Archive for the ‘GodoxPhoto app’ Category

Laowa LED Ring Light for 25mm Ultra Macro Lens

October 9, 2020

I prefer artificial light from electronic flash units rather than continuous light sources such as LEDs. That being said, when the working distance between lens and subject is small, a lens-mounted LED ring light makes sense to use.

Minimum focusing distance versus working distance

The “minimum focusing distance” is the distance from the subject to the focal plane. The “working distance” is the distance from the front of the lens to the subject. For macro photography, usually the latter is more important than the former.

According to Venus Optics (Laowa), the minimum focusing distance for the “Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5-5x Ultra Macro lens” is 23.4 cm at 2.5x magnification and 17.3 cm at 5x. According to several Web sites, the working distance is 45 mm (4.5 cm) at 2.5x and 40 mm (4.0 cm) at 5x, or a range of working distances from ~1.8 to ~1.6 inches.

Adding one or more extension tubes reduces the working distance and increases magnification. For example, adding a Kenko 12mm extension tube reduced the working distance from 45 mm to ~30 mm at 2.5x.

And it’s worth noting that adding the Laowa “Canon EF lens to Fujifilm X mount camera adapter” to the lens further reduces the working distance — the adapter is ~26 mm wide, essentially equivalent to adding a 26mm extension tube. Combined with the 1.5x crop factor of Fujifilm X-Series cameras such as the X-T1 and X-T3, it’s no wonder the magnification of the lens is increased dramatically when used with select Fujifilm cameras!

Ultra Macro Lens

The first two photos, courtesy B&H Photo, show the version of the Laowa lens for Canon EF. For what it’s worth, f/4 is the “sweet spot” for this lens.

Product image courtesy B&H Photo.

Look closely at the front of the lens. Notice a “flange” (one of two) that is visible around the outer rim of the lens. Those flanges are used to mount the Laowa LED ring light on the lens.

Product image courtesy B&H Photo.

LED Ring Light

The next two photos, courtesy Allen’s Camera, show the Laowa LED ring light.

Product image courtesy Allen’s Camera.

The LED ring light ships with a USB power cable. A power source for the ring light is NOT INCLUDED. My next blog post will feature a discussion of the pros/cons of the power source solution I decided to use.

Product image courtesy Allen’s Camera.

LED mounted on lens

The last photo shows the Laowa LED Ring Light mounted on the Laowa Ultra Macro Lens that is mounted on my Canon 5D Mark II digital camera. The USB power cable is connected to the LED ring light but not connected to a power source. (Don’t mind the clutter in the background!)

Notice the face of the LED ring light extends ~5 mm beyond the front of the lens, thereby reducing the working distance by ~5 mm (~0.5 cm). Plan accordingly.

Laowa LED and 25mm Ultra Macro lens mounted on Canon 5D Mark II.

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Copyright © 2020 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

GodoxPhoto app

October 7, 2020

As the current odonate season is winding down, I’m gearing up for a long off-season of studio photography.

I just started experimenting with the free “GodoxPhoto” app that enables remote control of Godox external flash units via Bluetooth wireless technology. The app is available for both Apple iOS and Android devices.

The app works with any Bluetooth-capable Godox flash trigger, such as the Godox X2TC, Godox X2TF, and Godox X2TO/P. The number “2” in the product name indicates the second generation of these flash triggers: second generation flash triggers are equipped with Bluetooth; equivalent first generation flash triggers are not, e.g., Godox X1TF. Godox “Pro” series flash triggers, such as my Godox XProF TTL Wireless Flash Trigger for Fujifim Cameras, are not equipped with Bluetooth.

Godox gear is rebranded under several names, such as “Flashpoint.” The “Flashpoint R2 Pro Mark II 2.4GHz Transmitter” series of flash triggers is made for Adorama exclusively. These devices, such as the Flashpoint R2 Pro Mark II for Fujifilm, are equipped with Bluetooth. If you prefer the “Pro” style Godox flash triggers, then you will need one of the Flashpoint models in order to use the GodoxPhoto app.

Getting Started

Turn on Bluetooth on the flash trigger, e.g., my Godox X2TF. Press the “MENU” button to access the custom functions menu. Use the scroll wheel to highlight “BLUE.T.” Press the “SET” button. Use the scroll wheel to highlight “ON” and press the “SET” button. Press the “MENU” button again to exit the custom functions menu.

Go to “Settings” for your Apple iOS device and turn on Bluetooth. Next open the app.

GodoxPhoto app icon

On the “Home” screen, tap the “Bluetooth” button.

Home screen

All Godox flash triggers have a unique alphanumeric identifier, such as “GDBH-D7E1” for my Godox X2TF. I speculate “GDBH” stands for Godox B&H. I bought all of my Godox flash triggers from B&H Photo, so only the last four characters are unique to each device.

Enter the “Password” for your flash trigger.

Password screen

By default, the password for all Godox Bluetooth equipped flash triggers is “000000” (six zeroes). Experts suggest that you don’t change the password.

Default password: 000000


If you would like to use the app to remotely control external flash units, tap on the “Flash” icon on the “Home” screen. As you can see in the following screenshot, I tested three groups of flashes: Group A was set for “Auto” (TTL); Group B and C was set for Manual using different power ratios.

Flash screen


My iPad mini (with retina display) doesn’t feature a built-in camera flash. No problem! Tap on the “Camera” icon on the “Home” screen in order to open a camera app (embedded within the GodoxPhoto app) that enables me to shoot photos using my iPad mini while remotely controlling one or more external flash units.

Camera settings screen

For example, the following photo of my Godox X2TF flash trigger was taken using the GodoxPhoto app on my iPad mini and a Godox TT685F external flash unit. My iPad was paired with the Godox X2TF via Bluetooth, as indicated by the Bluetooth icon on the LED screen (shown below).

Godox X2TF flash trigger

What are the take-aways?

I think remote control of external flashes will be a good fit for a tethered shooting workflow.

Version 1.9.2 is the current version of the GodoxPhoto app. Although the app is “more mature” and far more capable than the last time I tested it, the GodoxPhoto app is more like a work in progress than a polished finished product.

Some functions are less than intuitive, so I’m sure you will need to access “Help” by tapping on the “Setting” button on the “Home” screen. See what I mean about being counterintuitive? “Setting(s)” is the last place I’d think to look for help! Perhaps there should be an “Info” button on the “Home” screen, where “About” and “Help” would be a better fit.

Setting screen

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Copyright © 2020 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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