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02-28-2014, 02:28 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Cactus RF60 Flash Review

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I was a beta tester for Cactus again and just finished my Cactus RF60 review.

If you find any typos in the review or have suggestions for improvement, I'd be grateful to be hearing from you.

If you have any questions regarding the RF60 and/or Cactus V6 please post them here.

02-28-2014, 04:24 AM   #2
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Nice review. Now I am split between the new Godox and the Cactus. Will be interesting to see the street price. Also Cactus is not easily available here...

There is a random ? in the first paragraph of the handling section. The Battery compartment pic looks misplaced in my browser.
02-28-2014, 04:51 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by delegopa Quote
Nice review.
Thanks!

QuoteOriginally posted by delegopa Quote
Now I am split between the new Godox and the Cactus.
The Godox has a lot going for it, I agree. In particular, if you are after long battery life and short recycle times.
It isn't as strong on the triggering side, though.

If you have any (legacy) TTL flashes, you should definitely have a look at the upcoming V6 which in turn is the best trigger for the RF60.

QuoteOriginally posted by delegopa Quote
Will be interesting to see the street price.
Don't expect rock bottom Yongnuo pricing territory. But I'm sure it will be very attractively priced.

QuoteOriginally posted by delegopa Quote
Also Cactus is not easily available here...
Gadget Infinity ship to anywhere in the world and their service is really good. You may be surprised.

QuoteOriginally posted by delegopa Quote
There is a random ? in the first paragraph of the handling section.
Thanks! That once was a smilie. Fixed it now.

QuoteOriginally posted by delegopa Quote
The Battery compartment pic looks misplaced in my browser.
You are right. I pushed it up a bit now.

Thanks for the suggestions for improvement!

Last edited by Class A; 03-01-2014 at 06:57 AM.
02-28-2014, 06:58 AM   #4
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Very nice review

I am in the market for a flash set up and this looks like it will be a good choice

Thanks for the review

02-28-2014, 08:04 AM   #5
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Outstanding review Class A, great job. It certainly has me very interested, a huge list of features. You mention in the review that the RF60 and upcoming V6 will be able to remotely control power levels of other brand flashes. That certainly was not expected, and could be the clincher for me in Cactus favor. How would this work?
02-28-2014, 08:04 AM   #6
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Another Review

Brian Hursey published another RF60 review.

Among other differences, he did some more power level comparisons and included more shots of the user interface.
02-28-2014, 08:09 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jake14mw Quote
Outstanding review Class A, great job.
Thanks, much appreciated!

QuoteOriginally posted by jake14mw Quote
You mention in the review that the RF60 and upcoming V6 will be able to remotely control power levels of other brand flashes. That certainly was not expected, and could be the clincher for me in Cactus favor. How would this work?
You put your flash on the V6 (in Rx mode) and select the flash model from the supported list.

The V6 then either uses the digital protocol or the legacy quench-based analogue protocol (depending on the flash) to control the power on your flash.
Whether you set the power on an RF60 master or another V6 (in Tx mode), it does not matter. Your flash will fire at the specified power.

The V6 will be quite attractive in many ways, but I feel its ability to breath new life into existing flashes is one of its major features.

Last edited by Class A; 03-01-2014 at 06:58 AM.
02-28-2014, 09:13 AM   #8
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I am hoping that Pentax will give some more thought to adding a menu override in their DSLRs to allow the triggering of a flash or trigger in the hotshoe at faster than 1/180th. It should be very simple to do.

---------- Post added 02-28-14 at 11:16 AM ----------

One thing that I think would be helpful for comparison sake is adding a picture comparing the back of the RF60 to a Yongnuo YN-560 iii, to compare the LCD screen and controls.

02-28-2014, 11:30 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jake14mw Quote
]One thing that I think would be helpful for comparison sake is adding a picture comparing the back of the RF60 to a Yongnuo YN-560 iii, to compare the LCD screen and controls.
Do you mean something like this?
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Unfortunately, I do not have a Yongnuo YN560-III on location to make sure that the images share the same scale.
In the above, I did not even attempt to make sure that the individual images are to scale.

