I have been using the Godox Thinklite TT685C TTL flash (Canon variant) for more than 2 months now, and trust me when I say that this is one of the best camera flashes available in the market at this price range. If you are looking for an affordable external DSLR camera flash which allows you to do more than just using the manual mode, Godox TT685 is a perfect fit.
You get almost all the features that you need as a professional photographer in a camera flash, be it built-in receiver, TTL functionality, HSS up to 1/8000 sec, guide number 60, second-curtain sync, multi-stroboscopic flash ability, flash exposure compensation or the zoom range of 20-200mm.
Built Quality and Physical Features
When you hold the Godox TT685C TTL flash it feels solid and sturdy, actually I found it way better than the Yongnuo alternative in terms of built quality.
The front side of this flash has the infrared sensor panel which helps the flash in various tasks. On one side of the flash you can spot the AA battery slot and on the other side you will see three different types of ports on opening the rubber cover. One of the three ports being the USB port can be used to upgrade the firmware in the future, and the other port lets you use the flash off-camera.
On the back side of the flash rests a dot-matrix LCD panel which is big enough you clearly see various iconsbeing displayed simultaneously. There are multiple buttons dedicated for respective functionality, a dialer to adjust the camera exposure and an on/off button which I found a bit fidgety and of average quality.
The flash head can be rotated 360 degree and the movement of the head is a bit hard, which is in fact a positive thing is it would not move that easily with minor shakes.
Key Features and Performance
This $120 (Rs. 7000 in India) flash features E-TTL II, a technology which allows the flash to sync with the camera and automatically set the flash exposure based on the camera exposure. Using a flash on TTL mode is exactly the same as using the camera on automatic mode, just that the camera exposure helps the flash to set its own flash light output value to correctly expose the frame or the subject.
The TTL mode performance on the Godox TT685C is flawless and works perfectly in sync with the camera exposure. Not a single instance when I got an underexposed or overexposed photos when shooting on TTL mode. So if you are a beginner or if you shoot at a location where the lighting is constantly changing, use this flash on TTL mode and be assured that you would be getting correctly exposed photos.
HSS (High Speed Sync)
With HSS (high speed sync) functionality this Godox flash can sync up to 1/8000 sec which means that you can freeze fast moving subjects that too by lighting them perfectly. If you use a non-HSS flash, you would not be able to increase your shutter speed beyond 1/200 sec and thus you will end up using high aperture value resulting in deep depth of field.
Usually when you shoot using the flash light, the light gets fired from the flash the moment the shutter opens. So if you are shooting a long exposure photo of 2 seconds, the flash will fire the moment you press the shutter release button and the shutter opens. But by using the second-curtain sync feature you can make the light fire from the flash right before the shutter closed. Considering the above example, the flash will now fire just before the 2-second exposure gets over and the shutter closes.
Using this feature you can capture some really cool and creative photos, especially by playing with long exposures.
Flash Exposure Compensation
The flash exposure compensation feature is exactly like the exposure compensation feature in your DSLR camera. While using the Godox TT685C flash on TTL mode if you feel that somehow you are not getting the desired exposure on your frame or if you plan to try something different, you can adjust the flash exposure compensation.
FEC feature lets you reduce or increase the flash output exposure as per your desire, all you have to do is select an appropriate value. This feature lets you control the light without getting into the manual mode.
This flash has a guide number of 60, which is the same that you get in $550 Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT. I was able to exposure my subject correctly while shooting outdoors in bright day light condition, though the flash is not that powerful to overpower the background if you are using a bigger light modifier. But that would be the case with any other flash with the similar guide number.
I think the Godox TT685C is powerful enough to perfectly expose the subject, if you are shooting under the shade or the sun light is too harsh.
Flash Recycle Time
The recycle time on this flash at full power is quite impressive:
While using the flash at 1/1 power, the recycle time that I get is 1.7 seconds
While using the flash at 1/2 power, the recycle time that I get is 0.5 second
With the recycle time of 1.7 seconds at 1/1 power, this flash light is a deal breaker, and if you step down to 1/2 power you get the recycle time of only 0.5 second.
I mostly shoot fashion and portraits using a flash light, and with this swift recycle time I hardly miss any shot. Even if you plan to buy this flash for wedding or event photography, I am sure you would thank me later.
Would I recommend this?
Definitely, this $120 flash light by Godox is currently the best choice for you as a fashion, wedding, event or even sports photographer. This flash has almost all the features that you as a hobbyist or as a professional photographer would require to get the required results. During my 2-month use, there hasn’t been a single instance when the Godox TT685C flash had failed to live up to my expectations.
Pair this flash with the Godox X1T-C trigger to use it as an off-camera flash. I would soon be sharing the detailed review of Godox X1T-C trigger as well, stay tuned.
Godox Thinklite TT685C TTL Camera Flash Specifications (source: Amazon)
Compatible Cameras: Canon EOS cameras (E-TTL II autoflash)
Guide No. (1/1 output @200mm): 60(m ISO 100); 190 (feet ISO 100)
Flash Coverage:20 to 200mm (14mm with wide panel)
Auto zoom (flash coverage set automatically to match the lens focal length and image size)
Swinging / tilting flash head (bounce flash): 0° to 360°horizontally and -7°to 90°vertically
Flash Duration: 1/300 to 1/20000 seconds
Exposure control system: E-TTL II autoflash and manual flash
Flash exposure compensation (FEC): Manual FEB: ±3 stops in 1/3 stop increments (Manual FEC and FEB can be combined)
Sync Mode: High-speed sync (up to 1/8000 seconds), first-curtain system, and second-curtain sync
Multi Flash: Provided (up to 100 times, 199Hz)
Wireless flash function: Master, Slave, Off
Controllable slave groups: 3(A, B, and C)
Transmission range:Optic: Indoors: 12 to 15m /39.4 to 49.2 ft.; Outdoors: 8 to 10m /26.2 to 32.8 ft.; Master unit reception angle: ±40° horizontally±30° vertically, 2.4G: 100m
Channels: Optic: 4 (1,2,3,and 4)
Auto Focus Assist Beam: Effect range: Center: 0.6-10m /2.0-32.8 feet/ Periphery: 0.6-5m / 2.0-16.4 feet
Power Supply: Ni-NH batteries (recommended) or 4*LR6 alkaline batteries
Recycle Time: Approx. 0.1-2.6s (eneloop Ni-NH batteries of Panasonics).
Full power flashes: Approx.230 (2500mA Ni-MH batteries)
Power Saving: Power off automatically after approx.90 seconds of idle operation.(60 minutes if set as slave)
Sync Triggering Mode: Hotshoe, 3.5mm sync line, Wireless control port
Color Temperature: 5600 ± 200K
Dimension: 64*76*190mm (W x H x D)
Weight: 410g (without battery, camera flash only)