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07-24-2017, 07:42 AM   #151
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I've got the RF60x and V6II now! So far so good with normal flash power and zoom control, plus of course radio HSS right up to 1/8000th ...very cool!

I earlier reported that I would only have a 1 flash radio HSS solution, but I am now looking at updating the firmware in both my original RF60 and V6 . Looking at the firmware notes for the RF60, it appears to be saying that the release last year offers new support for 'auto HSS' mode (AU HSS on the display screen) . This is exactly the same as the newer RF60x, as tested today and working good.

I didn't believe that the original RF60 was able to fire HSS output via radio, even when triggered by the V6II ....? But the firmware notes appear to be telling me that it will. I cannot test this until tomorrow after I have updated the firmware .....but that's a great bonus if true! So will I now have a 2 flash HSS radio system ?

Of course the next feature to wait for is the TTL metering functionality, which us apparently already latent for the RF60 in the latest firmware, but only usable for me once the XTTL is released for Pentax.

But I had no Idea that Manual radio HSS was already available with the original RF60 and V6 II combination.

07-25-2017, 12:25 AM   #152
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
But I had no Idea that Manual radio HSS was already available with the original RF60 and V6 II combination.
Yes, has been available for a while now.

I've been using it quite a bit because I only have one RF60x and on its own it would have struggled to fill a large umbrella. With another RF60 on its side, though, the combination works nicely.
07-25-2017, 03:49 AM   #153
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I need a better Smilie ... there isn't one with a big enough grin for me!!


I updated the RF60 firmware last night and have just tested it in a set-up with the V6II (on-camera Tx) and the RF60x. So 2 flashes, same channel, one on Group A and one on Group B. And yes it works perfectly, both up to the sync speed and then beyond all the way to 1/8000th. I didn't see any significant fading at the edges, so the flash coverage is excellent. Having full manual control in 1/2 or 1/3 power steps, and so easily from the V6II buttons and dial is really superb ! Plus of course flash head zoom remotely as well, which is quite handy if not essential.


After the firmware update the RF60 gains an additional menu item, which is 'AU HSS' on or off ..... this is 'Auto HSS' and is the same as the RF60x has. When set to on it is a set-it-and-forget-it thing .... it means that you can flick the shutter speed back and forwards below and above the max sync speed at will, and the flashes just keep on flashing, automatically switching themselves between normal and HSS modes .... its the same convenient mode switching functionality we have with Pentax P-TTL flashes, but via radio control rather than Optical control signals.




So the only things that the original RF60 lacks now that the newer RF60x has now is the cooling function and the AF assist, as far as I can see. Well done to Cactus for giving this extra value to RF60 owners!


Next thing to test is my Pentax AF-540FGZII with the V6 as receiver ..... firmware has been updated there also. Unfortunately there won't be any HSS or remote flash head zooming in this case, but I can hardly complain can I ? I'll still have a 3 flash remote control Manual set-up now.
07-25-2017, 07:10 AM   #154
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
Unfortunately there won't be any HSS or remote flash head zooming in this case, but I can hardly complain can I ?
If you only have one V6II then indeed you won't get HSS or remote zooming from an AF 540 FGZ II.

However, a V6 receiver with the latest firmeware will support PowerSync, i.e., you'll get a "poor man's HSS".
It only works by fixing the flash output to full power, but its better than being completely limited by the sync speed.

07-25-2017, 07:50 AM   #155
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Yes good point, I didn't think to try out 'PowerSync', but it's an option. In practice I doubt it would be much help, as the extra complexities in exposure control (having to adjust ISO, aperture or flash distance) plus the required complementary power adjustments needed on the two Cactus flashes to compensate for those aperture and ISO adjustments) would make the whole business too messy, except in the most static and slow-paced scenarios.

I'm assuming that the 'PowerSync' mode is implemented via the V6II Tx and the instruction sent to the V6 ...? (I don't recall any PowerSync option coming into the V6 menu after the firmware update .....)

