Bare Bulb flash systems …. Part 3 using them in reality.

Because Godox use a Lumedyne style mount the same as Quantum Q flashes a lot of the light modifying accessories are interchangeable. The may be some minor compatibility issues between some systems but from what I have researched around the net there is a great amount of compatibility between the systems and not only with the modifier mount e.g. using 3rd party trigger for HSS, adding several Godox power packs in to a Q flash to reduce recycle time. Not every accessory will be required and using what you already have is logical.


1517435_10205558883881511_1817939185452691885_nThanks to Nam Chau for the above photo of 2 Godox power packs on a Quantum Flash

Due to the fact that most of the standard modifiers are relativity small and portable they may not suit every one especially if you like to shoot with larger soft boxes or parabolic umbrellas.  It may also be that  like me you have a lot of modifiers in your studio that you would like to use with your bare bulb flash depending on your wants and needs there seems to be no limit to what you can do.

14-Speedlight adapter to Bowens-2_2

I honestly don’t know how many different speed light to Bowens speed ring mount adapters there are out there, but as most of the flashes coming out of China and Korea use the Bowens mount it has become very universal. Our studio has all original Bowens flash and so many different modifiers that being able use the 2 systems together for me is a no brainier. In fact basically any thing I can mount a speed light on I can mount a bare bulb flash with its extra power.  That said there is a lot of light loss due the large opening at the back. If you use Elinchrom I have seen the same thing for the Elinchrom mount as well, and i guess if you look there will be other mounts available as well. There is also a build massive quality difference in these it my be a risk mounting a very large heavy light modifier on one.


I have 2x80cm collapseable octoboxs that I picked at Photokina, I keep them in a tripod bag with a few light stands and basically take them every where with me that I go to shoot (aka studio in a bag). This system is so simple they are just a deep parabolic umbrella with a Velcro in soft box panel and grid. In one side there is a zippier so I put my light stand through it and mount everything inside the octo-box with very little  light loss. As everything is mounted inside a sealed unit it can be a problem to change your power settings on the flash unit as well, but Godox have a great solution for this. With the FT-16 trigger I can manually control the power output of up to 16 individual flashes. In my opinion this systems has advantages and disadvantages. First off it is a propriety system that will only work flashes that accept their receiver (that is plugged into a USB port on the side of with flash), I have no real issues with this it kind of makes scene. My real problem starts if you want to shoot HSS (High Speed Sync) or add a flash that doesn’t have  the usb port for the receiver e.g my Triopo/Polaroid. If I want to use HSS either I need a different set of trigger and receivers from Godox called the Cells II and can only use my flashes between full power and 1/8th power, and as far as I know i lose that ability to remotely control my power out put. There is no receiver for the FT-16 trigger that has a ISO hotshoe or pc terminal so if I add my Triopo flash to a set up it has to be set to optical slave so I can trigger it. That isn’t a real problem unless its a very bright area I’m shooting in, but for my own piece of mind I would love to see Godox add a simple receiver that works with the  FT-16 trigger, it only needs a hotshoe and or pc terminal. And in a perfect world they would add HSS over the whole power range to the FT-16 trigger set up, that way you only need one trigger and the appropriate receiver for your set up. To fire mine with HSS I use triggers from Pixel called “Pixel King” the rest of the time I use the FT-16 and optical slave for any other flashes.


Now that I can control the every aspect of my flash from power out put to light modifier all i need to do is actually power it. The small Triopo/Polaroid has about the same power as a large systems flash and can easily be powered by a few “AA eneloops” it has a maximum power of probably between 90-100 ws. My largest Godox (Genesis Reporter) has a power out put of 360ws, so maybe 4 times the power of my smallest flash, a few AA batteries just aren’t going to be enough. That only leave me with the option of high capacity external batteries, which is why you should never but a 180ws or 360ws separately with out that power pack to start with.  The Lithium Power Pack PB960 that is shipped as standard is actually a miracle  of modern science, and well though out for the needs of a photographer. Its predecessor the PB-820 it also a great bit if kit but the PB960 out shines it in every way (other then price).

