1 Mar 2015

Witstro HSS for Nikon

Australian Landscape Photographer, FT-16, godox, High Speed Sync, HSS, off camera flash, Philip Avellana, tranceiver, Witstro, YN-622N, YN-622N-TX, Yongnuo
Godox Witstro, FT-16, YN-622N-TX, YN-622N


Witstro AD360 (also known as Cheetah CL-360) is a powerful ‘flash’ from Godox.  It belongs to the family of ‘barebulb’ flashes where the bulb is exposed.  There are a couple of reviews, tests and first impressions over the internet and most are positive.  I sold my Elinchrom BR Xi 500/500 for this as I do more on location shooting.  I haven’t done a review on this item but my conclusion is very positive and highly recommended.


Why I Use High Speed Sync (HSS)

A camera's sync speed is usually at the 1/200 or 1/250 of a second.  It's the fastest shutter speed you can set your camera to sync with your flash.  If you set it higher, you'll see your shutter curtain cutting your image.

You need High Speed Sync / HSS (Canon) or Auto FP (Nikon) to break this limitation.  Without the limitation of shutter speed, you can achieve the following:

  • Achieve buttery bokeh by maintaining F/4, F/2.8 or even F/1.2 during daytime
  • Kill the ambient light by going 1/8000
  • Limitless, you're not limited to 1/250th of a second
  • No need to fiddle with ISO most of the time
There maybe more reasons but these are why I use HSS.  The ability to break away with the 1/250 limitation is a breath of fresh air.



HSS Mode

Though a manual flash with no TTL, it is capable of illuminating a subject with shutterspeeds higher than the Sync Speed.  For Canon, they call it as HSS or High Speed Sync.  For Nikon, we call it Auto FP or Auto Focal Plane.  Godox adopted the term HSS, so I’ll adopt this as well.  In order to enable HSS, you need to:
  1. Enter HSS mode
  2. Use CELLS remote
Anyone with a Witstro can enter HSS mode.  Just press both the 'Mode' and 'Set' buttons simultaneously at the back of the flash.  CELLS is compatible with Canon only that allows HSS.  I’m a Nikon user and this is an issue.  I searched the web for any possible ‘CELLS for Nikon’ but can’t find any.  I don't see any news about Godox creating CELLS for Nikon either.  So I searched for alternative triggers.  Witstro’s native trigger, FT-16, is not HSS enabled. 


Australian Landscape Photographer, FT-16, godox, High Speed Sync, HSS, off camera flash, Philip Avellana, tranceiver, Witstro, YN-622N, YN-622N-TX, Yongnuo
FT-16 Receiver



HSS Mode for Nikon

Futher research, including this article from Flash Havoc about alternative triggers for HSS, gave me the idea of using my Yongnuo YN-622N as triggering device for HSS.  YN-622N is a multi-talented trigger that can do TTL, HSS, flash compensation, groupings etc with the benefit of a hotshoe on top.  The only thing it can’t do is to display the settings/groupings you have made.  I did this and this is my setup:
  1. Put 1 x YN-622N on top of my camera’s hotshoe
  2. Attach my Witstro to YN-622N’s hotshoe
  3. Mount my Witstro at T-bracket
  4. Enable 'HSS' (simultaneously press 'Mode' & 'Set' buttons)
Australian Landscape Photographer, FT-16, godox, High Speed Sync, HSS, off camera flash, Philip Avellana, tranceiver, Witstro, YN-622N, YN-622N-TX, Yongnuo, Cheetah CL-360
Godox Witstro, Cheetah CL-360


Australian Landscape Photographer, FT-16, godox, High Speed Sync, HSS, off camera flash, Philip Avellana, tranceiver, Witstro, YN-622N, YN-622N-TX, Yongnuo
Yongnuo YN-622N


Australian Landscape Photographer, FT-16, godox, High Speed Sync, HSS, off camera flash, Philip Avellana, tranceiver, Witstro, YN-622N, YN-622N-TX, Yongnuo, transmitter, receiver
Godox FT-16 Transmitter & Receiver


It’s as simple as mounting an ordinary trigger to your speedlight – nothing dramatic.  Just be careful mounting the Witstro on the bracket because it’s heavy and not easy to orient.  Witstro’s flash body is huge!  Ensure that the flash is tightly fastened as well.  I only have the following settings:
  1. HSS mode on Witstro
  2. TTL mode on YN-622N
  3. Group 1 for YN-622N (any group will do as long as they’re the same from transmitter and receiver)
Below are sample photos of shutterspeeds under 1/250 first:  (my camera’s shutterspeed is rated 1/250 of a second).



