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04-26-2014, 01:28 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Thanks, much appreciated!


I'm not sure I fully understand your suggestion.

After you taught the manual power levels to the V6, it will ask you to put the flash back to TTL mode (and then does the rest automatically). You then don't have to do anything to the flash anymore. In TTL mode, there is no power setting and you are good to go.
Oops, please disregard my confusion.

On one of my old flash units, the (full power) manual mode is shared with the TTL mode, i.e., they are on the same switch position. The other switch positions are for various power level settings, for auto-thyristor mode rather than manual mode. That all got me confused.

What you wrote makes perfect sense. I don't think this should cause any confusion in practice.

04-27-2014, 05:16 PM - 2 Likes   #17
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I finally got around doing my HSS test:



The image shows:
  1. Ambient light only, purposefully underexposed (1/750s at f/4.5).
  2. Ambient Light + Key Light (gelled RF60 in HSS mode into a reflector, camera left).
  3. Ambient Light + Key Light + Backlight (RF60 in HSS mode from under and behind the bottle).
  4. No flashes at all, just regular Av exposure.
It got later than I intended and hence I started to get some evening sky glow already, but as you can see this only shows when you purposefully underexpose the ambient light (through a high shutter speed) and then artificially light the subject.

As I expected I had to go rather high with the flash power levels. I think I was at 1/1 but at least 1/2. In HSS mode, a speedlight loses quite a bit of power because the energy has to distributed over a "long" burst of short pulses in order to achieve the length required.

The "remarkable" aspect of the image is that I used two non-P-TTL flashes off-camera that contributed to the exposure despite the fact that the shutter speed was beyond 1/180s. I achieved that by using a P-TTL flash on-camera (Metz 58 AF-2) and triggered optically with a V6 from the pre-flash. By setting a delay (95ms for my K100D) on the V6, I then got the V6 to trigger the two off-camera RF60 just in time before the shutter opened. Because the RF60 were in HSS mode, I could use smaller power levels (such as 1/2 and 1/4) and still see their contribution in the frame.

I never thought I'd use this feature much, but when setting up this shot I actually made use of the zoom setting remote control with the V6. This made it easy to try different zoom settings for the "backlight" flash without removing it from under the bottle every time.

Last edited by Class A; 04-27-2014 at 08:35 PM.
04-30-2014, 12:33 PM   #18
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Potential FGZ II support

I asked Cactus whether they would consider "FGZ II" model support and received the response that they will investigate whether they can support the FGZ II models.

No promises at this point, but there perhaps will be good news further down the road.

The 540 FGZ and 360 FGZ are already supported, but the FGZ II models lack the analogue TTL support required to allow users to create their own flash profiles. Digital support may be possible, though, but that's what Cactus have to figure out.
04-30-2014, 05:41 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
I asked Cactus whether they would consider "FGZ II" model support and received the response that they will investigate whether they can support the FGZ II models.

No promises at this point, but there perhaps will be good news further down the road.

The 540 FGZ and 360 FGZ are already supported, but the FGZ II models lack the analogue TTL support required to allow users to create their own flash profiles. Digital support may be possible, though, but that's what Cactus have to figure out.
Oh wow, thanks for doing that! With FGZ II support, I would definitely buy some. My usual method when traveling is to bring one P-TTL flash and one dumb flash. The P-TTL is great for walking around, and does double duty as a manual flash when I'm shooting with my triggers. I was hoping to buy one RF60 and 3 V6 triggers to supplement my gear and be able to remotely control it all.

04-30-2014, 07:09 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by devorama Quote
Oh wow, thanks for doing that!
No worries.

I'm a Pentaxian, after all.


