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11-19-2017, 05:55 PM   #16
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Maybe this is a good thread to ask about my issue:

Note, I am working with a new-to-me used set of Cactus V6 (not V6ii).

I have updated the firmware for all of the Cactus units so that they can read the 540FGZII. I own two of these flashes. One I bought new, the other used. I set both of the flashes up in identical nature on two of the transceivers. For some reason, only one of the flashes fires (my original flash). The one I bought used does not fire. I tried switching them, but the same thing happens. I believe something is going on with the flash unit itself. However, when I put it directly on my k1 without cactus, it fires as it should. Any ideas why it isn't firing?

11-25-2017, 12:47 AM   #17
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Is the firmware of both Pentax Flashes the same? Is their a secret menu to read the Firmware Version? I never see their was Firmware availible for the Pentax flashes. Maybe you must send them to you local support center
11-25-2017, 01:47 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gerard_Dirks Quote
Zoom didn't work (but that is a bug in the Yongnou, it didn't work also on the K-1 fit directly
FYI, the flash zoom head of the YN585EX works on the K-1 if you update the flash firmware to v.1616. Firmware and updating software is on the YN585EX page at the HK YN site.

All these layers of independently developed firmware - in the camera, flash, & triggers ... It's a miracle anything works at all.
11-25-2017, 03:34 AM   #19
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Yes, miraculous! It is a very big ask in fact to expect three different electronic items made completely indepentantly by three different companies to all work well together in producing a rather complex mix of automated functioning..... And there's no specific cooperation or sharing going on between any of them, as far as we know.

I think it's early days so far for the new Pentax X-TTL feature. From what I've read and been able to experiment with myself, the core features of remote TTL control over multiple flashes, flash compensation and independent control from the on-camera Tx, all this seems to be working beautifully, and we now have a system that rivals those available for the competing camera brands ..... Plus, as a bonus, it was free to existing owners of the V6II! For new buyers it's an added value, or even new reason to buy.

The feature set offered is quite rich, and so it's understandable if a few secondary areas need tweaking. I use Cactus's own RF60 and RF60x flashes and have already reported problems with 2nd Curtain Sync and "Flash Compensate" to them via their Forum .... They are usually good at picking up things and getting them resolved. So over time I am confident that things will be ironed out. But it may remain too much to expect every third party P-TTL flash to work seamlessly within this system.

I'd be interested to know if any other users have had successful experiences with 2nd Curtain Sync mode and the Flash Compensate feature (in Manual HSS mode) .......


Last edited by mcgregni; 11-25-2017 at 03:39 AM.
11-27-2017, 05:40 AM - 3 Likes   #20
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Here's a bit of it in action ..... I've paired up my two RF60 / RF60x flashes onto one multi bracket, with a shoot-through umbrella. Both flashes are on the same channel and set to the same Group A. I've pulled out the Wide Angle Panel on both and moved the heads outwards a bit to create a wide sweep of light spread over the whole umbrella .....

Name:  RF60s-Dual-Bracket.jpg
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I used TTL mode, and in this configuration both flashes combine to create a single exposure output (1/2 output from each). This also reduces recycling times as well as allows twice the power if needed.

In this case I was taking wide shots of our table and some baking fun, so needed a wide soft spread of light ......Here is the result with TTL mode and -0.5 compensation set .....


Name:  RF60-Dual-Flashes-1.jpg
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11-27-2017, 09:11 AM   #21
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I like the flash head Nigel, do you have a link to it?

Was the cake tasty ?
11-27-2017, 12:03 PM - 1 Like   #22
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Lemon Loaf, but we didn't have a loaf tin so it was a lemon flatcake instead! Very yummy thank you A nice afternoon, kids happy baking and Daddy happy as well messing around with his Radio P-TTL stuff


Here's a link to the multi-flash bracket on Amazon UK ...... Eggsnow Triple Hot Shoe Flash Bracket Tripod Ball Head: Amazon.co.uk: Camera & Photo
12-26-2017, 04:14 AM   #23
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I have found the Cactus flash triggers to not be worth the money either. I had nothing but problems with them. I tried them with Metz flashes on six different cameras and got nothing but inconsistent and substandard performance. They were extremely frustrating to get working. My solution: I got rid of all of them (at a financial loss) and replaced them with optically triggered monolights. They fire every time.


