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There is a rather confusing mess of flashgun+wireless sets sold under various brands (eg Godox, Neewer,....), usually described as preflash/digital-TTL capable for a certain camera platform.

Can any of these systems actually be used with multiple platforms (as off camera, radio interfaced flash - but with TTL integration - only, not by direct or wired hotshoe connection, not by optically controlled wireless TTL) by merely getting all the various transmitter units and only one set of flashguns, even if they are not officially sold this way?

  • I am not sure what you are asking. Do you just want simple triggering of remote flash units? Remote power control? or full TTL? Do you want to mix brands or systems? Any TTL compatible system has to be brand specific. (Canon, Nikon,etc) – Mike Sowsun Dec 13 '18 at 14:22
  • Only if the TTL brains are in the flashguns, as opposed to in the camera-top radio brick... And yes, my question is "are they in the the radio brick with some systems, and can that be taken advantage of to run one flash system with multiple camera brands (Sony, Pentax and Nikon in my case)" – rackandboneman Dec 13 '18 at 14:26
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    Unless the flashgun has firmware that can deal with all protocols, and selects which of these to use depending on what transceiver it is talking to... – rackandboneman Dec 13 '18 at 14:37
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    I wonder if they internally are... that a hotshoe addon board might be protocol specific might not necessarily mean the main and radio board are different for every dedicated model from the same third party manufacturer – rackandboneman Dec 13 '18 at 14:42
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    I just did some research and it appears that Godox now has Cross-Brand TTL capability: petapixel.com/2017/07/13/… – Mike Sowsun Dec 13 '18 at 14:44
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Yes, there are several systems that work in the way you describe, where the off-camera lights can switch between different TTL systems, and the only thing you need is an on-camera transmitter unit that matches the camera system (i.e., "speaks" the correct electronic flash protocol, and has a physical foot pin configuration that matches the contact configuration on the camera hotshoe). The systems that do this include:

Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Fuji are the most commonly supported systems. Godox is probably the most popular for supporting six camera systems (they also do Olympus/Panasonic and Pentax) and having the lowest price tags on the speedlights/triggers as well as having speedlights, bare bulb flashes, and studio strobes in their system.

But these all rely on built-in radio triggers in the same-brand lights with a single exception: the Cactus X-TTL system. This system allows for cross-platform use of any TTL-capable speedlights since their add-on transceiver can do cross-brand TTL/HSS switching, unlike Godox's X1R add-on receivers.

And if you want TTL, naturally, the light itself must be capable of TTL; some of these systems integrate both TTL and manual-only lights.

However, in the Godox system, at least, when a new camera system is added to the Godox system, already-existing lights must be firmware updated to perform the cross-brand TTL switching. For example, Godox only recently added Pentax P-TTL support, and firmware updates have been issued for the AD600/AD400/AD200 strobes and the V860II speedlights, but the AD360II and TT685 speedlights have not received such an update and cannot (yet) switch to perform P-TTL.

I have a Godox TT685-C (for Canon) TTL/HSS speedlight that I had to upgrade the firmware on, but that I can now control over radio in TTL/HSS with remote power control from a Godox XPro-C transmitter on my 5DMkII, an XPro-O transmitter on my Panasonic GX-7, and an XPro-F transmitter on my Fuji X100T. And the flash will indicate on the LCD display which "brand mode" it's currently in:

LCD display of TT685 in Canon, Fuji, and MFT modes

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There may be others, but at least the Godox X (Flashpoint R2) system functions in this way. You have to have the correct trigger for your camera (e.g. the XPro-N for Nikon or XPro-C for Canon), but you will get TTL regardless of the strobes (though some need a firmware update for this to work). I regularly share a pair of AD200s with my Nikon and a Canon user in this way and it works perfectly (though you need to set the trigger to send flash settings every time if you're actually using multiple triggers simultaneously).

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Any TTL flash needs to be specific to the brand or, in some cases, model.

But in general, all flashes can be triggered by the central pin of the universal hot shoe. So you can buy a set of radio controllers, attach the receivers to any flash with the central pin, and they will fire in manual mode.

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    There have been wired multi-brand TTL systems, eg Metz SCA.... but I was specific about radio-driven wireless. Still, the downvote isn't mine. – rackandboneman Dec 13 '18 at 19:23

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