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Is This The Best Manual Flash? Initial Impressions Of The Godox TT600 News & Insight

Is This The Best Manual Flash? Initial Impressions Of The Godox TT600

By Max Bridge on July 28th 2016

We all like expensive things, right? 9 times out of 10, if funds were unlimited, we would choose the more expensive item, no matter what we’re talking about; cars, clothes, holidays, food, lenses, cameras, tripods etc. For the majority of us, however, always choosing the most expensive option is not actually an option at all. Luckily the photography market has become a little more democratized in recent years thanks to the influx of well-engineered third party items. Everything from lenses to tripod heads are produced by a myriad of companies and many of the items they produce rival, and sometimes surpass the name-brand competition.

In the cheap manual flash department, there has been a dominant force for a few years now; Some love them, some hate them, but wherever you stand, it is undeniable that Yongnuo, specifically the YN 560 series, helped to usher in an age of affordable speedlites. The age of Yongnuo, however, may be coming to an end. I recently acquired a pair of Godox TT600’s and will be giving you my initial impressions here.

close up of godox tt600 one of the best cheap manual flashes

Godox TT600 Notable Features

  1. Built in 2.4G Wireless X System
  2. Compatible with the majority of other Godox flash products
  3. 5 groups
  4. 32 channels
  5. HSS when paired off camera with the X1T and Cells II triggers
  6. Manual Flash (no TTL)
  7. GN60
  8. Large LCD panel
  9. Recycle time 0.1-2.6s
  10. 230 full flashes using decent batteries
  11. Uses AA batteries not Li-ion like other Godox models

The most notable of all of those features, and the reason I decided to purchase these in the first place, is HSS. HSS is usually something found in far more expensive fully featured speedlites and to have it contained in a flash which costs roughly $70 is amazing! It should be noted, however, HSS is only available when used as a slave flash off camera with a compatible trigger being used; X1T and Cells II.

For those that don’t know, HSS allows you to raise your cameras shutter speed above what is termed as Sync speed. Sync speed is the fastest shutter speed you can use while firing any flash. If you go above that number black lines will begin to enter your frame.

Why is HSS useful? Primarily, HSS is useful when you’re shooting in bright sunlight but still want to maintain a shallow depth of field. Without HSS, the power of the sun and your flash would be so strong that you’d be forced to shoot at a far narrow aperture, something like f16. In addition, HSS is helpful if you’re shooting fast moving subjects and your main source of light is not the flash. In those situations, as the flash is essentially just fill, it’s not strong enough to freeze motion. Therefore you still need to use your shutter speed in order to freeze the motion in the usual way. Basically, on any occasion where you want to use flash but also need shutter speed to be above the typical sync speed for whatever creative reason, HSS exists.

[REWIND: SOLVING A COMMON OFF-CAMERA FLASH PROBLEM: THE BLACK BAND]

godox tt600 lcd screen

How Much Does This Cheap Manual Flash Cost?

One of the most important parts of a cheap manual flash is the price, and another nail in the Yongnuo coffin is that the Godox TT 600 costs exactly the same, $69. Prices may vary of course; that figure is taken from Amazon at the time of writing.

A significant turning point in the story of cheap manual flashes came when large retailers such as B&H and Adorama started stocking them. Up until that point one of my biggest issues was the lack of support should something go wrong. Who do you complain to? Will they respond? $69 may be the price for this speedlite on Amazon but for a mere $10 more, you can find the same model rebranded on Adorama for $79, find it here.

[REWIND: TO STROBE OR TO SPEEDLIGHT? THAT IS THE QUESTION.]

battery port on godox tt600 one of the best cheap manual flashes

What Are My Initial Impressions?

I’ve yet to give this flash a real test but I have used it on the family portrait session it was purchased for and a couple of times within my product photography. On both occasions, the flashes functioned as desired. While using HSS there were a couple misfires while taking shots in quick succession but that’s to be expected.

godox tt600 cheap manual flash ports

In terms of build quality, the Godox TT600 feels very well made. It’s made from tough plastic rather than the cheaper kind that you get on lots of gear these days; The swivel head is quite stiff which I know will bother some but is actually something I prefer. It has a very large LCD screen (compared to the Yongnuo at least) with robust feeling buttons and an easy-to-grasp UI. All in all, when compared to other manual flashes the Godox TT600 comes out very favorably.

[REWIND: SIMPLE PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS | THE FORMULA TO BECOMING A PROFESSIONAL]

godox tt600 vs a yongnuo 560 against red background. Which is the best manual flash?

Summary – Is This Manual Flash A Yongnuo 560IV Killer?

