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09-06-2021, 09:31 PM - 5 Likes   #1
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Godox X2T-P | Noob's Non-standard Workout and Observations

Note: I intended to post this a few months back, but it slipped in the list of priorities. As a result, there may be late edits to include missing things as well as to remove obvious error. Sorry

Background:
For some time, I have been interested in the Godox line of wireless flash and controllers, but only mildly so, since I was already a very satisfied user of Yongnuo wireless for full manual setups. I'm also not big on remote P-TTL flash, though if Godox were to field appropriate (affordable) products to allow ratios, that would be cool.

More Background:
Adorama offered the Flashpoint version (R2-Tp II) at a ridiculously low price, so I bit, figuring to pick up a lightly used TT350P at similar discount to evaluate as a pair. I scored on both counts, so here we are.

My Twisted Mission:
As mentioned above, I have been happily embedded in the Yongnuo world. What I did not mention is that various pieces of vintage gear (flashes and cameras) are also part of the mix and that my YN stuff generally plays well with that mix. The more I learned about Godox, the more I wondered how well their stuff might integrate with my existing kit. It was about that time that I noticed that the X2T-P has a standard hot shoe on the top...

Terminology:
5P shoe/foot -- used by Pentax for digital protocol dedication. The shoe/foot has four contacts/pins on its face with the "digital" contact at upper right.
4P shoe/foot -- used by Pentax for analog protocol dedication. As above, but without the "digital" contact/pin. Have an LX? This is what you get.
Bug -- logic dictates it should not work that way
HSS -- Flash that works above the camera's X-sync speed
Trailing Curtain Sync -- sync fires just before the trailing shutter curtain begins its travel, aka second curtain sync or rear curtain sync.
R2SPT -- Model name for Godox simplified single point transceiver

Observations on the X2T-P:
In no particularly order, here are some points on what I learned about X2T-P.
  • Bigger in real life than in the promotional product illustrations (see photos below), but still not huge. That is a good thing from perspective of usability.
  • Appreciate the locking foot
  • Would really like a color splash on the on/off switch or pilot light to indicate status. Just before posting this, I discovered my unit had been switched on for several days and has low batteries.
  • Not fond of soft latch battery door
  • While intended for use with the 5P shoe on Pentax dSLRs, the X2T-P also works nicely on cameras having a standard hot shoe or Pentax 4P.
  • Ignores other than the center contact on a 4P shoe, meaning that half-press will not wake up the X2T-P on those cameras.
  • Preflash is used for TTL.
  • There is a fairly complicated logic involved with the single contact top shoe
    • -Single contact top shoe is not a simple pass-through to the center pin on the X2Tp (that is good)
    • -If a 5P shoe is detected, the top shoe takes its sync from the "digital" pin of the foot. The center pin is ignored. This is important.
    • -If other than a 5P shoe (say Pentax 4P) is detected, the top shoe takes its sync from the center pin.
    • -If in HSS mode, the top shoe will also fire (!!) There were times when it appear not to fire for this case, I know not why; but if it does fire, it will just be regular sync (duh).
    • -The above is a bug or a feature depending on your thoughts about alternatives to HSS.
  • If a 5P shoe is detected, X2Tp will not fire unless the mounted lens supports aperture control from the camera body, regardless of whether TTL is being used. This is a bug!! Implications are severe for use with common macro and close-up kit.
  • Single contact top shoe plays nicely with my Yongnou YN560-TX II controller allowing the best of both worlds, within the set of quirks that come with the shoe. Might be easier to simply use an R2SPT hosting a Yongnuo TX, however.
  • Kudos to Godox for supporting PC-in for sync.
  • Just because the "digital" contact is required for TTL does not mean that P-TTL is being used (this is a fine point of logic related to the point below)
  • HSS and trailing curtain sync* for manual groups? HSS seems to work...how, I dunno**
  • PC-out for wired/wireless firing is also supported though the use case (use of the X2T-P as a RX to trigger a dumb strobe) is weak. There are more elegant ways of doing this, say with the R2SPT?
  • Menu system is convoluted such that the nesting of settings may not be clear at a glance or when making the setting. Carrying a cheat sheet/map for common setups may be a good idea.
  • Setting a group to Multiple (strobing flash) mode and editing those settings is still a bit of smoke and waving of hands in my mind. Did the rabbit really disappear?
  • Global reset is an option and one that might be used as often out of frustration as actual need
  • Amazingly comprehensive feature set appropriate for group instructional/workshop settings where a mix of multiple Godox and other vendor wireless products might be present
  • Things that should be easy to set on the fly aren't
  • Selection wheel feels flimsy. Be careful, it does protrude to the rear.
  • Does not play well with internal flash if used in wired tandem with Hot Shoe Adapter FG. Translation? The P-TTL "emulation" is not particularly robust.
  • Wired combination with a Yongnuo trigger or controller on a separate shoe worked well. Doing so as a hack with HSS may be an option, but was not something I explored.
  • I did not explore wired combination with standard P-TTL or fully manual flash.
  • I have confirmed with Flashpoint/Godox support that the top-side hot shoe is not voltage safe and that high voltage devices should not be seated there!!!

