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07-09-2017, 07:51 AM   #1
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Getting into Flash, need some direction

So I'm looking to buy my first flash system in the next few days. Starting to get asked to do indoor work and it's a necessity.

Requirements:
HSS
Wireless
$500-600 total

Leaning towards:
Af540fgz ii
Cactus V6ii wireless trigger

Also want:
One of those bright white ring lights that act as a catchlight for the subject's eyes.

Unsure of:
Some sort of stand that I can hold in my hand if need be like a wizard conjuring light for when I'm without an assistant.
Small softbox

Is there anything I'd need that I'm not thinking of? Any suggestions besides what I'm mentioning here? Thank you.


Last edited by nzondlo; 07-09-2017 at 09:23 AM.
07-09-2017, 08:23 AM   #2
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I would suggest you look at the Cactus RF60x flashes to combine with a single V6II. I'd try and get 2 flashes to start with. You'll have manual control initially, with the prospect of P-TTL metering coming in future via firmware update. This assumes you mainly will be using off-camera flash.

Of course if you want on-camera P-TTL and HSS also then the Pentax flash is perfect, but the all Cactus solution is probably better value for off camera working, given that only a single V6II is needed for that.
07-09-2017, 09:16 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
I would suggest you look at the Cactus RF60x flashes to combine with a single V6II. I'd try and get 2 flashes to start with. You'll have manual control initially, with the prospect of P-TTL metering coming in future via firmware update. This assumes you mainly will be using off-camera flash.

Of course if you want on-camera P-TTL and HSS also then the Pentax flash is perfect, but the all Cactus solution is probably better value for off camera working, given that only a single V6II is needed for that.
Yep, HSS is a must.

Also, do we the v6ii need a transmitter AND a receiver? They're about $150 total, right?
07-09-2017, 11:14 AM   #4
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Also considering the Cactus RF60x. Anyone using that flash for HSS work?



07-09-2017, 11:18 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by nzondlo Quote
Also, do we the v6ii need a transmitter AND a receiver?
You definitely need one transmitter. Whether you need a receiver as well, depends on the flash(es) you want to use.

If you are going to use RF60x flashes then no further receiver is required. If you want to use any other flash, such as the AF 540 FGZ II, then you'll need one V6II receiver for each such off-camera flash.
07-09-2017, 11:23 AM   #6
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Thank you!

07-09-2017, 11:29 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by nzondlo Quote
Also considering the Cactus RF60x. Anyone using that flash for HSS work?
I used it. It is a great flash and I have almost no complaints. Ideally the head would have a bit more movement (360 degrees rotation instead of 270 degrees) and if it could tilt down a bit that would sometimes help. But mostly, when used off-camera, these are not issues at all.

Note that the RF60x will only provide HSS in conjunction with the V6II. If you just mount an RF60x on the camera, it will work up to the sync-speed but not beyond that.
07-09-2017, 12:02 PM   #8
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Can I ask why you're specifying that this is for 'indoor work' and you need HSS? If you're just future-proofing your rig so it'll be ideal for outside work as well then go for it, but typically you'll never use HSS indoors. What you might need is a very short duration flash if you're needing to stop motion (e.g. for liquid photography), but that's pretty much the opposite of HSS.

07-09-2017, 12:22 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by paulster Quote
Can I ask why you're specifying that this is for 'indoor work' and you need HSS? If you're just future-proofing your rig so it'll be ideal for outside work as well then go for it, but typically you'll never use HSS indoors. What you might need is a very short duration flash if you're needing to stop motion (e.g. for liquid photography), but that's pretty much the opposite of HSS.
Indeed future proofing! I shoot mostly outdoor. But a job came up indoor.

07-09-2017, 01:09 PM   #10
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Ah, starting down a path with no end. . .

---------- Post added 07-09-17 at 04:12 PM ----------

[/COLOR]
QuoteOriginally posted by nzondlo Quote
So I'm looking to buy my first flash system in the next few days. Starting to get asked to do indoor work and it's a necessity.