Sorry, I’m going to reserve my final judgment until I’ve had this flash for a little longer; no point jumping the gun. It is undeniable though that it’s extremely impressive. The build quality is better than the Yongnuo, it’s got a better LCD, nicer UI (in my opinion), costs the same AND has HSS. Even if you exclude the addition of HSS I’d still, as it stands, prefer the Godox TT600. I’d love to hear if any of you have experience with this flash in the comments below.

If you’re just getting into off camera flash, make sure you check out SLR Lounge Premium. It’s our fantastic service which includes all of our in-depth educational videos and so much more. For all your lighting needs, pay particular attention to Lighting 101 and 201; they’re great. Click here to take a look

About

Max began his career within the film industry. He’s worked on everything from a banned horror film to multi-million-pound commercials crewed by top industry professionals. After suffering a back injury, Max left the film industry and is now using his knowledge to pursue a career within photography.

Website: SquareMountain 
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30 Comments

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  1. Mariano Sokal

    Godox support is terrible. They won´t answer any of your emails.

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  2. Robert T. Johnson

    I know that you have not had the opportunity to give the speedlite a real world workout and there’s a few features that I would like to mention.

    1. As mentioned in the review this is a single pin manual flash, that will work with Nikon or Canon.

    2. Manual flash with HSS and an external power connector.

    3. Master mode with the capability of controlling all Godox flashes that uses the X1 2.4G standard, from adjusting power, turn groups off, test firing by pressing the test button, changing modes and HSS all from the TT600 flash. The only function not able to change is the zoom position.

    And for $63 you can’t go wrong. 

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    • Nick Chan Abdullah

      hi there. according to the product page, it says the HSS can only be fired if triggered wirelessly (off camera) from other godox transmitter (such as X1T or TT350). so if I mount this on a Canon dslr,  I can’t set fast shutter speed?

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  3. Omar Echavarría

    How to program tts godox 685 c for 55 mm or other measurement? I have it blocked in 14 mm.

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  4. Omar Echavarría

    Cómo programar tts godox 685 c para 55 mm u otra medida? Es que lo tengo bloqueado en 14 mm.

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  5. Stephan Permann

    Is it possible to fire the Godox with a yongnuo rf-603c on the camera and using the flash’s built in 2,4G system ?

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  6. Matthew Saville

    For me, the things I cannot live without, in order of importance, are:

    1.) The ability to wirelessly (radio) control my flash power, in Manual. (Also, controlling my flash zoom wirelessly is nice too!)
    2.) The durability / longevity of the flashes
    3.) The integration of a radio trigger into all remote flashes, so I don’t have to worry about separate sets of batteries.
    4.) The ability to still mount a TTL flash on-camera, completely separate from the wireless remote system, preferably a name-brand flash with a good focus assist illumination pattern…
    5.) HSS wirelessly, though not TTL.
    6.) Affordability, though I’m willing to pay slightly more for a bit more durability. (However at a certain point all flashes become too expensive, because they will indeed eventually get knocked to the ground by some kid at a wedding reception, and at that point I prefer to not have to spend many hundreds to replace a single flash.)

    I’m not sure how this particular flash fits into that equation better than say a 560 III or IV, but it does sound like I should give it a try…

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    • Justin Haugen

      I think the added benefit of the Godox system is the ability to control their XPLOR strobes with built in battery. I always shoot some combination of Einsteins for main lighting and yn560iv’s for small gridded/snooted kicker/rim lights and backgound lights. If I can get that all together on one system I’d be really happy.

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  7. Kris Williams

    “The age of Yongnuo might be coming to an end”? Y’know, I really hate it when people make sweeping statements like this. So what if you like one flash over another. Why would you imply that it’s the end of Yongnuo? Sensationalism. Ridic…..

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    • Justin Haugen

      but is that a statement so much as a tongue in cheek question that poses the possibility a strong contender is on the market?

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    • Robert T. Johnson

      I kinda agree with you, at one time Yongnuo was the leader in the speedlite game, but now Godox has clearly taken the lead with their release of new and innovative product, such as the AD360, AD360II, AD200, X1 controller and the TT600, and yes I own all. I sold my YN685’s and YN622’s, I am waiting to see how Yongnuo will react.  

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    • Motti Bembaron

      A year later and it seems as a true statement. Godox is a strong company with an amazing and complete light system. From speedlights (manual and TTL) to min-strobes (AD200) all the way to full size strobes all connected with a capable radio system. 

      Yongnuo has different radios work with different flashes and one big mess.

