Godox Lux Series - the Lux Senior and Junior Retro Flashes
The Godox Lux flashes feature a retro design and are possibly the coolest looking flashes on the market. They are compatible with pretty much any camera - film or digital - that has a hot shoe, or PC sync port.
Written by Sasan Amir
Photographer and filmmaker - content creator with a focus on technology and nature.
The advantages of the Godox Lux series
Both the Godox Lux Junior and the Godox Lux Senior have significant differences compared to the Godox V1, or the Godox V860III. For example, they work without TTL & HSS and are therefore less designed to be used as "working machines" for fast jobs. However, they are still much more advanced than many flash units from the film era and offer a perfect retro look for corresponding cameras. But of course they still offer many advantages compared to very old flashes, starting with an automatic mode, the USB-C charging socket and the slave function.
|Godox Lux Junior||Godox Lux Senior|
|Flash gradings||1/1 - 1/64||1/1 - 1/64|
|Colour temperature||6000k +/- 200k||6000k +/- 200k|
|Focal length (lamp)||28mm||28mm|
|Power supply||Two AAA Batteries||Lithium 3,7V 1700 mAh|
|Recharge time||5 Seconds||2,5 Seconds|
|Weight||130 g||227 g|
|Flash units||Flash gradings||Color temperature||Focal length (lamp)||Power supply||Recharge time||Size||Weight|
|Godox Lux Junior||1/1 - 1/64||6000k +/- 200k||28mm||Two AAA Batteries||5 Seconds||74x50x72mm||130 g|
|Godox Lux Senior||1/1 - 1/64||6000k +/- 200k||28mm||Lithium 3,7V 1700 mAh||2,5 Seconds||84x114x176mm||227 g|
The similarities between Lux Senior and Junior
Aesthetics: Both flash units have a retro look. Compared to conventional flashes, I think the Godox Lux series aesthetically fits better with film cameras or retro-style digital cameras like the Fuji X series.
Features: Both units have an automatic and a manual mode for adjusting the flash output, ranging from full power to a minimum of 1/64 in increments of one f-stop. I discuss these modes in more detail in the following sections of this review.
Synchronisation: Both flash units can be fired:
- directly on the camera (hot shoe),
- outside the camera with a
synchro cable (supplied), or
- outside the camera with optical control
The differences between Lux Senior and Junior
Set-up: The Godox Lux Senior can be unfolded in three steps: Open the main cover, fold out the flash bulb, unfold the fan-like silver reflector. The Lux Junior, on the other hand, is more minimalist and also very compact. With the Junior, nothing has to be "built up" for it to be operational.
The Godox Lux Senior has a small bulb - a curved flash tube (see right). In operation, the lamp is surrounded by a reflector dish that effectively creates a larger, softer light source. The whole thing resembles a beauty dish and works very effectively. Especially when the compactness of the clip-on flash is taken into account.
The Godox Lux Junior, on the other hand, has a typical discharge tube surrounded by a Fresnel disk. The Fresnel disk is like a lens that can focus the light due to its structure. Without it, the light rays of the flash tube would fan out in all directions. The Lux Junior, on the other hand, produces a harder light, similar to a conventional Speedlight from Godox.
Size and weight
The Godox Lux Senior is larger (although it folds up quite small) and about 75% heavier (227g) than the Lux Junior (130g). But the Senior is also smaller and lighter than a conventional speedlight, like the Godox TT685 (410g without batteries). And also significantly lighter than the V1 (520g).
The Godox Lux Senior is powered by a lithium battery, which also contributes to its faster recharge time. This is also the advantage over the TT series with the V860III, or the V1. The battery is charged by connecting a USB-C cable (included) to the flash unit. This is super convenient, as USB-C also has another benefit here and compatibility is very good.
The Lux Junior, on the other hand, is powered by two AAA batteries. The recharging time is a little slower, but in return the batteries can be replaced as soon as they are empty. However, the Lux Senior must be plugged into the mains to be recharged.
On the Lux Junior product page, the "compatible cameras" are listed as Fujifilm, Canon, Nikon, Olympus and Sony. But as long as the camera has a sync socket, this should not be a problem. However, you should be aware that these flashes are not designed for 30fps continuous shooting, but are really more technically intended for single shots. For very short recharge times and the latest functions, I recommend the Godox V860III, or the Godox V1.
