad180-review/

    bottom line beats the QTM IMHO at least for me I often want more power than a speed light but more important want super fast recycle so I can run my 360 lower say 1/4 and have pretty much instant recycle time

    as far as guide number ? no idea since modifiers and stuff can really change the outcome of course and coverage etc.. so not a huge guide number fan to compare flash output at all :) more good to use with a known flash unit to figure things out maybe :)
    as far as WS ? its like HP ? the 360 is 320 actual as Ed from Cheetah has measured

    hope this helps :)
     
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  4. Just Jim

    Just Jim Mu-43 Top Veteran

    941
    Oct 20, 2011
    Crazy.. on one of the review sites the commenters complaining they were to expensive. lol, these are so cheap. A fully kitted out Quantum T5 is $1500+. A Trio is what $900 or so?
     
  5. 13thFloorPhotography

    13thFloorPhotography Mu-43 Regular

    118
    Apr 24, 2013
    Los Angeles
    Price to performance ratio was the biggest selling point for me. The quantums are way out of my reach at the moment. Let's see how these things stand the test of time.
     
  6. JamieW

    JamieW Mu-43 Veteran

    260
    Oct 25, 2013
  7. 13thFloorPhotography

    13thFloorPhotography Mu-43 Regular

    118
    Apr 24, 2013
    Los Angeles
    Very good question, Jamie. I don't think it integrates perfectly well with the V850s and AD360s. Please don't quote me on this, as I have only done a tiny bit of research on those particular lights, but I think you would need another remote to control the power on these things, while you only need one to control the barebulb and speedlight units. I believe Flashhavoc reported having to have a seperate remote to control the power on the Godox line of strobes.

    http://flashhavoc.com/godox-qt-600/
     
  8. JamieW

    JamieW Mu-43 Veteran

    260
    Oct 25, 2013
    Ah, well that's a pretty good reason then. :)

    I'm on a simplicity kick right now. Thinking about getting a second lighting kit for travel and leaving my studio alone so I don't have to keep tearing things down. Right now I have a bag for my camera gear, a bag for my lighting gear, and a bag for light stands and modifiers. Trying to get it all down to 2 bags, and currently exploring my options. Can't wait to see the results of your outdoor work this weekend.
     
  9. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    983
    Sep 8, 2012
    Chad
    yeah :) I guess some are not used to buying pro gear :)

    heard some grumbles no TTL and things which the one QTM can do :) but for me I am a all manual guy when it comes to off camera but my on camera I for sure love TTL but like you say the price ? I can live without the TTL and have a great battery and triggers all in one package all very cheap compared to the competition :)
     
  10. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    983
    Sep 8, 2012
    Chad
    Jamie my take on why I love the cheetah for travel
    weight and size are major and performance of battery :) the battery can go all day no issues simplify things nice simple battery and only AA I need are for the Tx unit

    top end weight moving a stand with lights and with a mono on there its 2x as heavy which IMHO gets old really quick and you do gain a stop going to something like this for me I would buy a einstein before one of these new godox just for the fact such good support and proven performance

    now I still have some large photogenics and it seems when I need more light I really need it ? or should say did in the past of cameras that were not as good as cranking up the ISO on stop where back then 400 ISO was getting noisy kinda thing so I wanted 1200 or 2400 WS of light but these days I can put my cheetah 360 in a 60 inch softlighter and get enough light here in AZ mid day I can always put two in there with many of the adapters also

    for me they are built for portable kit and are very nice a bit bigger than a pro size speed light is much better than a large mono on location especially if you want to carry say 4 of them or something :)


    the one downside to these are if you have a bunch of other modifiers for say einstein units you will have to get something to mount those too often adapter your flash sits in and that adds bulk and weight ? part of the reason I am getting away from these and going to more the umbrella style modifiers for location work

    again the one thing I don't want to get rid of is my Eli deep octa :)
     
  11. JamieW

    JamieW Mu-43 Veteran

    260
    Oct 25, 2013
    I am curious about something... There's no exception for having more power when you need it. You mention putting two CL-360's on a bracket to use a large diffuser in direct sunlight.

