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02-07-2015, 09:37 AM   #1
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cactus v6 with 1-pin flashes and

Hi there, I have another cactus v6 question. By now it is my understanding, that you can use this triggers even with fairly neolitic flashguns, like Af240Z, and still be able to control power wirelessly (correct me, if I am wrong, please). But how about even simplier flashes, like those old one-pin flashes with their own photocell on board, and setting M/red/blue (Tristar 300AZ being on my disposal, for ex.). Since right now I am on bring of buying either some v6s, shall it work this way, and utilizing some ancient flashes and saving some cash as oposed to buying one v6 and than some RF60s to "be the light". I am not concerned by guide numbers or recharge time, here I am simply on about possibility of adjusting relative light ratio on the go. Thanks in advance.

02-07-2015, 10:10 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bulldogface Quote
Hi there, I have another cactus v6 question. By now it is my understanding, that you can use this triggers even with fairly neolitic flashguns, like Af240Z, and still be able to control power wirelessly (correct me, if I am wrong, please). But how about even simplier flashes, like those old one-pin flashes with their own photocell on board, and setting M/red/blue (Tristar 300AZ being on my disposal, for ex.). Since right now I am on bring of buying either some v6s, shall it work this way, and utilizing some ancient flashes and saving some cash as oposed to buying one v6 and than some RF60s to "be the light". I am not concerned by guide numbers or recharge time, here I am simply on about possibility of adjusting relative light ratio on the go. Thanks in advance.
Cactus has a list of flashes for which the V6 can remotely adjust power. I have the Pentax 540 and the 360 both of which are on the list of supported flashes. I do use an old Sunpak 383 but the V6 only triggers it. I also have a pair of RF60s which I like a lot better than the two piece solution (540 plus V6). If I add to my lighting, I will get more RF60s.

A key factor for long shoots. Make sure you can set your flash to not go to sleep quickly. I can do it with my 540 but not with the 360. It is very annoying and totally impractical for extended shooting sessions.
02-07-2015, 10:17 AM   #3
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Hi Bulldogface, with power control of TTL flashes by V6 there are some understatement. First of all: V6 can not control every TTL flash for Pentax, Canon, Nikon or Olympus. For example it doesn't work as a controller with Pentax AF500FTZ despite the fact that it is TTL (I checked it personally, unfortunately). V6 could fire 500FTZ but power level must be set directly on the flash. To be sure you should see a list of compatible devices on cactus's website or here on the forum or experiment at your own risk. Personally I use the flash trigger with Metz 50AF-1 and Canon 540EZ and they work fine. With Pentax AF500FTZ V6 acts only as a trigger without any adjustments. Personally I find RF60s as a good choice in terms of power, durability and ability to control zoom wireless albeit little bit overpriced. Summarizing: V6 can trigger almost any flash even with one pin and studio strobes too, but it can not control power level of each TTL flash. However, V6 is great!
02-07-2015, 10:24 AM   #4
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yes, but than if i can only fire old flashes, I'll be probably just as good off with v5, which can be triggered by v6..they would just always fire on total manual, if I understand correctly...anyway, my confusion comes from their statement, that v6 can learn almost any given flash. However, if your experience says otherwise, I'll take your word for it.

02-07-2015, 10:46 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bulldogface Quote
yes, but than if i can only fire old flashes, I'll be probably just as good off with v5, which can be triggered by v6..they would just always fire on total manual, if I understand correctly...anyway, my confusion comes from their statement, that v6 can learn almost any given flash. However, if your experience says otherwise, I'll take your word for it.
Learning any flash is not true. I have a Metz 52 AF-1 which I almost sold because it was not on the supported list. I tried the learning process and it did not work. I contacted Cactus about 5-6 months ago to see if they were ever going to support my Metz. The answer was a "definite maybe." I took it as a big NO. However, about a couple of month or so ago, they updated the V6 firmware and it now supports my Metz 52 AF-1.

I would say if your flashes are fairly current, there is a chance they might support it. However, if the flashes are older, my guess is that it is a no go.

Last edited by btnapa; 02-07-2015 at 10:47 AM. Reason: adding
02-07-2015, 11:02 AM   #6
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than it is a no no than, cos although I have af540-1, I intended to use it on flashes from mid-80ties as well. Btw, is there any alternative to v6- rf60 combo i should be aware of? Something that can control power wirelessly.
02-07-2015, 11:12 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bulldogface Quote
than it is a no no than, cos although I have af540-1, I intended to use it on flashes from mid-80ties as well. Btw, is there any alternative to v6- rf60 combo i should be aware of? Something that can control power wirelessly.
Alternatives are available for Canon. My friend uses another remote trigger for his Canon system. The one he uses even supports ETTL! I am not aware of alternatives for Pentax.
02-07-2015, 11:14 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bulldogface Quote
than it is a no no than, cos although I have af540-1, I intended to use it on flashes from mid-80ties as well. Btw, is there any alternative to v6- rf60 combo i should be aware of? Something that can control power wirelessly.
Of course: Yongnuo YN560-TX with YN560III or IV.