Cactus = garbage. I will never buy their products ever again nor would I recommend them to anyone.


obin

12-26-2017, 04:43 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Obin Robinson Quote
I have found the Cactus flash triggers to not be worth the money either. I had nothing but problems with them. I tried them with Metz flashes on six different cameras and got nothing but inconsistent and substandard performance. They were extremely frustrating to get working. My solution: I got rid of all of them (at a financial loss) and replaced them with optically triggered monolights. They fire every time.


Cactus = garbage. I will never buy their products ever again nor would I recommend them to anyone.


obin
That is a shame. I did hear of others having problems with Pentax/Metz/Cactus V6II combination, and I think they got it sorted finally. There were a few posts on here about it and on the Cactus forum too.

I use the Pentax K-1/Pentax flash AF540II; Cactus RF60X/Cactus V6II combination and it works great in either full manual or P-TTL mode.
12-26-2017, 06:25 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
That is a shame. I did hear of others having problems with Pentax/Metz/Cactus V6II combination, and I think they got it sorted finally. There were a few posts on here about it and on the Cactus forum too.

I use the Pentax K-1/Pentax flash AF540II; Cactus RF60X/Cactus V6II combination and it works great in either full manual or P-TTL mode.


I had significant problems with the system and after much anguish in trying to get it to work I simply sold all four triggers at a loss. I heard that they were compatible with my gear before I bought them and was disappointed. I hear that they've fixed the problems I was having but I believe that wasting my time on Cactus gear again would be a mistake. I have no faith in their customer service, firmware updates, product support, or supposed list of compatible equipment. Cactus triggers are and will remain garbage as far as I'm concerned.


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12-26-2017, 09:32 AM - 2 Likes   #26
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So you bought one product that reverse-engineered Pentax's P-TTL protocol and then triggers that also reverse-engineered Pentax's P-TTL protocol, and when the two didn't play together nicely straight out of the box it's obviously the fault of the trigger company and ergo they are junk and their customer service sucks? Where were Metz during all of this, making sure their products properly behaved like Pentax flashes?

I have mine working with gear they were never designed for, can get high-speed sync from strobes that were never designed for it, and I've had firmware updates that have added extra functionality like P-TTL that was never even on the radar when I bought my first triggers.

So if that makes the product junk then I'm all about it.
12-26-2017, 01:46 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by paulster Quote
So you bought one product that reverse-engineered Pentax's P-TTL protocol and then triggers that also reverse-engineered Pentax's P-TTL protocol, and when the two didn't play together nicely straight out of the box it's obviously the fault of the trigger company and ergo they are junk and their customer service sucks? Where were Metz during all of this, making sure their products properly behaved like Pentax flashes?

I have mine working with gear they were never designed for, can get high-speed sync from strobes that were never designed for it, and I've had firmware updates that have added extra functionality like P-TTL that was never even on the radar when I bought my first triggers.

So if that makes the product junk then I'm all about it.
My review is here: Cactus V6 Flash and Camera Trigger reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database

"I prefer using Metz flashes as they are easy to upgrade the firmware on. I've never had a problem with Metz and I use them on both my Canon and Pentax cameras. I heard that the Cactus V6 would allow me to trigger the Metz flashes as well as control the output level so I was excited to purchase them. I bought four: one for the camera and three for my flashes.

I first tested the system on my Pentax K-3 and I had issues getting the flash to fire every time. After some troubleshooting I got it to work but the output level was not remotely controllable so the supposed advantage was neutralized. At least the Cactus V6 worked as a remote so I took it out to the field on a shoot. Once in the field it would not work like it did at my house. I switched from using my K-1 to my K-3 and the same errors popped up. The flash would simply NOT trigger every time. I switched modes, changed camera settings, turned everything on and off but I had no luck. When it worked the results were great... but the system malfunctioned more often than it should have.

I set up the system again for portrait shots. I figured that inside in the studio they would work well but I was sadly mistaken. I still had misfires, the output level was not working properly, and the flash would fire once and then take an unacceptable amount of troubleshooting to work again. I ended up wasting far too much time trying to get the system to work.

I contacted Cactus tech support, I put posts here on Pentaxforums, and I read multiple troubleshooting trees and watched multiple videos. No matter what I could not get the Cactus V6 to work properly with three different Metz flashes. After being disappointed so many times in the Cactus V6 I just gave up and ordered optically triggered monolights that work every single time. I don't have time to waste on trying to get these things to work properly. They are unreliable to say the least and my experience with them was very frustrating."