QuoteOriginally posted by devorama Quote
My usual method when traveling is to bring one P-TTL flash and one dumb flash.
What model is your "dumb" flash?
04-30-2014, 08:32 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote

What model is your "dumb" flash?
It's a Lumopro LP160. Manual control only. Used for my strobist endeavors.
05-01-2014, 09:28 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by devorama Quote
It's a Lumopro LP160. Manual control only.
Unfortunately there is no chance of getting remote power control for this one, except potentially for a DIY solution that involves using a separate trigger system to actuate "up & down" power level buttons.
05-01-2014, 03:27 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Unfortunately there is no chance of getting remote power control for this one, except potentially for a DIY solution that involves using a separate trigger system to actuate "up & down" power level buttons.
Oh, I knew I couldn't control the LP160 with the V6. But I was hoping I could control my 540 FGZ II with one V6 and a RF60 for a second flash. I'm not sure it's worth it to me to have remote control of only one of two flashes.

05-03-2014, 10:35 AM   #24
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I just found this video with some (literally) first minute impressions on the V6 and RF60:


He should have spent one more minute preparing in order ...
  • not to put the RF60 on the V6 (the RF60 has its own receiver).
  • not claim that the RF60's battery door is spring-loaded (he just experienced the batteries pushing it open, but there is no extra spring).
  • not imply the window for the optical slave had anything to do with AF.
But the video may still be interesting for anyone trying to get a feel about the size of the V6 & RF60.
05-03-2014, 10:13 PM   #25
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I have another con for the review: they're out of stock T_T

Great review though, thanks Class A. I was ready to buy one the moment it came out and I missed it, but the review makes me want one even more. I'll probably pick up two V6s and two RF60s once they're available again. I'm so excited to hear that they incorporated old school TTL support, all my flashes have an auto sensor.

This is the best thing to happen to the "Pentax" flash system, well... ever, and Ricoh had nothing to do with it. Go figure.
05-05-2014, 07:07 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by devorama Quote
Great review! I'm a little disappointed that the V6 does not support the newest versions of the Pentax flashes. Hopefully that will be rectified soon.
Really you should be disappointed in Pentax for not including an 'A' mode on the mk II flashguns. Without that little sensor, Cactus can only play the cards that they are dealt.
05-05-2014, 01:41 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxfield_photo Quote
Really you should be disappointed in Pentax for not including an 'A' mode on the mk II flashguns. Without that little sensor, Cactus can only play the cards that they are dealt.
According to the review, some of the flashes are controlled via a digital protocol. So I'm thinking the mk II versions of the Pentax flashes should be controllable on a V6 with a firmware upgrade.
05-05-2014, 04:35 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxfield_photo Quote
I have another con for the review: they're out of stock T_T
Were they ever in stock?

The V6 page says that they are going to be available May 7th.

QuoteOriginally posted by maxfield_photo Quote
Great review though, thanks Class A.
Thanks a lot, much appreciated!

QuoteOriginally posted by maxfield_photo Quote
I'm so excited to hear that they incorporated old school TTL support, all my flashes have an auto sensor.
I agree that supporting old school TTL support is one of the major highlights.

Note, though, that an "auto sensor" is a feature that is independent of TTL support. Some non-TTL flashes have one, and some TTL flashes don't have one.

With an auto sensor a flash can determine its contribution without the help of the camera, whereas TTL involves the camera for measuring the correct flash contribution.

QuoteOriginally posted by maxfield_photo Quote
This is the best thing to happen to the "Pentax" flash system, ...
Yes, I also think that in particular the Pentax system is much improved through the V6. Other brands had alternative solutions before, but for Pentax essentially only the RadioPopper JrX were available with a lot more limitations, though.

Last edited by Class A; 05-05-2014 at 04:43 PM.
05-05-2014, 04:47 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxfield_photo Quote
Without that little sensor, Cactus can only play the cards that they are dealt.
The V6 does not make use of an auto sensor on the flash. The flash power is set manually by the user (from the camera). Whether your flashes will support remote power control by the V6 depends on whether they have a TTL mode and at least two power levels below 1/1 power, unless they are supported by a predefined profile already.

Last edited by Class A; 05-05-2014 at 04:53 PM.
05-05-2014, 04:52 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by devorama Quote
So I'm thinking the mk II versions of the Pentax flashes should be controllable on a V6 with a firmware upgrade.
Yes, as mentioned before, Cactus said they will investigate whether they can support the FGZ II models. The hardware can potentially do it.
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