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05-23-2018, 03:37 AM - 1 Like   #31
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... just thought that I refresh topic a little bit... Just bought cactus v6II thinking that I'll be able to use it either for pentax or nikon. To be honest neither works - with pentax it is a little bit better as it gives a little bit less underexposed outcomes - I am talking about "where is the second half of the flash power" situation. Making it to work is a nightmare you have to align contacts very carefully, as the hot shoe doesn't fit snug, its loosened any accidental touch and its misaligned. After you set everything up you have to turn everything off and on until it start to work - funny thing I I'v noticed... if you don't turn everything on and off the connection works with everything like zoom auxiliary light but flash doesn't fire at all. Doesn't matter if you set your receiver to specific flash or just general nikon or pentax system - didn't noticed any difference. Setup I have try it with: cameras: K1 and D800, flashes: Metz52a1 Pentax mount and nissin 866II for nikon the tranciever and receiver was with universal firmware V1.1.013 (Released on 31 Oct 2017) . Didn't manage to do any upgrade as couldn't get it to work with windows 10 or vista - but its probably wires fault. My general conclusion is: its in very early stage of product development - do not buy, its far far from using it professionally. Currently using cactus v4 without any problems and without hss.


Last edited by filorp; 05-23-2018 at 03:44 AM.
05-23-2018, 03:53 AM - 2 Likes   #32
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Hello

I give up the use of the cactus v6ii with the Pentax K-1. It is not reliable. Once it works, once not, once pictures are to dark or highkey.

At this moment I use an an Pentax AF360 as trigger to fire my Metz flashes remotely using the Master/Slave in P-TTL Mode, this because Metz has also some issues using a Metz flash as Master on a K-1 :-(

Gérard
05-23-2018, 05:27 AM - 1 Like   #33
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that's exactly what i'll do... just sending back the v6II set to the seller - if after 1 day of trying I got no satisfactory or promising results and IF AFTER TWO YEARS SINCE RELEASED IT STILL DOESN'T WORK

Last edited by MarkJerling; 05-24-2018 at 12:46 AM. Reason: No need for profanity.
05-24-2018, 12:08 AM - 1 Like   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by filorp Quote
that's exactly what i'll do... just sending back the v6II set to the seller - if after 1 day of trying I got no satisfactory or promising results and IF AFTER TWO YEARS SINCE RELEASED IT STILL DOESN'T WORK.
I am using Cactus v6II units with latest firmware with K1 + a mix of AF360 AF 540 and Cactus RF60X flashes. All working as it should for me in both full manual or P-TTL mode.

I find setting the camera and V6II units to never "sleep" and they work fine all the time.


Last edited by MarkJerling; 05-24-2018 at 12:47 AM. Reason: Profanity in quoted text.
05-24-2018, 12:49 AM - 1 Like   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by filorp Quote
that's exactly what i'll do... just sending back the v6II set to the seller - if after 1 day of trying I got no satisfactory or promising results and IF AFTER TWO YEARS SINCE RELEASED IT STILL DOESN'T WORK
I have had absolutely no issues whatsoever with my Cactus flash and trigger equipment. You may want to ask @Class A for advice.
05-24-2018, 02:38 AM - 2 Likes   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by filorp Quote
Just bought cactus v6II thinking that I'll be able to use it either for pentax or nikon. To be honest neither works - with pentax it is a little bit better as it gives a little bit less underexposed outcomes
If you have underexposure issues then these should only reflect the camera's approach to flash metering. The V6II shouldn't do anything else than forward the flash power levels the camera worked out to the external flashes.

However, most importantly, as you are using V1.1.013, the V6II will NOT support P-TTL or i-TTL. You need the specialised X-TTL firmware variants (PEN.A.001 for Pentax) if you expect automatic flash exposure control.

No wonder you are unhappy, because your firmware version only supports purely manual control (which is fine and what I prefer, but not great if you expect automatic exposure control).