The right hand side of the above image was extracted from this original image which in turn appeared in the LightingRumours.com announcement of the Yongnuo YN560-III. Thanks to LightingRumours.com for allowing me to use the image.
02-28-2014, 01:42 PM   #10
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Yes, that's what I was looking for, to scale so I could easily compare the size of the buttons and the LCD. I'm sure we can somehow get a scaled image soon, thanks!
02-28-2014, 05:29 PM   #11
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Using RF60 with a P-TTL flash

Thanks for the comprehensive review. I also appreciate your response to the question from jake14mw. However, just to be sure I understand, can we address some specific cases. Let's say I already own a P-TTL flash (the Metz 52 AF-1 in my case). How (if at all) could I use this together with a RF60 in each of these modes, and which is best?
  1. RF60 on hotshoe, P-TTL on stand;
  2. P-TTL on hotshoe, RF60 on stand;
  3. both RF60 and P-TTL on stands, using built-in flash as master or controller.
02-28-2014, 06:36 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
How (if at all) could I use this together with a RF60 in each of these modes, and which is best?
1. RF60 on hotshoe, P-TTL on stand;
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Your P-TTL flash then has to use optical triggering.
No remote power control, unless a V6 is added (see below).
No HSS support as the RF60 is not recognised as a P-TTL HSS flash.


2. P-TTL on hotshoe, RF60 on stand;
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The RF60 would have to be used in optical triggering mode.
You could make the RF60 contribute to HSS exposures by putting the Metz 52 AF-1 into P-TTL HSS mode and the RF60 into HSS mode.
Still no remote power control (but see below).


3. both RF60 and P-TTL on stands, using built-in flash as master or controller.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Both Metz 52 AF-1 and RF60 would have to use optical triggering.
Similar to option 1; no HSS available since the built-in pop-up flash does not support "wireless" HSS.


Things change, if you add a Cactus V6 as a receiver with the Metz 52 AF-1 mounted on it.

You can now have the RF60 on-camera and remote control the power of the Metz 52 AF-1 (via reliable and far reaching radio signals, as opposed to optical "wireless" communication). You can use the RF60 in master mode either by letting it contribute to the exposure with its own power level or by just firing the Metz 52 AF-1 (simply set the master level power on the RF60 to zero with a single (long) button press).

If you add yet another Cactus V6, you can use the latter on-camera as a controller for both off-camera Metz 52 AF-1 and RF60. You can then control the power of both either in a relative manner (choose a fraction, such as 1/4, for each respectively) or in an absolute manner. In the latter case you can e.g. specify "11EV" for the Metz 52 AF-1 and "10EV" for the RF60 and then the Metz 52 AF-1 will emit exactly one stop more light than the RF60.

Nice, isn't it?

Last edited by Class A; 02-28-2014 at 06:44 PM.
03-01-2014, 08:30 AM   #13
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Great review... This combo is now on my shopping list as I am slowing building my lighting setup. That previous response confirms what I was thinking too (I too already have Metz 52).
03-03-2014, 09:40 AM   #14
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more on godox / cheetah light / neewer 850

Just a couple of notes on the Godox flash... You can also buy it as the "Cheetah Light V850" from https://www.cheetahstand.com/product-p/cl-v850-combo-a.htm. It's a little more expensive than the Godox brand ($189.95 with transmitter/receiver set), but you get US-based support and service (they say 1 day in-house turnaround). Alternately, you can also buy it more cheaply as the Neewer TT850 (about $99 from Amazon + $30 for the trigger/receiver), but as with Godox you need to send back to China for service.

Another thing that might be nice for some people is that the same trigger works with the much more powerful (and expensive) bare-bulb lithium-powered Cheetah Light CL-360. At almost $800, a little rich for my blood, but if you're interested in a more serious studio setup, that could be attractive.
03-03-2014, 10:19 AM   #15
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Great review Class A! Currently I use two Pentax 540's on umbrellas, in manual mode with Phottix radio triggers, and a couple of extra Sunpak 383's for background, hair light, etc. The Metz 52 is a great flash but I ended up sticking with the Pentax units. At the time, I was pretty insistent on P-TTL capability when using flash on-camera, but the known bounce-flash misbehavior of the 540 on my K5ii has led me to believe that "A" (auto-thyristor) mode is more consistent- and for that type of use (on-camera in "A" mode), I must admit the Metz 52 is the superior flash. These Cactus flashes look like a better choice than any P-TTL flash, at least for off-camera use, with truly excellent features. I will probably sell off one of the 540's in favor of a couple of Cactuses.

That being said, if using a Cactus on-camera, does it have a function similar to "A"/auto thyristor mode, or are these strictly manual-only? (I'm thinking of P-TTL / A / M settings as on the Pentax 540.) Thanks Class A!
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