craigat wrote in post #18615856
I've always had the luck of studio strobes whenever artificial lighting was needed, but am currently setting up a couple of night shoots in the woods where I'll need to go with speedlites instead, which I've never really looked at before. I've been reading up on them and have become all confused. Can anyone help guide me to the best value (performance and capability vs price) 2 light setup? Note also that at least one of these shoots would be at night, so ensuring auto-focus works is important too. For reference, I'll be shooting with a Canon 5D Mark IV.
Most folks would tell you get Godox TT685C or V860IIC speedlights, since they have built-in radio triggers, cost less than Canon's RT gear, and work just fine. You will find early reports that the AF assist did not work with the 5DMkIV, but apparently,this was changed with a hardware upgrade with newer units.
The TT685C (US$110) and the V860IIC ($180) are identical in function and UI, except that the TT version has an external battery pack port while the V version does not, and the V version runs off a li-on rechargeable battery pack vs. 4xAA batteries. And the pack has roughly 2-3x the capacity of the 4xAAs. Both are spec'ed at having a guide number of 60m at iso 100, 200mm, just like the 600EX-RTs.
The transmitter of choice would probably be the XPro-C ($70).
And Adorama has Flashpoint R2 versions of all these, which do not leave you high and dry with no customer support if there's an issue. The tradeoff in going with the cheap Chineses flashes is that they push customer support to the retail level, and their QA isn't quite as tight, so there's more copy/component variance than with OEM. Typically, also the TTL and AF-assist functions may not be quite a nice as with OEM flashes.
1) Am I correct that the wireless functionality built into the 5D4 will not trigger the flash and I do need the transmitter? Some articles say it works, some don't - but I think I need the external trigger nonetheless, correct?
Correct. There is no radio transmitter or pop-up flash in the camera body. So you have no built-in flash master. You must put something on the camera hotshoe to be that master. It can be a transmitter (ST-E3-RT, Phottix Laso, Jinbei/Orlit RT-Q6, or Yongnuo YN-E3-RT), or a speedlight with RT master capability for radio transmission; or the ST-E2 or any speedlight with "smart" optical master capability (e.g., 550EX, 580EX, 580EXII, 600EX-RT, YN-600EX-RT, or Jinbei Caler 600, etc.) for "smart" optical transmission. The wireless functionality built into the 5D4 is basically the flash control menu that lets you communicate with remote flashes through your master unit.
2) Can I use two 430EX instead of one 430EX and one 600EX? The main reason I went with the 600 is the auto-focus assist, but it looks like the 430 might also have that, in which case, is there any value to the 600? I ask because teh 430EX seems to be generally the best bang for the buck if it can also do the auto-focus.
The 600EX has more power output (more light). For some folks that's crucial enough to make a difference.
3) What am I missing? Not peripherals, just missing about flash that I didn't take into account.
That Canon's -RT system is closed. It's mostly speedlight-only, doesn't allow for easy integration of studio lights (unless you're willing to go to 3rd-party gear), and that integration may not allow for power control, TTL, or HSS with said studio lights. And that the system is, of course, only TTL/HSS with Canon gear.
Godox's lights range all the way from a $65 manual-only speedlight (with built-in radio transceiver that allows for HSS and remote power control) up to a $900 600 Ws battery-powered TTL/HSS studio strobe with color consistency mode that can be split into a pack'n'head, or use an adapter for AC power. And everything in between, such as the $300 AD200 bare bulb flash, which is roughly speedlight sized, but can look a bit more like a studio strobe, as well as doing TTL/HSS from its built-in radio receiver.
In addition, their radio triggering system supports TTL/HSS for five systems: Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fuji, and MFT. So, if you add or switch to a mirrorless system, or need to share your lights with a different-system shooter, you don't need to buy new lights. You just need to get a new on-camera transmitter. As off-camera radio slaves, the lights can autoswitch between the five systems, even in the same shoot.
4) Any recommendations on light modifiers for these?
Usual. Umbrellas or softboxes. What I would recommend, is to get the Godox S-Type bracket for mounting a modifier with the flash onto a lightstand. It's very versatile and pretty low-cost.