    I'd like to see a photo of one Einstein (640ws) + VML next to two CL-360's (~600ws) with battery packs and a dual mounting bracket to see how much space you're really saving to get the same amount of light. Price wise, it seems like if you're having to double up CL-360's regularly outdoors to use large diffusers you'd be cheaper going with an Einstein over two CL-360's. Are you really saving that much space to justify the added expense?

    If you're only ever going to use 1 CL-360 then I can see where it might make sense, but there are people in that link you posted above using 4 CL-360's with battery packs, and they travel with mounting brackets, stands, 16" maxi light reflectors, etc. I'm just not seeing how they're saving any size or weight vs the Einsteins, and they're spending more money.

    What am I missing?
     
  12. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    You can use the four ( or two, or three) CL-360's as separate lights. That's a lot smaller and lighter than four Einsteins.

    Fred
     
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  13. 13thFloorPhotography

    13thFloorPhotography Mu-43 Regular

    118
    Apr 24, 2013
    Los Angeles
    From a power to power standpoint, I agree, it may not be as cost effective, until the batteries are factored in. You can, in theory run all 1 to 4 lights off one battery with the right cable. I am not certain you can do that with the VGL minis (I'm not sure about this and would really like to know, as I plan to own einsteins in the future). From the looks of it, you can run maybe two Einsteins/AlienBees off of one. The PB960 battery pack comes in two pieces. The bottom half is where the "juice" is stored and a spare can be purchased for about $70.

    Fred's point about modularity was the selling point to me. We'll see how this works in practice, which I've yet to try out on the field
     
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  14. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    Take a look at strobist.blogspot.com to see what can be done with multiple small strobes and, usually, minimal modifiers. Mainly reflective umbrellas and small soft boxes.

    Fred
     
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  15. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    983
    Sep 8, 2012
    Chad
    Ditto it's not about doing that dual for power if I always needed that much I would be using another solution :)
    it's more if you need to you can or More about flexibility
    Chances are depending on dual 360 lights would run it off one power anyway :)

    These days most won't need more than that 300 watt range depending on modifiers of course

    So it's about having two 360in the space of one Einstein
    Having fill and main or main hair or just having a backup along kinda thing :)


    Think of packing 4 Einstein or 4 360 for a nice kit
    That link I think some do it for fun ? IMHO it's silly to gang up a bunch of any light for normal use ?
    But !!! It can be handy 4 360 at the same power of a single Einstein could recycle in a second and go around over 1000 shots a Single Einstein could never do that and would require a few spare vagabond batteries
    So ganging strobes does have use ?


    But if I wanted lots of power all the time I would be using a Elinchrom ranger or something
     
  16. JamieW

    JamieW Mu-43 Veteran

    260
    Oct 25, 2013
    The VML has two standard 110v outlets on it. You can power two strobes off of one battery. A replacement battery costs $80. I have a spare, and keep both charged. You're looking at $2500 for 4 Einsteins and 2 battery packs, or $2400 for 4 CL-380 with 2 battery packs, which will be half the power of the Einsteins and twice as long recycle times. You probably wouldn't want to go any more than two CL-360's per battery because you will butcher your recycle times. Powering four CL-360's on one battery pack at full would exceed 9 seconds.

    I'm going to play devil's advocate here for a second.

    What exactly does a four CL-360 setup look like in terms of travel? How small are we talking here? How do you pack it all up? Don't forget the light stands, diffusers, clamps, brackets, gels, reflectors, laptop, makeup field kit, screens, etc. you may need for the shoot.
     
  17. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    The CL360 is quite a lot smaller than an Einstein or AlienBees, and when you factor in the battery pack the difference is even more noticeable. A CL-360 is 300 watts of flash power that can be carried in a camera bag. Not something you're likely to do with an Einstein and Vagabond battery!