Glad to report that the V6 and AF-540FGZII were very happy partners within my 3flash manual set up, tested today! Really great to have fully independent remote control over 3 flashes and such a convenient interface for switching on and off groups, selecting single group adjustments or global ones etc. I keep my swap control for the dial on the Zoom (Cactus) option to quickly flick between zoom and power settings.

Last edited by mcgregni; 07-25-2017 at 10:25 AM.
07-25-2017, 10:13 AM   #156
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
The RF60 upgrade (V2.05) is already available.

There must have been a change of plans because indeed the original announcement for the RF60 update was after all the V6II versions were done.
I talked about TTL .... HSS is working fine with the RF60 - that update was the reason to purchase my 1st V6II.
Meanwhile I got a 2nd V6II - waiting for the Pentax-TTL-Update.

Curently I enjoy the option that the old Pentax flashes now can be zoom-controled
07-25-2017, 12:07 PM   #157
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Yes that's a plus .. And you have radio manual HSS with the V6II/AF-FGZII combination ....(I'm assuming that's the Pentax flash you're using ?).
07-25-2017, 07:39 PM   #158
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QuoteOriginally posted by klaus123 Quote
I talked about TTL ...
Same here.

The V2.05 update for the RF60 makes it TTL compatible. As soon as the Pentax version of the X-TTL firmware for the V6II will be available, we'll be able to use our RF60s straight away with TTL functionality.

07-26-2017, 12:43 AM   #159
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
In practice I doubt it would be much help, as the extra complexities in exposure control (having to adjust ISO, aperture or flash distance) plus the required complementary power adjustments needed on the two Cactus flashes to compensate for those aperture and ISO adjustments) would make the whole business too messy, except in the most static and slow-paced scenarios.
Yes, having only one power level is rather limiting but then any change of the camera is quickly compensated by turning the dial on the V6II.

I have both my camera and my V6II set to 1/2 EV steps, so one click on the camera corresponds to one click on the V6II dial.

The X-TTL version should bring another feature that should be useful for the above: Flash compensation. Apparently, the V6II will then automatically adjust power levels whenever a camera parameter changes to keep the exposure constant. Hopefully this will be possible in combination with some groups being set to PS (PowerSync). Judging from the quickstart guide for the Sigma X-TTL is does not seem possible to activate flash compensation for individual groups only. Hopefully, such limitations will be lifted over time.

QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
(I don't recall any PowerSync option coming into the V6 menu after the firmware update .....)
Yes, PS is chosen on the V6II only.
07-28-2017, 10:17 AM   #160
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Thanks for that confirmation ClassA.


Having now operated my new 3 flash radio set-up (1 V6II Tx, 1 RF60, 1 RF60x, 1 AF-540FGZ / V6 Rx) I want to point out a little pitfall that should be noted. This applies to those who will be combining the older RF60 with the newer RF60x and V6II triggers ....


The RF60x and V6II have a new configuration setting that did not previously exist on Cactus equipment. This is the 'Radio ID' setting. It is located within the 'Radio Setup' Menu. It is an additional item to consider as well as the Channel and Group settings. This setting is a 4 digit number and the default is 0000. I was unsure about what to do with this initially, so I set both my V6II and RF60x to Radio ID 0001. This caused the V6II to communicate with and control the RF60x successfully. However the RF60 did not communicate with the V6II.


I had updated the RF60 firmware to the latest version. Now this does add in the new features such as 'AU HSS' .... however it does not add in a 'Radio ID' setting to the RF60. So there was no way to configure the RF60 to match the 0001 Radio ID of the other equipment. As such it failed to function. So I reset both the V6II and RF60x to 0000. This now allowed communication with the RF60 and everything worked OK.


Its something to catch out the unwary, and will likely cause frustration ongoing. I am struggling to find any good reason for the new 'Radio ID' setting, considering the system already has 16 channels ..... ?
07-28-2017, 07:54 PM   #161
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
Its something to catch out the unwary, and will likely cause frustration ongoing. I am struggling to find any good reason for the new 'Radio ID' setting, considering the system already has 16 channels ..... ?
It is a bit of a mystery to me as well.

