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Godox TT685 Flash and X1T Trigger

Discussion in 'All Other Equipment Reviews Forum' started by GWW, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. GWW

    GWW Old Hand

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    Had a couple of new bits of kit recently that I've been using for about a month now so I thought it was worth a review of them.

    First up is the Godox TT685 flash and X1T Trigger Combo (Ok, I know that's 2 bits of kit but didn't think the X1T justified a review all of it's own).

    Up until now I've been using a Jessops 360AFD and although it did what I needed it to at the time, it needed replacing.

    Build Quality
    Both the flash unit and trigger feel solid and robust without feeling like you need to go to the gym to build up the strength to carry your kit bag.
    The trigger just about fits in the palm of my hand, the flash unit is significantly larger than the 360AFD (if you clocked someone over the head with it, I think they would break before you did).

    The buttons on both units feel very deliberate, the power and AF assist switches all have a good 'click' to them when you move them from one setting to another. The gel buttons and wheel on the flash and trigger are also very deliberate and need a sold press to activate them.

    Even the battery door on the flash is solid enough that it needs a good amount of force to slide it open, and then a deliberate movement to open the door fully.

    Last thing to mention about the unit is that even rotating the head is a deliberate movement. It's stiff enough to not fall about as you rotate the camera, but not so stiff that you feel like you need a spanner to move it.

    It may seem like I'm banging on about the build quality a lot, but most of my photography is still nightlife / gigs and so kit that can stand up to a harsh environment like that is really important.

    It's probably worth pointing out that I am by no means a flash expert, in fact, I am a beginner at best. I have been using flash in clubs at at gigs to balance ambient light against lighting the subject. My kit upgrade was to support me doing off camera flash in nightlife, but mainly for "fun" photography when I'm not working!

    Let's start with the flash unit then.
    The LCD screen on the back is MASSIVE! Well, at least in comparison to my old flash it is. I'm sure I've had mobile phones with a smaller screen in the past.
    The screen has a bright Green or bright Orange back light. The different colours representing different modes that the unit can be in.

    I will try not to bore you with technical specs, anyone that wants those can easily look them up, what I will do is point out a couple of things that I think is really impressive for what is a budget flash unit.

    1 - It's TTL and not manual
    2 - The flash unit can act as a controller in both optical and radio mode
    3 - The flash unit can act as a slave in both optical and radio mode
    4 - The flash unit has a external power port for use with a battery pack
    5 - It has a micro USB port for Firmware upgrades
    6 - The AF assist fires out a large, bright red grid of light that means even in the pitch black of the worst nightclubs I shoot in, it can lock on focus quickly.

    Now on to the trigger
    For me, the stand out feature of this trigger was the built in AF Assist lamp. Off camera flash in a nightclub has previously been impossible for me. Without the AF Assist lamp, almost 9 times out of 10, I can't focus and because I use a Sony camera, the yongnuo triggers haven't been an option.

    The trigger lets you control 3 groups of flashes with 32 channel options.
    Each group can be set to Off, TTL, or Manual and in manual mode, the flash output settings are all controlled from the trigger.

    The same as the flash, the trigger has a massive LCD screen with bright white back light meaning that even in the darkest of places, it's still easy to use.

    I didn't actually realise it could do this when I ordered it!
    I went for a walk with the little one and the dog the other day and managed to balance a sunset and the subjects with off camera flash and a shutter speed of 1/1000. My camera only goes up to 1/4000 but the trigger and flash works up to 1/8000

    Extra Stuff
    Both the flash and the trigger unit come with a hot shoe cover to protect them when they aren't in use. I think for the Sony Multi Shoe fittings this is especially important.

    The flash unit comes with a foot that has a standard tripod thread on it, and all of this comes in a nice, premium feeling nylon case.

    Final Thoughts
    For just under £130 for the flash and the trigger (I spent a bit more than this because I got 2 flash units) these bits of kit have opened up so many possibilities.
    Genuinely couldn't be happier with the purchase.

    I'm going to be mega picky and come up with a couple of negative points...
    The instruction manual - First half is in Chinese, 2nd half is a poor translation of Chinese. With the manual, some guess work, a bit of intuition and YouTube you will get the hang of it.
    Weather Sealing - Yeah... it's not. But then the next nearest unit that is and boasts the same functionality is more than double the prices just for the flash unit.
    Trigger Case - Unlike the flash unit, the trigger doesn't come with a case. I really am being picky now, but I like cases and pouches and bags and stuff...

    Anyway, hope this helps, any questions feel free to ask.
    tenchy likes this.
  2. Sci0n

    Sci0n Active Member

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    I was looking into getting the Godox TT685 or the V350N I wanted something for use say at nightclubs.partys. Would you recommend the Godox TT685 for it>?
  3. Roger S

    Roger S Crazy Canuck Administrator

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    Gaz hasn't been on for about two years now, but if you read the above review, it was totally about using TT685 in a nightclub setting and loving it.
    Sci0n likes this.
  4. hooferinsane

    hooferinsane EXIF Seeker Super Moderator

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    Also the X1T trigger has been superceded by the godox XPro trigger (more reliable, supports more channels/number of flashes etc) . I have TT685 and XPro-F (fuji versions), also the tt350. Both very good kit, go for the TT685 for more power, perhaps in a nightclub as possibly the 350 wouldnt have the power to light it. I have never shot nightclubs or parties, but that would be my gut feeling on the flash power.

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