Features of the external power packs (both PB960 and PB820):

  • Slim,comfortable & portable case.
  • Belt Clip&Shoulder Strap Loops included, make you easy to transport, or drop it in your camera bag
  • Protected against overheating,high voltage,low voltage and overuse,well protect both user and device.
  • LED light warning when power gets low and a charging indicator that gives the status of charge.
  • Special High Quality Ni-MH battery with No Memory
  • That they both use the same battery to flash cable
  • Power cables for most systems flashes

My systems flashes are from Sony, but I have a Metz flash as well. My Triopo flash is actually for Nikon and can use an external Nikon power pack. I have several no name “strobist” flashes that take a Canon external power pack. I power all these flashes with AA batteries, other then the Sony flashes that I use with TTL I never bothered with extra external power for them as it was simply to many different power packs needed. Now all I need it the right cable for the right flash and I can run them from the power packs as well.



Chart of Compatible PB820/PB920 Flash Cables
Flash Cable Flash Model AA Batt’s Special Instruction
PB-Cx(CANON) Cannon 430EZ, 540EZ, 550EX,
Cannon 580EX, 580EX II and other flash
model with same type of input power port
Yes Switch on Flash
SB800,SB900 and other flash model with
same type of input power port
Yes Switch on Flash
PB-Sx(SONY) Sony HVL-F58AM and other flash model
with same type of input power port
Yes Switch on Flash
PB-Mx(METZ) Metz 58AF/1/C/N/OP/PS
and other flash model with same type
of input power port
No Switch off flash, and the connected
battery block will power the flash.


All the advantages of the 960 my not all be apparent at first, things like 11.1V/4500mAH in the PB-960  vs 9.6V/2000mAH PB-820 are easy to understand. But the big design differences wont be apparent until you have used them both a few times. The 960 has an exchangeable battery where as the 820 is a solid unit, if the power levels on my 960 are low I can simply replace the batter (that you can buy extra). This isn’t that case with the 820 as it is recharged via the same port as the power out i.e when its out of power the whole unit has to be recharged and not just the battery. Recycle time of flashes are faster on the 960 are faster and it contains more power so you can flash longer. But the biggest advantage want apparent at first, it has 2 power outputs.

Advantages of second power jack:

  • Power a second flash from the 1 battery
  • Power / charge a USB device e.g. tablet or phone while powering a flash
  • Double the power to a single flash (with an adapter), reducing its recycle time


Its the first and 3rd advantage that make the real difference for me, have a ability to charge my phone is a nice to have but not a deal breaker. Naturally using these features drains that battery faster but it has more than double the reserve of the 820 any way.


 I never was that happy with the recycle times of my 360 at 1/2 power and higher, by adding the “DB-02-Kabel Y-Adapter” I have doubled the power going to my flash and have made a drastic reduction in my recycle time. For any one using the 360ws flash head its a must have, or as Nam Chau did in the top image he doubled that again by joining  2 PB-920 together. He said this bought the recycle time of his Q flash down to under a second at full power, I would hate to know what it was like before hand.

 The power packs are also distributed under different names like

  • Cheetahlight
  • Neewer
  • Lencarta
  • Tronic
  • Dorama
  • Flashpoint
  • Genesis
  • Bolt

And there can be a large variation in price deepening on which name is printed on them…. I don’t know what

2 Responses to 'Bare Bulb flash systems …. Part 3 using them in reality.'

  1. Tim Øsleby says:

    About the how to trigger a flash thats not comp

  2. Peter Blake says:

    Scoot, I am so glad that you mentioned the gentleman using 3 of the 2into1 cables. I have two 960 batteries, but currently only one flash. This idea had occurred to me, but I had no way of confirming that it works. Until now 🙂

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