Things I did not play with:
  • Bluetooth app
  • AF Assist Lamp
  • Multi-flash "strobing"
  • Modeling lamp control
  • Features designed for multi-photographer situations

A Few General Conclusions:
  • The X2T-P works well and predictably within what might be considered its mission parameters; those being comprehensive RF wireless control of X2 compatible Godox devices with support for TTL and HSS on Pentax dSLR cameras.
  • The X2T-P does not do P-TTL emulation. Rather, the X2T-P mimics P-TTL signaling to work around, rather than with, the camera. The camera does not know the difference, but points of instability exist where the mimicry fails.
  • Despite being promoted as a feature, trailing curtain sync is not supported with Pentax dSLRs, at least none listed on the compatible body list or any bodies I am familiar with.
  • Just because a setting is possible does not mean it will work as you might expect. Testing is our friend as might also be logic. As noted in the manual, control is limited to shared features of both controller and slave devices.

Disparate System Integration:
Yes, it is possible, though not always elegant. Below is a quick list of crazy and ordinary things I was able to do.
  • Control my TT350p as off-camera TTL flash from the X2T-P in the K-3's hot shoe with my Yongnuo and wired flash kit controlled from a YN560-TX II riding in the X2T-P's top shoe. Rodeo!
  • Set up a late 1970's vintage Ricoh XR-1 to do HSS using the X2T-P with TT350p off-camera. (Don't know if this worked...no film in camera. )
  • Used YN560-TX II on the K-3 with remote shutter release (RF603N II trigger) to control Yongnuo speedlights and provide sync via RF603N II to remote X2T-P controlling a manual mode TT350p.
  • Used X2T-P on Pentax KX (film camera) to trigger manual mode TT350p and also relay remote release and control of Godox devices using a RF603N II in the top shoe signalling a YN560-TX II on the K-3 to wake up/fire the camera and relay the sync and settings to Yongnuo speedlights and other devices. No film in KX, but it would be fun to give it a try. Which will win the shutter race?
Are we having fun yet?

Gripe(s):
No storage bag or durable box included

Feature Suggestions:
Ability to save a setup off to phone or computer via USB.
Ability to apply a setup saved off to phone or computer via USB.
Note: Both of the above are available in a limited way from the phone app.

Photos:

Unfair cell phone photo showing size mounted to K-3
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Perspective is not our always our friend. In truth, the left side of the X2TP does fully overhang the K-3's left dial controls and things would be forehead tight if the camera were fitted with the standard eyepiece. I will replace with one that looks more to scale.

Very fair view from the back with K-3, though a little tilted
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Not too obtrusive or vulnerable to the errant sleeve.

Very fair view from the side with K-3
Name:  x2tp_from _side.jpg
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Looks rather purposeful, I'd say.


Steve

* To be honest, I was never able to get trailing (second) curtain sync to work with my K-3. The manual says to do the setting on the camera. To the best of my knowledge, no Pentax dSLR does trailing curtain sync from the body except to control the built-in-flash.

** In the Pentax system, both HSS and trailing curtain sync are P-TTL features and require pre-flash and exposure/timing negotiation between camera and flash. This is not strictly so in the Godox system. Setting up a manual group on the XT2-P with HSS enabled and placing the TT350p as manual flash within that group results in HSS enabled on the camera with no pre-flash performed.


