We’ve tested the flagship model of the Godox studio strobe series, namely the second generation of the QT1200 strobe with 1200Ws power.
The QT series (consists of 400/600/1200Ws) is the top of the line of Godox’s studio strobes. They offer many types but the low-budget SK series and the high level QT series are the most popular ones. The latter is known for being IGBTs thus they have very fast flash durations and fast recycling times (max. 1.5s). The Mark II models’ only upgrade on the old models is the X-system radio receiver on board, so they can be controlled with Godox’s XPro and X1 transmitters, and with the company’s Master flashes.
The Godox QT1200IIM offers advanced functions like HSS, multi mode, delay mode, mask mode, S1/S2 slave modes and stable color mode with exact white balance or speed mode with ultrafast flash duration.
With such a versatile operation Godox offers this flash for wedding, advertising, portrait, fashion and high speed photography.
The Godox QT1200IIM is a big strobe. It has to be big because of its power, 1200Ws requires space by physics: it’s full for capacitors, electronics and serious cooling system. Of course it is not any bigger than a good old traditional studio strobe…I just got used to those tiny 200 and 400Ws portable flashes that are popular these times. A 1200Ws studio strobe has been always big and it is big nowadays too. Consider its pros too: it balances well with an 180cm octa. 🙂 For such purposes the light-stand socket on the bottom can be slide in order to create optimal balance. As it should be with a professional strobe.
The build quality is perfect, it’s a real workhorse made of metal and made for popping hundreds of thousands in a studio. There are micro-switches on the back that do not collect dust. With the only one big dial we can adjust a power and several functions in the menu. There are sync ports here too, classic and Godox’s own in order to fit the strobe into older radio systems if needed.
The LCD has blue backlit and can be read from angles too. It shows the actual flash duration in regular manual mode in t0.1 measurement system (thats more precise than t0.5).
The modelling light is 150W halogen and has a detachable glass protector.
The power can be adjusted within 1/1 and 1/128, the output is stable as hell. I was not able to measure any fluctuation.
Due to the built-in X-receiver we can directly remote control the QT1200II with Godox XPro and X1 triggers as well as Godox’s Master flashes. During my test there was no problem with that, it communicated well with my Godox XPro.
The strobe has several modes as I mentioned. The Stable Color Mode is the default mode. In this case it’s color temperature varies at most 200K across the power range. By factory specifications it’s 132K exactly (5674K-5540K). I measured 200K however I used only RAW files and WB tool. Godox has used a spectrometer which is more precise. The flash duration is 1/256s-1/5554s in Color mode.
We can activate the Speed Mode in the C.fn menu. In this mode the white balance will be not as precise as in Color mode but the flash durations will be extremly short for high speed photography thanks to the IGBT type electronics. It’s still 1/256s in 1/1 output but it goes significantly shorter beyond 1/4 and goes all the way down to a whopping 1/25.640s at minimum power. Around at 1/8-1/16 we already able to photograph splashing water with around f/11-f/16 apertures (ISO100) thanks to the high power of this strobe. Although we have to deal with modified color temperatures from 5600K through ~6200K up to 8487K at min. output.
The Godox QT1200II-M supports HSS despite that it is a regular manual strobe. Although this is not a ‘classic’ pulsing HSS, but a hi-sync or hypersync name it as you want. This means that the radio trigger delays the flash pop with milliseconds and takes advantage of longer flash durations. Long flash durations are given only at higher outputs, so in HSS mode the strobe’s power is limited to 1/1 – 1/16 power. Due to the characteristics of the flash tube and the color spectrum during a flash pop, the color temperature of the flash is 700K lower than usual. Please note that HSS need to be activated both on the strobe and on the trigger.
By default the modelling light does not turn during the flash pop. If you want to shoot with open apertures, it is suggested to activate it in the C.fn menu (F4).
Also in the C.fn menu there are to more functions. One is the Delay flash which is made for creative usage. You can set the flash delay within 0.01s – 30s. You can use it for 2nd curtain sync as well as for firing several strobes in different times one after the other.
The other function is the Mask mode. In this mode we can divide a set of strobes in to groups N1 and N2 (differs from the regular radio groups) so with to exposures the strobes will flash accordingly. Those in group N1 will fire on the subject at the fist exposure, the others in group N2 will fire on the background on the second exposure so we can create a lit photo and a backlit photo of a subject. The latter creates a silhouette that can be used for Photoshop masking.