    If you need 600w on a regular basis, then a CL-360 setup probably isn't the way to go. As I said in the other thread, the Godox/Cheetah lights aren't replacements for studio strobes in my mind. What they are is a pretty impressively portable solution with (a lot) more power than a speedlight, and bare bulb quality of light. They also have some nice features like easy remote power control and a small battery pack good for hundreds of full power pops. All depends on what you need your lights for and how you're likely to use them.
     
  18. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Partially inspired by this thread, I ordered a TT850 flash (the Neewer version of the V850) and the FT-16 wireless trigger tonight.

    I was on the last couple days of the return window on some YN-565 flashes, and realized the V850 might actually be a better option for me. I'll get tons of battery life, good recycle times, I can remotely control the power of the flash unit, AND it should work with all my cameras. According to info I found online, it's even HSS compatible with Nikon if you combine it with a YN-622n trigger with it - which I already own. Bonus!

    We'll see how it works out when it gets here but I'm thinking this may work out really well for my needs right now.

    If I like the 850 I'm sure an 860 (the TTL compatible version coming later this year) will be in my future, most likely along with a CL-360 eventually :thumbup:
     
  19. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    983
    Sep 8, 2012
    Chad
    Jamie for sure you would run the 360 each on there own battery and each with the 2 to 1 if you do anything where recycle is important :)
    playing devils advocate is great way to pick apart things and really try to bring out the negative pro of each ;) so I would never take anything as jerky or negative :) I love it when folks do that I do it all the time :) hahahha



    again depending on modifiers etc.. if you run your eistein at full power all the time then keep em for sure as your mobile kit

    I run my 360 up to full again in a 60 softlighter which is a pig to power !! but love the light
    my deep octa is much more efficient
    I sold off my larger deep octa and my beauty dish setups also again trying to cut down on stuff

    like that other thread where we were talking bags etc.. :) I am still at the lights in one bag or case and stand in the other ? I do like my stands separate in some ways since they are so tough does not matter who carries them or what happens
    so all the other stuff would travel the same ? the only thing is the 360 take up half the space of the monos basically and are half as heavy ?

    I am getting two of the V850s and replacing my regular speed lights but will keep my on camera TTL ones so my off camera kit will become 2 360 and 2 of the V850s


    I might say this if your on location is setting up and not moving a lot then maybe just plain monos are the way to go ? for me doing weddings and portrait I am moving locations a bunch so picking up carrying them and transporting them into out of venues etc..

    portraits are not as big of deal in some ways since its often at a park or something

    not sure if you are familiar with bogen stackers ?
    I have the older non air versions and the new ones have a much nicer system to hold together but the new ones are a touch heavier ?
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...to_1004BAC_3_1004BAC_3_QSS_Air_Cushioned.html

    I have been looking thinking and going to brainstorm some on my next evolution of setup :) as we were discussing soft bags like the kata or keep separate etc.. ?

    part of me is also thinking I have that think tank 10 sling bag and debating about getting the 30 for my light kit ?

    will keep posting some stuff as I keep it changing since I am changing up it seems quite a bit each time really cutting things down and also I shot weddings for close to 15 years and this is the first year I am not doing much and switching to portraits ? so I am also on a huge transition myself of what I do

    hope this helps can try to take some pics if ya want ? I have photogenic lights that are the same as einstein in size ? I could shoot next to and compare ?
     
  20. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    983
    Sep 8, 2012
    Chad
    one reason I want to switch to the V850 for my speed lights which is a prime example I still have and use smaller lights when i can ? that much lighter and easier a hair light does not need to be that strong kinda thing :)

    but I am tired of the AA hassles :) my main 4 on camera flashes are down to 3 so I will have AA for those 3 but in the past with bringing say 6 or more speed lights 2 on camera 4 off camera and portable power packs to help recycle time etc.. was tired of having something like 72 AA to recharge and manage was a pain so the 850 with the single batteries will be nice

    my not sure how many phottix triggers 8 or so need AAA ? the cheetah at least only need AA in the Tx not the Rx

    I have a couple justin clamps which are handy clip on places shelves cupboards trellic things at wedding places etc.. :) or on DJ speaker light stands also like the gorilla tripod things to wrap around stuff and those two things are awesome with speed lights