FWIW, I don't use P-TTL with my V6II but when I was a beta tester for the V6II X-TTL firmware for Pentax, I was amazed how well the automatic flash exposure approach worked in my testing of certain scenarios. No credit to Cactus, though, as the V6II is just a messenger and the results are actually produced by the P-TTL system. Conversely, when it doesn't work -- and P-TTL knows many ways to screw up -- one shouldn't blame Cactus either.


QuoteOriginally posted by filorp Quote
Making it to work is a nightmare you have to align contacts very carefully, as the hot shoe doesn't fit snug, its loosened any accidental touch and its misaligned.
The loose fit on a Pentax camera is the result of the multi-brand hot-shoe connector. It isn't as wide as it should be for Pentax. However, when you push in the V6II as much as possible and then lock it with the lever very tightly, it should stay connected. Have you tried all your V6II units on the camera? Perhaps one will work better? If so, you may want to replace the one that gives a shaky contact.

QuoteOriginally posted by filorp Quote
After you set everything up you have to turn everything off and on until it start to work...
That's not my experience at all.

Perhaps you need to adopt the switch on sequence that always works: Always switch on the V6II last, no matter whether it is on the camera or attached to a flash.


QuoteOriginally posted by filorp Quote
if you don't turn everything on and off the connection works with everything like zoom auxiliary light but flash doesn't fire at all.
That sounds like a transmitter that is not properly making contact with the camera's hot-shoe.
This isn't normal and see above for how to address it.

QuoteOriginally posted by filorp Quote
Metz52a1 Pentax mount and nissin 866II for nikon the tranciever and receiver was with universal firmware V1.1.013 (Released on 31 Oct 2017) .
With a Metz flash it is important to not use the "AUTO" feature for the flash detection on the V6II receiver. This automatic detection does not work for Metz flashes for some reason.

Have you tried to manually choose the Metz 50-AF1 profile on the receiver? Again, first turn on the (already attached) flash, then turn on the V6II receiver. When I do this with my Metz 58 AF-2, the flash then changes its mode to "P-TTL HSS" automatically (provided I set it to that mode before, which it doesn't keep though, unless attached to a camera or to a V6II receiver).

QuoteOriginally posted by filorp Quote
Didn't manage to do any upgrade as couldn't get it to work with windows 10 or vista - but its probably wires fault.
As you said, it is probably the USB cable which is at fault. I haven't tried the updater on Win10 myself but I'm pretty sure the days when one had to jump through hoops (circumventing the Windows driver certification scheme) to get the drivers installed on Win10 are over.

Try to source one that works and then update the firmware with either the Pentax or the Nikon X-TTL variant.

QuoteOriginally posted by filorp Quote
My general conclusion is: its in very early stage of product development
Not my experience at all. I've been using the V6II in many scenarios in real world applications and they've always been very reliable.

I believe your negative experience stems from using the wrong firmware variant (if you want automatic exposure control) and potentially not always avoiding the "AUTO" detect feature for your Metz flash.

Last edited by Class A; 05-24-2018 at 03:04 AM.
05-24-2018, 04:29 AM - 1 Like   #37
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Class A thank you so much for your response, but I don't see any reason why I should use manual mode with the trigger that cost £150 and on the field keep turning everything on and off every time the camera or flash goes to sleep. Probably one or both of my units are broken - or I have compatibility issue. Your advice is like the one to the broken bike owner: if you cannot ride the bike you can always wheel it.

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
most importantly, as you are using V1.1.013, the V6II will NOT support P-TTL or i-TTL. You need the specialised X-TTL firmware variants
I was interested in cross-branding I know I cannot use Pentax flash with nikon body, thats ok. Can you tell me why after half an hour of setting everything up (I mean the triggering system only) Am getting only barely half the power of my flash with both systems nikon and pentax, where is advertised cross branding.

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
your firmware version only supports purely manual control
What you mean manual control? There are three modes: pass through (selected via pressing/holding the menu button), manual selecting power output on the triggering unit attached to the camera, manual control when u set the power at the flash just like with cactus v4 or similar - which one do you refer to as "manual control".


QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
The V6II shouldn't do anything else than forward the flash power levels the camera worked out to the external flashes.
and here you are wrong... its not pass through strict sense at least not with cactus, cactus unit translates signals through I would call it virtual pass through - check it its a fact.