It seems like a redundant mechanism to achieve separation between groups of triggers (whether from the same photographer or not).

There are two hypotheses I have why this was added on top of the channels mechanism:
  1. In an environment that is polluted with radio transmissions, one may only have one channel available that works really well. So if in such a scenario changing the channel is not available to separate triggers from each other, the Radio ID approach would be a solution.
  2. There is some chance that another photographer who joins one's space is using the same channel number as one does. If this ever happened, it would mean to reconfigure all ones transmitters and receivers. That could be disruptive during an event like wedding, for instance. By choosing a unique "Radio ID", one can better inoculate oneself against ever running into the problem of getting interference with another photographer.

In my view, none of these reasons justify adding the "Radio ID" mechanism.
  • It is an item one has to scroll through in the menu.
  • It will add some trigger delay for transmitting the ID and processing it.
  • If it is used for avoiding interference between photographers, there should still be a chance of radio packets clashing with each other, if the same physical radio channel is used. That could lead to misfires. Changing the actual radio channel, rather than achieving a logical separation through an ID, seems the much better solution.
  • As you found out, using incompatible Radio IDs can trip one up.
Curiously, the true purpose of the "Radio ID" mechanism is not explained in the manual (given that its objective can be achieved by changing channels as well), so I'm not even sure what the real motivation for it was. My explanations (1. & 2.) above are just feeble attempts for an explanation that I pulled out of thin air.
07-28-2017, 08:36 PM   #162
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The only info I've been able to find about "Radio ID" is this:
"To protect your setup from interference from other Cactus devices, assign all your V6 II to a specific radio ID. Press and turn the selection dial to <RADIO SETUP>. Press and turn the selection dial to <RADIO ID>. You may then set up a 4-digit key by turning the dial and pressing for each digit."
07-29-2017, 02:18 AM   #163
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Yes exactly, but that sounds just the same as a reason to change channels ! I am agreeing with ClassA also that if a system is left on the same Channel as another, even with distinct Radio IDs on the equipment within that system, then it potentially could still interfere with another system operating on the same channel frequency (although admittedly the 0001 ID setting completely isolated my RF60 from communication even though it remained on the same channel) . Also surely they should have also added the Radio ID item to the menus of the older RF60 model, to avoid the issue I experienced......

Your point 2 above ClassA ..... you would still have to reconfigure the Transmitter and all slaves to a new Radio ID figure, just the same work as for changing channels. Also you'd better hope you don't have any RF60s in your setup ....they will just stop working,
07-29-2017, 05:35 AM   #164
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
Your point 2 above ClassA ..... you would still have to reconfigure the Transmitter and all slaves to a new Radio ID figure, just the same work as for changing channels.
I don't see how you would have to reconfigure anything if you rock up with a Radio ID of "5389". Who else will ever use that specific ID?
The "Radio ID" is like a PIN to unlock your flashes.

QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
Also you'd better hope you don't have any RF60s in your setup ....they will just stop working,
Perhaps Cactus will add a "Radio ID" menu item to the RF60 firmware sometime later?

The RF60 upgrade was originally only announced to come by the "end of the year" or "early 2018", so the unexpected early release date may give credence to the thought that is is "half-baked" as far as "Radio ID" support is concerned. I don't care to be honest, as I have never moved any of my "Radio ID" settings away from the "0000" default.
07-29-2017, 08:17 AM   #165
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5389....hmmm, that's a very good ID, yes. So if I remember that, the next time we're shooting an event together I'll he able to flick my V6II to 5389 and instantly mess up all your creative exposures and change then to be technically correct

My main point was that I would lose the use or the RF60 because there's no ID setting for it .... As soon as the V6II is taken off the 0000 setting the communication is lost to the RF60. It seems like something they could easily have added with the firmware to prevent that incompatibility.

.....oh bye the way, what channel do you like to use ....?
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