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We Review the Godox Lux Elf: A Great Value Flash for Beginners

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If you’re thinking of buying your first flash, the Godox Lux Elf might just be the perfect choice. This new flash is easy to use and priced competitively. It’s compatible with a wide range of cameras, including Fujifilm, Nikon, Canon, Sony, Olympus, and even film cameras.

In this review, I’ll discuss its features, what’s in the box, how to use it, and compare it to another popular Godox model—the Lux Junior.

Specs at a Glance

  • Light and compact
  • Measurements: 2.76″ × 3.82″ × 2.09″ (70 x 97 x 53 mm)
  • Weighs 3.4 oz (96 g)
  • GN6 (ISO100)
  • Outputs light at Correlated Color Temperature (CCT) of 6,000 K ± 200 K
  • Powered by built-in rechargeable 350mAh lithium battery
  • Compatible with Fujifilm, Canon, Nikon, Olympus, and Sony digital cameras
  • Works with film cameras via hot shoe or cable sync cord
  • Manual mode from full power down to 1/16 power
  • 2 optical control modes

Competitively Priced

The Lux Elf costs just $49 at B&H, making it one of the most affordable new manual flashes. Most of its competition at this cheaper end of the market includes small proprietary flashes that can only be used on specific camera brands. The Elf undercuts its stablemate, the Godox Lux Junior, by $20. 

Parinita StudioWide Compatability Across Camera Brands

Like other flashes in the Godox Lux range, the Elf has a single pin making it compatible with a wide range of cameras. Godox lists Fujifilm, Nikon, Canon, Sony, and Olympus in their marketing as being compatible with the Elf. I used it on my Fujifilm X-T4 and OM System OM-1 with no issues.

You’ll notice the absence of Ricoh/Pentax in the list above—although the flash did work on my GRIII, a couple of times I did have to remove the flash from the hot shoe and put it back on before it worked. I’m not sure what the issue was.

After I recorded the video for the Elf, I was surprised to see new reviews on B&H that claimed the Elf is only compatible with Sony full frame cameras. I haven’t tested it on any Sony products myself, but bear that in mind before you buy.

The Elf works well on film cameras. I attached it to my Olympus Trip 35 and Lomo LC-A film cameras with no problems, and I also used it on my Olympus Pen FT via a PC sync cable.

What’s in the Godox Lux Elf Box?

The Lux Elf is attractively packaged like all Godox products. In the box you’ll find:

  • Lux Elf flash
  • USB-C to USB-A charging cable
  • A storage bag
  • Manual in Mandarin and English

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Like other Godox manuals, the text is rather small and I struggled to read it even with my glasses on. However, you can easily find a PDF version online, allowing you to zoom in for better readability.

Sleek Minimalist Design 

The Lux Elf’s minimalist design is both modern and nostalgic, reminiscent of late ’90s and early 2000s aesthetics with its white and silver finish. It has been jokingly compared to a showerhead, and once you have that image in your mind, it’s hard to shake.Parinita Studio

Having said that, I do think the design is stylish, but I also found it a challenge to find a camera it looks good on. Most of my cameras are black or silver, and the white Elf looked a little odd sitting on top of them. The Elf looks fantastic on the white Canon EOS M3, which Godox used for many of the promotional shots.

Features 

Although this is a basic manual flash, it does have a couple of tricks up its sleeve.

The Elf has a silver reflector around its bulb designed to provide a soft, natural glow to your images. The flash power can be adjusted with a silver dial on the back, offering five levels from 1/16 to full power.

On the side, you’ll find a USB charging slot for the built-in lithium-ion battery, which offers enough power for approximately 400 full-power flashes per charge. This is a significant improvement over the Lux Junior, which requires AAA batteries and has a battery cover that I found a little tricky to open and close.

Another useful feature is the PC sync hole, allowing you to use the flash not only on your camera’s hot shoe but also off-camera by connecting it with a PC sync cord.

The main switch at the back serves as the power and test button, with an LED indicator to show when the flash is fully charged and ready to go. Above that is the S1/S2 button for use if you want to trigger the Elf in optical control mode from another Godox flash.

Using the Lux Elf

In the video I explain how to use the Elf, here’s a quick rundown. 

Attach the Flash 

Ensure both your camera and the Lux Elf are switched off. Hold the unlock button and slide the flash onto the hot shoe of your camera, then release the button.

Power On 

Turn on your camera, followed by the Lux Elf.

Camera Settings 

Set your camera to manual mode. A good starting point is ISO 100, f/5.6, and 1/100 of a second. If you like, you can look up the flash guide number equation and work all the settings out, but for now, this is what I recommend.

Adjust Flash Power 

Use the dial on the back to set the flash power. I started at 1/4 power.

Take a Test Shot and Adjust

Take a test shot and review it.

If the image is too bright, lower the flash power, increase the aperture, or increase the shutter speed.

If it’s too dark, increase the flash power, decrease the aperture, or slow down the shutter speed.

Sample Photos

I tested the Lux Elf on my Ricoh GRIII, capturing various scenes at the Australian Outback Spectacular on the Gold Coast and another dinner outing. Other than the issue with the GRIII I described at the start of the article, the flash worked well with great results.

The Elf had plenty of power if my subject was close by. Often, I would adjust the power of the flash to balance the ambient light with good results.

The only time it struggled was when my subject was farther away. With this performer on stage, I had to really ramp up the flash power, slow the shutter speed, and shoot wide open. I didn’t change my ISO as I was testing if the Elf could do the job here.

Comparison With the Lux Junior

While both the Lux Elf and Lux Junior are excellent flashes, which one is for you depends on a few factors. Below, I’ve outlined some of the main differences. Make sure you also check out my Godox Lux Junior review here on Fstoppers

Price

The Lux Elf is the cheapest Lux flash, making it an excellent choice for beginners and budget-conscious photographers. The Lux Junior is still affordable; an extra $20 will get you more bang for your buck.

Power

The Lux Junior has a guide number of 12, twice the Elf’s guide number of 6. This makes the Lux Junior the winner if you need more power—especially for subjects further away.

Flash Increments

The Lux Junior offers 7 increments from 1/64 to full power, while the Lux Elf has 5 increments from 1/16 to full power. In practical terms, this probably won’t matter to you too much.

Automatic Mode

The Lux Junior includes an automatic mode, although as I noted in my Lux Junior review, it’s handy but not terribly sophisticated. The Lux Elf is strictly manual.

Design

The Lux Junior’s retro look contrasts with the Lux Elf’s more sleek, modern design.

Power Source

The Lux Junior uses AAA batteries, and it can be tricky to open and close the battery compartment. The Lux Elf features a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which is a fantastic new feature for the Lux range.

What I Liked

  • Affordable
  • Good results
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Easy to use

What I Didn’t Like

  • Text size in the manual is tiny
  • I’m not sure if there are potential compatibility issues with Ricoh GRIII—also noting the unverified reviews on B&H regarding issues with the Sony ZV-1 line

Final Thoughts

The Godox Lux Elf is a fantastic flash for beginners and photography enthusiasts seeking an affordable, user-friendly option. Its stylish design, ease of use, and compatibility with a wide range of cameras make it an excellent choice for those new to flash photography.

While it may lack some advanced features of its stablemate, the Lux Junior, it does have a few advantages. It’s cheaper, lighter, and the rechargeable lithium-ion battery is a big improvement.





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