Last edited by stevebrot; 09-16-2021 at 05:33 PM. Reason: Corrected misleading statement
09-07-2021, 01:55 AM   #2
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Nice write-up Steve.
09-07-2021, 05:35 AM   #3
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Steve - I have some Godox stuff (not the Flashpoint) and found that the firmware updates helpful. Did you check for updates?
Godox doesnt seem to have an update for the TT350P.
09-07-2021, 10:33 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by ProfessorBuzz Quote
Steve - I have some Godox stuff (not the Flashpoint) and found that the firmware updates helpful. Did you check for updates?
Godox doesnt seem to have an update for the TT350P.
Yes, I did the update to v1.1. I even bought a USB-C cable to do the task.

As for the TT350p, there is an update to v1.2 on the Godox download page:

GODOX PHOTO EQUIPMENT CO.,LTD Download (somewhat further down the list from other TT350s)


Steve

09-13-2021, 08:48 AM   #5
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Going back in time, the in camera flash menus have changed substantially, however from my rather limited use of HSS and Second curtain sync, the in camera menus never seemed to do much other than control the pop-up flash (pre-K-3ii).

On the K-1ii the in camera menu has been dumbed down to provide only Flash on / Flash on + red eye and a flash compensation adjustment that goes from -1EV to +1EV. What that means in any conversation where the Godox/Flashpoint specs say "In Camera", methinks it ain't gonna work. You may have more luck with the K-3i and K-5 where the flash menus are richer - but I think Pentax always intended flash control to be handled by the flash itself. A good strategy to sell $500 Pentax branded flashes, but a PITA for users. Besides that, if memory serves me correctly, I had to choose between wireless operation and HSS, so the only way I ever got HSS to work was hardwired with the hotshoe cable, one Pentax flash mounted on top of that and another a good metre apart (thanks to the miserably short cable that comes with the hotshoe adapter).

And then there is the infamous Pentax sync wall whose only passage was by way of a Pentax flash mounted on camera.

What Godox uses to trick the system is curious, but I fear that what might work with a K-3i or K-5 might not work with a K-1i/ii, KP or K-3ii/iii
09-13-2021, 08:50 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by sandilands Quote
the in camera menus never seemed to do much other than control the pop-up flash (pre-K-3ii).
That is so very true. In Pentaxland, the flash tells the body what it expects for both cases.

As for fear of incompatibility with other Pentax models, there are owners of Godox both the XT2p and XP-P on this site and no public complaints of camera model incompatibility that I am aware of.

Added: Published tested compatibility is K1, 645Z, K-70, K-50, KP, KS-2, and K3II


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 09-13-2021 at 09:14 PM.
09-14-2021, 05:18 AM   #7
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Good write-up!

I believe these units' features are highly system-dependant. For instance, with Sony the contacts are vastly different (and flimsy) so your analysis wouldn't apply.

The rest is very interesting. My own experience is mostly limited to toggling between TTL and manual, plus setting power levels in that case.

Most of my experience with studio has been with fully manual Godox V850. They work very very well, even after many years, but the range isn't impressive. I'm happy with the improved features set of the Godox 2.4GHz "X" system, but I have not used it to its fullest.

09-16-2021, 12:48 PM   #8
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QuoteQuote:
HSS and trailing curtain sync* for manual groups? Seems to work...how, I dunno**
Thanks for the great review by the way. I'm waiting on UPS right now for a Flashpoint AD200/R2T2 combination.

Trailing curtain has always interested me, strangely in portrait work, because models tend to move as soon as they detect a flash. When I'm dragging the shutter I need to say - "don't move" in my best bank robber voice.

But later you said you never got trailing curtain to work. Did you get it to work in manual but not TTL. That would be fine with me.
09-16-2021, 05:28 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by sandilands Quote
But later you said you never got trailing curtain to work. Did you get it to work in manual but not TTL. That would be fine with me.
Actually, I was not able to get it to work for either manual or TTL groups. The XT2-P manual says to set it on the camera, Pentax cameras have no such setting; it is always set on the flash as a feature of P-TTL. The full process between flash and camera is pretty involved with most of the logic happening on the flash.


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10-02-2021, 11:34 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Actually, I was not able to get it to work for either manual or TTL groups.
Yeah, Godox does not support second-curtain sync for Pentax.