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
The loose fit on a Pentax camera is the result of the multi-brand hot-shoe connector
not true only sony is different the only difference is that canon is shortest and nikon the longest they all have same wide dimension 18.5 mm since 70ties belonge to the same standard so they should fit snug, the problem is lack of the locking bolt for pentax.

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Have you tried to manually choose the Metz 50-AF1 profile on the receiver?
yes, and it doesn't make any difference compared to auto detect, in both cases there is huge underexposure using manual selection of power at the trigger unit as well as pass-through. Same with nikon setup.

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Must be the USB cable which is at fault
waiting for the new gold plated cable to arrive.

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
I've been using the V6II in many scenarios in real world applications and they've always been very reliable
..or maybe since you are in some kind of way related to cactus your units are from different/better sort
05-24-2018, 08:15 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by filorp Quote
that's exactly what i'll do... just sending back the v6II set to the seller - if after 1 day of trying I got no satisfactory or promising results and IF AFTER TWO YEARS SINCE RELEASED IT STILL DOESN'T WORK


I had a similar bad experience with Cactus products.The supposed advantage of the Cactus triggers was far outweighed many times over by their unreliability. I switched to using Radiopopper units and had no problems at all. I found the Cactus flash triggers to be of poor reliability and are extremely frustrating to use compared to the flawless and simple Radiopopper products.


I ditched Cactus and would never recommend any of their products to anyone for any reason whatsoever. They are simply not worth the hassle especially when there are so many other proven triggers which will work with Pentax as well as other brands.


Obin

05-24-2018, 12:28 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by filorp Quote
but I don't see any reason why I should use manual mode with the trigger that cost £150 and on the field keep turning everything on and off every time the camera or flash goes to sleep
Because until you update your firmware you cannot use P-TTL with any off camera flash units. You can only use manual control.

To prevent sleep set up camera and triggers and flash units to never sleep (or long timer before sleep)
05-24-2018, 01:31 PM - 2 Likes   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Obin Robinson Quote
I ditched Cactus and would never recommend any of their products to anyone for any reason whatsoever. They are simply not worth the hassle especially when there are so many other proven triggers which will work with Pentax as well as other brands.


This seems unfair. I can understand you not recommending them to someone who might be expected to experience similar problems to yours, but that would depend on other people using the same set-up and not going through some compatibility and troubleshooting checks. So long as the transceivers are correctly matched to compatible flashes and correctly configured then they can be recommended to Pentax photographers for a number of good reasons. Also you are not right to say that there are 'so many other triggers' available .... the number of Pentax compatible triggers that offer P-TTL and HSS is rather limited. If you don't need P-TTL / HSS or remote control over your flash exposures, then yes, many cheap basic triggers will work, but the Cactus V6II offers a much more complete solution.


The key added value that comes from the V6II for Pentax users is the 'unlocking' of the camera flash trigger signal once beyond the max sync speed. Other camera brands that don't have this restriction have meant that those users have more competition and choice for HSS flash, and this extra competition may have kept prices down for them. The V6II looks to be around the £79 - 89 mark in the UK now, and a quick look at Amazon suggests that this is in line with similar TTL / HSS radio choices for other brands.


On top of this we now have the extra value of the free X-TTL firmware and automated P-TTL exposure control, a real bonus if like me you already had the V6II unit/s for manual plus HSS working. This free upgrade has brought the choice of Manual mode / P-TTL plus HSS with both, plus 2nd curtain sync in both exposure modes as well.


All of this choice and flexibility from one product has inevitably led to some confusions and mis-information, and if Cactus has failed at anything then it has been at detailed communications in advance of developments and the managing of certain expectations. But they are quick to acknowledge reports on their forum and have a great track record of putting bugs right. Considering their staff are not English speakers by birth, their efforts at engaging with English speaking customers have been commendable I think. Compatibility and configuration issues with P-TTL Metz flashes has been a recurring theme both here and on the Cactus forum for a number of years now, so Metz users should be advised to carefully check that their flashes are known to work properly with the system and confirm the correct set-up steps well before buying anything. As I've said earlier, to expect two third party devices, both of which are 'reverse engineered' without the cooperation of Pentax, to work seamlessly together with a Pentax DSLR, is a very big ask indeed.


