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01-31-2018, 03:54 PM   #1
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Cactus V6 ll came today

My biggest (and only) gripe with Pentax was flash. I am refering to not being able to perform all those wonderful off camera beautiful midday flash photos all my Canikonony (canon, nikon, sony) friends are producing, I ordered a couple cactus V6 ll's the other day and they arrived today. I attached the triggers to my K-5 with the 540fgz and it is amazing how well these triggers work I am looking forward to this weekend as I have some time planed for photographs outside. I am excited to see what I can produce.

01-31-2018, 05:28 PM   #2
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Make sure you update to the latest firmware on the triggers and you can use P-TTL off camera too.
01-31-2018, 06:02 PM   #3
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Thank you Peter I will look into that
01-31-2018, 07:53 PM   #4
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Is it better to update to the multibrand hss firmware 1.1.013 or pentax pen.a.001 ? pentax was released 1 month after the hss. Or does it make no difference?

02-01-2018, 01:38 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by angelo9978 Quote
Is it better to update to the multibrand hss firmware 1.1.013 or pentax pen.a.001 ?
It depends on what you are after.

The multi-brand version allows you to swap a V6II unit between cameras of different brands and also provides HSS support for a large variety of flash systems (Pentax, Canon, Nikon, ...).

The X-TTL version (PEN.A. ...) only works with Pentax cameras and Pentax dedicated flashes. The advantage is that P-TTL (i.e., automatic metering + second-curtain sync) is supported in addition to HSS.

In summary, the firmware variants are quite different and it is up to you what you want from the trigger.
02-01-2018, 02:30 AM   #6
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Yes, it's a choice now. As far as we know the X-TTL firmware plays very well with the Pentax AF-540FGZ, so I'd say there's nothing lost and more to gain with the X-TTL set-up. You get both P-TTL and Manual modes, switching between them with a press on the group button. Also you have HSS in both modes as well.
02-01-2018, 07:43 AM   #7
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ty you for your input guys
02-03-2018, 02:02 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
As far as we know the X-TTL firmware plays very well with the Pentax AF-540FGZ, ...
Plays very well with my Metz 58 AF-2 as well.

I don't think I'll be using P-TTL much, though. I've always said I prefer a fully manual approach and that wasn't the result of not being able to use P-TTL.
Perhaps a "run and gun" opportunity will arise where the P-TTL functionality will prove useful, but with my usual photography, I prefer the manual approach.

02-03-2018, 03:12 PM   #9
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'Run and Gun', I love it! Now I can be part of the 'P-TTL Light Brigade', known as the Run 'n Gunners !


Its a pictorial and expressive sort of characterisation, thanks ClassA ..... I can see the TV advert now : Our young, fit P-TTL flash photographer, high up in the Swiss Alps on a snowboard, careering around a bend with the camera in one hand stretched out behind his back, grabbing perfectly exposed portraits of his snowboarding companions doing flying jumps over a series of mounds.... and clearly benefiting from the automation, ergonomic ease and technical perfection of flash and ambient balancing that P-TTL plus Camera Program mode would obviously provide.

Or is my imagination running away from itself .... ?


Back to reality ..... I probably would not try to characterise a Flash mode as suited to the photographers physical behaviours or whether its snapshot or considered photography, eg casual and quick vs serious and methodical (our snowboarder there might well have more success with everything pre-fixed in Manual!). Rather I think it depends more on the technical methods being employed and shooting workflow complexities (on-camera vs off, need to respond to ambient light fluctuations or not, that sort of thing).


Certainly I recommend P-TTL for on-camera work, and that is not because on-camera work is like 'run & gun' ... no, in fact most of my on-camera flash photography is fairly measured and methodical, with assessment shots taken and adjustments made. But still I find P-TTL flash mode, combined usually with manual camera mode, to be the most efficient and reliable approach, even when the pace of things might be really slow.


Conversely, generally, when setting up off-camera flashes with diffusers, and assuming the natural light is steady or non-existent (indoors), then Manual flash mode, with the benefit of remote power control, is the way I have tended to go.


I've said it elsewhere recently, that the impressive metering performance and consistency that I find with the cactus X-TTL firmware using two flashes in TTL mode, may well render manual mode as obsolete, even for the static type of situations. This is because I always prefer mentally working in units of 'stops' for both flash and ambient exposures, and find that thinking in terms of 'compensations' is the most logical and consistent mental approach when juggling flash and ambient exposures and managing a dynamic situation, even when the flashes are off-camera and the subject is perfectly still.

Last edited by mcgregni; 02-03-2018 at 03:32 PM.
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