Note on Hi-Speed Sync and Settings

When doing HSS on Witstro (Cheetah CL-360), note some of these items:

  • Witstro is already huge, adding the YN-622N will make the setup bigger
  • Flash power range at HSS mode will reduce to 1/8 to full power
  • YN-622N on camera & on flash should be set to TTL
  • HSS triggering is made possible by YN-622N's TTL capabilities
  • Change flash power using FT-16 remote (so attach it & put it in your pocket)
  • YN-622N on camera and on flash should be in the same group & channel
  • YN-622N-TX, can be usable depending on the lighting setup
I used this setup several times already.  I don't find any issues doing HSS with the Witstro or the YN-622N.  Probably the only thing to note is that, flash power is now at a minimum of 1/8 power.  If you're used to shooting with flahs power from 1/128 to 1/8, you may find you're draining power too quickly.

Australian Landscape Photographer, FT-16, godox, High Speed Sync, HSS, off camera flash, Philip Avellana, tranceiver, Witstro, YN-622N, YN-622N-TX, Yongnuo
Yongnuo YN-622N-TX Transmitter


Yongnuo released YN-622N-TX, a master transmitter for the YN-622N tranceivers which features a screen to see your settings.  For simple lighting setup, you can do away with it.  But for complex lighting setup (many lights with different groups), it's good to have this so you can control several groups of lights without moving around.


Sample Photos


Below are sample photos of the same scene with shutterspeeds higher than 1/250 of a second:

Australian Landscape Photographer, FT-16, godox, High Speed Sync, HSS, off camera flash, Philip Avellana, tranceiver, Witstro, YN-622N, YN-622N-TX, Yongnuo, darwin morales
Darwin Morales on HSS


Australian Landscape Photographer, FT-16, godox, High Speed Sync, HSS, off camera flash, Philip Avellana, tranceiver, Witstro, YN-622N, YN-622N-TX, Yongnuo, teresa
Teresa's Super Kick


Australian Landscape Photographer, FT-16, godox, High Speed Sync, HSS, off camera flash, Philip Avellana, tranceiver, Witstro, YN-622N, YN-622N-TX, Yongnuo
Tight Ropes




Final Thoughts

As seen from the photos above, HSS mode on Witstro is possible with Yongnuo’s YN-622N.  I’m not sure if these are the same results when using CELLS, but these results are pretty decent.  Cropping is never an issue with D800e.  You can still use your FT-16 to remotely adjust power on the Witstro – just put it in your pocket.  With several YN-622Ns, you can add several TTL/HSS enabled speedlights to add hair and rim lights.

2 comments:

  1. Great article, very informative and useful!!!

    One question: Can you run the Godox in HSS using only the Yongnu (without the Godox FT-16)? Would you then be able to adjust power directly on the unit?

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    Replies
    1. @patrick - hi mate, Thanks for viewing this article, about your question...

      You can run Godox / Cheetah in HSS without FT-16. You can either use CELLS or mount it on a trigger (Pocketwizard, Yongnuo triggers, Godox Odin Trigger Set, etc).

      If you use PocketWizard / Yongnuo Godox to trigger Witstro, you can't control power through them. You still need FT-16 to remotely control flash Power. Even if you use Godox Odin to Witstro, it won't remotely control power as they're not the same technology. If Godox releases CELLS for Nikon, then it can HSS & remotely control power (like CELLS for Canon).

      Hopefully this helps. Cheers!

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