In my experience there are some bits of photography equipment you have to spend a lot of money on to get the best photos possible, such as lenses, and there are other pieces of photography equipment where you don’t need to spend a lot of money at all, and speed lights fall in to this category.
Yep, you heard right. You do not have to spend a fortune on speed lights or flash units to capture stunning photos, and shelling out hundreds of bucks is unnecessary and a total waste of money, and this is money you could have used for something else that will improve your photos, like a professional grade lens.
There was a time when speed lights were expensive and if you wanted an all singing all dancing speed light you had to spend a lot of money. Fortunately, times have changed, technology has moved on and new players have entered the market, and boy are they causing a stir. These new kids on the block (Godox and Yongnuo being just two examples) are not only mixing it with the big boys (Canon, Nikon, Olympus etc.) but are beating them hands down.
Godox and Yongnuo (both Chinese companies) create speed lights and flash units that offer everything that Canon/Nikon/Olympus speed lights have to offer, and at a fraction of the cost. Godox and Yongnuo show that the major players in the photography market have been over charging and ripping off us photographers for many years, and these new boys offer affordable (or should that be cheap?) alternatives that are just as good.
I used to use a Canon 580EX flash, and it was an awesome bit of kit. However, one day I dropped and broke it, and needing a powerful flash the following day (and being a bit skint at the time) I was forced in to taking a punt on a Godox Ving 860, otherwise I would have lost the shoot.
I have to admit I was apprehensive and sceptical about the Godox Ving 860, I mean how can someone make a speed light that does everything the 580EX can, push out slightly more light than the 580EX, run on a single cell battery and cost a fraction of the price of the 580EX? It simply didn’t add up, well not to me anyway. The other issue I had was that I had purchased Chinese third party products many years ago that were utter trash and ended up in the bin very quickly. Back then, buying Chinese third party products were the last resort. Despite my reservations I bought the Godox Ving 860, and boy am I glad I did.
Okay, the Godox Ving 860 didn’t feel as weighty and sturdy as the 580EX, but then this doesn’t really matter, not least because I primarily use my flash units off camera on light stands where they are out of harm’s way and can’t get knocked over or damaged. Even though the Ving 860 doesn’t feel as durable as the 580EX it is still a sturdy flash unit that is well made and more than up to the job of providing years of service. Well, that’s my assessment of it at the moment, and giving I have used the Godox Ving 860 for a couple of years now, and given it quite a bit of hard, it is still going strong.
The Godox Ving 860 looks simplistic and has a user-friendly interface, which I like. There was no need to read the manual as all the settings were clearly marked and easy to get to. It is the easiest flash to use and set up, even though it has all the advanced features you need. Using the Godox Ving 860 is child’s play and you’ll be up and running with it in no time, trust me.
I was so impressed with the Godox Ving 860 that I bought three more, to gang together in to a super powerful portable lighting solution and guess what? The cost of these three speed lights were less than the cost of one 580EX. Now how’s that for value?
If you are looking to upgrade to a powerful flash or speed light that has all the advanced features you will ever need don’t dismiss the Godox or the Yongnuo speed lights and head straight for Canon/Nikon/Olympus or whatever you shoot. Try a Godox (I can personally vouch for them) or a Yongnuo and I guarantee you will not be disappointed with it, and neither will you be upset about the extra money left in your wallet which you can use for something else.
The basics of flash photography
It never ceases to amaze me the number of people who use a flash in their photography but are unaware of the basics. Get the basics right and you will find you flash photos will improve tenfold. For a refresh and recap on the basics of flash photography check out this article.
How to gang 3 speed lights
A 3 ganged speed light set up is a powerful and portable lighting solution perfect for on location shoots. Do you know how to gang 3 speed lights together? Do you know what other equipment you need to do this? Take a look at this article and all is revealed.
What flash should I get for my Canon camera?
Here’s an article for people who shoot a Canon camera and want a speed light to embark in the world of flash photography.
When to use a flash in ETTL mode
Most flash photography articles state the only way to use a flash or a speed light is to set it in full manual mode. In reality this is utter rubbish because there are times when you will only get the shot using the flash in automatic or ETTL mode, as explained in this article.
Off camera flash on a budget
If you want to do some flash photography on a budget, for whatever reason, this article is something you should take a look at. Yep, this article proves you don’t have to spend a fortune to use your flash off camera.
Keen photographer addicted to cameras, lenses and everything photography related. Feel free to follow me in my photography ramblings, and if you have any thoughts, comments, queries or anything else to add I would love to hear from you.