Haptics and workmanship of the Lux series
The feel and workmanship of the Lux flash units are excellent, the switches and dials feel very valuable and give good feedback during operation. An additional advantage here is that it is possible to see and change the flash output even before switching on.
The imitation leather look of both the Lux Junior and the Lux Senior not only looks good, but also feels very good.
With the Lux series, Godox clearly wanted to focus on the aesthetics of these products. Especially the fold-out metal shade of the Senior is an absolute highlight and also works very well in everyday life.
Manual and automatic mode
On the Godox Lux flash units, the on/off switch also serves as a switch for manual and automatic mode. When the flash is switched on, one of the two modes is selected.
The Godox Lux Senior and Lux Junior flash units both have adjustable output, ranging from full power to a minimum of 1/64, in increments of one f-stop (full, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8 ... 1/64).
The rear dial has an outer ring that controls flash output and an inner ring that is basically an exposure calculator (with no effect on flash output). The calculator is quite simple. Once the relationship between ISO, aperture and shutter speed is understood, the dial can be used quickly.
Let's say you are using ISO 100 and your subject is at a distance of 3 metres. Simply turn the inner dial to match ISO and distance, as shown below left. The top half of the dial will then show you some combinations you can use: Full power and f/4, 1/2 power and f/2.8, 1/4 power and f/2. (The shutter speed does not affect the flash exposure; as long as you are at or below the sync speed, it only affects the surroundings).
"What if you wanted to use a smaller aperture, say f/8?"
What if you wanted to use a smaller aperture, say f/8? With film, you would have to get closer to the subject so that the flash intensity increases on the model. With digital cameras, you can simply increase the ISO. In the picture above right, I turned the inner dial clockwise to set ISO 400 and 3 metres. Now the dial indicates that you can use full power and f/8. As I said, very simple.
It should be emphasised that the setting wheel is, of course, only an approximation. In certain situations - e.g. when mixing ambient light and flash or when using colour gels - the values of the setting wheel may not lead to the desired result. In my opinion, this is most useful with film cameras, as most modern flash units have no such guide values at all.
The Godox Lux flash units assume ISO 100 and f/2.8 in automatic mode. Equivalent settings such as ISO 50 and f/2 or ISO 200 and f/4 are also possible. (Shutter speed, as mentioned earlier, has no effect on flash exposure as long as you stay within the sync speed). The manual points out that the automatic mode may not work as intended if the subject is more than 4 metres away.
Like any other automatic function of a camera, auto mode does not give optimal results in all situations, but in most cases it serves its purpose. It is also perfect for spontaneous pictures that need to be taken more quickly.
So how does the automatic mode work? Both Lux flash units have a tiny sensor on the front that is referred to in the manual as an "automatic light receiver". This measures the amount of light present and this serves as the basis for the light output.
Light quality, power and colour
The following photo shows the light quality of three different flash units:
- Godox Lux Senior
- Godox Lux Junior
- Godox V1
All three flashes were set to 1/64 power. The Godox V1 was set to 28mm zoom to operate the same focal length as the other two flashes. The Lux flashes do not have an internal zoom, but are set to 28mm according to the data sheet.
You can clearly see that the Lux Senior and the V1 can produce the most even brightness gradient and also because of the round reflector the shape naturally looks different. All three flashes were set to 28mm and 1/64 flash power and the Godox V1 is quite a bit brighter than the Lux Junior/Senior.
At a time when the market is flooded with an unmanageable range of lighting solutions, the Godox Lux series is basically unique - retro-style flash units that are nevertheless equipped with modern features such as adjustable flash power and optical control. They go very well with old retro-style film cameras or digital cameras, but offer enough features and flash power to be far more than just gadgets.
Which of the two Godox Lux Senior and Junior flash units should you choose?
Both have their advantages and disadvantages, so it depends on your needs and priorities. Both flashes look authentic - and certainly make a splash. The Lux Senior in particular has found its place in my studio. The deciding factor was, on the one hand, the special design, but also the significantly shorter recharge time, which is also very important to me.
"The deciding factor was, on the one hand, the special design, but also the significantly shorter recharge time, which is also very important to me."
In summary, the Lux series addresses a very interesting niche of photographers and it is really fun to work with such beautiful equipment. The price-performance ratio is absolutely justifiable for both the cheaper Junior and the more expensive Senior. For me personally, the design of the products I use was always very important and I always liked the retro look of the Sony cameras. That's why the Senior fits stylishly to the camera and of course fits visually even better to old film cameras.