IIRC, the Cactus V6 II initially had a broken second-curtain sync implementation for Pentax but the issues were fixed with a firmware update.
The Cactus triggers are still unsurpassed in some areas despite their (relative) vintage. Unfortunately, even if they were still produced, the lack of a useful strobe ecosystem would make Godox the better choice, despite their remaining trigger issues (some of which are addressed by the Flashpoint R2 Pro MarkII, but even this one does not support second-curtain sync for Pentax).
10-05-2021, 05:08 AM   #11
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I'm new to using flashes off camera and am looking at purchasing this trigger to control my Pentax AF360GZ flashes off camera with a K1ii. I know I can with one flash on the camera as the Master I can make the flashes and camera "Talk" to each other. Will the Trigger also allow communication between the camera and the flashes
Is there any other items/receivers I need to buy to make them work or is this not possible with any model trigger
10-05-2021, 05:17 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by NS_Sailor Quote
I'm new to using flashes off camera and am looking at purchasing this trigger to control my Pentax AF360GZ flashes off camera with a K1ii. I know I can with one flash on the camera as the Master I can make the flashes and camera "Talk" to each other. Will the Trigger also allow communication between the camera and the flashes
Is there any other items/receivers I need to buy to make them work or is this not possible with any model trigger
Several ways to do this.

1-Wireless TTL

You select a flash which can serve as TTL Master (it's in the specs), it goes on your camera and you configure it accordingly. You also select a second flash, which will be remote, and which can serve as TTL slave, and set it accordingly. They will talk to each other via brief light pulses and expose as a standard TTL flash on your camera

2-via an optical trigger

You mount your remote flash on a cheap optical trigger, and it will fire when it detects another flash firing. For this you need your camera flash to be in manual mode, otherwise the TTL pre-flashes will mix the optical trigger. The remote flash must also be in manual mode

3-via manual triggers

You select an emitter and a receiver, mount the emitter on your camera and the receiver on your flash. Those triggers are cheap, often don't have a long range, but with any flash which can operate in manual mode.

4-TTL emitters

With your AF360, that's not an option per se, except if you find Cactus V6 triggers (I think). Those have been discontinued, sadly.

5-Different TTL system

Companies such as Godox propose TTL flashes which operate within their (closed) protocol. That means a Godox X2T or XPro trigger will control a Godox TTL flash remotely, or a Godox flash will control another Godox flash remotely. If you're in the US, Adorama sell the Godox products under their Flashpoint brand, with a solid warranty. That system is robust but of course it won't be the cheapest solution.
10-07-2021, 05:19 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by NS_Sailor Quote
I'm new to using flashes off camera and am looking at purchasing this trigger to control my Pentax AF360GZ flashes off camera with a K1ii. I know I can with one flash on the camera as the Master I can make the flashes and camera "Talk" to each other. Will the Trigger also allow communication between the camera and the flashes
Is there any other items/receivers I need to buy to make them work or is this not possible with any model trigger
This trigger will not control your AF360GZ flashes. It is meant to control Godox / Flashpoint units from your K-1 and there is no point to buying one unless you plan on also buying a Godox/Flashpoint flash. This unit communicates with Godox flashes using radio frequencies close to the same frequency as your home WiFi network.

The AF360s do not use RF to communicate, rather flash to flash communication is done with pulses of light.

If you want to use PTTL functionality your choices using AF360s are pretty limited. A hotshoe adapter with one AF360 mounted on it plus another Pentax flash connected by the cable. Or one Pentax flash mounted on the camera configured as master and the other configured as slave "connected" optically/

If you want to use manual flash settings there are a number of RF transmitter/receiver combinations that are much cheaper. I bought a bunch of NPT-04 sets directly from China. They were cheaper than the batteries they came with. But the old saying, you get what you pay for applies with them. They work most of the time, the range is about 10 feet and they will let you down someday.
10-08-2021, 10:13 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by NS_Sailor Quote
I'm new to using flashes off camera and am looking at purchasing this trigger to control my Pentax AF360GZ flashes off camera with a K1ii. I know I can with one flash on the camera as the Master I can make the flashes and camera "Talk" to each other. Will the Trigger also allow communication between the camera and the flashes
Is there any other items/receivers I need to buy to make them work or is this not possible with any model trigger
NS_Sailor, you could use a Yongnuo 585EX PTTL flash in conjunction with your AF360FGZ. By putting the 360FGZ flash on the camera hot shoe as master/controller and using the 585EX off-camera as slave, you'll have PTTL operation. However, the 585EX can't be used as master/controller, so this won't work with the 585EX on-camera and the 360FGZ off-camera.
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