I generally now recommend the Cactus V6II system as a first choice for those wanting a hot-shoe flash type solution with M / P-TTL / HSS remote control. If you don't already have compatible flashes then I recommend getting RF60/x units, and if you do then after careful checking go for the extra V6II receivers. But generally I feel now that that type of configuration should really only be for people who have spare flashes available and want to breath new life into them as radio slaves .... ie only for those who would want to keep their P-TTL system flashes for on camera use and sometimes as slaves. If your main purpose is off-camera P-TTL / HSS then go for the RF60x, a neater solution.


BTW, the locking lever on the V6II always needs to be quite firmly engaged, pressing further past its initial resistance point.

---------- Post added 24-05-18 at 20:58 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by filorp Quote
What you mean manual control? There are three modes: pass through (selected via pressing/holding the menu button), manual selecting power output on the triggering unit attached to the camera, manual control when u set the power at the flash just like with cactus v4 or similar - which one do you refer to as "manual control".

This comment got me thinking ..... what mode have you set your flashes to ? They should be set to P-TTL mode when working as radio slaves with the V6II system. This applies to all firmware versions.

Last edited by mcgregni; 05-24-2018 at 01:59 PM.
05-24-2018, 02:46 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
what mode have you set your flashes to ? They should be set to P-TTL mode when working as radio slaves with the V6II system. This applies to all firmware versions.
p-ttl mode, and in case of metz flash p-ttl hss, one has to change to manual on the flash in case using manual flash mode option on cactus (you have choices: manual flash mode, power mode, passthrough)

---------- Post added 05-24-2018 at 11:10 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
Because until you update your firmware you cannot use P-TTL with any off camera flash units. You can only use manual control.

To prevent sleep set up camera and triggers and flash units to never sleep (or long timer before sleep)
to be precise with cactus you always use pttl mode apart from situation when you use manual flash mode (then you set desire output on the flash itself that is set to manual mode). P-ttl is being used always when you use power mode (don't get mistaken with manual flash mode) or passthrough. I always use sleep option if it wasn't there i would have to switch the equipment manually very often.
05-24-2018, 09:56 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by Obin Robinson Quote
I had a similar bad experience with Cactus products.
You used the V6II with flashes that were incompatible with it.
Expecting things to work nevertheless is, let's say, optimistic.

Radiopoppers do not support HSS for Pentax, nor do they equal many of the V6II features. The V6II works just fine when used properly with compatible equipment.
05-24-2018, 11:08 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by filorp Quote
I don't see any reason why I should use manual mode with the trigger that cost £150
I didn't say you should be using manual mode.

I said, with the firmware you are using (V1.1.013), you don't get anything else but manual control.

P-TTL (or i-TTL for Nikon) is available, if you change the firmware. Unless you change the firmware, you won't get anything else but manual control. As I said before, for Pentax you need PEN.A.001.

With "manual control", I mean remote control over flash power levels using manual settings on the on-camera trigger.

QuoteOriginally posted by filorp Quote
and on the field keep turning everything on and off every time the camera or flash goes to sleep.
In my experience there is no need to restart the triggers if the camera turns off metering mode. I'm not sure what happens if the camera turns itself off.

I don't allow my flashes to go to sleep because otherwise I'd have to wake them up manually, as they cannot be woken up via radio.


QuoteOriginally posted by filorp Quote
Probably one or both of my units are broken - or I have compatibility issue.
That is a possibility.

Note that your particular flash model is not directly supported. There is a good chance that it will work with another Metz flash profile and I know for a fact that someone else got your flash model to work with the V6II using the flash profile I suggested to you. However, I do not know what Metz flash firmware version they were running.

I do know, though, that Metz once did a round of firmware updates in which they removed functionality from their flashes, causing the V6 to no longer work with them. It is possible that your flash model became incompatible with a firmware update. It is rather unlikely, in my opinion, but difficult to say unless you find someone who can confirm that the Metz firmware version you are running should be compatible.