---

So yes after reading this:
Cactus Wireless Flash Transceiver V6 | CACTUS

...and it not living up to the specifications at all I consider the Cactus V6 system to be low grade electronic trash. I wasn't even expecting P-TTL: I was just expecting reliable triggering and I never got that on six different cameras using three different Metz flashes. The system that replaced it works every time unlike the Cactus V6.

obin
12-28-2017, 06:58 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Obin Robinson Quote
I have found the Cactus flash triggers to not be worth the money either. I had nothing but problems with them.
You had nothing but problems with them because you tried to use them with incompatible equipment.

You wrote you used the Cactus V6 with the following models: Metz 48 AF-1, 58 AF-1, and 64 AF-1. None of these models are included in the list of supported flash models for the Cactus V6, assuming you have "Pentax dedicated" Metz models. The 58 AF-1 is supported as a "Canon dedicated" model but neither the 48 AF-1 nor the 64 AF-1 are specified to be compatible with the Cactus V6 in any dedication variant.

What makes you think that the Cactus V6 should work with your flash models, if they are not announced as supported?

As paulster correctly noted, Metz does not faithfully implement the Pentax protocol. This shows in a number of ways. Most interestingly, at least the Metz 48 AF-1 did work with the V6 until Metz broke the compatibility. Many Metz flash models supported both analogue TTL and digital TTL, but Metz once released a number of firmware updates which all silently removed the analogue TTL capability. That of course means that such models become unusable on older film cameras and other equipment that relies on the analogue TTL protocol. The Cactus V6 relies on the analogue TTL protocol for remote power control.

So if you want to blame someone, you should be looking at Metz. It is your decision to not "back-date my Metz flashes to work with the Cactus product" but you shouldn't blame Cactus. You have to realise that Cactus cannot release another firmware that fixes the problem. Some Metz flash models simply stopped cooperating and there is nothing that Cactus can do about it.

QuoteOriginally posted by Obin Robinson Quote
I have no faith in their customer service, firmware updates, product support, or supposed list of compatible equipment. Cactus triggers are and will remain garbage as far as I'm concerned.
I think your analysis is flawed. The Cactus V6 remains one of the most robust products I've ever used. It works as described and has been gaining new few tricks through firmware updates.

I think your criticism of Cactus customer service is unwarranted. Perhaps share your bad experience with us. From my personal experience and from what I see at the Cactus community forum, their customer service is exemplary. Just as one example: When Nikon shipped the D750 with a non-conforming ISO hot-shoe, Cactus offered users free replacements of the male V6 hot-shoe connector. Clearly Nikon caused an incompatibility (that not only affected the V6 but many other gadgets as well, including some Nikon flashes) but Cactus was prepared to make up for it because they could.

Last edited by Class A; 12-28-2017 at 07:10 PM.
12-28-2017, 07:48 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote

What makes you think that the Cactus V6 should work with your flash models, if they are not announced as supported?

Cactus Wireless Flash Transceiver V6 | CACTUS
"If a flash model is not listed, the V6 may even learn its flash profile and then be able to control the power output of the flash. (See note on compatibility)"

Notes on compatibility:
  • Cactus V6 does not work with any other flash trigger model including Cactus V4, V2s or V2;
  • Cactus V6 does not transmit TTL information wirelessly;
  • Cactus V6 is not compatible with flashes or strobes with reversed polarity connectors."
None of that indicates that it would not be compatible with the Metz flashes or learning the flashes and simply triggering them.



QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
I think your analysis is flawed. The Cactus V6 remains one of the most robust products I've ever used. It works as described and has been gaining new few tricks through firmware updates.

I think your criticism of Cactus customer service is unwarranted. Perhaps share your bad experience with us. From my personal experience and from what I see at the Cactus community forum, their customer service is exemplary. Just as one example: When Nikon shipped the D750 with a non-conforming ISO hot-shoe, Cactus offered users free replacements of the male V6 hot-shoe connector. Clearly Nikon caused an incompatibility (that not only affected the V6 but many other gadgets as well, including some Nikon flashes) but Cactus was prepared to make up for it because they could.

If it works as described then why are there people out there who have problems with the system right out of the box? Why do we not have problems with other systems? I'm using two Flashpoint 320M monolights that work every single time. EVERY SINGLE TIME. I'm using RadioPopper Nanos as well. Guess what? They work EVERY SINGLE TIME.


