As I promised in the review article of the AD200 round head, the next will be the review of the AK-R1 accessory kit.
These accessories have appeared recently in Godox’s lineup. They are quite multipurpose so you should judge them not only by considering their usage with the AD200 round head. The AK-R1 kit is compatible with the – possibly – upcoming Godox V1 speedlight as well as with any other speedlights with the S-R1 adapter.
The magnetic connection makes the usage of these accessories very convenient, quick and elegant compared to any other solutions like straps and velcros. There are four magnets on every accessory but the rim of the round head (or the round adapter) is magnetic everywhere so you can attach the accessories in any position.
The Godox AK-R1 kit comes in a neat, solid box. It’s practical and demanding and looks like a box of sunglasses.
Let’s see what it includes:
I’d start right with the bounce card that can be used with the AD200 round head too well in certain situations (eg. for background lighting). But it’s designed mainly for speedlights and event photography. We usually use it when we bounce the light from the ceiling, while the bounce card gives us a little fill light directly on the subject, making the shadows a bit brighter. The card has a black and a white side, white is for bouncing light, black is for masking in one direction. Its material is plastic, it’s flexible and fits into the case of the whole set…more or less.
Flash gel kit
Gels are one of the most important accessories during professional location lighting. If we want to achieve lifelike results in our photo, we’ll have to match the color of the artificial lights to the ambient lights. That is what color correction gels are good for. If we want to achieve special effects, then effect gels are required for the job. The Godox AK-R1 set includes only some color correction gels (no effect gels unfortunately), but we hope that Godox will offer some more options too in the near future. The magnetic adapter of the gels has two slots, so gels can be somewhat piled up. These rigid plastic colored disks have four flaps around that lock into the adapter by slight turning. It seems that we’ll get one 1/4 CTO (orange), 2pcs 1/2 CTO, one Plus Green and two netural clear gels in a set. First of all I’d say it is not enough: I miss the CTB (blue) gels for example. Secondly I miss the full CTO from the set too, however we have two 1/2 CTOs that can be combined in one adapter, that results a full CTO. Although every packshot of the AK-R1 from Godox show three different gels.
Thirdly nobody knows what the two fully neutral-clear gel-disks are good for.
UPDATE: the clear disks are possibly aimed to hold any custom cut gel by the user. As the adapter has two slots, the two clear disks can hold a regular sheet of color gel inbetween. (Thanks for the remark to our reader, Rene Delbar!)
The dome diffuser can be used in several ways. Its purpose is to spread light in more than 180 degrees equally. By using the dome diffuser our light will have no rim at all for example and we can imitate ambient lighting in a room with it. Also we can use it with an umbrella, the dome will fill it with light in a nice and even way. If we use it with a regular speedlight bounced on the ceiling, then it will give us a nice even soft light everywhere and brighter background behind our subject.
Wide angle diffuser
This add-on is a diffuse disk with microprisms. Honestly I didn’t notice any remarkable effect with it with a H200R round head on an AD200. However please note that it is not designed only for the AD200 round head but for speedlights too. Using it with a regular speedlight, it may widen the beam of the light output remarkably. Since I had no S1-R adapter, I could not try it.
The aim of the honeycomb grid is to narrow the light beam of the flash, as it does not allow the light spreading sideways. The denser or the thicker the grid is, the less light is allowed to spread sideways, so the narrower our flash light will be. Please consider that the light blocked by a honeycomb grid will be lost, so using this equipment will cause a massive light loss. The grid included in the Godox AK-R1 kit is nor dense, neither thick, so it does not narrow the light as much as you’d think or expect. However I can be useful in some situations.
If you want a narrower light beam, then the barn-door is a better choice, especially when you combine it with the honeycomb grid. This allows you to harness your light beam efficiently…also with a massive light loss that you should consider. It is also made of good quality plastic.
We are still at the subject of narrowing light and still with light loss. The snoot is a black rubber cone (that can be collapsed for easier storage). It blocks the majority of your light and allows just a little beam out through its small hole on the front. Usually it has a honeycomb grid at the hole, but Godox has left it out.
Here is a comparison of the results caused by the three add-ons above (flash distance from subject is about 80-100cm):
Making your light beam narrower by keeping the light intensity is not an easy game. For some level a zoom flash-head may be enough, but usually it isn’t. If you want to make small spot light without light loss, you’ll need special equipment with optics, which is a different league.