Godox launch Witstro AD180, AD360 bare-tube flashguns

Godox, a lighting manufacturer based in Shenzhen, and one of China’s largest, has brought out a new series of wirelessly-controllable speedlights. The Witstro AD180 and AD360 are hotshoe flashguns with “bare-tube” heads, external power packs and a range of dedicated lighting accessories.

Godox Witstro on camera

The Witstro sits somewhere between a consumer flashgun and a professional studio flash in terms of size, power and versatility. Unlike your Nikon, Canon or Yongnuo speedlight, it does not just run on AA batteries and instead makes use of an expandable Propac battery pack. The promised advantage is more power, faster recycle times and longer endurance without overheating — great for news and events photographers and the paparazzi.

Godox Witstro AD180

At the same time, instead of a sealed zoom head, the Witstro has a bare flash tube that spreads the light in all directions, negating the need for a Sto-fen diffuser and allowing you to add accessories such as reflectors, snoots, beauty dishes and softboxes to suit the task at hand. This customisability makes the device similar to a mains-powered studio head, but since it is smaller and lighter you can take it with you. Such versatility may be appealling to commercial and portrait photographers shooting on location.

To be launched alongside the AD180 and AD360 are the following accessories:

  • AD-S3 beauty dish and AD-S4 honeycomb grid
  • AD-S5 double-fold umbrella
  • AD-S6 umbrella holder and reflector
  • AD-S7 folding softbox, fabric grid and AD-S8 beauty dish-style deflector
  • AD-S9 conical snoot and cylindrical snoot with grids
  • AD-S10 standard reflector with AD-S11/S12 grid and colour gels
  • AD-S13 handheld boom arm (for “voice-activated light stands”, i.e. photo assistants)

Godox Witstro AD180

There will be five different ways to synchronise the Witstro with your camera.

  1. Hotshoe mount, either on the hotshoe or via third-party wireless trigger
  2. Prontor-Compur (PC) sync socket
  3. 3.5mm sync socket
  4. Optical slave cell
  5. Godox FT-16 wireless control system

The latter consists of a hotshoe-mounted 433MHz flash trigger and a USB dongle that slots into the side of the flash unit. A single transmitter can trigger multiple off-camera Witstro flashes in conjunction with other compatible Godox lights, such as their QT, Gemini GT and QS series of studio lamps. In addition, the transmitter’s control interface allows the photographer to adjust the power setting of each flashgun remotely from the camera position. You can also activate a red LED lamp either on-camera or wirelessly to help your DSLR autofocus in low light conditions.

Godox FT-16 wireless control

In the past, a popular bare-tube style flashgun was the Sunpak 120J. Since its being discontinued and a lack of alternative options, used 120Js have been highly sought-after among off-camera flash enthusiasts. The Quantum Qflash series has a similar format, but packs in very advanced TTL and radio capabilities and a corresponding premium that puts them out of a comfortable price range for some photographers and hobbyists. A survey of Lighting Rumours readers showed 98% in favour of “a new inexpensive bare tube hotshoe flash on the market” in some form, with the votes divided as follows.

Would you like to see a new inexpensive bare tube hotshoe flash on the market?

  • Yes, the Sunpak Auto 120J should be re-released or cloned. (53%, 64 Votes)
  • Yes, I'd like to see an entirely new model developed. (45%, 55 Votes)
  • No. (2%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 121

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Recently we have seen Chinese and Hong Kong manufacturers trying to cater to this market with such offerings as the Falcon Eyes Strobe Gun SG-100 and Jinbei MF-100, however these have been criticised for their relatively low power output and a lack of worthwhile accessories. Could the Godox Witstro fill the void?

Specifications

Model
AD180
AD360
Energy rating180J360J
Guide number60 (standard reflector)85
Power adjustmentFull to 1/128 with 1/3-stop increments
Battery packGodox Propac PB960 or PB820
Recycle time0.05–2.6 seconds (with PB960)
Full power flashes900 (with PB960)TBA
Net weight550gTBA

 

Godox Witstro AD180 and Propac PB960

Pricing and availability outside China has not yet been announced. We know from our sources that the Witstro and its accessories will be available in some form in the United States fairly soon, but we have not been told the exact retail price or release date. UK distribution is unknown. For more information, visit the manufacturer’s web site at www.godox.com or read our hands-on preview.

  • iphoto27

    Does the AD360 has a front Auto Flash Sensor like the Quantum QFlash?

    Do they come or support ETTL II (Canon) or Nikon ITTL or both?

    Thank you for posting.

    • http://www.lightingrumours.com/ David A. Selby

      Manual only. No TTL. Behind the red windows are an AF-assist lamp and an optical slave sensor.

  • Stuart Fawcett

    I’d like to see some solid real life use reviews and see pricing – but mmm – looks nice.

  • http://www.ronniechanphoto.com/ Ronnie

    How does AD360 compare with Nice Nflash 680A?

    AD360 has GN 85,that is big number in a small package as compare to Nice Nflash 680A which is only GN 68.

  • mooboy

    “however these have been criticised for their relatively low power output and a lack of worthwhile accessories”

    The MF-100 has a Lumedyne mount – so can use all the Quantum QFlash/Norman/Lumedyne accessories. Does the Godox share the same one? I think it would be a shame if it didn’t.

  • zubpho

    The Godox Wilstro AD-180 is for sale at $420 with shipping on ebay.

  • rj
  • http://www.facebook.com/lucia.razmerita Lucia Sofroni

    I got the AD-180 and the FT-16 controller, but unfortunately it does not look like the FT-16 can control power output, modeling lamp or buzzer … it is just a simple trigger ( can anyone confirm this as I have been told this by the sales guy that sold me package after i could not get it to work )

    • http://www.lightingrumours.com/ David A. Selby

      The FT-16 does control power. But it can’t control the modelling lamp or the buzzer.

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