With the Cactus V6 on six different cameras I had problems getting them to work as advertised. How come I didn't have this problem with any other photographic equipment?


The answer is simple: Cactus' claims are misleading. They have sold an incomplete product and depended on the public to finish their beta testing. Otherwise they would have released a statement saying that their wireless transceivers only work with a select few flashes and are not guaranteed to work with any others. They knew if they did that then the product would not be as appealing nor would it sell as much. They suckered me into buying four units for my camera and flashes so I guess their shady business practices worked once on me. They won't fool me again though. I'm not falling for Cactus' misleading claims ever again. As I said before I regard their products to be nothing more than low grade electronic trash. I will never recommend any Cactus product to anyone I know.

obin
12-29-2017, 07:18 PM - 1 Like   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Obin Robinson Quote
None of that indicates that it would not be compatible with the Metz flashes or learning the flashes and simply triggering them.
It would be incorrect for Cactus to suggest that the Cactus V6 is not compatible with Metz flashes.

The Cactus V6 is compatible with quite a number of Metz flash models and has been compatible with even more Metz flash models before Metz decided to cripple some of their flash models through respective firmware releases.

Also, regarding Cactus' notes on compatibility:
QuoteOriginally posted by Obin Robinson Quote
"If a flash model is not listed, the V6 may even learn its flash profile and then be able to control the power output of the flash. (See note on compatibility)"
I highlighted the word "may" in the quote you provided. Do you understand what the sentence means?

Cactus never said that any flash model that is not on the list of supported flash models can be made to work with the Cactus V6. They said there is a chance that this will work. Now that's obviously not as good as knowing outright which flash models work and which don't but I for one prefer to be given a chance compared to only have a few flashes models supported period. As you know, many Cactus users were kind enough to share their experiences with trying to create V6 profiles with their flash models in order to make it easier for other users to make a decision about whether the Cactus V6 will be useful for them.

Given the presence of such information, it has been pretty easy to make a buying decision for or against a V6: Just check whether the flash models you own are natively supported and if they are not then try to find them in a list of flash models that have been tested by others. If no one has ever tested your flash models then you simply cannot be disappointed when they happen to not work.

If you are intent on being disappointed then be disappointed in the manufacturer of the flash models for either never implementing the analogue Pentax TTL protocol correctly in the first place, or removing the (working!) feature through a firmware update. It is beyond me how you fail to see the role Metz played regarding your frustrating experience.

QuoteOriginally posted by Obin Robinson Quote
If it works as described then why are there people out there who have problems with the system right out of the box?
The Cactus V6 works as described for a lot of people. As with any technical product potentially some users have to take a couple of hurdles before they see success, but just think about this for a minute: If every Cactus V6 user experienced your problems (and failed to understand that the problems stem from trying to use incompatible flash models with the V6) would Cactus ever been able to design and sell a Cactus V6II? Logic dictates that your negative view must be pretty rare, otherwise how would Cactus be able to continue to exist as a company?

QuoteOriginally posted by Obin Robinson Quote
With the Cactus V6 on six different cameras I had problems getting them to work as advertised.
The problem wasn't caused by any of the six cameras, nor was it caused by the Cactus V6.

It was caused by you expecting the Cactus V6 to fully support any flash model despite the fact that Cactus already provides a list of flash models that are incompatible for remote power control and users only reported successfully creating profiles for other flash models, but not for any of the ones you own.

QuoteOriginally posted by Obin Robinson Quote
How come I didn't have this problem with any other photographic equipment?
Apparently you are not trying to make your other photographic equipment do things it wasn't designed to do.
If your radio popper nanos can remote control the power of your flash models then that's because they support the flashes you own. The Cactus V6 supports some flash models that the radio poppers don't support. Does this mean the radio poppers are bad or that the company has been misleading anyone? Of course it doesn't mean that.

QuoteOriginally posted by Obin Robinson Quote
Cactus' claims are misleading.
I don't see how you can seriously claim that.

Cactus explicitly lists flash models that have been tested and are supported out of the box. For these, the Cactus V6 works very nicely; I know that from first hand experience. The only other "promise" Cactus are making is that you may be able to create profiles for flash models that are not supported out of the box. They offer a community forum which you can use to try and find out whether your particular flash models can be profiled by asking Cactus and/or Cactus users.

Last edited by Class A; 05-02-2018 at 10:18 PM.
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