Also want:
One of those bright white ring lights that act as a catchlight for the subject's eyes.

Note that ring-lights present a very different catch-light that many photogs consider unflattering. I'm wondering if you confused a ring-light with an Eyelighter, which is a darn expensive curved reflector IMHO, but that does deliver a really nice catch-light. Unless you're doing a heckuva lot of portraiture I don't personally think it a good investment, rarely finding one under $300. Much (not all) of what you can accomplish with it can be done with cheaper modifiers. You could of course build your own version of it for less than $50, tho it's not very likely to b as convenient to use or store.

Last edited by gatorguy; 07-09-2017 at 02:04 PM.
07-09-2017, 02:21 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by nzondlo Quote
Also want:
One of those bright white ring lights that act as a catchlight for the subject's eyes.
This may sound like heresy, but with a little photoshop skill you can have whatever catchlight you like in your subjects eyes. i have only started dabling with portraiture using flash (mainly dogs) and if I use say a softbox for key light and an umbrella for fill light, I have to edit the eyes anyway to avoid distracting double catchlights. Not much a stretch to remove square catchlights and replace them with wonderful looking round ones !!!
07-09-2017, 10:36 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by gatorguy Quote
Ah, starting down a path with no end. . .

---------- Post added 07-09-17 at 04:12 PM ----------

[/COLOR]
Note that ring-lights present a very different catch-light that many photogs consider unflattering. I'm wondering if you confused a ring-light with an Eyelighter, which is a darn expensive curved reflector IMHO, but that does deliver a really nice catch-light. Unless you're doing a heckuva lot of portraiture I don't personally think it a good investment, rarely finding one under $300. Much (not all) of what you can accomplish with it can be done with cheaper modifiers. You could of course build your own version of it for less than $50, tho it's not very likely to b as convenient to use or store.
Yeah it's for a concept series, not just straight portraiture, which in that case I'd consider more of a gimmick and reminds me of late 90s music videos.

If they really are $300+ ( I was just in B&H and saw one for about $250) then maybe I'll just rent as I need it. I guess the cheap <$100 ones I've seen onlky or more like LED lights and don't flash?

07-14-2017, 03:15 AM   #13
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my current setup:
2 Cactus V6II triggers=about $180
Viltrox JY-680ch HSS flash=$46
Neewer octobox=$25
lightstand can be found cheap too=$30

sample:



but yeah Cactus V6ii Triggers are the way to go. With your budget you shoud be able to grab a much better flash and other accessories.
07-14-2017, 04:56 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by nzondlo Quote
Unsure of:
Some sort of stand that I can hold in my hand if need be like a wizard conjuring light for when I'm without an assistant.
Small softbox

Is there anything I'd need that I'm not thinking of? Any suggestions besides what I'm mentioning here? Thank you.
I suggest a flash bracket and sync cord. I have a small vintage bracket that fits in virtually any bag, and a larger Custom Brackets Folding-T that is more bulky but gets the flash further from the camera. This article explains how useful a bracket can be: The B&H Flash Bracket Buying Guide | B&H Explora

A one-meter P-TTL cord will allow you to shoot one-handed while aiming the flash exactly where you want it.

I also recommend an Omnibounce to soften the light. Mine almost never comes off the flash head.

Last edited by audiobomber; 07-14-2017 at 05:01 AM.
07-18-2017, 11:48 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I suggest a flash bracket and sync cord. I have a small vintage bracket that fits in virtually any bag, and a larger Custom Brackets Folding-T that is more bulky but gets the flash further from the camera. This article explains how useful a bracket can be: The B&H Flash Bracket Buying Guide | B&H Explora

A one-meter P-TTL cord will allow you to shoot one-handed while aiming the flash exactly where you want it.

I also recommend an Omnibounce to soften the light. Mine almost never comes off the flash head.
Does P-TTL need a cord though? That can't work wirelessly?

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