02-07-2015, 12:01 PM   #9
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You will never be able to control power on single pin flashes.

It's like trying to make an ordinary light switch act like a dimmer.
02-07-2015, 12:19 PM   #10
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QuoteQuote:
=sterretje;3148925]You will never be able to control power on single pin flashes.

It's like trying to make an ordinary light switch act like a dimmer.
Another time I've got confused by cactus, apparently, when I read that they can control flashes thru Lo power mode, which indeed sounds like it is manipulating thru power output (centre pin). I am trying to see there what there isn't. But note taken. How about old 3pin pentax flashes, they should be controlable to some extend...

---------- Post added 02-07-2015 at 08:34 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by airbass Quote
Of course: Yongnuo YN560-TX with YN560III or IV.
I thought they're available only for Canon or Nikon. Missing out something?
02-07-2015, 02:40 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bulldogface Quote
But how about even simplier flashes, like those old one-pin flashes with their own photocell on board, and setting M/red/blue (Tristar 300AZ being on my disposal, for ex.).
As others have stated already, it is impossible to control the power of one-pin flashes.

The V6 needs either one of the directly supported multi-pin models, or a multi-pin model that supports analogue TTL.

The majority of flashes supporting TTL are supported, but there are a some exceptions. Here's a (naturally incomplete) list of profiling successes and failures for the V6.

QuoteOriginally posted by airbass Quote
First of all: V6 can not control every TTL flash for Pentax, Canon, Nikon or Olympus. For example it doesn't work as a controller with Pentax AF500FTZ despite the fact that it is TTL (I checked it personally, unfortunately).
I'm surprised that the AF500FTZ doesn't cooperate.

What happened when you tried to profile it?

QuoteOriginally posted by Bulldogface Quote
yes, but than if i can only fire old flashes, I'll be probably just as good off with v5, which can be triggered by v6.
That's correct, except that the V5 do not feature groups. There is a "poor man's group control" through the multi-channel approach, but that only works among V5s not in conjunction with V6s. I find groups very handy to select certain lights in and out in various combinations and the V5 can only provide part of that.

QuoteOriginally posted by Bulldogface Quote
anyway, my confusion comes from their statement, that v6 can learn almost any given flash.
Well, the statement is true, but there are prerequisites (the flash must be for a certain system like Canon, Nikon, Pentax,, Olympus, etc. and must support analogue TTL) and a few exceptions (apparently some TTL flashes speak a slightly different protocol).
02-07-2015, 02:48 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bulldogface Quote
I thought they're available only for Canon or Nikon. Missing out something?
The Yongnuo YN560-TX with YN560-III or -IV work with any single pin camera system.

As with the Cactus system, there is no digital flow of information between the camera and the transmitter, so they do not depend on a certain flash system. Unlike the V6, the YN560-TX only controls these two Yongnuo flashes. It is not compatible with any other flash system.

The Yongnuo setup is cheaper, but isn't nearly as capable as the Cactus setup. I wrote a comparison between several remote controllable systems as part of my RF60 review a while ago.

I don't think the RF60 are overpriced as you paying for better reliability, much better usability, much more functionality, environmentally sustainable production, certification in other countries, etc.
02-07-2015, 03:10 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
I'm surprised that the AF500FTZ doesn't cooperate. What happened when you tried to profile it?
http://1drv.ms/1C5jG5i
http://1drv.ms/1ztTy75

It happened ...
02-07-2015, 10:38 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by airbass Quote
It happened ...
Can you please confirm that the flash was in TTL mode and that the flash was pointing at a white wall (or similar) roughly 1m away?

If all the above is true, I'll add the AF500FTZ to the list of incompatible flashes.
02-08-2015, 03:21 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Can you please confirm that the flash was in TTL mode and that the flash was pointing at a white wall (or similar) roughly 1m away? If all the above is true, I'll add the AF500FTZ to the list of incompatible flashes.
I tried to calibrate the lamp in accordance with the user manual: white board, appropriate distance, dark room. Unfortunately, the procedure did not work. I would like to point out that I have tried three times, because I think AF-500FTZ very good and I was anxious to it worked with trigger.
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