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05-08-2017, 02:15 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Godox AD360 II-N works on Pentax with Cactus V6 II

I was considering of purchasing a Godox Ad360 to use with my Cactus V6 II to have a powerful flash with HSS. Last week I saw the AD360 II-N (Nikon version) on special, over 25% less than the AD360 (Mark I). So I grab the opportunity and bought one, with fingers crossed that it would work on my K-5. So here's how my tests went.

For those who did not know, you could manually engage the HSS on the AD360 II-N by going into Manual Mode of the flash and pressing the button under the "sync", the HSS icon on the LCD display will turn "ON".
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But I found out that when the Cactus V6 II Tx is set to HSS, the AD360 II automatically goes to HSS. To turn it off, you have to switch off the HSS on the Cactus.

Here is my setup:
1. Camera: Pentax K-5
2. Transmitter: Cactus V6 II mounted on camera
3. Flash: Godox AD360 II-N (Nikon version)
4. Receiver: Cactus V6 II at the base of the AD360 II-N
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First Test:
Setting on the Cactus Tx:
Camera Profile: Pentax
Flash Profile: Nikon
Setting on the Cactus Rx: Nikon
Setting on the Ad360 II-N: Manual Mode
Result:
- Normal HSS on the Cactus Tx results to banding
- Power sync works (but require adjustment of 10)
- Cactus remote power control don't work

Second Test:
Setting same as above but:
Setting on the Ad360 II-N: i-TTL Mode
Result:
- same as before

I was already accepting that the gear setup will only provide "Power Sync" only and no remote power control thru the Cactus V6 II so I was thinking of buying a Godox trigger until I did a third and fourth test.
On the third test I changed the Flash Profile in the Cactus Tx to "Manual Flash", Normal HSS worked.
On the fourth test I changed the AD360 II-N to i-TTL mode, remote power control thru Cactus V6 II worked. Switching to i-TTL Mode does not provide TTL flash only manual flash so you have to control the power thru the Cactus Tx.
Now I can confirm that HSS works with Godox AD360 II-N, Cactus V6 II and Pentax K-5

Here is the setting that works:
Camera: Pentax K-5 in Manual Mode
Setting on the Cactus Tx:
Camera Profile: Pentax
Flash Profile: Manual
Setting on the Cactus Rx: Nikon ( but automatically switch to Nikon when setting the Tx)
Setting on the Ad360 II-N: i-TTL Mode
Result:
- Normal HSS works up to 1/8000
- Power sync works up to 1/8000
- Cactus remote power control works

I am not an expert on flashes or HSS, but I hope these would be of help to anyone considering of buying a Godox AD360 II-N

Below are some test shots at different shutter speeds, ISO160, 1/32 Flash Power, Normal HSS:
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At 1/160

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At 1/400

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At 1/1000

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At 1/2000

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At 1/8000

05-08-2017, 02:56 AM   #2
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Good News, but I do have a question what firmware version were you using on the Cactus V6ii? I have encountered problems with the last three firmware updates and have had to drop back to 1.1.006.
05-08-2017, 03:10 AM   #3
Reb
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Actually I still have to see what firmware version is on the Cactus V6 II, I bought it second hand last year from a forum member. I was trying to find it out thru the Cactus Menu but can't find it. I will see how to find it out.
05-08-2017, 06:22 AM   #4
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A good report, many thanks! It's nice to know that the 'cross brand' compatibility aspect of the V6II is doing what it should and allowing us Pentax people to make use of powerful gear designed for other camera systems. The lack of TTL metering is unlikely to bother many, given the likely applications for such a strobe. The main things are all working, especially triggering beyond the max sync speed and remote power control (and that without the addition of trigger stacking is a real bonus!) .

Any chance you could shoot your test shots again but this time adjusting the flash power to compensate for each shutter speed adjustment, just so we can see the flash exposure holding against the reducing background .....

05-08-2017, 10:57 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by fwbigd Quote
Good News, but I do have a question what firmware version were you using on the Cactus V6ii? I have encountered problems with the last three firmware updates and have had to drop back to 1.1.006.
they are working on a new FW for Pentax as we speak. Im one of the beta testers.
05-08-2017, 03:12 PM   #6
Reb
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QuoteOriginally posted by fwbigd Quote
Good News, but I do have a question what firmware version were you using on the Cactus V6ii? I have encountered problems with the last three firmware updates and have had to drop back to 1.1.006.
I just saw how to check the firmware version, its Version 1.1.002
05-08-2017, 05:10 PM   #7
Reb
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
A good report, many thanks! It's nice to know that the 'cross brand' compatibility aspect of the V6II is doing what it should and allowing us Pentax people to make use of powerful gear designed for other camera systems. The lack of TTL metering is unlikely to bother many, given the likely applications for such a strobe. The main things are all working, especially triggering beyond the max sync speed and remote power control (and that without the addition of trigger stacking is a real bonus!) .

