Godox Junior vintage-inspired flash field review

Let me rewind the clock after a decade: it was late 2012 and the NYPD was in the process of clearing out Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan. Over the last year, Occupy Wall Street has evaporated, with an area filling up the nicer part of the park and protests regularly spilling onto the streets.

The police closed the streets around the park and pushed most of the press away, but I found an area to sneak through and made my way into the park. It’s a mass of humanity – colorful protesters on one side, and the NYPD blue sea on the other. The lights in the park were off, but on my way out of the house, I grabbed the SB800 and whatever batteries I had. As the police started coming in and making arrests, I brought the camera to my eyes and started shooting. After the third shot, the flash went off, leaving me in almost complete darkness.

As luck would have it, there was a single television crew standing on the bench next to me, and the lighting on their cameras provided enough light for me to capture the policemen pulling the protesters away. park. The photos weren’t great, but I was able to keep my editor happy. But things could have been much worse, and that day I swore to always be prepared.

My camera bag is always a little too tight. It’s heavy on lenses and gear, but the advantage is that I’m less likely to get any points of failure. However, I’m always looking for ways to lighten the load.

When Godox announced the release of their classic inspired product Lux Junior flash, I was intrigued – but perhaps not for the reasons you might think. Sure, I’m not attracted to retro-themed designs – half of the devices I carry around today are made decades before I was born – but rather the size and weight. attract me. Instead of the bulky flash units I usually carry around, this one is small and light enough to fit in my bag without putting extra strain on my already overworked back and shoulders. INSSTRO was good enough to allow me to use the review model on which I ended up on a 2,500-mile cross-country trip.

Let’s start with what I like about it. As I mentioned, the flash itself is relatively small – perhaps the width of a deck of cards, and even with two AAA batteries, it feels incredibly light. The body is made of plastic with metal and faux leather on the outside, which goes well with the Nikon FM and Leica M3 I carry. For some, this is a big plus, although I must admit that I am more of a “function over form” type. Still, it’s pretty enough. The knob on the back controls the power output, while the power switch also lets you switch from “Auto” to “Manual”. There’s a light on the top of the flash that goes from red to green when the flash is ready to fire, and another switch on the side for remote firing options. The flash attaches securely to the camera’s light mount and has a cord included with the flash to trigger from PC sync. For older cameras with cold shoes like my M3, this is a big help.

My trip started in Denver, Colorado, and traveled through the Midwest, Canada, and New England. We went to the top of Mount Evans (about 14,000 feet) where snow and rain covered everything, to the wineries in Upstate New York. Even though the flash isn’t shielded from the weather, it seems to work well enough – I didn’t experience any weather-induced errors.

At this point I should address where the flash is failing. Or at least, doesn’t work as well as I expected. First, the power output isn’t so great – at the GN14 it struggled in bright light. Even at sunset, I spent a decent amount of time fiddling with both the camera and flash to get it just right. Second, it’s a battery issue – especially when shooting at higher power settings, consumes AAA batteries at a faster rate than I’m happy with. Third, there is no TTL or high-speed sync option.

This last part has been covered in other publications, and I am in the fence about it. While it would be nice to have TTL and high-speed sync, it’s important to note that this is a budget flash, designed in a vintage style. Its simplicity is a selling point and a way to reduce costs.

Are there more functional options in this price range? Sure, there’s actually a huge number of them from a variety of manufacturers. That means this has no value or should not be attractive, but you should know what you are getting into. It’s an extremely simple design capable of working with a wide variety of modern and classic cameras. The simple power output knob on the back comes with a chart for the proper camera settings, and with a little practice it should be easy; really almost intuitive to use as long as you understand the limitations that lie ahead.

Do I use this as my primary flash for a large task? No, probably not. On a recent mission I took it out, and it simply doesn’t have enough power to do reliable messaging in an unregulated environment. It would be interesting to compare this with Godox Lux Senior, which has more options and is significantly more powerful.

But that’s really not what it was designed for. Its best use is as a fun, unobtrusive and uncomplicated tool for taking fun and casual photos. And while it may not be the perfect device for a political or journalistic rally, it won’t be useless there either. It’s small enough to fit in my pocket as a suitable backup in case my main flash fails and can stay in it without filling up valuable space or weighing me down like how my SB-900 can.

What I like

  • Small, convenient and light
  • Good price
  • Not easy to see
  • Relatively easy to use
  • Solid construction and reasonable weather resistance

What I don’t like

  • Mild learning curve
  • A bit lacking in energy
  • No clicks on the back dial

Buy, lean on, cling to

You can Buy Godox Lux Junior here.


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