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  8. Moise Oiknine

    I got a chance to play with the Adorama version (manual, not ttl) with the li-ion battery today. With a mag sphere it hold very nicely to the camera, no shake. Easy interface. Was pleased with the results. Definitely going to integrate to the new R2 remote system with my streaklights. Adorama has some specials now when you bundle a few things together bringing the AA version down to 50…

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  9. Curtis Mason

    Do you know if the X1T trigger will allow for HSS with the Godox AD360 as well?

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  10. Thomas Starlit

    Yeah, but then again the YN685 is out and has HSS+TTL and hugely improved screen, build quality and niceness. And works with one’s existing YN setup. Any comments on that?

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    • Max Bridge

      Hey Thomas. Can’t really comment as I’ve not used it. However, the YN 685 is $109 dollars on Amazon. I know that’s only a $39 dollar difference but if buying lots it does add up.

      he YN685 does come with TTL, hence the price increase, but the two aren’t really comparable. A better comparison would be between that and the Godox TT685. Again, I cannot do that as I’ve not tried both. Then again, if I had to choose it would be Godox as I think they have a much better overall system from speedlight to strobe. I would have to look into it more but that would be my initial thoughts.

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  11. Robert Gilbert

    Just bought 3x TT685 + X1T which those are TTL but I used them mostly manual. After a couple of different situation tests they’re working great in normal situation. Naturally HSS cuts big time in power but even brandnames do the same, I tried HSS with 2 flashes in a umbrella I feel that this is a minimum for bright background sun and have to be pretty near of the subject, From what I’ve experienced HSS is mainly for tight portraits. The two little downsides is the focus assist infrared light which is practically useless if use with only one center point due to too loose IR pattern but quite better with 5 or 9 multipoint selection. The other thing is I notice is the optical trigger which is much less sensible that the Yougnuo 560’s , I sometimes use them with studio flash to add a little light to a background for instance, it has to be much more in line of sight, but with radio and X1T it goes 300 feet no problem. But those 2 downsides is not something I personally use very often. I use TTL for partys and dancing floor and I feel that they’re a bit better at TTL than Canon’s which I have too.

    Overall I’m happy to have switch my 3x 560IV + TX for the Godox.

    I sold 3x Yougnuo 560IV + 560TX for 275$ canadian and bought 3x Godox TT685 and X1T for 666$ that’s about 400$ more just to have HSS and TTL possibility, its a big step in price but have no regrets.

    Picture below is 1/[email protected] at 200mm bare side flash and without flash 5 seconds later. Viva HSS!

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    • Max Bridge

      Thanks for such a detailed comment. It’s great to hear from someone else trying the Godox range.

      Due to the loss in power, HSS is not something which can be used to overpower the sun for instance. Although, if that is one’s aim then one should really be using strobes and not speedlights. I generally use HSS if I just want some fill and need to remain at a fast ish shutter speed, i.e. children. As you mentioned, if shooting tight portraits with the lights very close then the power loss matters far less.

      Thanks again!

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  12. Justin Haugen

    dang, I’ve been mulling over a switch to full feature flashes in the next year and selling my entire kit of 560iv’s and 560tx trigger/remotes.

    I’ve wanted HSS for a some time now. The godox system is very appealing with the universal system that controls their strobes too.

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  13. Karen Borter

    one of the things that bugs me about my Yongnuo is how loose it is. With a MagMod on it I pretty much have to hold it in place. Looking forward to hearing your final review on these.

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    • robert s

      what flash / triggers are loose?

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    • Robert Gilbert

      I had this problem too with Yougnuo 560IV, the Godox needs a lot much force to tilt.

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    • Max Bridge

      I’ve had the same issue with the Yongnuo. I just slipped a Magmod onto the Godox and am pleased to say it was fine. The stiffness meant it stayed perfectly in place.

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  14. Paul Wynn

    Heard about this one but not had the change to try. Personally I use Profoto B2 and Nikon SB910 for portable flash lighting. Previously had the excellent Yongnuo flash as a manual accent/background light, and anytime when I did not need TTL. I found the Yongnuo 100% reliable and cheap, you can’t argue with what you get, and I do think Nikon is looking so overpriced these days.

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  15. Felipe Buccianti

    Thanks for the info. I’ve been looking at the same flash (I think?) but with the rechargeable battery. A little concerned about how long this battery will last before it stops holding a good charge though.. what do you think? http://www.adorama.com/fplfsmzl2.html

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    • Max Bridge

      I’ve not tried the Lithium batteries before. I know that the first Godox strobes with these batteries had issues but I think it’s been sorted now. That was when they first came out.

      In terms of how long they last, again I don’t have experience with them. Supposedly, it should be a long time. Sorry I can’t help more

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  16. Wendell Weithers

    oooooooooo……….aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh……nice

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