Any chance you could shoot your test shots again but this time adjusting the flash power to compensate for each shutter speed adjustment, just so we can see the flash exposure holding against the reducing background .....
Thanks @mcgregni, will do some more test shots when I get home.
05-09-2017, 07:45 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Reb Quote
I just saw how to check the firmware version, its Version 1.1.002
You should upgrade to a new version.

Up to (and including) V1.1.006 you should be OK. After that, there may be some problems with some Pentax cameras/flashes. Cactus are working on ironing out any problems remaining in V1.1.009.

QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
The lack of TTL metering is unlikely to bother many, given the likely applications for such a strobe.
I agree and I'll probably be the last to use TTL, but I guess it is worth pointing out that Cactus announced a free firmware upgrade that will add TTL metering to the V6II. They are working on Sigma, Sony and Fujifilm support first, but Pentax will be supported as well at some point in time.

05-09-2017, 09:07 AM   #9
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Just my theory on this kind of upgrades when they're working on foxes and you don't know what intermediate gains you will get; if it aint broken dont fix it!
05-23-2017, 02:54 AM - 1 Like   #10
Reb
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I just finally able to do some test shots using HSS on different shutter speeds and flash power. Both the shutter speed and flash power were adjusted in 1 stop increment. The flash was about 6 feet from the subject. The Cactus V6 II TX was set to "Normal HSS", so the 1/1 flash power is not really full power. For full flash power the setting must be "Power Sync" on the Cactus V6 II.
Here's how it went:

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1/200 @ 1/32 flash power

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1/400 @ 1/16 flash power

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1/800 @ 1/8 flash power

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1/1600 @ 1/4 flash power

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1/3200 @ 1/2 flash power

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1/6400 @ 1/1 flash power
05-23-2017, 06:14 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Reb Quote
The Cactus V6 II TX was set to "Normal HSS", so the 1/1 flash power is not really full power. For full flash power the setting must be "Power Sync" on the Cactus V6 II.
You should not confuse full "PowerSync" power with full "HSS" power. The latter will naturally provide a darker picture as the flash will produce a burst of numerous small flashes in order to achieve even lighting. In other words, the advantage of a higher peak power of the full "PowerSync" pulse is paid for by an uneven lighting intensity across the frame.

I trust that the V6II requests the maximum power in HSS mode (though it is possible that they don't exploit some potential positive exposure compensation that may be possible on top of nominal full power).

From your series it becomes apparent, however, that the AD360 does not deliver full stop differences between 1/8 -- 1/1 power. That's a bit disappointing but the achieved exposures are certainly usable. They just make it harder to maintain a good exposure by simply trading in shutter speed for flash power; something that should be possible in a manually controlled flash setup.
05-24-2017, 03:09 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Reb Quote
I just finally able to do some test shots using HSS on different shutter speeds and flash power. Both the shutter speed and flash power were adjusted in 1 stop increment. The flash was about 6 feet from the subject. The Cactus V6 II TX was set to "Normal HSS", so the 1/1 flash power is not really full power. ...
Many thanks!
05-24-2017, 05:50 AM   #13
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Yes, thanks for that extra test, which is a true demonstration of the power capabilities. The extreme short exposures possible (1/4000 - 1/8000th ) on our cameras severely cut into our flash and strobe guide numbers, as shown here.

I agree with ClassA that it's not possible to be totally sure that the V6II profile is delivering the absolute maximum possible HSS output from the flash at those very short exposure times, but I can say that the effect seen, with a reducing flash exposure, is consistent with how the P-TTL Pentax flashes respond in the same conditions, even with plus 1 or plus 2stop compensation.
05-24-2017, 05:23 PM   #14
Reb
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aksel Quote
Many thanks!
Your welcome, glad to be of help.

---------- Post added 05-24-17 at 05:26 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
Yes, thanks for that extra tes
Your welcome, just a way to share something to fellow PF members.
05-29-2017, 06:01 AM   #15
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Starting to test the new FW for Pentax these days Good to see someone wanna make stuff for Pentax too.
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