Have you tried asking at the Cactus community forum?

QuoteOriginally posted by filorp Quote
Your advice is like the one to the broken bike owner: if you cannot ride the bike you can always wheel it.
No, that has not been my advice.

The V6II supports P-TTL, you just have to change the firmware to PEN.A.001.


QuoteOriginally posted by filorp Quote
Can you tell me why after half an hour of setting everything up (I mean the triggering system only) Am getting only barely half the power of my flash with both systems nikon and pentax, where is advertised cross branding.
I don't know what is going on at your end, but it sounds like you are expecting correct exposures from a firmware version that requires you to set the correct exposure yourself.

Are you saying you are setting the manual levels to full power (1/1) at the transmitter and you are not getting full power from the flash? Or are you experiencing "underexposure" because the manual levels happen to be set too low?

QuoteOriginally posted by filorp Quote
What you mean manual control?
I mean the only kind of control that V1.1.011 supports.

It does not support any automatic control (except for on-camera flash pass-through).

QuoteOriginally posted by filorp Quote
There are three modes: pass through (selected via pressing/holding the menu button),
That only applies to a flash that you mount on the on-camera V6II trigger.
It does not apply to off-camera flashes.

QuoteOriginally posted by filorp Quote
manual selecting power output on the triggering unit attached to the camera,
Yes, that's the standard manual control approach.

QuoteOriginally posted by filorp Quote
manual control when u set the power at the flash just like with cactus v4 or similar - which one do you refer to as "manual control".
No, I didn't mean that. That would not give you remote control over power levels.

QuoteOriginally posted by filorp Quote
and here you are wrong... its not pass through strict sense at least not with cactus, cactus unit translates signals through I would call it virtual pass through - check it its a fact.
Believe me, I know the gear better than you do due to my beta-testing contributions and long-term usage. I'm also generally curious when it comes to technology and when I ask Cactus a technical question, they often answer with a great level of detail.

So take it from me: The V6II does not add any exposure control magic of its own.

QuoteOriginally posted by filorp Quote
not true only sony is different the only difference is that canon is shortest and nikon the longest they all have same wide dimension 18.5 mm since 70ties belonge to the same standard so they should fit snug,
OK, I would have thought that one of Nikon or Canon uses a wider shoe. If none of the supported systems uses a wider shoe, we need to ask Cactus why the male hot-shoe connector isn't wider, as it would help to stop the slight rotational play the V6II has on a Pentax hot-shoe (unless clamped down).

QuoteOriginally posted by filorp Quote
the problem is lack of the locking bolt for pentax.
It's a manifestation of the multi-brand support. There is a locking pin but it hasn't been designed to align with the Pentax position for the locking pin.

Again, a functioning trigger shouldn't give you problems despite the locking pin not engaging, provided you tighten the locking ring quite well.


QuoteOriginally posted by filorp Quote
yes, and it doesn't make any difference compared to auto detect,
It should make a huge difference because the auto detect won't work with a Metz model.

Are you sure you used the correct settings for your flash model?
If the Metz model is "for Pentax" (has Pentax dedication) then setting "Pentax" as the flash system on the receiver and choosing the Metz flash profile I mentioned earlier should make a difference.

However, we still don't know what your exact problems are. If the problem is caused by expecting automatic exposure control from V1.1.013 then no configuration can fix that.

QuoteOriginally posted by filorp Quote
in both cases there is huge underexposure using manual selection of power at the trigger unit as well as pass-through.
The fact that this happens with the Nikon setup as well supports the idea that there is at least not a camera compatibility issue. Are you using the same Metz flash model when testing with the Nikon camera? Note that you'd still have to set the flash system on the receiver to match the system dedication of your flash (e.g., "Pentax", if it is a Metz "for Pentax" flash).

QuoteOriginally posted by filorp Quote
waiting for the new gold plated cable to arrive.
Is this sarcasm?

If so, it is misplaced.
There are USB cables that are purely meant for charging. This type of cable doesn't support firmware updates.

