Premiere Bay Area Wedding Photography Blog by Trifon Anguelov Photography

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Why Lithium Photography Flashes Are Here To Stay

polaroid cameraPhotography is an amazing type of art which invites creativity and offers endless opportunities for seeing and capturing the World around us. Many photographers from the early 18th century aimed to create unforgettable images or simply capture monumental or every day events around them. And they relayed on their equipment: camera, lenses, photography flashes, strobes and photographic paper. As technology improved over time so the different types of images in conditions not possible before grew exponentially. Night photography became possible with the introduction of flashes and strobes, low light photography with the advances of camera sensors producing low noise images.

It seemed like the camera flashes although adding HSS and wireless connectivity somehow still remained trapped to AA batteries for powering them. And as everyone knows, these are not exactly the most durable and powerful stored energy sources. AA batteries tend to charge slowly, drain fast and flashes powered by them require long recycle (the time between a flash pop and flash ready state) times.

So I was so happy to see Godox introducing their VING line – the world first rechargeable Lithium-ion powered hotshoe strobe. Two models V850 and V860C offer both manual and fully compliant TTL flash for both Nikon and Canon camera bodies.

As a manual flash, V850 uses lithium-ion polymer battery instead of AA-sized batteries and external power pack. This brings three advantages: fast recycle time, more flash times, and convenience. It is an all manual flash to fit camera flash brands e.g. Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Olympus, etc.

V850 is the manual flash which has single pin hotshoe and works with any camera in full manual mode. It has grade number of 56GN and with fully charged battery can produce up to 650 flash pops. Much better than 250 flash pops for most AA powered flashes on the market today.

V860C is the Canon compliant TTL hotshoe flash. It works in TTL mode with any Canon TTL compatible trigger as well can be used in full manual mode. HSS support for up to 1/8000 sec sync up is supported and does offer S1/S2 slave configuration. It supports 650 flash pops with fully charged battery too.

Godox also offers wireless triggers for their flashes. Two models provide both the basic trigger only capability and power management plus trigger model:

– FT-16S trigger it has single pin hotshoe, offers remote manual power adjustment of V850 and V860C and can also trigger (but not adjust power) other Godox barebulb flashes (AD180/AD360) and monolights (QT, QS, GT, GS).

– Cells II trigger is the fully compatible Canon TTL hotshoe trigger capable of catching the preflash signal. It can trigger V850, V860, Witstro AD180, and AD360 flashes in HSS mode. Very useful if you work in bright sunlight. You have to carry an FT-16S in your pocket to adjust power remotely.

One can find the manual flash V8500 for about $150 eBay.

The advantages of the lithium battery are multifold. Power equivalent to 12 AAs means faster recycle time and more pops. And changing the battery pack, it’s just one square block you can swap with one hand. I do expect the rest of the major flash manufacturers as Canon, Nikon, Yongnuo, Cheetah to follow suit and offer lithium-ion powered flashes in their line so photographers can have the freedom to shoot longer and with lower flash recycle times.

Agree, disagree, have another point of view on the topic? Drop me a line or add a comment.


Written by Trifon Anguelov

Trifon Anguelov Photography is based in Mountain View, CA and is providing Wedding and Events Photography services

To read more about me and my vision, visit my About page at:



So You Bought a Brand New DSLR camera And Lenses … And Now What?

IMG_20140124_162544It happens to many new photographers around the world. After months and months of looking at amazing pictures posted by their friends, on social networks or simply online, many decide that missing on the opportunity to buy an expensive DSLR and start impressing their friends, the friends of their friends, relatives and family members cannot be postponed anymore.

After all, who doesn’t want to get whaos and “love it” , “stunning”, ” amazing” accolades for himself. Everyone of us deep inside has the self promoting and self loving drive, which is most likely the self-preservation instinct we all carry in our DNA. This instinct helped us every day to stay alert and survive during the years of human evolution.

But the inevitable happens: A brand new camera and lens (or lenses) arrive and then the struggle begins. Settings, camera controls, downloading and cataloging images, post editing the images, uploading and sharing. Suddenly there is so much to learn and despite all the money, time and energy spend, the final images still doesn’t look near to what we see online.

So most new photographers, do what is the easiest to do in this situation: Decide that others must have better gear and they are still lacking the latest and greatest lenses which will make their images better. So they go, do more research, spend endless hours reading forums and asking questions on which is the best camera body and lens. It must be the gear they are so convinced, that the obsession soon transforms into what is known as: GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome).

And there they “march” to the nearest online web store, buying and buying new gear until no lens they want is out of reach anymore. But as many soon get to realize, no gear in the word can make great images alone. It is the same as buying a new stove and expecting to become a better chef overnight by simply cooking the same way and the same recipe. The gear itself is never the solution.

So the doubts start to emerge:

  • What to do next after buying brand new DSLR or mirror-less camera?
  • Why after spending lots of money one still cannot make amazing images?
  • What is the holy grail of amazing photography?

Well, there is a no single answer to these questions, but in essence new digital camera is just a tool which by itself is not enough to make stunning images. One needs to have creative ideas on how to create images which capture the attention. It also needs to know how to create interesting composition which include elements arranged in an interesting way. It’s a just too big of a discussion, so I will focus on just one point to consider when deciding what digital camera to buy as your first camera.

There are two camps:

  • Get the best you can afford and plan to use it for a long time.
  • Get the cheapest you can get and learn how to use it before you are ready to commit more time and money.

I am in the second camp. If you wonder why, here are few reasons to consider.

A single, used 50 mm lens and used mid or low range camera is a much better choice to make all the errors and do all the learning on “the cheap”. One can free its mind from worrying too much about damaging brand new expensive camera and focus on the creative part of photography instead of on the technical side first. This would allow one to find its area of interest and type of photography which best fits one’s personality and likes.

I see so many photographers in the field missing wildlife shots by simply keeping the lens cap all the time on their new $4K shiny lenses because of fear not to get their lenses dusty. Or taking and putting their new looking $3K camera in their backpacks when outside, so it doesn’t get dirty. They worry more about protecting their gear that freeing their minds and letting the creativity flows.

So why not get cheap used lens for learning and making all the mistakes you need? Why not use cheap and used camera to make all the shutter clicks you need to learn and master the photography techniques? Doing the opposite (buying and learning on a more expensive camera) would be like taking driving lessons on a brand new Ferrari. The fear of failure and damaging the expensive tools is crippling the progress of so many freshly minted photographers.


New photographers can learn much faster the foundations of photography and master the craft, if they focus on learning composition, learning to see light and expect moments, rather than wasting their energy and money on acquiring the latest and greatest camera bodies and lenses. GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) is the biggest threat to new photographers and in my opinion should be avoided at any cost.

Or using the cooking analogy, I used before: A better stove (camera body and lenses) will not make one a better chef (photographer). Understanding the ingredients (light, composition, time, posing), learning different recipes (natural light, artificial light, AV, TV or manual modes, etc) and countless hours of practice is what can make a difference.

About the Author:

Trifon Anguelov Photography is a premiere wedding and events photography business  based in Mountain View, CA 94040 and serving clients in San Francisco Bay Area, CA. You can read more about the author and review his portfolio on his website. For complete list of services and to book your wedding, visit his Wedding Packages page.