You surely don't need a "gold plated" cable; any standard USB cable with a mini B plug that supports data transfer will work.

QuoteOriginally posted by filorp Quote
..or maybe since you are in some kind of way related to cactus your units are from different/better sort
I'm flattered that you think I'm getting special treatment.
But I guess, according to you, everyone else who hasn't got issues with their V6II units also gets the "good" units and must be in some special way related to Cactus as well. Or are everyone else's units working for other reasons?

Why don't you try and get your end sorted before you allege preferential treatment of others?
It is possible that your gear is defective or incompatible somehow, but for now we haven't even established whether you have the right expectations as to how it should work.
05-25-2018, 01:14 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by filorp Quote
to be precise with cactus you always use pttl mode apart from situation when you use manual flash mode (then you set desire output on the flash itself that is set to manual mode). P-ttl is being used always when you use power mode (don't get mistaken with manual flash mode) or passthrough.
I think you may be mistaken as to how the Cactus units work using the older firmware you have.

You are correct that for off-camera flash triggering the instructions are to put your flash units in P-TTL mode. This is because The Cactus units use the P-TTL protocol to tell each flash unit how much power to output. The flash units will indeed produce a pre-flash before the main flash, but the camera/triggers/flash units are not working in "P-TTL mode". They are working in manual power mode with the output determined solely by what you have set for each flash group on the transmitter itself.

By updating the firmware and using a compatible flash you will then have an additional option to use "TTL". This is set on the transmitter and you can now use your off-camera flash units in traditional Pentax P-TTL mode where the camera reads the pre-flash and the cactus units send the cameras instructions to the flash units regarding power output. You can control compensation from the transmitter for each flash group.

In both these approaches the flash units themselves are set to P-TTL, but only with the latest firmware can you actually use P-TTL exposure.

---------- Post added 05-25-18 at 09:30 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by filorp Quote
Can you tell me why after half an hour of setting everything up (I mean the triggering system only) Am getting only barely half the power of my flash with both systems nikon and pentax
Just a thought here. Are you using a flash meter ?
05-25-2018, 04:54 AM - 2 Likes   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Are you saying you are setting the manual levels to full power (1/1) at the transmitter and you are not getting full power from the flash?
YES YES YES and the same happens with nikon setup (d800 and nissin 866II which is listed as compatible) I am not very interested in PTTL automatic flash mode, or iTTL, What I am after is manual power control 1/129, 1/64, 1/32 etc, with hss from the cactus unit attached to the camera and cross branding. Once I set everything up the output is around half the power of the power given by flash set manually (via cactus v4) Its worse in nikon setup - the flash contribution is barely visible. And to avoid confusion camera shutter is set to non hss range, like 1/125s.

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Is this sarcasm?
no its really gold plated

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Are you sure you used the correct settings for your flash model?
Yes, I did it before we start chatting here, tried different metz profiles as well

QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
Just a thought here. Are you using a flash meter ?
no I don't, only output on my camera screen.... to asses exposure - if you would like to I can measure the difference in ev if it would help with anything.

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
With "manual control", I mean remote control over flash power levels using manual settings on the on-camera trigger
WE'v got serious terminology issues here....

---------- Post added 05-25-2018 at 01:03 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
I do not know what Metz flash firmware version they were running
there is only one firmware available for this model with pentax mount

---------- Post added 05-25-2018 at 01:06 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
It does not support any automatic control (except for on-camera flash pass-through).
that was the most confusing part of the manual for me (page 17) it doesn't clearly say that passthrough refers only to the flash attached to the trigger on top of the camera

Last edited by filorp; 05-25-2018 at 05:21 AM.
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HSS With Pentax K-1+Cactus V6ii and Godox 360 fwbigd Pentax K-1 19 03-10-2017 08:55 AM
Pentax K1 and Cactus V6II and Cactus RF60 on location portrait shoot gsande2016 Post Your Photos! 3 11-09-2016 07:01 PM
Cactus RF60 and Cactus V6II with Pentax K1 gsande2016 Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 3 09-16-2016 02:24 PM



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